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Chapter 3 — Part 5: Naomi Doesn’t Take that from Anybody!

A Lady in Defiance Book One By Heather Frey Blanton Copyright 2012 Heather Blanton

Photo courtesy of Angirias

Photo courtesy of Angirias

“Not today and not from you!” Acting on instinct, Naomi slammed her boot into the middle of his breastbone and shoved with a force that astonished Hannah. The man went flying, landing flat on his back and knocking his head against a hitching post with an audible thud. The men nearby who had the chance to witness the encounter roared with laughter. It had happened so fast Rebecca hadn’t stopped the mules and the wagon was still moving forward. “Pick up the pace, sister,” Naomi ordered, the color draining from her face. [ONE OF MY FAVORITE SCENES. NAOMI ISN’T NECESSARILY SMART WHEN SHE’S MAD, BUT SHE IS INDOMITABLE AND A TRUE WOLVERINE. I WOULD DEFINITELY WANT HER ON MY TEAM.]

Rebecca urged the mules into a trot, navigating them around the traffic as Hannah stared at Naomi. She wondered if her feisty, hot-tempered sister was about to get them killed. Eyes round like saucers, Naomi held her hand over her mouth in a what-have-I-done gesture and looked over her shoulder at the man. “What if I killed him?” she whispered. “No, wait…He’s moving…I think.”

The distress in Naomi’s voice and her rapid breathing released Hannah from her shock. She reached out and took her big sister’s hand to show her respect. “If you ever wonder for one second why we need you, Naomi…” Hannah shook her head. “Don’t.”

“Amen,” Rebecca agreed. “They’ll think twice before tangling with us again,” she cut her eyes over at her younger sister, “with you again.” [NAOMI’S THEME: ACT FIRST, OH, THEN THINK.]

McIntyre stepped outside the saloon just in time to see O’Banion come flying off the wagon and land in the dirt with a breath-stealing “OOF.” The sisters’ wagon rolled on and McIntyre honestly wondered if they could make the next fifty yards without any further incidents. Sweet Nellie, at least he hoped so. He didn’t have the men available to assign a security detail to the belles. Laughing in spite of the potential trouble, he slipped his hat on and strode down to where the town’s most ornery and abrasive citizen lay in the dirt. Covering the troublemaker with his shadow, McIntyre nudged him with the toe of a perfectly polished deer skin boot. [EVERYTHING IN MCINTYRE’S LIFE, FROM HIS PERFECTLY POLISHED BOOTS TO HIS MANICURED NAILS TO HIS SALOON RUNS HIS WAY ON HIS SCHEDULE. IF THIS WAS PRIDE AND PREJUDICE, WOULD HE BE PRIDE OR PREJUDICE?]

O’Banion looked up, rubbing the back of his head. “Mr. McIntyre, yer new Flowers need a wee bit of trimmin’, I’d say.”

“They’re not Flowers and they’re not for sale.” He looked up at the crowd that was still watching the scene play out. “I won’t take it too kindly if they’re accosted.” A few brows rose at the use of the unfamiliar word. McIntyre rolled his eyes. “I do forget the company I’m keeping.” As if speaking to a slow child, he clarified the comment. “Don’t touch them. They’re not for sale. Pass the word.” The crowd was none too happy with the order and disbanded, grumbling at his high-handedness. He waved them off like gnats and went to find his marshal. [THE TOWN OF DEFIANCE IS LOOSELY BASED ON THE MINING TOWN OF MINERAL POINT. AT ITS PEAK, THE TOWN HAD A POPULATION OF ONLY 800 OR SO PEOPLE AND WAS EXTREMELY REMOTE. THREE PRETTY GIRLS SHOWING UP WOULD HAVE DEFINITELY DRAWN A CROWD.]

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