Excerpt: Sarah blinked in surprise as the banging of the door echoed through the quiet house. What got him in such a fit? Truth be told, she was relieved to be alone. Who knew what Neil Craftsman was capable of doing to a newly widowed woman? If he had his way with her, which would be by force for she would never allow him to touch her, then he would be off free and clear. After all, she was already with child. There‘d be no proof that he raped her. She shivered and pulled her coat protectively around her shoulders. Never before had she felt so vulnerable. First, the thieves nearly attacked her. Then her husband abandoned her. And to top it all off, Neil dragged her into his lair.
She gasped and stood up. Rushing to the door, she turned the knob, relieved when the door opened. He hadn‘t locked her in. Thank goodness. She took a deep breath and closed her eyes. Of all people to end up needing assistance from, it would have to be Neil Craftsman. She spied Neil talking to Ben and Cal as they laid the body of her dead husband into the back of her wagon. obooko.
Tears sprang to her eyes. Who would take care of her? It wasn‘t just her who needed help. Rubbing her belly, she stared at the cloudy sky, wondering how she was supposed to support herself and a baby when she had no skills. Who would hire her?
She wiped her eyes with the towel and debated what to do. One thing was for sure: she wouldn‘t go to Jim‘s mother. Without him around to drag her there, she didn‘t have to associate with that dreadful woman ever again. Breathing a sigh of relief, she placed the towel on the wood table and glanced around the small beige kitchen. She rubbed her lower back. It had been bothering her since she and Jim left home.
Jim. The reminder of her husband made her wonder why the news of his death failed to evoke any emotion in her. It should have. She should care. She should be sad. The tears she shed weren‘t caused by losing him but by losing his financial support. She had lied to Neil. She didn‘t know who was going to take care of her and the baby. The friends she had couldn‘t afford another mouth to feed, and though she regularly attended church with Jim, she didn‘t feel comfortable asking for help. He had wanted people to think he was well off but the truth was, they were one paycheck away from poverty, and now that he was no longer able to work, she didn‘t have a penny to her name.
She couldn‘t go back to that church and tell everyone the truth. Not with the way Jim bragged about his wealth. It would be too humiliating. She had been the one to scrimp for every cent to help one of their friends who needed food. They couldn‘t help her, even if she confessed everything to them. She knew they would sympathize with her, but sympathy couldn‘t put food on the table. For the first time since she met him, she cursed him for spending everything he had on things they didn‘t need in order to gain others‘ approval. What good did all the material possessions do her now?