Their lives at last were finally together.
January 19, 2014
A VG Serial: Nelson & Cora
Chapter 33 – 4
The sheriff was on his way to McGinnis Plantation to bring in his father, or kill him.
There was no doubt in Nelson’s mind that his father knew this was coming, that this would be the sheriff’s plan. And, one thing Randall McGinnis wasn’t, and that was stupid. His father would have gone home immediately and prepared for this.
Nelson knew his father would fight to the death, his or the sheriff’s and anyone else who was caught in the middle. George was heading right into it, right into a fight that would certainly bring someone’s death. Already one young man was dead, and now this too.
Nelson thought of Mattie. She would be afraid. The sound of shouting and gunshots and the horses and the fire from the torches, it would terrify her. He hoped she would have Apollo in her room with her. Apollo would be on edge. His hair would stand on end, but he would stay with Mattie. He would protect her.
Analisa wouldn’t come out of her room. If Randall was killed, someone would have to go up and tell Analisa. She wouldn’t leave her room, no matter what.
Nelson was counting on George missing the worst of it. He had lost a lot of time searching for Judge Parker. Maybe it would all be over before George reached home.
Nelson prayed that it would. His brother would take care of Mattie. He would see to it that she was alright tonight.
Nelson thought of Gert. How would he tell her all of this? What would she think, after just getting settled into her school, finding a routine and friends?
Nelson knew he needed to go to the plantation. He needed to go protect Mattie. He needed to go try to save his brother. He needed to go get Apollo. Nelson needed to go see his father brought in by the sheriff, safely, without any more lives lost.
If he left Cora here, he could make it in a little less than four hours. He could be there before sun up. He could find out what had happened tonight and get to work making it right, picking up the pieces.
Cora breathed deeply. Nelson looked back at her. One of her arms had fallen towards the floor. The other was draped across her lap. She was sleeping with her mouth open.
Nelson sat the letter down on the table. He walked over to the chair where she slept.
He ran his finger along her cheek. Pieces of her hair hung down around her neck. He leaned over her and kissed her forehead. He brushed his lips along her cheek. She drowsily opened her eyes.
“Nelson?” she said in a hushed voice.
“Yes?” he said. He continued to lean over her.
Cora put her hand on top of his. “I wanted to make sure I was awake,” she said. She smiled and closed her eyes again.
She would be his wife in a few days. He thought of kissing her, holding her in his arms. That would come soon enough. He wanted to do right by her. He would wait.
Nelson lay down on the floor next to the chair.
He would take her to see Gert tomorrow morning. He would tell Gert that this was to be his bride. He didn’t know what Gert would think, but he would reassure her that he would do all that he could to keep her in school. Nelson, knew though, that seeing after Gert would fall to George when he left.
After Gert was taken care of, he and Cora would go face the Ross family. Nelson would do whatever she needed him to do. If she wanted him to ask her father for his permission to marry her, Nelson would ask. He would do whatever he could to make it right for her. But, he wouldn’t allow them to hurt her again. No one would hurt her as long as he was living. Maybe he should go see them alone. That might be better for Cora.
Only after that, only after they saw her family, would he take her to McGinnis
Plantation. He would get Apollo. He would try to get Mattie to come with them. She would always be welcome no matter where he and Cora settled. With Gert out of the house, Mattie might leave with them.
Nelson would talk to George. He would see where things stood with his father, with the law. But, it didn’t matter, really. He was with Cora. She was with him. Their lives were together now.
Where could they go? A McGinnis, the son of Randall McGinnis, the next in line to run
McGinnis Plantation. Married to a Ross? Kentucky was out of the question. Virginia, Tennessee, too many people knew his family name in those states too. He wouldn’t go North. What would he do in the North? He couldn’t make a living there.
Maybe Arkansas? Maybe there. But, then, he thought of Texas. A new start, a place where no one knew them, a wide-open place. Texas, it wouldn’t matter what their last names were. A McGinnis, a Ross, it would be all the same in Texas.
Before Nelson closed his eyes, he listened to Cora’s breathing and said a silent prayer of thanks.
Chapters of the serial are published on Sunday.
You can learn more about Nelson & Cora on Amazon.