Jenny didn't say much on the ride back to town. Jesse understood why. He watched her but tried to be inconspicuous about it. He was also trying to think about leaving Jenny. The idea just didn't
He shook his head. How had he become this obsessed with her in just over two days? They rode into town and found everyone was waiting for them.
Jenny looked at Jesse with a sadness in her eyes. "I suppose it's time. We don't want them to worry." she said softly.
Jesse nodded then looked at Danny. "Maybe it would be best if you tell it. I'm going to take Jenny home."
Danny nodded then waited for them to get some good distance before he told the town everything.
Jenny stared ahead and Jesse just wasn't sure what to do. "Maybe some sleep will do you good." he suggested. "In your own bed."
"I don't want to sleep there." she replied.
"We have to take care of the crops." he reminded.
"I didn't say I won't sleep there, I just don't want to." She took a deep breath. "I don't think I can, really. It was hard enough sleeping there when I thought they were dead. How am I supposed to stay in a home owned by traitors?"
He sighed. "Let's just go to Jeff's." he said and pulled his horse into another direction.
Jenny followed silently and without one word of argument. He wanted to enjoy her cooperation while he could but knew that he was too worried about her to do so.
They arrived at Jeff's and Jesse helped Jenny down from her horse. He told her to go inside and lay down while he put the horses away.
But when he got inside she was sitting at the table. She looked up at him. "Why are you my husband Jesse?" she asked.
He sighed and sat down across from her. "You know why."
"Was that the only reason?" she asked.
He studied her. Then he understood. She wanted to know if there was anyone left for her. And helping her with crops hadn't been the only reason for him marrying her.
"No." he replied truthfully. "It wasn't. I'm not the kind of man who marries strangers without a good reason. I think the night before last I was convinced that I needed to care for you. But now that we know your family is alive, I still want to be married to you."
She smiled a little, and he was relieved to see it. "Me too." she whispered.
"You need to get some sleep Jenny. You're exhausted."
"As are you. We should both sleep."
"I'll be alright. I have things to do around here. I've gone without sleep before."
"So have I. It doesn't mean that we're not both tired." She stood and held out her hand to him. "Let's get some sleep. No one will be sleeping tonight. Not with the Yankees in town. We can stay up then."
Jesse took her hand and stood. He followed her to his bedroom and felt his gut tighten as he looked at the bed. "I can sleep on the floor-"
"I'm a big girl Jesse. And no one can say anything about us sleeping in the same bed. We are married. And we shared a bed last night." She sat down on the bed and looked up at him.
He saw her vulnerability and knew that he might do something he regretted if she gave him the chance. His mind spun as he tried to decide what he needed to do and what he wanted to do. "The bed is kind of small..." he began.
"Please, Jesse." she whispered. She looked at him with begging eyes and it made his heart twist.
"It's too soon." he replied softly. "You're not ready for that, Jenny. We both know it."
She frowned and looked at the ground. "I'm sorry. Why would you want a child anyway?" she replied then lay down and turned away from him.
Then he couldn't help himself. He kneeled down on the bed and turned her onto her back.
He kissed her and was relieved when she kissed him back. He wrapped his arms around her and pressed his chest against hers. They kissed intensely and he knew what he wanted and needed at that moment.
He straddled her legs and kissed her lips, then pulled away to kiss her neck so she could breathe for a moment. Neither of them had even taken off their boots, so he sat up and pulled her leg up to work off her right boot.
He tore it off then did the same with the next one, throwing them both to the floor. Then he kissed her again, and wound his hands into her lovely hair. He used his feet to push off his own boots while he kissed her.
"Jesse, Jenny? Are you here?" he heard his sister call.
He pulled his lips from hers and sighed. “Dammit.” he hissed. He got off the bed and ran a hand through his hair. “We're in here, Lucy.” he called.
She walked to the entry then stopped and looked at Jenny. “I'm sorry.” she whispered. “You must feel so hurt and confused.”
“Lucy, she's tired. Let her sleep.” Jesse said to his sister.
Lucy met his eyes with hers for a moment, then nodded. “I'll let the two of you rest.” she whispered then backed out of the room, closing the door behind her.
Jesse sighed then looked at Jenny. Her hair surrounded her head and was filled with dirt and grit from the past day of riding and walking. But Jesse didn't care about any of that.
He lay down next to her, feeling his exhaustion. He looked at her in the eye then stroked his hand over her cheek. “Let's get some sleep.” he whispered.
© Copyright 2016 Cherie Arlavine . All rights reserved.
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