Sorry for the delay, I swear it won’t happen again D: I’ve been terribly busy!
“AND THEN WHAT HAPPENED?!” Raelynn almost rolled all over the room.
“I do not know, I fell asleep…” Katherine looked guilty; Raelynn and Teresa wanted to murder her right there.
“WOMAN, YOU DO NOT FALL ASLEEP WITH A MAN LIKE THAT ONE!” Raelynn was practically climbing on the walls. “You just do not! You should have thrown yourself at him like a wild beast and take advantage of his innocence!”
“But I am the only innocent one here!”
“Rae thinks that we are all the same…” Teresa laughed wholeheartedly, while Raelynn looked like she wanted to make a hole on her face.
“No! But I think Kat should have taken the moment to do things she never does…”
“What do you mean whatever?”
“He will teach you to ride on horse, right?” Teresa looked satisfied. “I think something good will come out of that…”
“And how do you know?” Raelynn looked at Teresa suspiciously.
“I know my thing, Rae, I know my thing…”
“Oh…” Raelynn stood there for a moment, and then seemed to understand. “OH! OH, I GET IT!”
“I do not get it…”
“It is better that way, Kat; it is better that way…” Teresa smiled. “Go and let him teach you to ride.”
“Alright…” Katherine smiled and left the little room, ready to learn as much as she could.
Tomo was outside, he held on to the reins of a horse Katherine had never seen before, and Shannon was on the other side of the animal with a smile on his face, Jared and Mathew were already on their horses, while Katherine stared at that white animal as if she had never seen a horse before.
“Do you like it?” Shannon asked, while she approached the beautiful horse, Tomo held the reins as if they were the most valuable thing in the world.
“Yes, but… Where does it come from?” Katherine looked at the horse in awe; it was the whitest horse she had seen in her whole life.
“I understand that it comes out of a mare’s womb, but if your question is, who bought it and why, the answer is that I bought it and it is a gift for you.”
“Of course, you cannot learn to ride if you do not have a horse…” Katherine looked at Shannon for a long while, with watery eyes, and without thinking twice, she hugged him, crying. Shannon looked at Tomo, who still held the reins with a stupid smile on his face.
“But do not cry… If you cry you will not be able to see where you are going and will fall off the horse…” Shannon removed the tears from her cheeks with his fingers. “Come, I will help you up.”
The instant Shannon took her by the waist to help her up on the horse’s back, Katherine felt like a million butterflies fluttered in her stomach, she wondered how that was possible with how tight the corset was on her, but she decided to abandon such thought. When she was seated on the animal’s back, she felt like a child with a brand new toy, Shannon told her a bunch of things, but she wasn’t listening. Without noticing, she kicked the sides of the horse with her heel, and the animal ran off, throwing Katherine down immediately.
“Katherine!” Shannon ran to her, and fortunately, he managed to stop her from getting hurt when she fell from the horse, while Tomo tried to calm the horse down, Jared and Matt jumped down from their horses and ran to them. “Are you hurt?”
“Everything spins…” Katherine brought her hand to her forehead, while Shannon helped her to get up. “I see everything double…”
“Come; let us take you inside…” Shannon guided his young wife into the house, praying that she felt better soon so he wouldn’t have to listen to her mother tell them that she had warned them that ladies weren’t made for horses. “Do you feel better?”
“I am a little dizzy… I think this is not for me…”
“You were not paying attention, is all, I told you not to kick the horse until you were sure that you want him to move, and it was exactly what you did… But it is fine; we will try again some other day, alright?”
“Alright… I am sorry…” Katherine looked down, she felt sad that things hadn’t gone the way she wanted.
“You have nothing to be sorry for, you are alright and that is what matters, right? You are not hurt, are you?”
“No, I do not think… Ah!” When Katherine tried to get up from the sofa where they sat her as soon as they entered the house, she discovered her ankle hurt her; she sat again, paralyzed from the pain.
“Are you hurt?”
“My ankle… Hurts…”
“Let me look at it…”
“No! How am I going to let you look at me just like that?” Katherine blushed, Shannon arched a brow.
“Kat… I am your husband, do you forget that? When the time comes, if I do not die before it does, I will see MUCH MORE than your ankle…”
“But…” Katherine blushed even more, she pouted and looked away. “Alright… But just the ankle…”
“It is not the moment to see anything else…” Shannon lifted Katherine’s skirts slightly, her ankle was swollen. “It looks like you sprained it… It is not a grave wound, but you will have to stay in bed for a few days, I think…”
“Alright…” Katherine pouted again, but she had no time to whine more, because Shannon picked her up bridal style and carried her upstairs to the room. He left her in bed and left to look for Concha.
