Tuesday Teaser 1/30/18 Gina’s Wolf Part 2
Hello! I hope everyone is doing well. There has been a lot of flu and bad colds going around here. I have been immune in January, but I just got home from supper with a friend who says she is coming down with something. Glad to see her and spend time with her, but I was careful to not touch my hands to my face, and I was quick to wash my hands as soon as I got home. I already had the flu, thank you. LOL
Here is the second half of Chapter One. As last time, this is raw. What you get in these Tuesday Teasers is the fast draft. In this first draft I tend to I dump info in blocks so I have it down. I go in later and break it up so the readers gets little bits here and there. But as I said, this is the raw version. Hope you can enjoy it anyway. 🙂
Oh, and isn’t her mom the best? *cough* I keep trying to make her a more sympathetic character, but it isn’t working!
An hour later, Gina dug her fingernails into the thin mattress on her cot. “I can’t marry him—them,” she said in a furious whisper to her mother. “I can’t.”
“You can,” her mom countered. “And you must.”
Gina scowled at the tarp floor. Of course her mother would take his side. It probably wouldn’t change anything, but Gina tried to convince her. “Do you know how the men in Falls City treat their women? You can’t really call them wives. A man takes a number and when his number comes up, he gets to sleep with one of the women. The women have no choice. Is that what you want for me?”
“Of course not.” Her mom laid a hand on her forearm. “I wanted you to marry Stanton Ellis.”
Gian recoiled. “He’s a monster.” All too aware that the walls, being only canvas, didn’t keep sound from carrying, she lowered her voice. “Do you know what he does to stray dogs and cats? Torturing them is his hobby.” She shuddered, memories of coming across the remains of his hobby making her stomach turn. “I couldn’t marry him.”
“So you put everyone, including yourself, in danger by running away.” Her mother’s lips tightened. “I am very disappointed in you. The major wouldn’t have treated you badly. Your father wouldn’t allow it. If you had stayed in Kansas City instead of running away last summer, you would have been married and living close to me. Any friends you made in Omaha would be safe now. Instead, because your selfish willfulness forced your father to come looking for you, they will never live in peace again. That is on your head.”
Her mom stood up and went to the door flap. “Think about that, Georgina Anne. Your engagement supper will be served in one hour. Wear your nicest dress and don’t be late.”
Gina buried her face in the pillow until she heard the curtain that served as he door rustle closed. Her mother was right. Every person in the city of Omaha and the state of Nebraska were in danger because she had come to Omaha when she ran away last summer. Why hadn’t she thought of that? Or maybe she had, she admitted painfully, but cared more for her own freedom anybody else. Running away from Kansas City had been the bravest thing she’d ever done. Only now did she wonder if was also the stupidest.
But President Todd would have come to Omaha eventually. It was too prosperous a region for him to have ignored for long. She had only sped up the inevitable. She let out a long, trembling breath. She hated him with every fiber of her being.
Nine years ago, when she was eleven years old, her father died. Less than a month later her mother had married Gerald Todd. Mr. Todd, as he been called then, already had a wife. Since there were far more men than women, women did sometimes marry more than one man. Gina thought that was disgusting, but if everyone was happy, it wasn’t any her business. But she had never of a man with more than one wife. A few years later her stepfather became the mayor of Kansas City. Most men would have been satisfied to be mayor, but Gerald Todd wanted to rule the world. And he wanted sons to follow in his footsteps. His first wife had no children. His second wife, her mother, had become pregnant several times but no child had been born alive. He married a third wife and took over all of Missouri. That wife never conceived. A couple of years ago, he expanded his power into parts of Kansas, where he found and married Shelley Parker. He pushed into Illinois and married his fifth wife, Suzanne Dent. None of his wives had delivered a living baby, but Shelley, the fifth Mrs. Todd, had recently discovered she was pregnant.
That was why they were still camped here outside Omaha. Todd didn’t want to have his precious unborn son face any risk. Traveling in March in a badly sprung truck lumbering over prairie that went from frozen earth to mud and back again would present some risk.
Then again, Todd was probably trying to provoke some response from Omaha that he could use as an excuse to attack them. So far he was keeping to the terms of the peace treaty Omaha had negotiated at the prisoner exchange, but that would last only as long as he wanted it to.
She rolled over on her back and put her arm over her eyes. Yeah, her mom was right. Her selfishness would cause her newly made friends in Omaha lots of trouble. People like Lachlan and Ceara McRoberts. When she had escaped from Kansas City – no easy thing, considering that everyone in the city knew who she was and that she wasn’t allowed to leave – she had disguised herself as a boy and hopped on a riverboat going north. When she disembarked in Omaha, she was tired, hungry and scared. Ceara has found her and given her a job in the coffee shop she owned with her husband. They had given her an attic room in their house to live in, a place at their table, and a small wage. Those were all good things, she was grateful for them, but the most important thing they gave her was a new life. No one in Omaha knew she was, so no one was frightened of her. No one hated her. No one tried to get close to her in order to curry favor with her stepfather. For seven months she’d had a good life. Now, her future didn’t look nearly so good.
Gina dressed for supper.