WCTH Fanfic: Making Sure: Chapter 3 (2024)

Hi everyone and welcome to Friday! The 4th of July is just around the corner, and I hope you all have a great weekend whether you're watching fireworks, or Hallmark movies! :)

Well, I'm back again with another chapter for you of my fanfic! Thank you all once again for all of your kind words, encouragement, and support! I truly appreciate it!

Elizabeth found herself even more tired as she walked home from school than she had been during the morning’s craziness. Then again teaching over a dozen children, who'd rather be out playing, about the laws of gravity could do that. She strolled along at a leisurely pace, enjoying the warm rays of sun onher cold face. Fall had come to Hope Valley, and with it came not only the colorfulfalling leaves, but also cold breezes, and midnight chills. Only it wasn’t theweather that had occasionally given her goosebumps throughout the day.

Teachingschool had offered a bit of a distraction from her current situation, and thankfullyshe now felt a bit more prepared to face the night ahead. She prayed she waswrong and Bill or someone else had just stopped by while she wasn’t home,therefore explaining the boot prints. Either way staying over at the Coultersfor one night wouldn’t hurt. It might even be fun, she decided.

Suddenlythe sound of hoofbeats rumbled behind her. She started to turn toward it and founda wild horse charging straight at her.

“Elizabeth,watch out!” A voice shouted and she found herself enveloped in a strong pair ofarms pulling her out of the way. Wind whipped her hair back as the speedinghorse blazed past her. Yelling echoed off into the distance as the animal gallopedaway.

Elizabethpanted rapidly, her heart racing. Suddenly she became aware of the deepbreathing against her hair. Slowly she looked up and found Lucas’ dark eyeslooking back at her.

Fora moment she didn’t move, their gazes locked on each other. Lucas’ hands gentlyyet protectively gripped her upper arms.

“Areyou okay?”

Hiswords jolted her from the daze and she found that her hands tightly clutched Lucas’coat. She quickly released him, stepping back. “Yes. I’m fine.” She brushed herhair from her face, refusing to meet his gaze. “Thank you.”

Anuncomfortable silence settled between them. Lucas looked to his feet, then downthe road. Elizabeth wanted to say something to break the tension, yet walk awayat the same time. She’d known that things had gotten frosty between them. Shejust didn’t know what to say, or if she was ready to face him.

“Sohow is…” Both of them started at once.

“I’msorry.” She stumbled. “You go ahead.”

“No,please.” He motioned for her to go first. Elizabeth gulped.

“Sohow are things with the oil company?”

Lucaslooked away, something crossing his face. “I’m managing the best I can.”Something in his tone of voice made her think things weren’t doing as well ashe wanted her to believe. But he continued on before she had time to comment. “How’sthe writing coming?”

Shesmiled bravely. “I finished another chapter.” A thought presented itself, andshe found herself asking it before thinking. “You…could read it if you want.”Immediately she wished she could take the invitation back, yet hoped he’d sayyes. What was wrong with her today?

Lucasstuck his hands in his pockets, looking to the ground. “Things have been reallybusy lately. I haven’t had a lot of spare time for reading.”

Elizabethfelt her heart sink. “Oh, I see.” She should feel some relief, but for somereason all she could feel was disappointment. Lucas never had turned downreading her work before. Suddenly the distance between them seemed to growfarther, and she was left reeling.

Lucasseemed to catch her dismay. “But I’m sure it’s great.” He added quick, a suddenlightness taking hold of his voice. He gave her a gentle smile. “I know howtalented you are.”

Elizabeth’sspirits lifted slightly, but she could sense he was hiding something. Shelooked at him softly. “Lucas….is everything alright?”

Hiseyes dropped again, before looking back at her. “I’m fine.” He nodded to herstiffly, before walking off toward the saloon.

Elizabethsighed, watching him go. Her heart felt so twisted, and confused. How couldsomeone feel drawn to someone yet want to run away from them at the same time?She never meant to hurt him, and yet couldn’t bring herself to talk to himabout it.

Slowlyshe started toward home again, her confused emotions swimming in her head.


Sheturned back quick, and found Lucas looking at her.

“Youcan drop the chapter by the saloon if you’d like. I’m sure I can find some timeto read it tonight.”

Elizabethsmiled, warmth filling her chest. Lucas gave a small smile back, beforecontinuing on to the saloon. Elizabeth stood there for a moment, unable to hideher happiness.

