Molly Ziegler gave the dust mop one last shove under the bed and hit a mahogany leg. Unexpected movement under the bed’s mound of sheets and wedding-ring quilt caught her unaware.
Something swung toward her head. Instinctively she launched the mop high into the air, warding off the coming blow.
The mop’s handle connected with something solid.
A satisfying clunk rang out in her mamm’s tiny rental room. Her heart thumped in her chest as she stepped back from the bed, lost her balance and hit the floor. Her feet tangled in the folds of her skirt as she pushed away.
His dark brown hair wild from sleep, a gaunt-faced, broad-shoulder man gazed down at her, his dark green eyes wide with surprise. He dropped the wooden crutch he’d been holding. “Who are you?” His hand gingerly touched the bump on his forehead. His eyes narrowed in a wince.
The bump on his forehead grew and began to ooze blood.
He wasn’t supposed to be in the bedroom at this time of the day. The door hadn’t been locked.
In a stupor of surprise, she blinked. She had no brothers, and with the exception of her father who had passed away in his sleep five years earlier, she’d never seen a man in his nightclothes. There were dark shadows under his eyes. Thick stubble on his chin and upper lip told her she was dealing with an unmarried man.
Annoyed by his words, she scowled. “I was about to ask you the same thing. Cover youself. There’s a woman in your midst. You might be visiting Pinecraft, where rules are often bent and broken, but my mamm’s dress code is so strict.”
Molly’s face burned as she swiftly straightened her skirt. She clambered to her feet, an already sour mood making her wish she stood taller than five foot nothing in her stocking feet.
She controlled the urge to stomp as she stepped away from the bed with all the dignity she could muster. Her hands brushed down the skirt of her plain Amish dress and cleaning apron. With eyes narrowed, she sliced the man with an icy glare. “My mamm and I run a decent boarding haus. Our ways are Plain, but we keep high standards.”
Cheryl Williford and her veteran husband, Henry, live in South Texas, where they’ve raised three children, numerous foster children, alongside a menagerie of rescued cats, dogs and hamsters. Her love for writing began in a Literature class and now her characters keep her grabbing for paper and pen. She is a member of her local ACFW and CWA chapters, loving grandmother, seamstress and watercolorist.
The Amish Midwife’s Courtship is available now!
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