Sarah Sunshine: A Montana Romance Novella

Free Sarah Sunshine: A Montana Romance Novella by Merry Farmer

Book: Sarah Sunshine: A Montana Romance Novella by Merry Farmer Read Free Book Online
Authors: Merry Farmer
    His steps carried him towards Main Street so fast that he nearly missed Sarah walking the other way.  When he saw her, his heart dropped to his gut, and a little lower.  She walked with her head held high, dressed in her Sunday best with her bright fringed shawl draped around her shoulders.  The bonnet she wore must’ve been new.  But it was the shining light of purpose in her eyes that drew him to her like a honeybee to a flower.
    “Morning, Sarah,” he said.  “You’re looking as beautiful as a summer meadow today.”
    She tipped her chin up higher and kept her eyes looking straight ahead, but warm pink flushed her cheeks.  Her lips twitched as if fighting her for the right to smile.  He pivoted and fell into step beside her.
    “Good morning, Roy,” she said.  “You’re looking mighty handsome today yourself.  That suit makes you look,” her breath caught, “like a gentleman.”
    Hope made him feel six inches taller.  “Where are you going on such a fine morning?”
    If he wasn’t mistaken, her steps slowed.  His hand itched to take hers, to take hers forever.
    “I’m going to see about my future,” she answered.
    His skin prickled in excitement at the thought.  She was heading toward the hotel, after all.  His hotel.
    “Might I escort you there?”
    At last she looked sideways at him.  Her eyes flashed with longing.  Because he’d supported her.  Because he’d offered to do what she wanted.  Delilah was right.
    Sarah stared straight forward again.  “You may walk with me if you’d like.”
    “That suits me just fine,” he said.  Listen to her, Delilah had said.  Do what she wants.
    They reached the corner of the new hotel road and he turned.  Sarah, however, kept walking forward.  Roy’s confidence faltered as he tripped over his feet to get back to her side.
    “Uh, Sarah?  Where are you going?” he said.  His energy frazzled into nerves.
    “I’m going to a place where I can learn to be a respectable woman,” she said.
    “All right.”  He couldn’t think of anything else to say.  He wasn’t supposed to question her.
    It only took a few minutes before questioning her was all he wanted to do.  They kept on down the road, tracing a familiar path.  When Sarah picked up her pace and walked ahead of him and turned into the lane leading to Miss Jones’s boarding house, his stomach turned over.
    “Um, what are we doing here?” he asked.  Just as quickly he bit his tongue.  He wasn’t supposed to be saying nothing.  Anything.
    One of the house’s front windows scraped open.
    “What are you doing here?” Miss Jones snapped, sticking her head out into the cold.
    “Miss Jones, I would be very pleased to talk to you,” Sarah answered, over-polite.
    “I thought I told you I wanted nothing to do with your sort.”
    Sarah wasn’t to be deterred.  As Roy hung back at the edge of the front yard, she marched boldly up the path to the porch.  Miss Jones slammed the window shut.  A few seconds later the front door flew open and she stormed out.
    “Get off my property, you hussy!”
    Roy clenched his jaw and balled his hands into fists.  Sarah had other plans.
    “Good morning, Miss Jones,” she said, sweet as could be.  “I’m so terribly sorry for the misunderstanding the other day.”
    “Misunderstanding?”  Miss Jones puffed in indignation.  “I was deceived as to your character and your intentions.”
    “I do apologize, ma’am,” Sarah said, miles more generous about it than Roy would ever have been.  “It pains me that we started out on the wrong foot.  I do so admire you, and I had my heart set on learning from you.”
    Roy snorted, figuring Sarah must have been joking with the woman.  But no, she was serious.  He dropped his shoulders and stared at the scene unfolding.
    Miss Jones was caught off-guard too.  She planted her hands on her hips and narrowed her eyes at Sarah from the top of the porch steps.  “What do you mean,

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