El Paso: MistressLynn Pt. 02by_Lynn_©
Several authors recently came out with stories based on three songs by Marty Robbins: El Paso, Faleena and El Paso City. The story titles were "El Paso - author's name" e.g. "El Paso – Jake Rivers".
Here I give you a follow-up to Emma and Logan's story from El Paso-MistressLynn
Logan's kiss was a whispery soft touch against my lips, with just a hint of pressure, before he stepped away. I could almost feel the heat from the desire that poured out from those steel grey eyes. The warmth of his hand as he held mine sent shivers through me.
"Stop, Logan, please. We need to slow down. I'm guilty here of letting you think I was sure, but I'm not. I've been married and I know the amount of time and effort involved. We only met a few days ago, and though I feel something, I need to know it's right."
Each word took some of the light from his eyes. I hated saying them, hated what they did to the comfortable feeling we had.
"What can I do to prove myself?" His words came almost as a plea.
"It's not a matter of proving yourself, Logan. I don't know your favorite color..."
"...where you were born or..."
"Don't you see, though, it's not just a few answers to questions here and there. It takes time to understand and learn about the other person," I explained.
"We'll have the rest of our lives together to learn. Every day can be an experience of discovering something," Logan offered.
"You and I are meant to be together, Emma, I feel it."
"I'm just saying it's too soon for me to agree to marriage." I wanted it clear.
"I'll give you all the time you want, Emma, to learn everything you need to know. I'll watch for signs, and when I feel you're ready, we'll talk about it again." Logan stared into my eyes, his entire heart poured into the message passed to me from the depth of his eyes.
It would be easy to go with the feelings his body sent through mine. If I just went with them now I would say yes and not think more of possible complications.
We walked hand in hand back to the house and sat on the porch. The afternoon sun had gone behind the clouds so there was a chill in the air. Logan reached over and tucked me into his body to warm me up after I had started to rub my arms. I tried to put my thoughts in some order, to explain better, but when everything stayed jumbled to me, I remained silent.
"Much as I hate to, it's time for me to take you home." Logan moved his arm away as he spoke.
We kept the conversation light and it didn't take long until we were in front of my house. Like a true gentleman, Logan walked with me to the door, where we just stood for a moment. His finger traced my cheekbone and stopped on my lower lip. Instinct made my tongue flick the tip of his finger just before my lips closed over the calloused pad. Logan's groan came from deep within his throat at the same time his arm snaked around my waist.
"Emma." He whispered my name as his lips took mine.
Crushed against his body, I flattened my hands on his chest. The feel of Logan's hard muscles as they flexed under my palms was intoxicating. His fingers roamed over my back until they dipped low enough to follow the curve along my hips. I soon forgot everything but the fire that burned in my body for him. Yet common sense came through from somewhere to remind me where we were.
"Oh Logan, we can't be doing this out here. People might see, and what would they think?" I pulled back from him and took a deep breath.
"That you're beautiful and I'm one lucky cowboy to be kissing you."
His answer was muffled as his lips began to place a string of kisses along my neck. I let my head fall back, to give better access to the sensitive skin under my ear. My fingers gripped his arms as my legs trembled.
"Logan, you're killing me here. You need to leave, cowboy, so I can go inside and do some thinking."
I moved away once more and linked my fingers with his as I said the words. It was hard not to go back into the heat of his body.
"You're right, Emma. Do I get a good-bye kiss first?" His sheepish grin made me laugh as I stepped away from his out-stretched arms.
"Goodnight." I almost whispered the word.
"Not even a little peck on the cheek?" He cocked his head to the side and looked at me.
"A girl needs her beauty rest, Logan. Now go on."
"Emma, you are beautiful–" I put my finger over his lips before he said more.
"Hush now. No more talk like that. Now it's really time for me to go in and you to head back to the ranch."
Before I could change my mind, I stepped through the doorway and forced myself to close the door behind me. I burst out laughing as soon as I walked inside and saw what sat on the side table. All in one move I picked up the fruit pie and spun on my heel back to the door. I yelled out the second I flung open the door.
