WCTH Fanfic: Making Sure: Chapter 4 (2024)

Hey Hearties, and welcome to another Friday! Yes, it's time for me to post another chapter of my fan fiction! I hope you all have been enjoying it so far! Thank you all so much for all of your comments! I love hearing what you thought! You guys have been so sweet and supportive, and believe me it is SO appreciated! Thank you!💗

Alright, let's get to it. Here's Chapter 4 for you! Enjoy!

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Lucaslifted the coffee pot, pouring the steaming liquid into a small china cup. Hewatched Jeanette, or Jeanie out of the corner of his eye, staring in wonder atthe saloon. He’d closed up early and made her rest in a room upstairs until hecould talk with her privately. He’d had a sick feeling in his stomach all dayas he waited for the last patron to leave.

Thelast time he’d seen his little sister was when he’d tried to help her escapethe greedy clutches of Amos’ corrupt business….and a whole lot of other trouble.

“Thisplace is amazing, Lucas!” She gave a twirl, running her hand over a table. “Youwere way too modest in your letters.”

Lucasgave a nervous smile as he remembered her statements to Elizabeth. “Was itreally necessary to tell Elizabeth all that earlier?”

She smiledmischievously. “A girl always likes to know a man thinks she’s pretty. I wasjust helping you out.” She patted his shoulder, before walking off to admire achandelier.

Lucassmirked. “I forgot. This is Jeanette,” He waved his hand out dramatically. “World-famousmatchmaker I’m talking to.”

Shescrunched her noise, batting his remark away. “Oh, hush.”

Lucascouldn’t help but laugh. Ever since his sister learned to walk, she’d beenmatchmaking, whether it was a kitten for her mother or a husband for the widowwho lived on the end of the street.

“Butseriously Lucas this is amazing.” She turned back to look at him, admiration inher eyes. “I always knew you were destined for greatness.”

Warmthfilled his chest at the love he had for his baby sister, yet a pang of sadness.He could see the wistfulness in her gaze, and he knew why it was there. “That’sa bit of an exaggeration.” He placed a cup of coffee opposite him, and motionedfor her to sit. “But it’s nothing compared to your place.”

“Sure.”Jeanette came and plopped into the chair across from him. “My tiny French café,with three tables, five windows, and lace curtains covered in mold.

Lucassmirked as he plopped three sugars into her cup. “And don’t forget thesunflower wallpaper.”

Shelaughed, scrunching her nose. “Oh, I hated that stuff.”

Lucaslaughed with her, shaking his head. Jeanette could charm the whiskers off acat, but he knew that something was wrong. And as the smile faded from herface, he knew that she knew that he knew.

Slowlyhe took a sip from his cup, and placed it back on the table. “What are youdoing here, Jeanette? Or should I call you Jeanie?”

Sheignored his raised brow. “Since when does it matter what you call me?” She casuallyreached for the plate of cookies between them.

“Sinceyou’ve hated your nickname ever since I gave it to you.”

Sheshrugged her shoulders. “People change.”

“Youalso haven’t used it since you tried to escape Harvey.”

Suddenlyher eyes went to the table, her lips pressing tightly together. Lucas felt hisstomach twist.

“He’safter you again isn’t he?”

Jeanettetraced the rim of her cup. She didn’t need to answer.

Lucassighed, looking at her gently. “I thought this was over.”

“Sodid I.” She said softly, picking apart her cookie. “He showed up a little afteryou left for San Francisco. I told him that I’d already paid him what he wasowed, and that I wouldn’t pay him anything more, but….he wouldn’t listen.”Lucas’ fists clenched as he watched his sister fighting down her emotions.

“Hesaid he was going to tell everyone who I was if I didn’t…and…I knew he wouldn’tstop.” Her voice caught as her lip quivered, her eyes shining with moister. “He’dalways want more and more money….and I didn’t have any to give him….and nobodywanted to eat in a place that almost burnt down anyway so….”

Lucas’eyes went wide. “You sold your café?”

Shelooked at him, a tear running down her cheek as she gave a wobbly smile.“Yeah.”

