A Groom For Nora:Sons of Nora White Book #4

By: Cyndi Raye

Sons Of Nora White Book #4

Chapter 1

Nora stopped the wagon at the Wichita Falls livery. She nodded to the young man who came out to greet her.

“Welcome, ma’am, can I take your rig?”

“Yes, I’ll be staying overnight. Thank you, sir.”

“Name’s John. Most call me Big John.”

Once she was on the ground, she understood why they called him by that name. He was quite tall. She smiled at him while shaking out her skirts. He was a handsome young man and wondered if Miss Addie sunk her matchmaker claws into him yet. The thought made her smile. She was anxious to have tea with the extraordinary woman.

“Thank you, Big John. My name is Nora White. Now, have you seen my ranch hand? His name is Matt and he loves food. I’m sure the first thing he asked you is where to get something to eat. I sent him ahead about an hour ago to make sure I was able to get a room for tonight.”

“Yes, ma’am, er, Miss White. He said to tell you he reserved two rooms at Miss Addie’s boarding house and he’ll be down town at Jenna’s Café when you come in.”

“I suppose he is still there. Matt loves to eat. Why, I can barely keep my supply filled but he’s been that way since he was hired by Rusty quite a few years back.”

Big John tipped his hat. “I’ll be stabling your horse for you. Anything else?”

“No thank you.” She paid the livery fee, picked up one of her light carpet bags and made her way toward the boarding house. Thoughts of Rusty standing there, looking so forlorn as she was leaving crossed her mind.

He had always been such a steadfast part of her life. When her husband died, Rusty had been there as she fell apart. He had helped her get back on her feet without showing signs of weakness in front of her children or the rest of the hands.

Even though this journey she was now on was not permanent, she’d miss seeing him each day. He was a good friend.

Miss Addie waved from the front porch. “Miss White. I’m so glad to see you!”

Nora made her way across the street and onto the porch. “I’m so looking forward to a cup of your fine tea.”

The older woman looked pleased. “Well, no worries, let’s get you settled while the water heats up.”

Nora was shown a room at the top of the stairs by one of the young girls in her care. “My name is Matilda. If you need anything, please let me know. You’ll have a good hearty breakfast and supper with your room.”

“I’ll be looking forward to supper this evening, thank you.” She washed up then made her way down the stairs that led into the parlor, a lovely room with various sitting arrangements and a nice size window where patrons were able to see outside.

She caught her image in the oval shaped mirror hanging on the wall. Nora never worried about her hair or the way she looked. She was a rancher who got dirty and didn’t entertain often. She stopped for a moment, pushed the loose strands away from her face, tucking the dark hair behind her ears.

“You look fine as you are,” a voice, plain as day came out of nowhere.

Nora turned to the person sitting in a chair by the stairs. “I’m sorry? Are you addressing me?”

The man had been reading the newspaper. He placed it on his lap and smiled, a slow deliberate one that showed nice, clean, even teeth. His moustache was nicely waxed over his top lip and curled up at each side.

Nora had seen his kind before. Charmers. They thought all they had to do was smile at a lady and she’d swoon. Nora White didn’t swoon but she wasn’t going to refuse a compliment no matter who it came from.

The man stood, the paper fell to the floor, forgotten. He took her hand and bowed. “My lady, you have brightened this room with your presence. My name is Jonathan Blakely. Welcome to Miss Addie’s boarding house.”

Nora felt as if she needed to courtesy but smiled instead, pushing the silly thought away. “Why, thank you Mr. Blakely. I’m Nora White. Now if you will excuse me, I’ll be having tea with Miss Addie.”

“Will I see you again?” he asked, raising a hand in the air.

Nora shrugged. “I’m staying here a day or so, Mr. Blakely. Perhaps we will see you at supper.”