Welcome to Tuesday Tales!! This is the continuation of my new Mail Order Bride Novel- this week's word prompt is "nail"
Her stomach knotted and she felt the blood drain from her face. “Shannon. What do you mean? Do you know where he is? I’d like to talk to him.”
“He’s at the saloon. He owns it.”
Shannon jumped up. “Is it all right if I leave my bag with you? It appears I have something to straighten out.”
Edith nodded. “Of course.”
She saw something akin to pity as she walked by the other customers. She lifted her chin and straightened her back as she marched down the walk to the saloon. The scarred, wooden, swinging doors were imposing as she stood looking at them trying to gather her courage. A saloon? There had to be a mistake.
The clinking of glass and the roar of laughter stopped when she stepped through the doors. She didn’t care if they stared, she had to locate Mr. Hardy and get an explanation.
“It’s not often we get a pretty little thing like you entering my place.”
Her heart dropped when she set eyes on the rotund man with dirty, greasy, dark hair and the look of the devil in his eyes.
“Are you John Hardy? The John Hardy who proposed marriage to me?” She held her breath wishing for him to say no.
“You must be my Shannon.” He smiled showing the lack of bottom teeth. He stepped in front of her and looked her up and down, his eyes lingering on her breasts. Putting his arm around her waist, he turned so they were both looking at the rag tag bunch in the saloon. “What do you think guys? A new one to add to my little doves.”
The crowd cheered as she tried to loosen his bruising grip. “Now look here, you misrepresented yourself. I’m not marrying you. I’m sure I can find another groom much better than you.”
“Better than me?” he asked his voice full of anger.
“Not better than you, I meant someone more suited to me is all.” Glancing out of the corner of her eye, she could tell he wasn’t buying it.
“Are you refusing to marry me?” His body tensed and he appeared mad enough to spit nails.
Not knowing what else to do she nodded and the next thing she knew she flew against the wall from being backhanded across her face. Quickly she lunged for the door, but John grabbed her by her hair and led her to the bar pinning the side of her face to the top.
She could hardly breathe and froze in fear. The pain was so horrific she screamed and screamed and before she knew it, she was thrown out the swinging doors into the street, landing in the dirt street.
John followed and laughed. “No one will want you now. You might as well get inside before everyone sees how hideous you are.”
Reaching up she touched her throbbing painful cheek and felt the blood before she brought her hand in front of her to confirm it. He’d slashed her face with the knife he held in his hand. The pain almost blinded her as spots crowded her eyes but she held on. “I’d rather be dead than be with you.” Her voice trembled as she tried to pretend she wasn’t scared.
John growled and stepped forward. “I can arrange that for you.” His dark eyes flashed at her and she believed him capable of killing.
The world seemed eerily quiet as she pushed herself up from the hard packed dirt, only to fall back down. Tears filled her eyes, as she looked around. There stood the women who were just in the mercantile, staring with their eyes full of fright. She’d get no assistance from them.
John Hardy stepped into the street and laughed while he gestured for two men to pick her up. “Come on, honey, it’s time for our honeymoon.”
She heard the clomping of hooves and the turn of wagon wheels behind her but it didn’t stop to help her either. By this time there were men standing with the group of women and she tried to plead with her eyes but they glanced away.
The two men grabbed at her getting ready to haul her back into the saloon when there was a loud cocking of a gun.
“Put her down.” The man threatened.
John stepped forward, thrusting out his chest. “Listen, Cinders, this is none of your business. It’d be in your best interest to leave things be.”
Shannon blacked out.
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