When they got into the house, she took their leftovers to the fridge. People had not been wrong about the food at the inn. It was amazing. The phone rang and her father answered it. At first, she didn’t listen as for one thing, it was rude, but also her mind was on other things. But then she caught a couple phrases. “She did what…? When was this…? I see,” he said with distinct sigh. “Thank you for bringing it to my attention. Yes, Jerod. I’ll take care of it.”
Jerod? Deeka’s eyes widened. Oh, no. He must have been calling her father to tell him that she had been caught spying on him and his wife. Only she hadn’t been. Not really. And she left before things happened.
Without thinking about it, she ran into the living room. It was always best with her father to be up front and honest. If she did so, her punishments were not nearly as severe. Hiding something was a major taboo in this house.
“I didn’t mean to,” she began before he could speak, her hands waving in the air to add emphasis to her words. “I was there and they were there and suddenly the branches and her pants came down and I yelled ‘wait!’ and I climbed down and ran.”
He had been staring down at his hands and looked up, his eyes narrowing. “Thank you for the cliffs notes version. Can you please give me the whole thing?”
Taking a deep breath, she explained about being in the tree and how Camille and Jerod came along. By the time she got to the part about scrambling down the tree and running for home, her father was bent over laughing. “It wasn’t funny,” she said primly, finishing.
He held up his hand to forestall anything else as he continued to guffaw. When the laughter slowed down, he stood up, his eyes twinkling. “First off,” he said, still chuckling, “while that was Jerod, he wasn’t calling about you. It was a completely unrelated matter. But,” he said, again having to stop laughing, “thank you for that image.”
“It really wasn’t funny.”
“I’m sure,” he said, finally managing not to laugh. “But you really should have seen your face.” After another pause, he added, “And I’m assuming from that that you figure you should be punished for it?”
“No! I didn’t tell you because it was too embarrassing.”
Coughing, he nodded. “Yes, I’m sure it was for Camille as well. But considering where you were, that means you were on Jerod’s land. What have I told you about that?”
Her heart sunk. Great. Just great. By trying to forestall one punishment, she had garnered herself a worse one. “Not to go on any private land without permission.”
“Exactly. Tomorrow you will go apologize to Mr. Kinsley, do something to repay him and his wife for your blunder, and have him help you choose a birch rod. Then you will bring it back to me for your punishment.”
Her shoulders sunk down and she nodded. Just her luck, she was going to get hit by a bunch of sticks. One of these days, Deeka would learn to keep her mouth shut.
Courted by a Knight
Book Six of In Hyacinth
Update: Now available
Deeka Williams is uncertain of her courting year. The list of single men in town who are looking for a wife does not give her a lot of hope. Until one of her father’s friends comes over for dinner. Intelligent, a gentleman, and sociable, Curtis Brenten catches her attention quickly, especially after he defends her against a bully. Unfortunately, he also seems to think that no woman would want a man in a wheelchair.
Between trying to convince Curtis that he is not his disability and fighting against the bully who delights in teasing her ruthlessly, she’s busy enough. But when she breaks a rule too many times by lashing out, she may have lost everything she has been trying to achieve. Have they built enough of a foundation to weather this storm or will the man she considers her knight walk away?