Lucasfelt his heart shatter on the floor beneath him. That café had meant the worldto her. It was the first thing that had made her truly happy since her husbandhad died. He’d spent hours helping his sister fix it up, first after she’dbought it, and then after Amos had burnt half of it down. It had taken everydollar she’d had to make the down payment, and every ounce of strength to keepit afloat. Yet he’d never seen her happier.

“Jeanie…”He covered her hand with his, unsure what to say.

Janettesniffed and bit her lip, but it didn’t stop the tears from falling. Lucas rosefrom his chair, and pulled his sister into a protective hug. She buried herhead in his coat, her shoulders shaking as she allowed herself to cry.

“Whydoes life have to hurt so much, Lucas?” She mumbled against his chest.

Lucasworked to keep his own emotions at bay. Again, the image of Elizabeth runningto Nathan played through his mind. He sighed deeply. “I don’t know.”

“Istill miss him, you know.” She sniffed, and Lucas knew she meant Scottie, herlate husband.

“Iknow.” He rubbed her back soothingly, although he couldn’t help the bitternessthat came with the thought of that dirty low-life. How he wished he could havesaved his sister from the heart ache and betrayal that man had caused her.

“Isthat wrong?” She asked softly.

Lucaspushed aside his thoughts of the man. “He was your husband, Jeanie. No matterwhat he did, it’s not wrong to miss someone you loved.”

Slowlywith a sigh she pulled back, her eyes red. Lucas felt his guilt weigh on hischest. “Why didn’t you tell me this was happening?”

“You’dalready done so much for me after Scottie died.” She wiped her swollen eyeswith the back of her hand. “Up-rooting yourself from your life to come and takecare of me, fixing up the café, and chasing the bad guys away. I wanted you tohave your own life.” Her head drooped. “And not be burdened with looking afteryour kid sister forever.”

“Jeanie,”Lucas touched her chin, causing her to lift her violet eyes at him. He smiledgently. “You could never be a burden.”

Shegave a wobbly grin. “Thank you. I’ll never be able to repay you for all you’vedone for me.”

He heldhis hands up. “You owe me nothing. After all you are my favorite littlesister.” He couldn’t help but smirk as he reached up and tussled her hair.

She slappedhis hand away with a laugh. “I’m your only sister, and I’m not little anymore,thank you very much.” She raised her chin in defiance.

“Sorry?”He squinted, his hand cupping his ear. “I didn’t catch that last part.”

Shecrossed her arms, raising her brows at him, but she couldn’t hold her grinback. Lucas smiled. All he ever wanted was for his sister to be happy, yetsomehow trouble always seemed to find her. Which brought him back to thepresent situation.

“DoesHarvey know you’re here?”

Sheshook her head quick, reaching for her cup on the table next to her. “Nope, andwe’re going to keep it that way.”

Lucassighed. “You can’t keep running from him, Jeanie. He’ll just find you again.”

Sheraised her cup to her mouth. “Not if you don’t tell anyone I’m here.”

“Well,with the entrance you made I’d say that everyone knows you’re here.”

“No,”She placed the cup back down. “They know Jeanie Claremont, childhood friend ofLucas Bouchard is here.”

Hisbrow rose. “And when I tell everyone that you’re my sister?”

“Yeah…”She winced, her nose scrunching. “About that…”

“Jeanie…”Lucas’ voice went to his big brother tone, and Jeanette knew it.

“Youjust have to keep it a secret for little while.” She insisted. “Just until weknow Harvey’s not coming after us.”

“Us?”Lucas’ eyes widened. “What do you mean us?”

Jeanienervously bit her lip. “Well, if he can’t find me it’s only natural that he’dgo to you. You’re the only family I have within like a thousand miles.” Herarms flew open wide demonstrating the distance, and he sighed at her drama.

Thiswas just what he needed right now. To be thrown back into danger right as hislife was spiraling out of control. And what if Elizabeth got caught in themiddle of it again? No, he could never let that happen.

Hesighed, his hand running over his jaw. “And what if he does?”

