Chapter 4–Part 1: A Hotel or a Social Club?
A Lady in Defiance Book One By Heather Frey Blanton Copyright 2012 Heather Blanton
As the sisters rode the rest of the way down the street, they didn’t speak of Grady O’Banion, but Naomi looked back several times. The crowd filled in around him pretty quickly and she wasn’t able to catch sight of him. She was comforted some by the fact that he didn’t leap to his feet declaring his desire for revenge, but she was sick over her brazen, thoughtless tussle with the man. What if he’d had a knife or a gun? Rebecca or Hannah could have gotten hurt. Would this O’Banion hold a grudge? Had she humiliated him enough to make him seek retribution? [THIS SCENE ACTUALLY AROSE FROM A FEW INCIDENTS IN MY PAST WHEN I SAID AND/OR DID THINGS THAT WERE SO INCREDIBLY STUPID, ALL BECAUSE I DIDN’T THINK BEFORE RE-ACTING. USUALLY IT IS THE TONGUE THAT GETS CHRISTIANS INTO TROUBLE. WITH NAOMI, BLESS HER HEART, IT’S HEART, MIND, AND MOUTH.]
Dear Lord, what is the matter with the men in this town? She cried in anguish. As if she didn’t have enough to deal with, now she was seriously considering wearing John’s gun on her hip. She realized in her present state of mind that was akin to throwing a match on a powder keg, but no one was going to hurt her sisters.
Rebecca pulled the wagon to a halt in front of the soon-to-be-hotel, their hotel. The building, lapped in golden pine siding, featured four large windows across the front of both floors, sizeable French doors at the entrance, and a large balcony on the second story. The slats in the rail were made of crooked, though skillfully-placed, peeled branches. Unfortunately, the windows and doors were trimmed in that gaudy red. [I ORIGINALLY GAVE THE HOTEL A BALCONY B/C I THOUGHT I’D USE IT IN A SCENE. MAYBE IN THE SEQUEL.]
Still rustic but far more finished-looking than most of the other structures in Defiance. It defined the town’s transition from mining camp to permanent settlement.
The sisters quietly climbed down, trying to draw as little attention as possible to themselves, and took up positions at the windows. Sheltering their eyes, they each peered into the darkness. Naomi could see empty shelves and, toward the back, a bare counter. An L-shaped set of open-tread stairs hugged the wall on the right, a stone fireplace was built into the center of the wall on the left, and a room in the back, which Naomi assumed was Whicker’s small apartment, took up most of the rest of the building. Not as wide as the building, though, it left room for a hallway that led to a back door.
Naomi pulled away from the window and watched the passing reflections in the glass. The traffic on this end of the street was noticeably thinner. Perhaps because the buildings off to the immediate left were still under construction. Suited her just fine; maybe this was the quiet part of town. The way her muscles were singing from all this excitement, she was eager for some peace. A little hammering and sawing would be a pleasant respite from the cat calls and lewd comments.
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