Thursday, August 29, 2019
Poplar Mountain Part 26 by Dellani Oakes
Finding that their aunt is also engaged, Luke and Dollie decide not to tell anyone about their engagement yet.
"Explain the ring," Patty challenged.
"Maid of Honor gift from you and Will," Dollie supplied, having all ready considered that problem. "I can wear it on my right hand. Only we four know different."
They nodded agreement. Lucius changed the ring over to her other hand.
"You don't mind, do you?" Dollie asked.
"So long as we know, that's all that's important."
All too soon, they arrived at the girls' dorm. Lucius and Dollie got out, giving Will and Patty the privacy of the truck. They found a secluded spot near the door that couldn't be seen from the road or windows. The worn grass there gave testimony to the fact that more than one couple had used that spot to say goodnight.
Lucius put his arms around Dollie pulling her close. It was chilly and she didn't have a jacket. Dollie laid her head on his chest, listening to his heartbeat. For the moment, both were content. Soon, the compulsion to kiss her became too strong for Lucius to ignore. Dollie knew the moment his thoughts turned, his embrace changed and he shifted his stance. She raised her face as he lowered his.
"I love you Dorothea Belloit," he whispered. "I can't wait to make you my wife."
"I love you too, Lucius. I wanna marry you more than anything."
He stilled any further words with his kiss. There was one thing he wanted more than being married, but Dollie wasn't the type of girl he could say that to. She'd think he was being fresh. The fact that they were now engaged might or might not change her mind. She was not her sister and the idea of going to bed with a man, even her fiancé, was scandalous. Unlike his brother, he had no private place to take her and Dollie wasn't a truck seat kind of girl.
"What are you thinking about?" Dollie asked.
Startled by the end of the kiss, he didn't answer right away.
"Penny for your thoughts?" she tried again.
"I's thinkin' how much I love you." It made a more or less convincing lie—or not?
"Liar," she jabbed his ribs, laughing. "You had more on your mind."
"I can't ever tell you tales," he said with a sigh. "You see right through me."
"So, what were you really thinking?"
"Thoughts natural to a man. I don't want to upset you, Dollie."
"You were thinking of taking me to your bed."
He nodded, unwilling to deny it. "It's a natural step in a man's mind." He tried to laugh it off. "We're engaged now, Dollie. Practically married."
"I see. And did you propose just so I'd do that?"
Her biting question wounded him. "Dollie, no! I've done everything I know to prove that I love you. If you can't see it, maybe you aren't the woman I think you are. I don't plan to ravage you, Miss Belloit, but a man has certain needs and expectations from a relationship. I'm not any worse than any other man. And the fact you've still got your damn clothes on proves I'm better 'n some."
He shoved away from her and took off, running blindly. His feet led him once more to the grove of trees behind the chapel. Unfortunately, this time, the place afforded no comfort. He paced the clearing, kicking loose rocks and twigs, cursing under his breath. He picked up a rock, hurling it into the brush.
"Yowch!" his brother's voice caught him by surprise.
"Will? You all right?"
"Reckon so. You clipped me." He walked into the clearing, dusting himself off. "What's got you so riled?"
Lucius explained, leaving no details out. Will nodded, smiling. He chuckled, putting a hand on his brother's arm.
"Brother mine, your problem is you ain't never had a woman tell you no. You're so used to them falling on their backs for you, you can't understand one with—morals." He laughed louder.
"Yeah, laugh at my pain. Like you ever had a girl say no."
"I have plenty. Maybe more said no than yes, for a while there. I never had your looks or your brains. Girls see me and you together, four of the five go talk to my baby brother. The fifth one's only staying with me cause she figgers she's got a better chance of some undivided attention if she does. But her eyes wander to the blond, blue eyed god her friends are fawning over. Can't tell you how many women wanted you instead of me. Trouble is, little brother, you don't know your own appeal. You got what you wanted from them other gals cause you're the best lookin' thing on two legs them girls ever seen. Miss Dollie's from the city."
"Well, so—not only has she seen some Dapper Dans in her life, she got her some strong religious convictions."
"Her sister doesn't seem to have the same qualms. Nothin' against Patty...."
"Maybe cause on her end, she's been on the rejected side of the four outta five. Patty's a pretty girl, no doubt about it. Dollie's a beauty. And like you, ain't the least aware of her own appeal."
© 2019 Dellani Oakes
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