Somehowthings didn’t seem so hopeless anymore. She started for home again, a grinseemingly cemented to her face.

Suddenlythe wild horse came charging back around a corner, with Nathan chasing afterit. Elizabeth gasped, and moved quickly to the board walk. Looking closer shefound a woman hung over the saddle, shouting as she was jostled up and down.


“Whoa!”Nathan charged after the runaway horse, watching the poor woman struggling tostay on. The horse must have spooked as she was mounting as she was stuckhanging over the saddle with one foot in the stirrup. She grunted with every bounceof the animal as it fought to free itself of its rider.

“Alittle…ugh… help?” The woman called fighting to remain atop her steed.

Nathanran as fast as he could, repeatedly shouting, “Whoa! Whoa boy!”

Suddenlythe horse stopped, a wild look in its eye, and reared up. The woman finallylost her grip and with a scream went flying toward the dirt.

“Igot you!” Nathan bolted toward her and caught her in his arms. She clung to himtightly, wrapping her arms around his neck in a breath sucking grip. Fightingfor air, her rapid breathing matched his, as he held her for a moment, allowingboth of them to process what had just happened. Two men managed to catch thehorse and began leading it away.

Howlong had she held on like that? The horse had come charging down Main Street nearlytrampling Elizabeth under hoof. Luckily someone had pulled her away, as he neverwould have been able to reach her in time. Although the fact that it was Lucaswho’d wrapped his arms around her made his jaw clench.

Suddenlythe woman’s perked up and he came face to face with the brightest violet eyeshe’d ever seen. How did someone get eyes like that? As if the color had beenextracted straight from a wildflower.

Asmile spread across her face. “Thank you, kind sir.” And with a tap of his hatshe suddenly released him, jumping down from his arms with a giggle. “That wassome ride.”

Nathanworked to regain his composure, eyeing the gathered town’s folk watching them.“Are you…alright, miss?”

“Absolutely.”She brushed down the front of her lavender jacket, letting out a sigh. “I lovethis part of the west. It’s incredible.”

Nathanstumbled for words as the woman continued to giggle, brushing her extremelywindblown hair from her face. It’s rich coffee color only made her eyes shinebrighter as she flashed him a smile.

Anyother woman would be in tears after an experience like that, or worse passedout in his arms. This girl was exhilarated, even thrilled after her periloussituation. Maybe she was in shock?

Shewas a tiny little thing. Her head just reached his uniform’s chest pocket. Shelooked to be no more than twenty-two maybe twenty-three. Nathan studied herface, co*cking his head to the side as he looked for any signs of a concussion.

Shecaught him staring, and raised her brow. “Is something wrong?”

Her wordscaught him off-guard, her intense amethyst gaze making him stutter. “No. I…ah… Iwas just thinking…”

Shescrunched her turned up nose, waving a hand at him. “I know.” She looked downthe front of herself. “I must look a mess. Prairie dust isn’t too kind to anyclothes, let alone lavender. I shouldn’t have listened to my friend and justworn the brown suit I’d planned on.”

Nathanquickly tried to correct her. “I didn’t mean…”

“AndI really must apologize for falling into you like that.” She giggled throwingher hands out. “I had no idea Daisy was so afraid of snakes. Although it wasactually a good thing you were there, or I would have been flatter then thatold dead rattler we found a couple miles back that started this whole thing.”

Nathanco*cked his head. “We?”

Shelaughed. “Me and Daisy.” And she jerked her head to indicate her horse nowstanding at the hitching rail outside the jail.

Suddenlyhe remembered the end of her statement. “Wait, you rode like that for a fewmiles?”

Hereyes widened, her voice turning serious. “Once she starts running there’s nostopping her.”

Nathanfound that fact in itself worrisome, but he over looked it and pressed further.“Where did you start?”

Sheshrugged, casually walking toward her horse. “Around that old cabin up thecreek a ways. Had this boarded up well, and way too much poison ivy growing onit.”

Nathan’sbrows shot up and he followed after her. “That cabin is three miles away.”

Thegirl, who he still hadn’t found out her name, just smirked playfully patting herhorse’s belly. “Like I said. It was quite the ride.”