“Youjust tell him that Janette McElroy is not here.” She smiled hopefully. “Andsince everyone in town knows me as Ms. Claremont no one will be able to tellhim I’m here, and then he’ll just ride off and everything…”

Lucascut her off, as his mind was still on her first statement. “So, you want me tolie to the entire town?”

Sheput her hands to her hips determinedly. “It’s not a lie. I am Jeanie Claremont,and we really have been friends since you were four.”

“Firstoff,” he countered. “I was five when you were born.”

Sherolled her eyes. “Close enough.”

“Andyou changed your last name to our mother’s?”

Jeanettelooked away. “I was tired of people relating me to the McElroy name. Everyonesaying I was just as dirty and rotten as they are.” Suddenly her eyes dropped,her voice softening. “Or were.”

Lucasfelt his heart ache for his sister’s pain. He gently gripped her shoulders. “Thiscould all be over if you would just report him to the authorities.”

Jeanettelooked to her feet with a sigh, and Lucas knew the answer. She never would. He’dconsidered doing it himself before but that man had a way with blackmail. Thephrase “life or death” changed a person’s plans quite drastically.

Lucassighed, rubbing his hand over his face. What could he do? He was not okay withdeceiving the entire town, especially after finally gaining their trust. Or atleast most of them. And what if Harvey did come to Hope Valley? He could neverendanger them again like he had with Amos. Especially not Elizabeth.

But hedidn’t even want to imagine what would happen if Harvey found Jeanette, andstarted spreading his lies around. His stomach sank as he realized what heneeded to do. He hated to do it, but the most important thing was keeping his littlesister safe. He blew out a nervous breath.

“Justfor a week?”

Jeanette’seyes shot to his face, lighting up with hope. “Yes! Just so I know he’s gone.”

“Andyou promise to tell everyone the truth?”

“Absolutely!”

Lucaswinced. He couldn’t believe he was about to say this, but he didn’t see anyother way out. “I suppose I could…”

“Yay!”She threw her arms around his neck. “Thank you, Lucas! Thank you! You’re thebest big brother ever!”

Lucashugged her back warmly, but his mind was a juggle of emotions. A good brotherwould have made sure this didn’t happen in the first place, but it was too latefor that. The past was already written for both of them.

Jeanettepulled back, smiling ear to ear. “And don’t you worry. I’ll get a job and payyou for my room.”

Lucassmiled playfully, his hands resting on her shoulders. “Absolutely not. You’remy sister, and the saloon has a rent-free policy for family members.”

Jeanettelooked at him in mock seriousness. “And a very fine rule it is. But I’m stillpaying you.” She patted his chest, grabbed a cookie from their table, andstarted toward the stairs.

Lucaslaughed lightly. “Not a chance.”

Jeanetteturned back at the bottom of the stairwell. “So, about Elizabeth.”

“Herewe go again.” Lucas mumbled inwardly. He pulled out his pocket watch, andflipped it open. “It’s getting late. We’d better get….”

“Areyou two courting yet?” Jeanette asked as she bit into her cookie.

Thequestion caught Lucas off guard yet it shouldn’t have. She was always asking ifhe was finally in a relationship, yet it didn’t stop the pain from twisting hisstomach. Lucas sighed, closing his watch. “No.”

Jeanette’seyes widened, her hands plopping to her hips “Why not? She’s beautiful.”

Lucasworked to keep his emotions hidden. As if he didn’t already know that aboutElizabeth.

Jeanettepressed on. “And if all you’ve told me about her is true then I don’t see…”

“Jeanie,”Lucas steps toward her, holding up his hands. “I know you mean well, but me andElizabeth are just friends.”

Jeanetterolled her eyes. “Oh, contraire.” She smiled, poking his chest. “I saw the wayyou were looking at her.”

Lucasturned her toward the stairs. “Well you’ve always had a vivid imagination.”

“Well,I think that…”

“Ijust remembered Gustave asked me to check on tomorrow’s menu.” Lucas smiledplayfully, giving a slight bow. “If you’ll excuse me.”

Jeanettesmirked, crossing her arms. “You can’t escape me that easy, Lucas Bouchard.”

Lucasturned and started toward the kitchen. “Pleasant dreams, Ms. Claremont.”

