Tuesday, November 12, 2019
Poplar Mountain Part 47 by Dellani Oakes
Sheriff Squires has dropped by the house to pay his respects, but he has some questions for Luke which make the younger Henry brother suspicious.
"Of course you do. I'm sorry. Being the law, I like to see things neat and tidy. I worry about my friends."
"I imagine you do. This ain't a thing for you to worry after. Between us and the menfolk, we got this covered. Will and me'll keep an eye on the girls for ya."
"Thanks. I knew I could count on you." Picking up his hat, he bid farewell and headed back down the mountain.
Lucius watched him drive away. "Just what are you after, Edward Squires? And why did you want to know so bad about a will?"
Rachel Henry came up a moment later, tugging at her son's arm. "You come sit down, Luke, and have something to eat. You got to keep up your strength."
He allowed himself to be persuaded to eat. He was extra hungry and knew his body was still fighting off the infection in his hand. Will and the other men came in thirty minutes later.
They spent a couple hours with the family before gathering some things together to take with them to the girls' dorm. Their mother agreed that they should stay with the girls for the time being.
"Most of the family will be heading home the next day or so, but Wilt said he'd stay on a little longer. His boys can handle the farm on their own."
Will and Luke were glad to hear their uncle was staying. He was a good man who had often helped them and their father with the farm. It was a big job for one man. Luke wasn't sure how he was going to manage. Will had his own job to do. Luke still needed the money from the school to make ends meet. He might end up hiring someone in the fall. Through the summer, he could manage with Samuel's help, but his younger brother would have school come August.
The brothers bid farewell just before lunch and headed back down the mountain. They spent the day with Patty and Dollie. After the evening meal, they helped wash up, then went outside to smoke while the women took their showers. Sitting on the front porch swing, the men shared a cigarette.
"Feels like home already," Will said with a happy sigh.
"It sure does. I could get used to being domesticated real easy."
Will chuckled, punching his brother's shoulder. "You mean you want sex regular like."
"That and the meal. Mama's a fine cook, there's no doubt. But with Daddy and a passel of young'uns to feed, I didn't never get full. It was a little better once you moved, but if there was extra, Daddy always took it. There's me workin' two jobs and lucky to get my share. Mama tried to give me her portion sometimes, but I ain't takin' food off my mother's plate. When Dollie and Patty feed me, I stay fed." He laughed, patting his belly.
Will laughed at his brother. "You're gonna get fat with a wife to feed you regular."
"Nope. I'll work it off other ways."
Will whooped, punching Luke. "I heard ya!"
Luke pretended not to mean it the way it sounded. "I don't know what you're on about. I was talking about working at the school and at the farm."
His brother chuckled, lighting another cigarette. "Yeah, I'll just bet you were."
Luke's laugh joined in. They shared another smoke, waiting for the women. A short time later, both came out with their hair damp, wearing fresh dresses and smelling sweet like soap. Luke's chest tightened when Dollie sat next to him, her body pressed next to his. She smelled so clean and fresh, he could hardly bear it. Her scent tickled his nose in a delightful way and it was all he could do not to lick her. Instead, he placed his lips on her cheek, kissing her tenderly. He nuzzled her neck, nibbling at the base of her ear.
Dollie shivered, wiggling delightedly next to him. Luke continued his ministrations. He strongly suspected his brother and Patty were doing more than just cuddle, but he was past caring. He enjoyed the little bit he could have with Dollie, knowing that they would come to that place in their relationship too.
Once the sun set, they went inside and sat in the common room, playing cards. The girls knew a variety of games. They even pulled out an old dominos set and taught the men how to play. Dollie was good, but Luke took to it like he'd played his entire life. Patty and Will couldn't compete, so they finally put the games away and sat around talking.
Luke told them about the conversation he'd had with the sheriff. "It was right strange how he kept going on about a will. Made me wonder what he was really after. And why. Don't make a whole lotta sense."
"Maybe he really was concerned about making the transition of the land simple," Patty said softly.
"Patty, I don't mean to contradict, but the fact is, up here we don't need no lawyers to tell us who gets what. A man makes his wishes known and his family sees it done."
"I was supposed to inherit Daddy's land," Will said quietly. "But when I moved to town, I lost that. He disowned me and gave the land to Luke."
"And that doesn't bother you?" Patty was incredulous.
© 2019 Dellani Oakes
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