"Oh, Logan, wait!"
"Emma? Do you mean..."
"Look what we forgot..."
Neither finished our sentences as we collided, my elbow catching him right in the stomach. The shocked look on his face as the pie slipped from my hands startled me. In slow motion, he reached for the pie as I gasped, my hand going to my mouth to cover the sound of dismay.
Logan stretched one hand in the direction of the pie as it fell toward the floor. The flailing of his other arm caught me in the shoulder enough to put me off balance. I stepped backwards and hit the cabinet just as Logan stood with the pie in his hand.
It took us about five seconds to take in the hilarity of what had happened. Logan put the pie on the counter and pulled me close as we burst out laughing.
"Good catch cowboy."
"Do you want to see it again?" Logan asked as he arched his eyebrow.
He began to move sideways enough to make me think he was reaching for the pie.
"No, I can live without going through that again," I chuckled.
The pout that showed up on his face contrasted with the glimmer of happiness in his eyes as he pretended to be upset.
"You were supposed to bring that pie to your host today, anyway." Logan used a stern voice as he spoke.
"I know. Do you think he might forgive me?" The smile I gave him was coy, flirty even.
"He'll forgive you anything. You've taken over his heart." Logan's reply was immediate.
I almost stopped breathing at the amount of feeling he put in those few words. We stared at each other as we absorbed the impact of their meaning.
"Just a little while, Logan, that's all."
"It's alright. Will I see you tomorrow?" he inquired.
"Come to the diner at the end of the evening and walk me home."
"I'll be there. Now I'd better get home." Logan's voice was flat as he accepted the offer.
"Goodnight, Logan. Take the pie for your men to enjoy."
I opened the door and waited for him to walk through. With a slight wave and a smile, I closed the door and turned away. I struggled to keep walking into the kitchen when my heart screamed to run after Logan and say yes.
Logan made the short trip back to the ranch without seeing any of the beauty around him. Once there, he left the dessert with the cook and went out to catch up with the chores. He stood outside the barn and smiled as he gazed into the future.
The weather had been good and the crops were coming up in the fields. In the corral, he saw healthy cattle once again, with babies nudging their mamas. It had taken hard work to get this far.
Logan leaned against the barn and watched his reason for putting all this work into the place. Emma was planting more flowers by the house. His beautiful, sweet Emma was always trying to make it easier for him and never complaining. She had begun to make the old house a home for them from the day she moved in.
Laughter drew his attention away from his wife and to the children. Their son was already taking after him, from the unusual grey eyes to his more quiet personality. When he looked at their daughter, he smiled and remembered the day Emma told him she was expecting, how they had held each other while she cried.
Emma. His wife, his life, his destiny.
The sound of his name brought him back to the present. Logan looked up to see the cook standing in the doorway. He pushed off from the corner of the barn and headed in for dinner. Logan heard the voices before he was all the way to the kitchen. It was odd; his men didn't talk much when they came to the house.
"I woulda had more but Bobby here ate the last piece."
"That sure was good pie, boss. Too bad you didn't get any." Bobby replied.
"Sure would be good to have pies like this every night, boss." The Texas drawl was as thick as honey.
The men went on with their praise while Logan just grinned. He wondered what they'd think if he told them about Emma and his proposal, but decided to wait for now. Ready for his meal, he filled a coffee mug and plate and sat down at the table. One by one the men wandered to the bunkhouse until Logan was alone.
Earlier he had decided he needed to get the last of the spare bedroom cleaned out. When he was finished, and the table wiped off, he had some free time. Positive thoughts of Emma saying yes gave him the added incentive to get the house ready.
A couple hours later, Logan had several boxes ready to store in the attic. He found an empty space, and after the last load was stacked, turned to leave. In a dark corner was a trunk that he'd missed in his previous trips there. Curious, he pulled it out and opened it.
The writing he saw on the cover of what looked to be a journal was feminine, old and faded. Logan picked up the top one only to find several more. Intrigued, he found a small basket to fill with an assortment of the journals and loose pages from the trunk and went back to the den.
