For Fun

Okay. I don't really have anything new to post. I came home tonight and crashed. Didn't even do the dishes. Made dinner, which is impressive since you know I don't like to cook, and then tossed all the dirty dishes into the sink with a "I'll do these later" comment.

Worked out on the Gazelle for 1/2 hour while watching LOTR. Hey, it helps pass the time. Exercising is not fun for me.

And that's pretty much it. No writing. No great insights. Nadda.

So....in an effort to amuse you and embarrass myself, I decided to post a snippet from somethig I wrote nearly a decade ago. Perhaps longer. I really should date these things. It's probably full of grammatical errors and makes no sense whatsoever. Consider yourself warned.

And without further ado....

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
copyright Krista Heiser
2005
(Because you never know if I might decide to fix it up and send it out)



It was still dark when Raena Colbert handed her meager belongings to the fidgety stagecoach driver, a short, wiry man who stood no taller than she. The nondescript, brown carpetbag he took from her was tossed with little care to a young man atop the stage were it would be secured among the other passengers' luggage. Raena shrugged away the careless treatment--there was nothing delicate inside.

Having delivered her only parcel into the care of the stagecoach employees, Raena was jostled to the side where she gripped a paperback book in her hands and patiently awaited further instruction. She had never traveled by stagecoach before and she did not want to make any foolish mistakes that would cause a scene. Making a ruckus, even at this ungodly hour, would only serve to sabotage her otherwise unremarkable passing.

As she stood alone in the dawn shadows she could not stop herself from thinking about the drastic changes her life had undergone in the last several weeks and her current need for anonymity. She was frightened Edmond would find her before she reached the safety of her grandparent's ranch. She was frightened she would never see her mother again, although she had extracted a precarious promise before she had agreed to leave New Orleans. Frightened that the grandparents she was depending so much upon would refuse to believe who she was and take her into their home. She was also frightened that her roots would make her an outcast among her grandparents' peers if they did accept her.

Thoughts of those roots left her uneasy, especially as she stood surrounded by what she was sure were good, upstanding citizens. She had not had an acceptable upbringing by most people's standards. Her mother had been forced into an ugly profession early in her life and, until recently, had been forced to continue down that cruel path. Raena had once feared the same fate but her mother had worked hard to see that it never came to pass.

Her eyes misted over and she blinked the forming tears away. This was not the time or place for her to become nostalgic and weepy.

She focused her attention more closely on those around her, determined to think of something else. These people would be her companions for at least two weeks. Luckily, she was not the only woman present. It would have been nice to have someone nearer to her own age but she wasn't about to complain. Harriet Butterfield was in her forties if she was a day and seemed to have little patience with her husband, Alfred, while she doted on their son, Oliver. Other than Mrs. Butterfield and her family, there was Mr. Tollinger and a man that had not yet been introduced to her. The former gentleman was barely past adolescence. His cheerful, friendly exuberance was refreshing in the early morning hours before dawn. He had immediately disclosed his destination and the reason for it upon his self-made introduction. "Gold. I've heard that there's gold in Montana and I'm goin' to find me some! Get rich and live the good life, that's what I'm gonna do!"

Raena had been mildly interested in the prospect of finding gold in the land that she was journeying to but it had not stirred her blood as it had Mr. Butterfield's. The two men had immediately fallen into a conversation that was still going strong ten minutes later.

Oliver, who was only ten years old, was leaning against his mother with his eyes closed and his head sagging. Mrs. Butterfield, who was a moderately pretty woman with strong, bold features, held her son firmly to her side and cast fuming glares at her husband's back. Obviously she was traveling west against her will or, as it may be, her better judgment.

"Are you going to Montana as well?" Raena asked the lady for lack of anything better to say or do. They were still loading the luggage and no one had made a move to enter the stagecoach.

"No," the older woman's voice was brittle with anger. Her blazing, blue eyes, illuminated by the lantern outside the boardinghouse where they stood, bored into her husband's back as she replied, "We’re going to California. My husband is under the assumption that that is where we will find our destiny."

The woman's undisguised sarcasm and apparent frustration unnerved Raena. What could she say? Obviously Mrs. Butterfield was unhappy with the changes within her life, too, but Raena could offer no advice or words of wisdom. It seemed they were both facing an uncertain future.

"Well, I hope everything works out for you."

Mrs. Butterfield stiffly nodded her head in acceptance of Raena's goodwill, her lips pressed tightly together.

Not wanting to intrude further, Raena turned her attention to the last passenger, curious as to what she might find, and found herself overwhelmed by a current of emotion that nearly knocked the breath from her. Even in the darkness just before dawn her eyes were held captive by the most unnerving golden-brown eyes imaginable. She felt herself drawn towards him by some unexplainable affinity. Who was this man?

"Logan Giovanni," he drawled, almost as if he were reading her mind. The fact of the matter was Logan had been struck senseless by the small, fine-boned, young woman minutes ago but had recovered his wits before she had turned her undivided attention upon him. He hadn't been able to take his eyes from her since he had first spotted her trudging down the sidewalk towards the stage with a book in one hand and her carpetbag in the other. "I'm afraid I missed your name."

Raena couldn't stop herself from staring. Whatever was the matter with her? She had seen handsome men before. So what if this one was by far the most appealing in both appearance and manner that she had ever encountered? "Raena, Raena Colbert."

Logan's smile was a slow, sensual curve of the lip. "Are you traveling to Montana?"

Raena could only nod in response. Her vocal cords had ceased to work. Her body was rioting with feelings that she would do well to ignore. She knew exactly what kind of feelings these were and knew also that it was folly to tempt the fates. She had only just escaped with her virginity intact and here she was thinking of compromising it for a sultry smile and a pair of gorgeous eyes. Whatever was wrong with her? Surely she was losing whatever sense she possessed.

Logan's smile revealed that he was aware of her instantaneous attraction. It was most assuredly mutual. His brown-gold eyes moved leisurely over her upturned face. He had to admit that she was more than pretty. She was actually quite stunning with big, dark eyes, framed by long curling lashes and delicately arched brows. Her heart-shaped face was finely sculpted with high cheekbones and a pert, upturned nose above full lips. Rich, thick hair fell down her back to rest just above her hips. She had tied it back with a piece of ribbon but a few wispy strands refused to be tamed. The soft ringlets framed the edge of her face and slim neck. He wondered at the color it, the darkness cast her mostly in shadow.

Logan felt an unreasonable surge of desire sweep through him as her eyes continued to hold his. He wanted to turn her towards the light so that he see the true color of both her eyes and hair. Resisting the unexplainable urge, Logan forced himself to break the unnerving spell the bewitching young woman had cast over him.

Tipping his hat, a confident, sensual smile on his lips, Logan moved away from her to talk with the driver about the trip west.

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