Joanne Faries

Caroline Adams exited quietly, set down her quilted satchel, and surveyed the grounds. Thomas, the coachman, observed her wistful look. Her right hand rose to tuck an unruly blonde curl under her bonnet. She flicked her slender wrist. Every move a sensual ode to young womanhood as she licked her lips and began to speak.  

“Thomas, off to the Dunham’s today. I trust you are ready.”  

“Yes, miss. No bother t’all.” He offered an arm and helped her into the black coach, then placed her bag at her feet. The bag was heavier than expected and he wondered at its contents. The ride took one hour thanks to no rain or mud to slow the horses.  

“I shall arrange return transport,” she said. “And thank you, Thomas.”  

“Welcome, miss,” he doffed his cap.  

She reached into her pocket, pulled out a letter, hesitated, and then stuttered,” Kindly give this to my mother.”  

He nodded and noticed her flushed cheeks. “Everything all right?”  

“Tis fine.” She gave a knowing smile, her blue eyes deepened, immersed in a smoldering fire ready to spew forth from her calm exterior.  

Thomas clucked his tongue, rolling out of the curved drive. He looked over his shoulder in time to see young Alexander Dunham embrace Caroline and boldly kiss her. Wielding the reins, Thomas urged the horses home with no restraint. He talked to them, “Aye, this letter is trouble. Hot August days and I’m the messenger. I pray Missus Adams doesn’t shoot me.”

First published: August, 2010
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