Truce: The Historic Neighbor from Hell, Page 55R. L. Mathewson
“Can’t we talk about this?’
“No,” he said, grinning in anticipation as Elizabeth noticeably swallowed and shot an anxious look towards the shore, “six. ”
“Wait,” she said, taking a step away from him, her gaze shifting between him and the shore. “Can you start over?’
“No. Seven. ”
She finally took a step away from him. “What exactly are you planning?”
“For you to scream your undying love for me at the top of your lungs,” he said with a shrug before he added, “eight. ”
Her eyes widened with that announcement as self-preservation finally kicked in. With an adorable little squeal of excitement she turned around and moved to finally make her escape, but before she could take a single step he had her back in his arms where she belonged.
“Nine,” he said with a growl as he leaned down to kiss her.
“But you said that you’d give me to the count of ten!”
“I lied,” he admitted as he set his plan into motion.
For the next three hours he kept her on her back and her legs spread as he used his hands, mouth and the painfully hard appendage between his legs on her until she was screaming her undying love for him. Once that was done, he decided to show her just how much he loved her. He didn’t stop showing her until his voice was hoarse, he could hardly move and his minx knew just how much she meant to him.
Three months later…. .
“You spoil him,” Mrs. Brown pointed out with a smile as she carefully placed another apple pie on the table to cool.
“He deserves to be spoiled,” Elizabeth said, easily returning the older woman’s smile as she looked over the pies she’d made to surprise her husband.
For the past four months Robert had been working day and night, taking any job that he could get his hands on to make sure that they were well prepared for the coming winter. They’d heard that winters in New England could be especially harsh, so he was making sure that they were well prepared. When he wasn’t working on a job trying to earn more money for the coming winter, he was chopping wood, building a shed, fixing the barn for their horses, checking the roof, windows and fireplaces to make sure that they were properly secured, building shelves in the root cellar to make sure that they had plenty of space for their food. He was making sure that she and the baby had everything they were going to need.
He was working himself into exhaustion. Every time she pointed that out, he smiled and gave her a kiss as he told her that she was well worth it. He promised her that things would slow down in the winter and he would rest then, but she knew that he was lying. He already had enough orders for furniture, chests and a hundred other things to keep him busy during the winter.
“He’s going to be upset when he finds out that you were working,” Mrs. Brown said as she pulled another pie out of the oven.
“He’s not going to be upset,” Elizabeth said, knowing that was true.
Robert wouldn’t be upset when he found out that she hadn’t stayed in bed like the doctor had ordered, he would be furious, which was why she also made him some apple pastries so that he would be too busy eating to yell at her. He was such a hypocrite, she thought as she loaded a small tray with the pastries with the hopes that they would be enough to soften him up enough to take her for a walk.
It was okay for him to work himself to death, but it wasn’t okay for her to do anything more strenuous than to turn over in bed. She appreciated that he was concerned for her, really she did, but if she had to stay in that bed for one more day she was pretty sure that she was going to scream. She needed to move around, to work, to go for walks, anything that would take her mind off her huge stomach, the cramps that had started yesterday and wouldn’t leave her alone and the fact that she was bored out of her mind.
Taking a deep breath and praying that the walk would help ease her cramps, she picked up the tray and, unfortunately for her, waddled to the doors. It took her longer than she would have liked, but she eventually made it to the door and with Mrs. Brown’s help, managed to step outside. Murmuring her thanks to the older woman, Elizabeth started the long process of walking to the barn where her husband was hard at work building a chest for the Fairchild family.
It really was a beautiful day. The weather had cooled considerably over the past couple of weeks, making it the perfect weather for enjoying the outdoors. She hoped to be able to enjoy it before the baby came along with the snow that was sure to keep them trapped inside for most of the winter.
A few steps later she was forced to stop as a cramp tore through her back and stomach, proving her point that lying around for the past month had done her absolutely no good. She needed fresh air, sunshine and a bit of exercise. Once the cramp had dulled down enough for her to move, she took a deep breath and continued towards the barn, but she didn’t make it five steps before another cramp tore through her back and stomach, robbing her of the ability to breathe.
“Elizabeth?” a familiar voice said, drawing her attention to the very handsome man walking towards her, appearing surprised and pleased to see her. “Is that really you?” James asked, placing his satchel on a bench by the rose bushes as he walked past it on his way to her.
She opened her mouth to answer him, but a choked sob escaped her as she lost her grip on the tray. She bit back a cry as she cradled her arms around her stomach and leaned forward, praying that she wasn’t about to lose the baby. It was too early for the baby.
“Elizabeth?” James asked, sounding worried as he rushed over to her and wrapped his arms around her as best as he could, but she was rather large now, making the job nearly impossible. “What’s wrong?”
She didn’t get a chance to answer him before she felt a rush of liquid pour down her legs. It was quickly followed by another one of those vicious cramps that left her barely able to breathe. She reached up and grabbed onto James’ arms as cramp after cramp tore through her body until all she could do was scream the one thing that she knew would make it all better.
* * *
“It’s beautiful,” Mr. Fairchild said in a reverent whisper as he ran his fingertips over the intricate design of the bassinet. “How much do you want for it?”
Robert chuckled as he placed the sheet back over the bassinet to keep it protected. “Thank you, but it’s not for sale. ”
Mr. Fairchild smiled. “Fair enough. For your child?”
“Yes,” Robert said proudly as his gaze shifted to the other covered furniture that he’d built for their baby.
“The baby will be here soon enough,” Mr, Fairfield said with a chuckle as he moved to kneel in front of the chest that Robert made for the man’s future daughter-in-law.
“Not soon enough,” Robert said, leaning back to give the man some space to look over the chest.
Only a month more to go before he was holding their baby in his arms, their miracle child and he couldn’t wait. There were no words to describe how he felt about this child. They were getting a second chance to be parents to this child and he wasn’t going to waste it. He was going to-
“ Robert !”
-have a heart attack, he realized as Elizabeth’s blood-curdling scream reached his ears. Before he realized what he was doing, he was running out the door, barely aware of Mr. Fairchild following him or demanding to know what was wrong. The only thing that he cared about at that moment was getting to Elizabeth and killing whoever was hurting her.