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Lucas slipped out the back door, and started down the darkroad. His conscience weighed heavy on him, but still he walked onward.

Heloved his sister more than anything. Seeing the pain in her eyes, and feelingher body shake with sobs nearly broke him. He should have done more.

Well,this time he would. He couldn’t stomach the idea of betraying his sister’strust, but so much was at stake here. And he would not make the same mistake hedid last time and risk everyone’s lives. Especially the two women he caredabout the most.

No.he was making the right decision. At least he hoped he was.

Hewalked up the steps to Bill’s office, and gave a light rap on the door. Bill slowlywalked over, unlocked the door, and stuck his head out, brows furrowed.

“You’reout late. I would have thought you’d be busy with your guest.”

Lucastook a shaky breath. “That’s….why I’m here….”

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Elizabethfluffed the pillow Rosemary had given her, maybe a bit harder than it needed tobe. Her thoughts were a whirl of emotions over last night’s adventure, Nathan’sdinner invitation, and now this mysterious woman Jeanie.

Whowas she anyway? Why hadn’t Lucas ever mentioned her before? Of course, that wasa ridiculous question.

They’donly known each other for around two years and didn’t spend all their timenaming every friend they had. She herself had plenty of old friends fromHamilton that she’d never told him about. Still for an old friend Jeanie andhim seemed rather close.

SuddenlyRosemary bustled in, carrying an extra blanket over her arm. “So, this Jeanie personjust blazes through town, falls off her horse into Nathan’s arms, and then runsinto Lucas’?”

Elizabethshrugged lightly. “Pretty much.”

“Andshe claims she’s an old friend of Lucas?”

“She’sknown him since he was four apparently.” Elizabeth cringed at the mocking tonein her voice. Was that really her talking?

Rosemaryscoffed. “Well, I’ve known old “friends” like her,” She held up her fingers inair quotes. “And believe me they cause nothing but trouble.”

Elizabeth’sbrows furrowed, as she tilted her head. “What do you mean?” She should haveknown that would launch Rosemary off into a story about her past.

“Well,I once was dating a man back in New York, when all of a sudden his “old friend”Colette showed up.” Rosemary rolled her eyes, as she flung a sheet open wideover the bed. “The next thing I knew he was breaking up with me and moving to Francewith her.”

Shemotioned her hand off in the supposed direction of the country, disbelief inher voice. Elizabeth swallowed, yet worked to keep a straight face. “Yes, wellLucas and I aren’t dating.”

Rosemarypointed her finger up with a smirk. “Not yet anyway.”

Elizabethlooked at her with a warning glance. “Rosemary…”

“Alright,alright.” Rosemary raised her hands in surrender. “You and Lucas are justfriends.”

Elizabethnodded stiffly. “Thank you.” She knew Rosemary meant well, but she already hadenough on her mind as it was. And thinking about Lucas and his “friend” onlyadded to her stress levels, although she wasn’t sure why. At least now theycould move onto another topic.

Rosemarycontinued to arrange the room, smoothing a quilt down over the bed. “So, itdoesn’t bother you?”

Elizabethlooked at her in puzzlement. “What?”

“SeeingLucas with someone else.”

Somuch for a new topic. Elizabeth sighed frustratingly. “He’s not with her. She’sjust a friend.” The fact that she wasn’t sure if she was trying to convinceRosemary or herself bothered her.

Sherose quick and walked to Little Jack, who stood playing with Dog in his crib.She gently brushed his blonde strands back on his head. “Besides he’s allowedto have friends outside of Hope Valley.” Her voice came out sounding weak. Whatwas wrong with her?

“Afriend who runs and jumps into his arms.” Countered Rosemary.

Elizabethjerked toward her, her chin lifting with determination. “She was just…” Elizabethfrustratingly fought for the words. “Happy to see him.”

Rosemary’seyes softened, a small smile forming. “Just like you were to see Nathan?”

Thequestion surprised Elizabeth, and suddenly made her uneasy. The hug she’d givenNathan was very different than the hug Jeanie had given Lucas. Hers had beenout of immense relief and feelings she couldn’t quite explain. A thought thatstill troubled her. Why had she reacted like that to Nathan? And why did Jeaniehugging Lucas bother her?

