Chapter 14

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Sheba caught herself dozing off during the sermon. All death, fire, and condemnation for the sinner, blah blah blah. This wasn't the good news of Jesus, this was a threat.

Sweat was forming on the preacher's brow, veins popping out on his neck. His face was growing redder by the minute, and the poor Bible was being slammed over and over again. She was glad the children were in class.

Baby Zion woke up with a start as the preacher shook the pulpet with another blow. Zion's lip trembled with fear, but Sheba held him tightly and soon had him back to sleep.

James looked over at her and rolled his eyes at Pastor Jacob. The man always got carried away every Sunday morning about the same subject.

Dawn of Christ church had just been built on the outskirts of the city near the farming land. Pastor Jacob Nortman preached with fear instead of joy, which made Sheba dislike him even more than his unappealing personality. As soon as church let out, Sheba was fuming.

"I don't understand how a man with no love for people can hold his position for thirty years," she muttered, kicking the grass with bare feet.

"You say that every time we come here."

"Well, the man's a fool!"

"I have a solution to all this."

"What?"

"Stop coming. "

"Really? I never would have thought of that!" She said good naturedly, a laugh replacing her scowl. But seeing Pastor Jacob standing in the door as everyone else socialized in the church yard, an idea hit her. A smile crossed her face as she gleefully thought of her intentions. "You'd better go help Ezra with the triplets and Belle. He usually has his hands full."

She could tell that James knew she was up to something. He covered it up quickly and pulled her close to his face. " Don't do anything stupid, " he whispered into her ear.

She rolled her eyes. "I know what I'm doing." She turned around and saw a few older women whispering amongst each other, then turned up their noses when they saw Sheba.

" Might I help you ladies? " Asked Sheba sweetly, her smile as lovely as a lilly.

"We were wondering how you manage to speak to your husband that way, " said the oldest snobbily. "I could never dream of speaking to Nathaniel like that."

"I don't recall it being any of your business."

"Clearly, darling, you've only just begun with your life. I don't expect you to know how speak to your husband," said the rich one, carrying her parasol with dainty hands.

"With all due respect, ladies, I would gladly introduce you to my family if you like."

"Oh dear! We haven't even been properly introduced, yet we're fighting over family affairs!" Cried the blond. " I'm Lucille, this is Harriet..." she motioned to the eldest one. "And this is Margaret. " She motioned to the rich woman.

"I doubt a farm girl would understand what an introduction is," said Margaret smartly.

"Lovely to meet you all. I'm Sheba," she said dryly. Her honey sweet voice had turned into a desert of the mouth. Any candy from her words had disappeared. "As I was saying. My husband and brother should be back here soon with my children. And for now, I shall gladly answer any questions you have on marriage from the perspective of a soldier's wife."

The look of disbelief on the ladies' faces was one of pride being shattered as three little boys hugged her skirts, all chanting at her:

"Mama!" "Mama!" "Mama!"

Sheba smirked at the broken bits and pieces of what was left of the haughty ladies' attitudes. Ezra and James each held one of Belle's hands and we're swinging her as they walked.

"Hey, Sheba girl," said James, touching his forehead to hers. Ezra played with the kids behind them. "Ready to go?"

"Yes," she said, her smile as gorgeous as ever. "I am." Her plan would simply have to wait.

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