Marie watched her mother hurry off, then turned toward the Morgan's fire.
"Miss Marie," said Tom, stepping into her path from behind the brush. "It's a pleasure to see you again."
Startled, Marie laid her hand over her heart. "Tom! I didn't see you there." With his back to the fire, his figure was outlined with light, but she couldn't see his face clearly.
"I saw you a-comin'. Thought as I'd greet you ahead of the folks." He leaned in toward Marie, and she took a step backwards.
"How nice of you. Are you and your kin comfortable?"
Tom was silent for a moment, then said, "Aside from hauling water for tomorrow, I believe we're set. Come to the fire and say hello." Tom moved forward and took her arm, fitting it through the crook of his.
Marie let him lead her into the circle of light.
Mrs. Morgan glanced up from her seat on a log. "Well, look who's here. Mr. Morgan, it's Miss Marie, come to call on us."
"Miss Marie," Ed Morgan said, then stepped away from the fire and into the darkness.
Stung at his rudeness, Marie blurted out, "Tom says you're set for the night." The look on Mrs. Morgan's face made her regret that she hadn't started out with pleasantries. Then Louisa and Melissa crowded around, asking questions and diverting her attention as she tried to make up for her mistake with Mrs. Morgan.
"It's a nice evening," she began again. "I trust your journey wasn't too taxing?"
"Uneventful," Mrs. Morgan murmured, nodding. "Uneventful, but warm."
"It has been a warm day," Marie agreed. "It's fixin' to cool off, I believe," she offered.
"I can only hope it don't get too chilly."
"No, ma'am. It should be pleasant tonight."
Mrs. Morgan didn't reply, but instead examined the hand work in her lap.
Louisa and Melissa went back to their chores, and Marie stood awkwardly beside Tom, her hand trapped between his arm and his body. The rhythm of his breathing pressed against the back of her arm, and his warmth seeped into her skin. Her throat constricted.
After it became apparent that Mrs. Morgan had finished with her, Marie cleared her throat and said, "Well, good evening to you. I must be going."
What characters those Morgans are! Thank you for visiting. Come back every Saturday for more samples. Now, use this list to go to other blogs for more Sweet Saturday Samples. Enjoy!