|Posted on May 27, 2013 at 11:35 AM|
Thank you for taking the time to read my Tuesday Tale
It's the prequel to Texas Haven
unedited copyright Kathleen Ball 2013
Alice wanted to scream. Where was the fancy ranch house? Where was the cook? She never for a minute considered that Burke was poor. He tricked her. He never once gave her any indication that he was poor. She’d been looking forward to throwing her successful marriage in her mother’s face, now she couldn’t let her know of her downfall.
He just won a ton of money. She’d have to be sure that she got new clothes and things. She left a lot of her clothes with Jen. She figured she’d just go and buy new ones. Her heart dropped. How could she have been such a fool? She barely knew how to cook. Well until she got her hands on some of that money she’d have to be a good wife.
She groaned wondering if she was supposed to do laundry and clean the house. She sure hoped not. She’d just had her nails done and she wasn’t about to ruin them for anyone.
By the time Burke returned she managed to make eggs, bacon and toast. She was quiet proud as she served Burke a plateful. She loaded her own plate and sat at the table. She buttered her toast, took a bite and looked at him. He didn’t seem pleased and he wasn’t eating.
“Is something wrong?”
“Have you cooked much in the past?”
“Of course. Now eat up before it gets cold.”
Burke nodded and stared down at his plate. The eggs were soggy, the bacon limp and toast usually had some brownness to it.
“Not edible?” she asked curtly. She could see that it was lacking.
“It’s fine. You just don’t know my preferences yet. I prefer the eggs to be dry, the bacon crisp and I like my toast, toasted. But this is good for today and I thank you.”
Surprised, Alice watched Burke dig in and eat. She wanted to laugh at the faces he made but she pretended that everything was fine. She picked at hers until he was done. He gave her a kiss on the cheek and headed out the door.
Sighing she put the dishes and the pans in the sink. She wondered where they wpuld go and what they would do on their first day together.
Sitting on the sofa, she waited over an hour. This place was as bad as her apartment. Dejected she went upstairs and unpacked, making mental notes what she needed from the store. A day at the mall was what she needed. It’d been a while since she had money to burn. She wanted to fix up the house but her needs were greater.
Looking at the time she decided to make herself some lunch. Sandwiches she could handle. There was plenty of lunchmeat and cheeses in the refrigerator. She got busy making herself one when Burke came in. She smiled, what she hoped was a loving wifely smile.
“Oh that looks good,” Burke said staring at her sandwich.
It dawned on her that he wanted her to make him one. “Would you like one?”
He nodded. “Better make that two, I’m starved.”
She started making his sandwiches. “What’s the plan?”
“What are we doing today, darling?” She added the darling for good measure.
“Well, I have cattle to attend to and you have plenty here to keep you busy.”
“Such as?” She handed him his sandwiches and grabbed hers. Once again they sat across from each other. She leaned in and smiled. She wanted him to want to be with her.
“You know, wife stuff.”
Alice sat back and clenched her hands under the table. She knew what he expected. Glancing away, she tried to find her smile but it was gone.
“Is something wrong?” She could hear the concern in his voice.
“Did you marry me to do your laundry?”
“Alice, look at me.”
Her mother had been right. No man would ever want her. Burke only wanted a housekeeper with benefits. A tear rolled down her face. Her disappointment grew greater and greater. “Don’t you have cowboys or people to do the cattle stuff?”
“Yes, I have Nash, Dan, Yates and Surly. They are cow hands, I guess what you’d call cowboys. They work the ranch with me.”
“Who has been doing all the housework?” She still couldn’t look at him.
“Mrs. Harvy. She cooks mostly. She does my laundry too.”
Relief fell over her. She took a deep breath and wiped her tear away. “Then why can’t we spend some time together?” She looked at him and wondered at his surprised expression.
“I guess I hadn’t given it much thought. I mean I just got back from getting you, plus the days I took off for the stock show. I’m behind. Damn, did you expect me to spend the day with you?” He looked so sincere and clueless.
“It’s fine, like you said there is plenty to do here. The weekend can be ours.” Noticing his frown her heart sank. “We don’t get the weekends off?”
“Honey, this is a working ranch. I’ll give Mrs. Harvy a call. She thought you’d want to take care of the house yourself. I’ll call her. She can come in a couple days a week and help you out. I have plenty of books in my make shift library. Maybe you could read or something.”
Alice stood up and rounded the table. She leaned over his shoulder and kissed his shaven cheek. She loved the smell of him, so masculine. She was used to men wearing various colognes. She liked Burkes smell the best. She also loved that he was willing to please her.
She kept her smile long after he left. It wasn’t so hard to get her own way. She’d have him wrapped around her finger in no time.
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