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A Settler's Love

Book 3 in the Settlers Series

A cool breeze blew around my ankles, sending a slight chill through my body despite the heavy cloak I wore. I had been waiting here for a little while, over twenty minutes actually; if he didn’t come soon I would go back inside. I was already at risk of getting into trouble by being out here for as long as I have been. Spinning around quickly to the sound of a stick breaking behind me, I squinted into the darkness, and there he was.


“Well hello, thank you for finally deciding to show up!” I said to the approaching figure.


“Don’t be upset Ash, I have work to do, you know.” Nash said, now finally beside me he placed his hands on his hips and regarded me for a moment. “So, did you have any luck today?”


“Yes I did, I got this blue one.” I pulled out a package from underneath my cloak and handed it over. I looked up to Nash’s face. He was so wonderful, no other boy I had ever met could compare to this one. I watched as his large capable hands un wrapped the package. “Do you like it?”


“If I were a girl I suppose I would. A better question is, do you think Payton will like it?” I watched as he held the blue ribbon up to look at it more critically, like he was an expert in all things silk.


“Yes, she’ll like it, Nash, I picked it, and I probably know her better than you do.” He rolled his eyes. I just caught the action and stifled a giggle, because he knew my statement was true. He then attempted to wrap the ribbon back in its paper, but was making a mess of it. “Here, give it to me.” I said taking the ribbon and paper from him to do it myself. “I still don’t see why you couldn’t just and get this yourself.”


“I’m not going to shop for girl ribbons Ash, even if it is for my sister.” He said to my back as I retreated to a large rock to sit on. I looked up to him when I was seated to catch Nash swiping a stick he picked up through the dry leaves on the ground. We were down by the old tree that Payton and I played at almost every day. Nash was Payton’s older brother, and had given me money to go and buy his sister something “girlie” for her birthday. “Did you buy yourself a sweet with the left over money, Ash?” He was looking out over the river which flowed with cold water and sparkled like my mother’s diamond necklace under the reflecting moon beams. 


“Yes I did, thank you.” I lied. I spent all the money Nash gave me on this ribbon. There were other ones there, but Payton deserved something nice. 


“Hmm, well, are we finished here, Ash?” I should go back before Charlie gets mad that I left him to fix up the animals on his own. Are you coming down to the cottage tomorrow night?” He caught my gaze. If I didn’t know any better, I would think that the confident stable boy was unsure of himself right now, in asking me if I was going to come. Could I actually believe that he wanted me there, and not because I was Payton’s friend? Holding the wrapped ribbon out for him to take, the only thing I felt was hope. Because hoping for Nash’s affections, in any form, was the only thing I can ever remember doing.

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