The ceremony was short, quick, and to the point. Jeff and Lucy had objected to the idea a little at first, but then decided it wasn't so bad when Jesse and Jenny explained their reasoning.
Lucy even insisted that Jenny wear her veil. Jenny explained that it wasn't really a wedding, but Lucy, being the woman she was, still insisted until Jenny said yes.
Jesse had kissed her on the cheek when the preacher pronounced them married though.
Jesse and Jenny had decided to go straight home and being as late as it was Jeff and Lucy said goodnight then went their separate ways. As Jesse arrived at the house he'd never seen, he lifted Jenny down from the wagon.
“You said you know how to shoot a six gun?” Jesse asked.
“I'm not too bad a shot.” she replied.
“While I'm gone you'll be staying with Jeff and Lucy. In case any Yanks come along I think you should be able to shoot. Jeff isn't too bad a shot, and Lucy can shoot a can from six feet away, but I want to make sure my...that you can shoot.”
“Making sure your wife can defend herself isn't a crime.” Jenny agreed. “I can shoot a can from about ten feet. That's the best I got.”
“Here,” Jesse pulled out his gun and put it in her hands. He then turned her to face a scarecrow she had put up a while back. “Shoot him in the heart.”
The scarecrow was about thirty feet away. Jenny bit her lip but raised the gun and aimed.
She missed by at least six inches.
Jesse licked his lips then stepped behind her. He took her small hands in his then aimed the gun. “You're afraid of the gun. But this gun ain't gonna hurt you unless you turn it on yourself.” he murmured, his lips at her ear. Jenny's breath caught slightly. He didn't know why. “When you're shootin' all you need to worry about is winning. Now raise your arms, close one eye if you need to, and win. You control the gun. It's only a piece of metal without you.” He pressed her finger down on the trigger and the bullet went through the center of the chest. “You see?”
Jenny nodded. “I see. Alright, let me try.” She raised the gun for the third time and shot it. The bullet went right through the chest again. She grinned. “Not too bad don't ya say?”
Jesse smiled. “Not too bad at all. Well, I gotta get an early start in the morning. I say we get to bed.”
“Yeah, I suppose it is getting late.” Jenny sighed. “It all starts tomorrow doesn't it?”
“Sure does.” He replied. “Let's get some sleep. And don't worry, I think things will turn out for the better in the end.”
Jenny couldn't believe herself, but nor could she help herself. She sat up in the small cabin and cried. She'd quietly made herself some tea to ease the nerves, but it didn't help much.
She had tried to be strong, and she was sure she fooled everyone else. But deep inside, she was terrified. It was unnerving to think of the Yanks coming to town. A tear fell into her tea.
“Oh Bloody Hell.” she whispered. She wiped away the tears on her cheeks and sniffled.
Jesse walked into the room then. He was shirtless and looked tired.
“Why aren't you sleeping?” He asked and yawned.
She shrugged. “I guess I'm just not tired.”
He studied her and pursed his lips. “Are you scared?” he murmured.
She sighed. “I don't want to be, but I guess it's all just coming on at once. I can be strong, but I can be a cry baby too.” she whispered. She rubbed her eyes. “I'd better try to get to sleep or I'll never get up in the morning.”
“Good night.” Jesse whispered then watched her go into her room. Then he went back into his own room.
Jesse fell asleep after a while but was awoken when he heard Jenny sniffing. Half asleep, he got up and went to her room. “C'mon Jenny.” he sighed.
“What?” she mumbled.
“Just, c'mon.” he urged and took her hand. When she pulled against him he said, “Listen to your husband.” in a firm voice.
Jenny sighed and let him lead her to his bedroom. They laid down and he put an arm around her. Then he whispered in her ear, “When I was young, I used to be afraid of thunder storms. My mother would sing to me when my father was away. I can't sing,” he mused. “But it was nice to have her there to protect me. I figure it's the best I can do.”
And with that Jenny wriggled closer to him and fell asleep.
Jesse packed some food and supplies then woke up Jenny to take her to Jeff's. The girl could hardly keep her eyes open. She leaned against Jesse on the way there. Jesse had noticed that there was hardly a scrap of food in the house.
After the fight with the Yanks was over he’d take Jenny into town with him so they could get some food and supplies. Jesse learned he could make a lot of money at poker when he was about fourteen.
He had a knack at it and had enough money to last him more than a life time by now. Though he didn’t flaunt it. But it was how he’d always taken care of his sister when their parents were killed by Indians.
They arrived at Jeff’s and Jesse ended up having to carry Jenny into the house she was so exhausted. Lucy told him to put her in his old room. She was kind of cute, Jesse mused.
Lucy had teared up a bit before he left and insisted that he take some food with him though he already had more than enough. Then Jesse was off on his way.
He met Danny in the middle of town. “Good morning.” he said.
“Same to you.” Danny replied. “How was your night?”
“Long.” Jesse replied. “I’ll tell you all about it on the way there. But we’d better get riding. We don’t have much time left.
“I know. I heard the number of Yanks doubled.”
“Damn.” Jesse sighed. “Well I suppose there’s only one way to know for sure.”
Lucy decided Jenny had slept long enough and strolled into the bedroom to wake her new sister-in-law. “Up and at ‘em Jenny...” She saw Jenny wasn’t there. “Jenny?” she called. She didn’t see her come through the livingroom. She would have heard her. She checked the entire cabin and couldn’t find the girl. “Jenny, are you here?”
Then she saw a note on the table. It was from Jenny. She read over it and her eyes widened. “Jeff!” she called. “Jenny’s gone after them!”
© Copyright 2016 Cherie Arlavine . All rights reserved.
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