The nerve of him, wasting time as if she had any to spare. When he returned, she'd chew him out but good. Though Jeremiah was gone no more than a few seconds, she was in a dither by the time he showed his face, wearing an earth-shattering grin that threatened to melt Abigail's bones.
As he strode toward her, she glanced at the bluebonnets in his large hand.
Abigail shook her head in disbelief. He painted quite a picture: Derby cocked at a becoming angle, a silk vest hugging an impressive chest, stained linen trousers, mucked up alligator shoes, and wildflowers.
She was about to tell him to get a move on when he strolled over to where she stood. Reaching for her hat, he stuck the fresh blooms into her hatband.
Eighty-eight degrees outside, and Abigail's tongue froze to the top of her mouth. When she finally set it loose, it wasn't worth a damn anyway. At a loss for words, she gawked at him as if he had two heads. "Why'd you go and do that for?"
"I saw them earlier when … " He gave a sheepish smile. "When I was swigging water like there was no tomorrow. I thought they'd look perfect on your hat."
No man had ever given Abigail flowers. She felt all choked up, and if she hadn't turned away, he'd have seen the tears welling in her eyes. She blinked furiously and cleared her throat. "We better skedaddle."
As Jeremiah approached his mount, Abigail made a split-second decision. "You better check the girth strap. That piebald's been known to fill up with air when he sees a saddle."
He reached under the horse's belly and gave the leather strap a tug. "Thanks," he said with a grin that set her stomach to fluttering, making her wish he were leaving today instead of six months from now.
Abigail swung onto her horse. "You got yourself a lady back East?"
Jeremiah's face lit up like fireflies in a jar. "Yes, her name's Evelyn."
Abigail flicked the reins and studied him from the corner of her eyes. "She pretty?"
"Prettiest thing you've ever seen."
Abigail's stomach slammed into her knees. She didn't have to look twice to see he was a goner for Evelyn. She tried to ignore the rush of disappointment swamping her.
Just because he'd stuck a few weeds in her hat didn't give her the right to expect anything more. Surrounded by sophisticated ladies back East, Jeremiah would never take a second look at the likes of her. She'd be a fool to think otherwise.
As they rode together toward town, she figured she'd ask Jeremiah one more question to settle her mind. "Are you fixin' to marry Evelyn?"
"As soon as I get back to Boston ."
Gripped by the sudden desire to yank out every hair on Evelyn's head, Abigail reckoned it was time to change the subject.
Purchase The Legacy