"Are you serious?" Bartholomew Hurst asked.
"Yeah Boss, I seen it with my own two eyes!" Hugh Porter said with a huge grin.
"A tornado hit her house and it's gone? The whole thing?"
"Yep, there's only one wall standing. I don't know how she didn't get killed. Hugh took a swig of whiskey from the crystal glass in his hand, his reward for bring the boss good news.
"That bitch has the best luck of anyone I know! Nothing I've done has worked to get her off of that land but a damn tornado is going to do it for me! Even Gil won't be able to say anything. It's just too bad it didn't kill her."
"Gil?" Hugh asked with his glass half way to his mouth, a puzzled look on his face.
"Gil Turner, Sheriff Turner, my cousin you idiot! He's been on my ass since Jacob's came to town. All I've heard is I'm causing too much of a stir, bringing too much unwanted attention to Woodland; especially when he found out who her family was. Well, now he can quit his bitchin' and moanin'. That girl will go running back to her family for sure now. Even God doesn't want her on that land!" Bart practically cackled with glee, at least on the inside. On the outside he simply wore a satisfied and triumphant smile on his weathered face. It wouldn't be long now and he'll have use of her land again, for free!
"Oh my God; are you all right?" Hope jumped up from her chair in the parlor and went running over to Faith, hugging her more tightly than what Faith though was possible from someone of her sister-in-laws size. Hope then abruptly let go and began to inspect Faith for any injuries, just like she would for one of her own children.
"I'm fine, really. Cade saved my life. He heard it or saw it coming and got us both into the root cellar just in time." Faith said, unaware that she was gazing at the person she was speaking about. It did not go unnoticed by Hope but thankfully Levi was oblivious.
Levi cut his eyes over to Cade, noticing the man looked extremely uncomfortable being the recipient of so much attention. "I just did what any man would do." He stated flatly.
"That may be the case but it was my sister's life you saved, not just anyone. I'm in your debt."
"No, you're not." Cade said quickly. "If you'll excuse me, I'll be outside." Cade tipped his hat at Hope, then let his eyes fall to Faith for just a little bit longer than they should have before turning to walk out the front door.
Levi and Hope's eyes met, she smiled while her husband scowled. Faith did not see their exchange; her eyes were on Cade's back as he shut the door, walked across the porch, and down the steps then headed towards the barn. The longer she watched the more her brother scowled and the wider Hope's smile became.
"Well that settles it! You're moving back in with us. I'll send some men over to get whatever there is left."
Faith's head snapped around to face her brother, neither paying attention to the windows being open or that the lone figure in the yard stopped at Levi's words. "No I'm not!" She snapped straightening her spine and rolling her shoulders back.
Taken aback by the sharpness of her tone, Levi stood there for a moment trying not to lose his temper. He counted to ten then continued in a slightly lower tone. "Yes you will and that's final."
Her blood began to boil. Not only was he treating her like a child, but he was speaking to her like one as well. Faith walked over to stand in front of her favorite big brother. "You are not my father Levi Matthews, and if you think you can treat me like a child, well think again! I will rebuild my house with or without your help. If you try to keep me from rebuilding, I will simply sell the land and move away from Red Valley! Do - you - understand?" The last sentence was emphasized by taking her index finger and poking him in the chest as she spoke each word.
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Keeping Faith (Book 3 in the Red Valley Series)Historical Fiction
This is book 3 in the Red Valley Series but like the other ones, it can be read by itself. Faith Matthews is a headstrong, independent woman determined to make it on her on in a mans world. She left Charleston to escape the constraints of society...