Woodrow knew it was time to be getting back to their cabin, yet he hesitated. Watching Rose sleep fascinated him. His wife, he thought as he watched her. Woodrow experienced amazement and humility by turns that this beautiful woman belonged to him.
As if feeling Woodrow’s eyes upon her, Rose opened hers and smiled.
“Did I fall asleep?" Rose asked, attempting to sit up.
“It's my fault. I’ve dragged you over half the valley." Woodrow gently prevented her by laying his hand on her stomach.
“I enjoyed it.” Rose blushed when she realized her words had a double meaning she was too shy to speak out loud.
Woodrow reached out to touch those rosy cheeks.
“I love you.” He said.
“I love you, too.”
“I hate to drag you around this valley some more, but Ennis will be expecting us for supper. I imagine Pearl will be some put out if we don’t go.”
“Oh my goodness. I forgot. What time is it?”
Woodrow studied the sun’s downward journey across the valley. “Oh, about 3 O’clock, I reckon. We have plenty of time.”
Rose brushed away Woodrow's hand and sat up. She reached for her hair self-consciously, blushing again. Woodrow had managed to undo the pins earlier, and it hung down her back in red-gold streamers. “My hair. We have to go back home first. I can’t go like this.” she stated desperately.
Woodrow laughed. A rusty sound. Already she thought of the cabin as home, Woodrow thought. It had been a while, he realized since he’d had something to laugh about. He stood up and pulled Rose to her feet and into his arms. He wanted her again already. Her nearness burned like whiskey in his blood. He dipped his head for a kiss. Rose responded by throwing her arms around his neck and returning the kiss with enthusiasm.
Hmm, Woodrow smiled to himself. Looked like he and Rose were going to be late for supper. He didn't mind that a bit in the world.
Rose walked along beside her new husband. Ahead lay the cabin. The afternoon sun gilded it with touches of gold. Home. This is what she had come so far to have. She glanced over at Woodrow and found what she never expected to find. Love. Tears unexpectedly filled her eyes. She hung her head, truly ashamed that she had not even considered love when she so desperately placed that want ad; it felt a lifetime ago now.
Dakota Territory seemed so far away from the hunger, squalor and humility of Piney Creek, Silas Farthingham, and war. Silas Farthingham. Rose hoped he rotted in hell. He was a greedy cruel man. Rose stumbled, and would have fallen if Woodrow had not grabbed her.
“Rose?” Woodrow asked seeing her tear-filled eyes. “Are you crying? Did I hurt you?”
“Merely tears of joy,” Rose reassured Woodrow with a smile, and clutched his hand to her chest. “I can’t believe all this,” she said, sweeping her free hand outward to include the cabin, the fertile land, and the whole valley.
Shyly, she looked up at Woodrow and met his eyes. “You,” she whispered. “You have made me happy again. I never expected to feel that way in this lifetime.”
“I know how you feel. I feel the same way. I never expected to be happy. About the best I hoped for was contentment.”
“I never thought about anything beyond getting here. Your letter was miracle in my life, which I didn’t think beyond. Pretty naive of me, huh?”
“Not any more than my answering the ad to begin with. Rose, we’re going to have a good life together. I can feel it.”
“I feel that way, too. But, right now,” Rose turned away with a smile and took a step, tugging Woodrow along with her. “Time’s a wasting and Pearl’s a waiting.”
“Did you have to mention Pearl?” Woodrow said sourly. “You might have just ruined my whole afternoon.”
“You don’t like your sister-in-law, then, I take it?”
“Let’s just say we’ve had our differences,” he answered cryptically, and tugged his pipe makings out of his pocket.
|Scarlett Johansson||as Rose McGregor|
|Sam Trammell||as Woodrow Rice|
|Alan Rickman||as Silas Farthingham|
|Alexander Skarsgard||as Ike Jorgennson|
|Amy Adams||as Aunt Mary McGregor|
|Adien Turner||as Lt. Michael McFarland|
|Allison Brie||as Eleanor Rosenthal|