He stood up for the girl and was willing to fight for her if necessary. Nelson & Cora.

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A VG Serial: Nelson & Cora

Chapter 13

Alberdeen, Kentucky, 1866

Nelson and Cora heard footsteps coming down the hall. She moved her hand away from his grasp. A short, dark-haired man peered at them as he rounded the corner.

“Please, keep it down,” he said.

The man turned on his heels and walked down the hall away from them.

Nelson smiled at her. Cora smiled back. She took a breath and was about to ask him about his rocking chair, but the door to Judge Parker’s chambers swung open.

George came out first, looking over his shoulder at Judge Parker, who was holding the door open. Thomas was filing out behind him.

“Yes, sir. I understand,” George said. He turned and looked straight ahead at Nelson.

Thomas said something to the judge about appreciating his time. He and George stood side by side in the hall. Both of them looked at Nelson and Cora, who were looking back at them.

“Well, isn’t this cozy?” George said.

Thomas walked over to Cora. He grabbed her by the elbow.

“We will be going now,” he said.

Cora tried to free her arm from his grip, but she couldn’t.

“She’s fine,” Nelson said. He stood up and took a step towards Thomas.

“What?” Thomas said. He held on to Cora’s arm. “What did you say?”

George tried to step in between them, but Nelson moved closer to Cora.

“I said she’s fine. She didn’t do anything wrong. You don’t have to grab her up that way,” Nelson said. He tried to remain calm, but he was leaning closer to Thomas with each word.

Cora tried again to free her arm, but Thomas would not let go. He was starting to hurt her. Thomas moved in closer to Nelson.

“What do you know about it?” Thomas asked.

“I know she’s a respectable young woman who deserves to be treated as such,” Nelson said.

Thomas let out a laugh. “Really, you who disrespected her last night, you, a McGinnis.

You are going to tell me about treating her with respect?” Thomas said.

Nelson’s voice grew louder. “I apologized to Miss Ross. I made it right with her,” Nelson said. “You don’t have to treat her like a child.”

George stood helplessly outside of the circle. He expected Judge Parker to come out any moment asking about the commotion. George didn’t know how he would explain this. How would he explain that all of this was over a girl his brother didn’t even know.

A girl? George shook his head.

“You won’t be talking to her again,” Thomas said. “And, I will treat her any way I please. She is my sister.” Thomas was angrier than Cora had ever seen him.

Cora was afraid that Thomas would do something to Nelson, but she was more afraid that Nelson would do something right back. His face was red and his fists were clenched.

“Thomas, I’m fine. I’m leaving with you. You can let go,” Cora said.

“Mr. McGinnis, thank you for your kind apology,” she said. Thomas relaxed his grip enough for Cora to free her arm. She smoothed her hair and dress and walked away from them towards the door.

Thomas followed quickly behind her. He passed her and pushed open the door.

George watched Cora and Thomas as they walked down the hallway. When they left, he looked at his brother. Nelson’s face was still red and he hadn’t relaxed his fists.

George couldn’t recall seeing his brother that angry.

“Nelson, what was that? What happened?” George asked.

“He didn’t’ have to grab her like that,” Nelson said.

“No sense grabbing on her like that,” he said.

“I think she is fine. She looked well enough. I don’t think he hurt her,” George said.

“Doesn’t matter! He didn’t have to treat her that way,” Nelson said.

Chapters of the serial are published on Sunday.

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