Katherine had to remain in bed for many days. Every afternoon, the very pregnant Vicki, Tomo’s wife, would go to the house and visit her to check on her ankle. One day, when Vicki had left from checking on Katherine’s ankle, the girl’s cousin poked his head into the room.
“May I come in, cousin?”
“Oh, Timmy, dear! Do come in!” Katherine patted the empty space on the bed, and Tim dragged himself to it, slumping on the space and looking miserable. “Is something wrong, Tim?”
“I… Just…” Tim sighed languidly.
“Cousin… Tell me what troubles you!”
“It’s just… Raelynn has not even spoken to me since…” It was then that Tim started fiddling with his necktie and stuttering. “T-the party… D-d-did I do something wrong?”
“Oh, Timmy! Come here, I can’t hug you where you are!” Tim moved forward, and Katherine wrapped him in her arms. “It is alright, dear cousin. Raelynn is like that, give her a little time and she will be all over you before you know it!”
“B-b-but… I spoke to her today… And she d-did not even l-look at me!”
“Timothy, like I said, Raelynn is like that. Give it time! Besides, you are not doing a very good job at trying to court her, let me tell you that…”
“I… I do not know how…”
“Because Aunt Rosa overprotected you so much you have no idea how to react to a lady’s presence, which is a terrible thing!” Katherine petted her cousin’s head gently. “I do not know much about these things because, you see, I was engaged and no one tried to court me, but you should ask my brother in law, he seems to know very much about these things.”
“No!” Tim looked scandalized and blushed furiously. “Have you seen him? He’s a promiscuous man! I do not want to learn how to do THAT!”
“But he must know how to court a lady! Supposing he had courted many…”
“He has! H-he speaks about them all the time! He s-slept with the v-vice-princess…”
“What? Where did you hear that?”
“Everyone knows… They do not say anything concrete but they say it was a foreigner.”
“And there aren’t many of those around here… True…”
“Yes…” Tim checked his pocket watch. “I must go, cousin.”
“Oh…” Katherine pouted. “Do come back to visit me again. And do try and talk to Jared, he might know a thing or two about courting.”
“I might…” Tim blushed and left the room, leaving Katherine alone.
The next day, Raelynn and Teresa went to visit Katherine, and to keep her updated on the social events she had been missing.
“Remember that man in the costume party?” Teresa said, making Katherine’s interest rise. “He asked about you…”
“Oh? And what did you tell him?”
“I told him you were injured and that YOUR HUSBAND was taking care of you…”
“Teresa! How could you?”
“That man is no good, Katherine… I do not know… When he spoke to me yesterday… There was something off about the way he looks at people… I do not know… I do not trust him…”
“Neither do I…” Raelynn commented. “Erin said that she had no idea who had invited him to her party… No one knows who he is… Maybe he is a visitor and will leave soon… It is not even worth your time to think about it…” Raelynn bounced on the bed next to Katherine, her skirts swooshed when she did so.
“I guess…” Katherine lay back in the bed and sighed. “My ankle has not healed… Vicki brought me some ointment, but it is still swollen and I still cannot move…”
“It is a sign…” Raelynn giggled. “You should stay in bed and wait for your husband to come and ‘take care of you’ so you feel better…”
“Rae!” Katherine blushed again, it seemed to be the only thing she could do lately. “Nothing has happened…”
“I cannot believe that you have been married for a month and you have not even kissed!”
“Because you are a fool…” Raelynn took a pillow. “The man practically worships the floor you stand on and you do not even look at him… Evil woman!”
“That is not true… Do not exaggerate…”
“Exaggerate? Pay attention to your husband one of these days so you know what I talk about! The man adores you! He would do anything for you!”
“That is not true, Rae…”
“I have to agree with Rae…” Teresa said. “Look at you; he has you in this bed as if you were the queen of the universe. If that is not love, then I do not know what it is…”
Katherine lay back in the pillows, thinking about everything Rae and Teresa were telling her. What if they were right? She supposed that only time would tell, but every time something happened that made Shannon come closer to her, a wave of terror overcame her, causing her to push him away, which threatened the fragile relationship that was trying to bloom between them.