Thursday, August 22, 2019

Poplar Mountain Part 24 by Dellani Oakes


Luke proposes, giving Dollie a beautiful ring which Will made. She says yes.

Their kiss was longer this time. It wasn't until they heard a shout down the mountain, that they turned around. Will and Patty were headed their way. Will helped her over the rugged terrain. They arrived with Patty slightly flushed and panting a little.
"So?" she asked excitedly, reaching for her sister.
"I said yes!" Dollie squealed.
Will shook his brother's hand, pulling him into a half hug. Dollie and Patty giggled and squealed as they hopped up and down happily. Patty admired Dollie's ring and Dollie admired Patty's. She'd seen the ring a dozen times since her sister got it, but she still liked to look at the intricate, detailed work of the band. Hers was just as lovely. She made sure to thank Will for it.
"The idea was Patty's. She said how much you love dragonflies. I got the basic design from an old lamp Mr. Prentice has in his back room. It's from around 1895 or so. The brass base and the glass hood have dragonflies all over them."
"I'm so proud of you for learning the jeweler's trade," Patty said, squeezing his arm.
"It's a great talent," Dollie said, her dark eyes sparkling.
Lucius felt a little left out of the conversation. He was good with is hands as far as fixing things. He was an excellent carpenter and mechanic. When it came to being artistic, he wasn't—at least not with that kind of thing. He had designed Will's house and had a plan in mind for his own. He could look at bricks, boards and land and visualize a finished home. As a result, any carpentry work they needed at the school, Lucius did it.
"Have you set a date yet?" Patty asked her sister.
"No. We want your wedding time to be special," Dollie said. "I bet Mama and Papa could get away in a few months for another wedding."
"I know they would," Patty said. "You could rush about and get married at the same time we do." She sounded half hopeful that Dollie would say no.
"I don't think so," Dollie said, not really wanting to anyway. "We both want our own spotlight. Not only that, people will surely talk if we marry so soon after our first date. They'll think there's some sort of scandal."
"Not gonna put Dollie in that position," Lucius said. "Y'all two been dating awhile now. Me and Dollie ain't. They'll think your daddy poked a shotgun under my nose." He blushed slightly. "Ain't gonna have a repeat of the Betty Mae incident. That's the most embarrassed I ever was in my life."
Will clapped him on the shoulder, nodding. He'd had a scare or two in his time, but none as public as Betty Mae.
"Thing is, it was only the once. Girl was flat crazy, scared the bejeezus outta me. Then to have her come at me with that story. Lord have mercy!"
"No wonder her daddy tried so hard to marry you two off. She was probably making him crazy too," Will supplied with a laugh. "Let's go on back down. Mama's askin' after you both."
"I hope she doesn't think it's inappropriate, us engaged...." Dollie said in a worried tone.
"I 'spect Mama will be pleased," Will said, though he had to admit he wasn't sure. "Ain't every day her two sons tell her they're getting' hitched."
"You haven't told her yet?" Dollie was stunned.
"Only been a couple days. Ain't had the chance to come up and chat. Besides you two, don't no one else know."
Patty and Dollie exchanged a look. They'd told plenty of people, thinking Will had already discussed it with his parents. The ring on Patty's finger had needed explanation.
"That's not entirely true, Will-Billy." She explained.
"Well, that's all right," he said with a smile. "So long as they're happy for us."
The four young people walked down to the house, holding hands. The girls chattered about wedding plans. The men listened, grinning proudly, content that their goals had been achieved.
Lucius couldn't help wondering what his mother would think. She was very old fashioned in some ways. The idea of him getting engaged to a girl he'd barely courted might upset her. He'd had the dance and one date with Dollie. All ready, she was wearing his ring. He'd considered waiting, but his father's death had made one thing clear—life was short and uncertain. He wanted Dollie to know beyond doubt how much he loved her.
They walked up to the back door of the cabin, startling Aunt Virginia, who was talking earnestly with Patrick Kennedy. They stood close together, whispering. Virginia stepped back, blushing.
"Didn't hear you young'uns," she said with a nervous laugh.
"Had us a walk," Will replied. "Good to see you, Auntie. You too, Pat." He shook hands with the other man.
"Y'all look real chummy," Virginia said, noticing they were holding hands.
"Might say the same," Lucius replied, frowning a question at his boss.
Patrick actually looked flustered. "Me and Ginny got us some good news," he drawled.
"No kidding?" Will crossed his arms. "And?"
"Nothing formal yet," Virginia interjected. "But reckon we'll have us a celebration in a couple months."
© 2019 Dellani Oakes


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