Nathan’shead was spinning by now. Clearly this woman was suffering from heat stroke or maybesomething worse. No one in their right mind could ride a galloping horse on theirbelly for three miles, much less a tiny woman like her. Nathan glanced towardthe Infirmary.

“Wehave a doctor just up the road. Maybe you should head over to the infirmary tomake sure you’re okay, Miss...?”

“Oh,I’m perfectly fine.” She grunted as she worked to untie her bag from Daisy’ssaddle, seeming to ignore his request for a name. The crazy looking knotholding it in place looked as if it would take the rest of the day to undo.

Nathanmoved to help. “Are you sure about that? Cause I….”

Herhead jerked toward him quick cutting him off. “I could actually use your help,if it’s not too much trouble.”

Couldn’tbe any more trouble than dealing with her crazy horse, he mused to himself.“Help with what?”

“I’mlooking for someone, and I thought maybe you…” Suddenly her face exploded withexcitement as her eyes locked onto something passed him. She gasped, clappingher hands together. “Lucas!”

Nathanturned to see a dumbstruck Lucas frozen in the street. His brow raised as heambled closer. “Jeanie?”

Andsuddenly “Jeanie” was off and running, leaping straight into a puzzled Lucas’ arms.


Elizabeth’smouth dropped as the woman launched herself straight into Lucas. She giggledgiddily, wrapping her arms around his neck, and lifting her feet off theground. Lucas nearly fell backwards with her eagerness, but quickly regainedhis balance and returned her embrace with almost as much joy as she had. “Whatare you doing here?” He smiled, placing her back on the ground.

“Iwanted to surprise you.” She couldn’t seem to stand still, bouncing like thecurls dangling from her head. Suddenly her face snapped to Elizabeth, her eyeslighting up. “Is this the school teacher you’ve been writing me about?” Thegirl quickly dragged Lucas by the hand, as she made her way to Elizabeth.

Elizabethfelt her cheeks flush. He’d written this woman about her? What had he said? Andwhy did she feel such discomfort in seeing this girl hold Lucas’ hand?

Lucasstuttered, his face turning a slight shade of pink. “Jeanie this is ElizabethThornton. Elizabeth this is…”

Jeaniestuck her hand out quick cutting him off. “Jeanie Claremont.” Elizabeth slowlyreached for her hand, but Jeanie snatched hers up and gave it a hearty shake.“And I have been dying to meet you Elizabeth!” Her eyes danced as she seemed toinspect Elizabeth from head to foot.

“Lucas,”she gushed. “You didn’t do her justice in your letters!” She clasped her handstogether gleefully. “You are even prettier than Lucas said you were.”

Elizabeth’seyes widened, as she glanced toward an even redder Lucas. “Really?”

Lucassort of smiled and winced. Elizabeth didn’t know what to make of all this. Sheturned back to Jeanie. “How do you and Lucas know each other?”

Lucasopened his mouth to speak but again was cut off by Jeanie. “We’re old friends.”She batted her hand casually. “I’ve known him since he was four years old.” Sheturned to Lucas, her brow raised. “Right, Lucas?”

He seemedconfused for a moment before quickly nodding as he cleared his throat. “Right.”

Jeaniesighed contently. “I can’t wait to finally get to know you in person, althoughwith how much Lucas has already told me, I feel…”

“Whydon’t we get you settled in.” Lucas cut in quickly. “I’m sure you’re tiredafter your long trip.”

Jeanie’seyes lit up excitedly. “Oh yes! And then I can finally see your saloon!” She turned,looking at the surrounding building. Suddenly she gasped in the direction ofthe saloon.

“Isthat it?” She grabbed his hand and yanked him toward the building. “I can’twait to get to know you, Elizabeth!” She called as she dragged a helpless Lucasbehind her. “I feel like we’re best friends already!”

Lucaslooked back at Elizabeth and winced apologetically, before catching up withJeanie, nearly tripping in the process.

Elizabethjust sat and stared at the pair of them, her mouth hanging open. Bill walkedover from the jail, and stood next to her. He crossed his arms watching themleave, his puzzlement mirroring her own. “What did I miss?”

Elizabethfought for words. “I…don’t know.”

That's it for today! Thank you all so much for reading! Feel free to let me know what you thought in the comments below or on my Twitter page! Have a wonderful weekend, and God Bless!

WCTH Fanfic: Making Sure: Chapter 3 (2024)
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