Lawfully Loved (Texas Lawkeeper Romance)(10)

By: Jenna Brandt


As Rebecca looked at herself in the mirror, she arched one eyebrow critically, examining her appearance. The sky-blue day dress brought out her eyes and fit her perfectly, but still allowed her to move freely. She opted for a less elaborate dress—although she only had two in the first place and saved them for church—knowing the festival was going to be full of messy activities from pie-eating contests to three-legged races. Although simple, her dress was the most flattering one she owned.

She heard Lydia giggle behind her. “What are you doing, silly? Why are you making such a funny face?”

Mortified to be caught primping, Rebecca swirled around to look at her sister. “Nothing. I was just finishing up getting ready for the celebration.”

With a tiny shrug, Lydia stated, “Your beau’s here by the way.” Not waiting for a reaction, Lydia bounced out of the doorway and headed down the hallway.

Rebecca left their shared bedroom and headed towards the front of the house where Jake was waiting in the front entry. As she approached him, she said, “It’s good to see you, Jake.”

He smiled in return, “As it is to see you, Rebecca.”

“Give me a moment. I need to retrieve something from the kitchen,” Rebecca stated. A few moments later, Rebecca returned to Jake’s side carrying a pan with a cloth covering it.

“What’s inside there?” he inquired, his eyes wide with anticipation as he looked at the pan.

Rebecca answered, “Just my peach pie.”

“Don’t you mean, your award-winning peach pie, Rebecca?” her father corrected. “After all, you won a blue ribbon at the county fair for that recipe.”

“That’s impressive, Rebecca,” Jake commended. “Many women enter into those competitions and don’t even place.”

Blushing, her face turned red. “It’s mostly my grandmother’s recipe with a few additions of my own.”

“I’ll have to make sure to get a piece before it’s all gone.”

“If you don’t, I can always make you your own,” she offered.

“I might have to take you up on that,” he said with a wink.

The children joined them and they exited the house, walking the short distance to the town square situated between the church and general store.

On one side of the square, there was a puppet theater set-up as well as a shooting gallery and a long table for the pie-eating contest. Next to the activities, an area designated for ring toss and horseshoe games.

The other section of the square had a dozen round tables and chairs with red and white checkered tablecloths. Several of the local men and women were putting out all the items for the potluck. Rebecca gave her pan to Lydia and tasked her with taking it over to them. A few minutes later the little girl came running back empty handed.

On the grass of the church, there were sacks and rope sitting in a pile ready for the races with townsfolk gathering to the area.

“I think the races are starting soon,” Rebecca told the group.

Lydia clapped her hands and pointed to the races. “I want to enter the three-legged race.”

The group headed over to the grassy area in front of the church and joined the group in the center. Rebecca saw Paul Breecher, one of the town council members and owner of the general store, talking to several people at the front of the crowd. He was probably getting ready to kick off the celebration like he did every year.

He was an average looking man who was only a few years older than Rebecca. Mr. Breecher had moved to Rockwood Springs several years ago—after his wife died in childbirth—to take over the general store when the previous owner passed away, leaving no one to run it.

Mr. Breecher climbed the church steps and turned to face the crowd. “Good afternoon everyone. It’s good to see all of you this fine afternoon. God saw fit to provide a break in the rain to let us celebrate the founding of Rockwood Springs today. We are a small but proud town and grateful for the blessings we have been given. We are going to start the day off with some races. Feel free to watch or join in on the fun. There will be plenty of other enjoyable activities through the day.”

Georgie started to take off towards the town square when Lydia called out after him, “Georgie, aren’t you going to race with me?”