Logan was excited. His interest in history made it difficult for him to just skim through some of the journals and not read them from front to back. Sometime later, he was ready for another stack as he tried to piece the timeline together from the pages that had a date.
The tiny red box mixed in with the journals had a chunk broken out of the wood. The gasp from his throat echoed across the high ceiling. A locket on a silver chain laid face up, the faded portrait that of a beautiful young girl. Logan carefully brought the little box out to see what other treasures he could find. Beneath the journals, at the bottom of the trunk, he found another box.
The dress he saw when he took the cover off the large box was gorgeous. He thought of Emma as soon as he lifted it out. Beads and lace covered the front of the cream-colored material. Logan just stared as he imagined their wedding, with her wearing this, her smile full of love. Putting it back in its protective box, he carried it and the locket down to his bedroom.
It had been a long, emotional day, from the proposal to the find in the attic. In the journals he'd read there had been no mention of either the dress or the necklace. Yet there had to be a link between them. Determined, he read on. Logan sat straight up when he began the next entry, which, like much of the journals, had become too faded in places to make out.
Father relented and gave his approval for Robert and I to wed. If only he had not..................... a year........ we could have been married and the entire.............. that wild young cowboy............ challenge....... guns........................ dead on the floor......... he had to run from El Paso.............. Never...
This was what he had looked for since finding the gown and necklace. Some mention of them to put a year or name to the writing. He went on to the next pages now with renewed energy.
He chose The Earl............ in his later years............. yet kind to me up to his death.......... my heart belonged to another........ the necklace ...... dress........ wedding gift to me........... someday our daughter may ask about her father..................... cowboy.................. ................
He tried to make out the other words, but Logan guessed tears had fallen on this page from the shape of the stains in the words. Setting them all to the side was tough, but morning and chores came early. He washed the grime from the attic away and got ready for bed. He drifted off with images of Emma and their wedding in his mind.
Logan was out in the barn early to get his part of the chores done. He was anxious to head to town and tell Emma about last night's discovery. She might be able to help him trace the rightful owners of the journals. The day flew by and soon he was ready to leave after some last minute instructions for the men.
The diner was busy with the supper crowd when Logan entered. He watched her serve a table of older women in the center of the room and felt his heart burst with love. Logan waited until she was on her way back to the counter before he moved.
"Hello Emma," he said in a loving voice.
"Logan, I didn't expect you yet."
"It's earlier than we said, but I found something last night and I thought you might be able to help me."
"It sounds mysterious, Logan."
"I found some old journals in the attic. The writing is hard to make out in places, but I could get parts of it." Logan's eyes sparkled as he spoke. He wasn't ready to share his discovery of the dress just yet.
He shared with her those parts along with the dates legible in the journals. Neither realized that at the table of women one had gone quiet when she overheard the conversation. They hadn't seen her get up and walk over to stand right by them either.
"Excuse me; you're the young man that took over the Carson place. Tell me about these journals you found." Logan looked up to see an older woman waiting for an answer to her request.
"Hello Miss Robbins. Have you met Logan McClure yet?" Emma attempted introductions.
"Mr. McClure. You were saying about those journals?" Miss Robbins went back to what interested her most.
"I came across them by accident, and read some last night, to see if I could find any names. Why do you ask?" Logan was confused.
"My mother used to tell me stories about her grandmother Faleena and some lost journals. When I overheard you I had to wonder if they might be hers."
"Miss Robbins, is it? Why don't you come out to the ranch and take a look. They're very interesting." Logan summed up Miss Robbins in a short time. He watched the older woman as she spoke, saw the truth in her eyes and felt the emotion coming from her.
Emma stood back and watched the two make plans for the next day. Miss Robbins' family was one of the first to settle in town generations ago. Their portraits still hung in the town hall and she was one of the town's most respected citizens
It gave her some extra time to think. Miss Robbins didn't approve of new people very quick. Yet in a short time, she had accepted Logan. Emma smiled at this confirmation of her intuition that Logan was to be trusted. The two seemed to have forgotten her so she went back to work.
