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Tuesday Teaser 4/11/17 Victoria’s Cat Part 15

Whoo-hoo!! Two/thirds done with Victoria’s story, and the best is coming up!

I am further behind in the book than I had planned to be by this point. Moving has taken a big chunk of my writing time. I am about three quarters settled now. I still need to figure out how arrange all my craft supplies, and I need to find a safe place for my grandmother’s wedding dress. She made it herself (she was a very skilled seamstress) in 1919. Nearly a hundred years old! Those things might need to wait a few weeks until I finish this rough draft.

Here is the next bit in the story. 🙂


Chapter 8

 

“This is not how I imagined my wedding,” Victoria mused, watching Anna dash back into the dining room with the book her father had requested.

Marty squeezed her hand. “Do you want to wait?”

“Hell, no.”

Her soon to be husband flashed her a devastating smile. “Good, because I don’t want to wait either.”

Eagle had a pained expression on his face. “How am I going to explain this to dad?”

“You won’t have to,” Victoria assured him. “I will explain.”

We will explain,” Marty amended.

The mayor interrupted. “Let’s get started. Cayla and Anna, beside me. Bride and groom in front of me. Everyone else, behind the bride and groom.”

They all scrambled to take their places, moving chairs to make make room for themselves at one side of the table. Victoria resisted the urge to pinch herself. Her uncles and cousins were being oddly complaisant. She wasn’t dreaming, was she? Captain Erickson stayed by the door with an impassive face that probably hid impatience. No, this wasn’t a dream. She was full of joy, but the mayor and the captain were grim. The threat to Omaha was real. Maybe she shouldn’t be so happy when Nebraska was under such a threat. Marty took her hand and squeezed it. But she was happy. Just the warmth of Marty’s hand around hers made her happiness grow.

The mayor opened his book and ran his finger down the page to find his place. He looked up from his book to give them an encouraging smile. “This is the short ceremony. Ready?”

Marty pulled her hand through the crook of his arm and nodded.

“Alrighty, then.” The mayor cleared his voice and his tone became formal. “We are gathered together here today to witness this man and this woman join their lives as one in the bonds of marriage. Um, I guess we’ll skip that next part.” He paused, running his finger little further down the page in his book. “Okay, here we go. Do you, Martin Madison, take this woman to be your wife? Will you love her in good times and in bad, in sickness and in health? Do you promise to be true to her, loving only her as long as she lives?”

Marty’s voice was strong. “I do.”

“Do you, Victoria Wolfe, take this man to be your husband? Will you love him in good times and in bad, in sickness and in health? Do you promise to be true to him, loving only him as long as he lives?”

“I do.” Her voice cracked so she cleared her throat and spoke more loudly. “I do!”

The mayor snapped his book closed. “I pronounce you man and wife.” He jabbed a finger at the small rectangle of paper on the table. “All we need to do is sign our names, and it’s legal.”

The marriage certificate had no fancy borders or pretty illustrations, but it had a place for their names and the date, and it said that they were married. That was all Victoria cared about. She signed her name and waited as Marty bent to sign his.

Rock nodded. “That was the quickest marriage ceremony I ever heard,” he said approvingly.

Anna looked a little disappointed. “Dad, you didn’t tell him to kiss the bride.”

Victoria had noticed that too. The mayor signed his name at the bottom of the certificate with a flourish. “No time for that now,” he said. “We—”

He broke off when at the sound of running feet in the hallway outside. Captain Erickson put a hand inside his jacket and pulled out a revolver. The person who burst into the dining room was a man in his late teens. He clutched a white envelope in his hand. He passed it over to Captain Erickson and bent over with his hands on his knees, trying to suck in air.

“A letter from President Todd,” he panted.

Rye McGrath stuck out a long arm and snatched the envelope. “Is he here already?” he demanded.

“No, sir. This came from a messenger riding a motorized bicycle. The president and his people are still more than an hour away.”

McGrath tore it open and read. Everyone in the room watched him with varying degrees of anxiety. After what seemed like a long time, the mayor looked around.

“President Todd would like to meet with me and members of the city council tomorrow morning at ten o’clock.” His mouth curled in a mirthless smile. “He apologizes for the short notice. He meant to send a letter before he left Kansas City, but he forgot.”

Another man in the uniform of the City Guard entered the dining room. It’s getting crowded in here, Victoria thought, moving a little closer to Marty to make room for the mayor to step past her.

“Lieutenant,” he said shortly. “Report.”

The lieutenant saluted smartly. “We cabled the train as you requested. It will arrive a little past five tomorrow morning. Dennis Black, the engineer, wants to know if he can continue on his eastern route.”

A small smile, which looked genuinely pleased, quirked McGrath’s lips. “No. Once it’s here, have the train get itself turned around and ready to head back west. I want it ready to leave Omaha by seven tomorrow morning.”

He turned to the man who had brought Todd’s message. “Don’t talk about this to anyone. Dean, arrange for the representatives and their parties notified quietly about the situation and inform them that the train will be leaving Omaha for the west at seven tomorrow morning. If they wish to be on it, they better get to the station on time. It won’t wait for them.”

Tears shimmered in Anna’s brown eyes. She blinked rapidly, but when her father turned to her they fell, rolling in fat drops down her cheeks. McGrath’s face softened slightly and his voice went gentle.

“Anna, you will need to get packed. The train will probably be very full, so only take what you need. I’m sure the Wolfes will provide you with anything you can’t bring with you.”

Renee gave the girl a bracing smile. “We will. Have you ever thought of becoming a pastry chef?”

Anna’s face contorted with tears even though she obviously tried to control herself. “Daddy,” she began.

Her mother put an arm around her. “You’re not leaving this second. Let’s go upstairs and get started packing.”

The room seemed slightly less congested after they left. The mayor watched his wife and daughter leave with a strained look on his face. The expression vanished immediately as he faced Marty.

“She’ll be at the train station well before seven. I’m putting her in your hands for the journey.”

“I promise to take good care of her. She will be delivered safely to the Plane Women’s House. You have my word of honor.”

The mayor nodded. “Okay, then. Will you notify the representatives at the Limit? Keep it quiet. I don’t want a panic in Omaha.”

“I will,” Marty said.

Hawk gave him a curled lip. “I will do that. You might have other plans for the evening.”

Marty looked down at her, eyes intense. “Oh, yes,” he purred. “I have plans.”

 

 

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