Beforeshe could answer Bill walked in the room, breaking her line of thought.

“Ifinished installing the new locks downstairs.” He slapped his screwdriver inhis hand, flashing her a reassuring smile. “No one is getting in tonight.”

He’dshown up at the last minute and decided to install new locks in the Coulters’house and hers. His only explanation was just how he should have replaced thoseold locks years ago. But Elizabeth couldn’t help but feel like he was acting abit strange.

She lookedat him appreciatively. “Thank you, Bill, but you really didn’t have to gothrough all that trouble.”

“Hemost certainly did.” Rosemary bustled over. “You can never be too safe in myopinion.”

Leethen walked in. He scanned the room, clasping his hands together. “Are we allset?”

“Yes.”Elizabeth smiled, overwhelmed with the generosity of her friends. They had sacrificedtheir time, and energy over and over again for her and Jack. Now they’d evengiven up a part of their house on the whim of a potential danger. She looked tothem, a touch of moisture in her eyes. “Thank you all for everything. It means theworld to me knowing I have friends who care so much.”

“Youand Jack are more than friends.” Rosemary touched her arm. “You’re a part ofour family, and family takes care of each other.”

Leenodded. “Absolutely.”

“Iagree.” Bill stepped forward, looking at her gently. “You should never beafraid to ask for help, even if you’re not sure just what it is you need helpwith.”

Elizabethsmiled, her heart filling with warmth. If nothing else this whole incidentwould be worth it just to know what amazing friends she had.

“Well,I’ve got some paper work to finish up in town.” Bill handed the screwdriver toLee. “I’ll stop by tomorrow and see how things are.”

Elizabethnodded. “Thank you, Bill.”

Henodded back to everyone, giving a small wave to Little Jack. “Bye-bye.” Jacksmiled, giving him a happy wave. Elizabeth laughed lightly, feeling so gratefulfor the wonderful god-father her son had.

Billthen left down the hall. Placing her hands on her hips, Rosemary surveyed thespare room. “Well, I think that does it.”

Leecovered a yawn. “Well, I don’t know about you, but I’m beat. I think I’m goingto turn in for the night.”

Rosemarysmiled affectionately at him. “Okay, darling.” He gave her a kiss on the cheekbefore turning to walk away.

Rosemarycalled after him. “Now don’t forget I left an extra blanket downstairs for youin case you get cold.”

Hestopped dead in his tracks, and turned back on his heel. “Why would I need anextra blanket downstairs? Our bedroom is up here.”

Rosemarycrossed to him, patting him on the shoulder. “Yes, but the couch is downstairswhere you’ll be keeping watch tonight.”

Lee’seyes opened wide. “What? No. I’m not sleeping on the couch.” He motioned hishand toward the stairs. “Bill just installed brand new locks on both doors.We’re perfectly safe.”

“Lee!”Rosemary’s brows shot up. “We have no idea what kind of a vicious criminalwe’re dealing with.”

Leesighed, keeping his voice even. “Rosie, the only way he could get in is if hebroke the door down or shattered a window.”

Rosemarynodded taking his hand. “And you will be there ready for him should he do so.”

“But…”

Rosemarysmiled. “Sleep tight, sweetheart.” She gave him a quick peck on the cheek, andstarted off toward their bedroom.

Leelooked helplessly from his wife to Elizabeth. Biting her lip, Elizabeth triedto give him a look of sympathy. She felt bad about disrupting his home, butstill couldn’t quite hold back the giggle that wanted to surface.

“Good-night.”She tried to give him a thankful, yet reassuring smile. Lee sighed in defeat,giving her a faint smirk.

“Night,Elizabeth.”

Elizabethclosed the door as Lee made his way downstairs. She crossed to Little Jack,with a shake of her head. Poor Lee.

And that's all I have for you this week! I hope you enjoyed it! Feel free to let me know what you thought or what you think is going to happen next in the comments below or on my Twitter page. Like I said I love to hear from you guys! Have an amazing weekend and God Bless!

WCTH Fanfic: Making Sure: Chapter 4 (2024)
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