She looked up when the bell on the front door announced another customer. The first impression Emma had when she saw the man walk in and sit down was he might be a drifter. His clothes were old and worn, and he had the look in his eyes of weariness. She shook the rest of her thoughts from Logan and went to take his order.
"Need a menu or do you know what you'd like today?"
"Would you bring me a slice of whatever pie you have today and a cup of coffee please?" the stranger asked in a polite tone.
"Wise choice." Emma smiled and started to turn.
"Ma'am? You wouldn't know of anyone hiring in these parts, would you? I might not look it, being so small, but I can do a full day's work on a ranch just like anyone else. I got a family, two boys, and a good wife to support."
"I'm not sure, mister. Good luck though. Let me get your order filled."
She left to get his pie and coffee with her mind drifting back to Logan's proposal. Miss Robbins was just leaving as she passed their table. A quick good-bye and she was out the door with her group of lady friends. Emma remembered the stranger and his job search and brought it up to Logan.
"Thanks, Emma; I need a couple more men on the ranch. I'll go have a word with him."
"Where you from, mister?" Logan asked. The stranger took in the strength and confidence that came from the man that stood by his table.
"Over towards New Mexico, sir." The response from the stranger was polite and strong.
"Name's Logan McClure. What kind of work you looking for?"
"Lost my ranch to fire and just didn't have enough left to rebuild. I can do anything that needs doin' on a ranch and I don't complain. Took my family and anything we could salvage and moved out."
"Where's your family now?" Logan knew there were few places a stranger could stay in these parts.
"We're camped by the creek just outside of town. I came in here hoping somebody would know of a place that's hiring. My wife and boys deserve a real home again, not just camping." The man's voice was still strong.
"I need another hand on my ranch. Come see me before you leave tonight," Logan offered.
After his coffee and dessert were gone, the stranger dug into his pocket for the money needed to cover his bill. Neither Emma nor Logan commented when he only had two coins left. He and Logan had a few words and shook hands. The stranger walked out the door, taller and prouder than when he had entered.
"You're a perceptive man, Logan. The way you went to that stranger, talked to him and told him you have a job open is admirable."
"It's easy enough to check if there's a family camped at the creek, Emma."
"Yes, but he still might be up to no good."
"Do you know why he needs a job? Not so he can go out on Saturday night with the other men. Not even so he can buy a place for himself. He's looking for a job so his boys and wife can have a home again. For them he swallowed his pride and came to total strangers."
Emma looked at the man in front of her with a new respect. The people in town liked him and trusted him and crusty old Miss Robbins had taken to him right away. Even the stranger accepted his position of authority without question.
When Emma had finished setting everything up the next day, she locked the door behind them and started the short walk with Logan right beside her. Neither spoke at first as they thought about the day's happenings.
"Miss Robbins liked you right away. She didn't even interrogate you like she normally does to new people." Emma tried to understand.
"I found her very interesting and easy to talk to. She's coming out to the ranch tomorrow to look at the journals. They might have belonged to her great-grandmother Faleena," Logan stated.
"Of all nights for her to be here, pretty ironic it was tonight when you came to tell me about the journals, you know?" Emma spoke her thoughts aloud.
"Maybe they have something to do with our destiny, Emma." Logan thought of the dress back at the ranch as he spoke. He knew it would fit just as he knew Emma would say yes.
"Thanks for walking me home, Logan. You must be exhausted. It was a long and eventful day for you." Emma studied the man at her side.
"Come here, Emma." Logan's voice was almost a whisper.
It felt natural as she stepped into the opened arms and leaned her head on his shoulder. Her eyes fluttered shut as his arms closed around her and he pulled her tight to his body. The thought passed through her mind how easy it would be to get used to this.
She moaned as the heat from Logan's hands burned through her clothes to set her body on fire. Their lips met in a kiss filled with passion and desire. They remained lost in the heat of each other for several minutes. Logan tore his mouth away and gulped in air. His forehead rested on hers while he slowed his heartbeat and calmed his shaky hands.