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   Chapter 10 Whiskey Talks

The Ranger's Daughter By LadyRosabella Characters: 13330

Updated: 2017-12-20 17:34


This chapter is dedicated to Horses113 for the fabulous setup so Vance could share his story. Thanks for the suggestion, Horses113! :-) Happy reading ya'll!

Gracie smiled she filled a sack full of flour, sugar, and coffee. They were nearly done preparing for their farm journey and Grace was rather surprised and equally delighted by Vance's behavior. Even his mother noted his rather odd cheerfulness. Grace maintained her innocent replies to Mary Anne's questions but even so she was sure his happiness stemmed from his stolen kisses the day before.

That could only be the reason why his usual frown had turned into secretive winks and teasing remarks. At least, that's what Grace tried to convince herself of. In reality, she was sure that their time fishing meant more to her then it ever would to him. Grace tried to shrug it off. Vance was only amusing himself during his visit. The time at the pond meant nothing, the kisses were just ... heartbreakingly sweet. A tear trickled down Grace's cheek as her thoughts turned to her daddy. Nope, it didn't mean anything... And even if

By some odd chance it did well.. In the end it didn't matter. Grace knew all too well what happened when you loved someone. They hurt you, even though they didn't intend, to the pain was inevitable.

"Hey Gracie Girl, " Vance said as he walked into the kitchen. "You got enough sugar in there?"

"Sugar?" Grace asked as she brushed a remaining tear from her cheek. "I think so.." She trailed off as she looked into the bag that held the sugar.

"No matter. " Vance replied with a wink. "If we run out, I can always get my sugar from other places." His eyes dropped knowingly to her lips as he ran the tip of his tongue rather seductively over his lips. "Better hurry up, mama's ready to leave." Vance left the kitchen, Leaving Grace hyperventilating near the table. Vance was going to be the death of her! He would, she just knew it! My Lord! What was a girl to think or do when he went around making insinuations like that! "Remember your father, Gracie." She repeated that to herself as she grabbed the last bag of provisions and ran to the waiting wagon.

---

Vance smiled in satisfaction as he reviewed there days work. They had been at the farm for nearly two days and had accomplished more than he had expected. Vance had been skeptical with only his and Grace's help but he was pleasantly surprised to discover that she was a fast and hard worker. And it helped that she was a pretty sight too. Oh, Vance knew she probably felt ridiculous wearing a pair of boys denims with her shirtwaist and a hat but it was a heap more practical then her long warm skirts.

She was dusty, and sore and her nose was burned but Vance thought she looked like an angel. And despite the long hard days spent in the fields. Vance never heard a complaint pass through her lips. She put him in the mind of the book of proverbs... The chapter that described a wise woman and a good wife.

Wife?! His motions stilled as he realized where his thoughts had gone. Wife was quite a bit different then just stealing kisses at the pond.

Come to think of it, Grace had been acting rather odd since the day they were fishing. If Vance didn't know better he's say she was doing her best to avoid him. She always went to bed much sooner then every one else, of course the hard work might lend to her early bedtime. But she refused to take that walk with him yesterday. He couldn't remember what excuse she had used but it was a flimsy one.

"And she hasn't even baked me one cookie." Vance mumbled as he looked to were Grace silently worked. An idea began to take root in his mind. Yessiree, the girl was avoiding him but when he finished she wouldn't be able to avoid him for the rest of her life!

In the same moment, regret filled his mind. What was he thinking? He should be glad she was avoiding him. He didn't want a woman. He had a woman once.. Vance was a fool if he thought Grace would be any di

ll smile graced his lips as he remembered how he felt when she told him. "I was sure that a child would make her feel better. That it would give her a reason to love me. But... She didn't love me and she didn't love our child. She hated me and blamed me for her condition. She preferred her figure to a baby. She would rather a rich townsman to me, her husband."

Vance sighed and shook his head, tears were silently streaming over his cheeks. "She was in her seventh month when I came home one night and she- she was on the floor. Dead." He looked up and met Grave's eyes. "She killed herself and our baby, Grace." He whispered.

Grace's tears matched Vance's as she wrapped her arms around his neck and pulled his head to her shoulder. "I'm sorry, Vance." She whispered as she stroked his hair and cried. "I'm so sorry."

They sat that way for a long while, just crying and taking comfort from each other.

"It wasn't your fault, Vance." Grace whispered after some time. She want sure how long they had been sitting by the creek but she didn't care. What mattered was Vance and his state of mind. She knew all too well what it felt like to find a loved one that had-

"I know." Vance murmured. "It took me a long time to realize that but I finally know. "

"I wish you didn't have to experience that. I wish so much that you had a happy life with a woman that loved you and a bouncing baby that adored you."

Vance smiled sadly. "You're beautiful." He whispered as he looked at the woman on his lap.

"What?" She brow wrinkles in confusion.

"You have a beautiful heart and a beautiful face."

A smile spread slowly across her face as she leaned forward and grasped his gave between her small hands. "You didn't deserve any of that stuff, Vance. Not any of it." Without another word, and before she could lose her nerve, Grace pressed her lips to his.

Vance sat surprised for a half a second before he pulled her closer and took control of the kiss. It was a kiss so sweet so entirely loving that it nearly made Grace cry. She was beginning to love Vance. She couldn't help herself.

"We should get you to bed. You're gonna have a headache tomorrow, Vance." Grace finally said pulling away from his searching lips.

"I didn't drink the whiskey, Grace." Vance murmured against her neck as he pressed a lingering kiss there.

"What? I thought you did. That bottles is empty."

"I wanted to but I poured it out. I- I didn't want to be that man."

"What man?"

"The kind that lives alone in the woods and dies himself with just whiskey for his friend."

"You'll never be alone." Grace whispered before she kissed him once more.

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