Near Fred, Indian Territory, 1877
Gabe eased slow and steady along the stage road leading to Fred. “We’re almost there, Abby.”
He was in no hurry to hand over his privacy with Abby yet. The first few weeks being married made him realize how much he’d needed a woman in his life. How much he actually needed Abby to keep him honest with himself. No woman had ever been able to do that.
“Thank goodness! I have grown tired of this jostling about. I’m afraid I may have permanent bruising on my—” Abby stopped short, and Gabe laughed out loud.
“Believe me, you do not have permanent damage on any part of your body.” Gabe glanced over, smiling at the rush of color spreading on his wife’s cheeks. After three weeks on the trail, their intimacies, he’d wondered at how she still blushed like a young woman. Abby was a widow, not unaware of the goings on between a man and his wife. Yet she acted like a young bride new to the ways of marriage.
Gabe found he loved that part of her beyond belief.
“You are truly insufferable!” She laughed, adjusting her sweet little bottom on the wooden bench. “These past weeks I have found how much I enjoy that side of you. You keep me on guard, sir. Don’t change. Ever!”
“I will do my best to abide by your wishes.” Gabe winked at Abby and reined in the mules. The need to hold her overwhelmed his senses.
“Is something wrong, Gabe? Why are we stopping?” Abby looked around them, her eyes full of questions.
Gabe jumped from the wagon then extended a hand. “There will be if you don’t get down from there.”
His blood burned like wildfire through his veins as her hand slipped perfectly into his. Her light girlish laughter filled his heart as she fell into his arms. Gabe gazed into her eyes, falling deeper under their spell. He held her against him to ease the pain of needing her next to him. He pushed a stray lock of hair from her face then covered her mouth with his, completely devouring her. He groaned as his body reacted to her melting against him. This may truly be the last uninterrupted private moments they’d have for a while once he took up as marshal in Fred.
“I couldn’t wait for nightfall, Abby.” Gabe kept her close, her heart pounding against him. “Once we get to Fred, we won’t have much time alone with each other. You’ll have the homestead to make feel like home. I’ll have to see Colonel Frank Fred. I’ll need to get word to Deputy US Marshal Reeves and present my official papers to him, although I’m sure Judge Parker has already made him aware of my arrival. There’s much to be done once we arrive.”
Abby gazed up at him, her doe eyes sparkling with the same need he felt. “I will be waiting when you are done, Gabe. The cold, empty house will be warm and inviting by the time you find your way home.”
“I was wrong in not telling you about the move when you arrived in Dodge. There will be many more things that I will do wrong. Promise me that you’ll never let those indiscretions drive you from me.” Gabe held her hand in his, watching his finger trace the lines of her soft palm.
Follow Gabe and Abby to Fred
as they settle into their marriage and learn to survive
in Indian Territory.