For the Regrets challenge
Word count: 662
She could never imagine anyone growing tired of the view; how the distant mountains formed a majestic backdrop for the rolling hills and greening pastures, all framed by a sky of the most clear and dazzling blue. Though starkly different from all she was familiar with it still had a grandeur all its own.
Her nose wrinkled as a hand—no, a vaquero—on horseback drove a handful of cows some with lifted tails toward a corral. The smell however was one thing that would definitely take some getting used to.
Glancing down at her hands, she turned them palm up in her lap. Despite the washing she had given them they were still stained, the nails short and chipped. Hardly the hands of a Boston debutante.
Nonetheless, she felt a glow of pride. Her first vegetable garden was in. Thank goodness for the women of the ranch—no, estancia—who had taken her in hand and shown her how it was done. It had been backbreaking work, clearing away the weeds and groundcover before turning the soil, all that before even one seed could be planted. It was evident the garden had been neglected long before the place had been put up for sale.
She set the rocker into a slow easy tempo. She had discovered it on her one of her first explorations of the house—no, hacienda. One of the men had carried it out to the porch and it had quickly become one of her favorite places. Here she could sit in the coolness of its shade, the light filtering through the lattice to cast diamond shapes on the tile floor.
It was hard, harder that she ever imagined but she had never felt more alive. What she and Murdoch were doing meant something. Something tangible. Something they could leave their children. Something that would endure long after they were gone.
She drew the locket from the bodice of her dress, rubbing the delicate filigree cover with her thumb before undoing the clasp. The locket had been Murdoch’s wedding gift to her and she had had a miniature of him done before they left Boston. The other side was empty, waiting to be filled.
Her free hand came to rest on her still flat stomach, a small secret smile touching her lips. She hadn’t told Murdoch yet. She wanted to be sure…
She continued rocking, a slight breeze teasing the fine hairs that framed her face. She really should get inside and help Maria with dinner. The woman was so very patient with her but there was so much to learn. Conversational French, fine dining etiquette and delicate embroidery might do for the grand dames of Boston but was hardly practical for running a working ranch—no, estancia.
Did she regret her decision to marry Murdoch Lancer? Regret leaving family and friends and Boston for an unknown future?
Her one regret was that she had been unable to make peace between her husband and father before they left.
Father had insisted she stay in Boston. At least until her husband had created a suitable home for her. She had no business going to California. Why from what he had read the land and its people were wild and untamed. But she was also stubborn and proud and would have none of it. She was going with her husband. Father had been appalled at her willfulness. Not only was she Murdoch Lancer’s wife she was determined to be an asset to him and the ranch.
But there was time yet wasn’t there? To come to some sort of reconciliation? For the two most important men in her life to realize she could love them both?
After all, she and Murdoch were both young and her father wasn’t so horribly old.
Her smile grew as she imagined her father holding his first grandchild, the look on his face…
Yes, there was time.
All the time in the world.
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