Welcome to Tuesday Tales! This week I`ll be sharing excerpts from my 2013 NaNoWriMo novel, Laco Law – The Gnarled Oak. Laco Law is an M/M historical western romance, set in the fictional county of Laco, Texas in 1867.
This week our word prompt 'Father’. In this excerpt we see where things stand at the end of the story with Clayton, Zeke, and the Price family.
A note for my readers: This is a gay romance novel, and so the romance that occurs is man on man. If this is not your cup of tea, no one will think less of you if you read no further.
As this is my NaNo work, it is quite rough. I do ask that you overlook any glaring mistakes you may find. Please do check out the other wonderful writers after you`re done reading by clicking on the Tuesday Tales link at the bottom. Thanks for stopping in!
Zeke exhaled then began to speak. He stopped when a fancy surrey turned the corner onto Main Street. It was a quality conveyance, nearly as well-made as Peony Rose`s buggy, but less flashy. I stood up as I recognized Charley, Mrs. Price`s Chinese butler, steering the matched bays with style. The black and red buggy arrived in front of the jail. Zeke slowly got to his feet, eyeing the proceedings carefully behind damp curls that hung past his chin. Mrs. Price leaned forward in the rear seat. She was done up fine in a bright blue dress, bonnet, a thin silky blanket of deep blue over her useless legs, and matching parasol even though the surrey had a fringed roof. She surely did spend her father`s money well.
“Good afternoon, Sheriff!” she called, her smile wide and white. I stepped out into the sun, removing my hat quickly. Charlie sat stiffly looking forward, his black suit looking dapper, even if the collar seemed a tad tight. “Please, do inform your deputy he has no need to seek the shadows in my presence. Call him up so that he may be introduced to me properly.”
I turned to look at Zeke over my shoulder. He seemed less than comfortable but did as Mrs. Price asked.
She offered him her tiny gloved hand. He looked up and down the street. Several citizens had stopped to gawk at the proceedings. Zeke shook the petite hand then stepped back from the surrey.
“There, now the locals will see you as less of a threat, and more of a gentleman,” she said, dismissing my deputy with the ease of the beautiful and wealthy. “I was just heading to Pester Falls to catch the train. What a pity it hasn`t made it here yet.”
“Yes Ma`am, it is a pity. So,” I said wishing my hair weren`t flattened to my rather round head, “You`re travelling? Going down to Galveston to spend time with Mr. Price?” I asked as casually as possible. I had not forgotten my meeting with the man that owned Laco County and all who resided within it, my deputy and me excluded, of course. Brooks Price may indeed pay our stipends, but little does he know our wages are then turned over to the nuns in San Antonio who took in all those abused boys. I will keep him in the dark as long as I wear this star.
“No, Sheriff. Mister Price is far too busy to be frittering his time away with me. I`m off to meet my brother in Philadelphia,” she said then opened her lacy white fan to cool her face. “He has recently returned east after a rash of health problems caused him to leave his ranch outside San Antonio. If only Oscar could learn to control that speech impediment of his. Then he could find a suitable wife. Imagine, a man of almost fifty still unwed!”
I put one foot on the red spoke of the surreys front wheel. “What manner of speech impediment does your brother have, Mrs. Price? If I`m not being too forward in asking?”
“Sheriff, a man as finely cut as you can never be too forward.” Mrs. Price eyed me then fanned with more speed. “Oscar has been cursed with a heavy lisp since childhood. I do hope you and your exotic deputy will keep my husband`s town safe while I`m gone. Charlie, let`s move on. Price Railways are always punctual.”
“I`ll do my best, Ma`am,” I said as I removed my foot. Charlie looked down at me, smiled briefly, then clicked the horses into motion. They rode off briskly, leaving me to ponder upon things.
“So the lisper might be her brother,” Zeke said. I grunted in reply, my mind trying to neaten all the tidbits.
“Might be, yes,” I replied after a moment while walking back under the porch to enjoy the shade. I retook my seat, my eyes fascinated by the cloud of dust Mrs. Price`s fancy surrey had kicked up. It was so thick one could barely see Miss Sarah sweeping off the porch of the feed store across the way.
“You got no proof,” Zeke said, dropping down beside me on the hard wooden bench. His knee rested against mine. My body reacted instantly to his proximity.
“Not yet. Sometimes you just got to let the dust settle a bit.”
“That what we`re doing now? Letting the dust settle?” he asked, pawing around inside his pristine green shirt for his newly purchased bag of tobacco. I nodded then lowered my Stetson over my forehead. Paw-Paw Moore always said only stupid men rode into a foggy swamp all het-up.
“Yep,” I said then waved at Miss Sarah.
Copyright 2013 ©by V.L. Locey
Click on the link below to return to the Tuesday Tales main blog for more great reads from the talented authors of Tuesday Tales.
And that ends Laco Law! I hope you enjoyed reading excerpts from my first western as much as I enjoyed writing, and sharing, them. I`m not quite sure what next week will bring. It will be a surprise for all of us by the sounds. Thanks so much for coming by. See you next week with something new!