Good Old' Cookin (Conclusion)
by Kimberly McKenzie
Eva Mae nearly gasped at the words coming from Mr. Reilyís mouth. "Let me get this correct, you want me to strip down to my undergarments?" Eva Mae asked in disbelief.
"Yes. The waters are perfect for a morning swim," Samuel responded as he laid his clothing on the ground.
Eva Mae stood there motionless as she took in his perfect physique. Samuel Reily was sculpted to perfection as the sun illuminated his coffee brown features.
"Eva Mae, whatís the matter?" Samuel asked as her eyes met his again. He nearly broke out in laughter as she starred him from head to toe.
"Nothings wrong," Eva Mae uttered embarrassingly.
"Well I take it you like what you see!" Samuel teased.
"Mr. Reily how dareÖ"
"Thereís nothing wrong with that," Samuel stated before she could complete her sentence. "After all Iím going to be your husband. Iím glad you approve," Samuel stated conceitedly.
"Approve. What makes you come to that assumption?" Eva Mae asked.
"You know, I can read people pretty well," Samuel responded. "If you would spend as much time following your true feelings, the closer we would be at consummating our marriage," Samuel retorted.
"You are unbelievable," Eva Mae laughed shaking her head. "No man has ever swept me off my feet, so I ask you again what make you think you can?"
"Eva Mae, Iíve already swept you off your feet. Iíve even won your heart," Samuel told her as he slowly slid his fingers over her heart.
"I certainly donít understand where you get all this non-sense from," Eva Mae responded as a wave of excitement rushed through her body. Contrary to what her mind was telling her, she seemed to enjoy these feelings whenever they were together but would never admit it to Samuel she thought quietly to herself.
Eva Mae became consumed in her own thoughts as everything around them fell silent. Samuel continued gazing into her eyes as she stood there mesmerized by his presence. He was absolutely right, how could she have fallen for this man she had only known for one day? He had captivated her heart in every way she thought remembering their first kiss. His lips had been so vibrant and full of life. Samuel Reily wanted her in his life
and now Eva Mae wasnít sure she wanted to push him away as she had first planned. Not just yet anyway!
"What are you thinking about?" Samuel asked.
"Truthfully, Iím wondering what my life would be like with you and little Matthew," Eva Mae responded. Samuel Reily had been honest and respectful ever since he first stepped foot in their house. She owed it to herself to do the same she thought quietly to herself. However, she would not let him know her inner most thoughts as a smile peered on his face.
Samuel was shocked as Eva Mae words replayed through his mind. Had he heard her right? He couldnít believe the sudden turn around as he pulled her into his arms.
"Now donít you go taking my words the wrong way," Eva Mae warned. "Iím not going to just fall in your arms," she snapped at the thought of given in to her feelings.
"I wouldnít expect it any other way," Samuel responded brushing his lips against hers. "I want to show you what our life would be like," he whispered softly in her ear. "Come on letís enjoy the morning," he stated leading her towards the water.
"Samuel, I canít swim," Eva Mae told him as she paddled her foot at the tip of the water.
"Weíll just have to change that," he said leading her into the waters with him.
Samuel took the next few hours and the next few days showing Eva Mae how to do things she was not accustomed to. Their safari included horse back riding, fishing, basic farming, and educational debating. Eva Mae was a keen advocate in promoting for equality in work, education, and basic rights. She was a strong woman unlike the spoiled person he thought her to be. She even showed him a few things such as preserving fresh foods, designing, and sewing.
That by far was the funniest as Samuel tried to sew a basic laundry bag together. Eva Mae was even quite amused as they shared parts of their life together. They learned so much about each other in the last few days with little interruptionÖthat is until her best friend Sally came for a visit.
"Sally, this is Samuel Reily," Eva Mae said formally introducing the two.
"Well, Mr. Reily itís a pleasure to finally meet you," Sally replied glancing over towards Eva Mae. "You wouldnít mind if I have some time to speak with her?" she asked with a smirk on her face.
"I donít own Eva Mae. You should be asking her," Samuel responded half jokingly. He knew immediately that Sally was a bad influence on Eva Mae. He hoped all the accomplishments they made over the past few days would not be hindered by the likes of this Sally. Earl had warned him not to let her into the house but how much damage could one person do? Besides, he didnít want to seem like a bad guy as the two left out the room in discussion.
Samuel grew tired of waiting for Sally to leave as he started to prepare for dinner. He had a taste for some beef stew as he lightly seasoned the meat before adding it to the pot of water. While the meat was cooking he peeled a few potatoes, carrots, and onions. He searched the cabinets for the fresh tomato preserves but could not find them.
"Wow, a man that cooks. Iím impressed," Sally said as the two joined him in the kitchen again. Samuel would have taken the comment as a compliment if it had come from any other person than Sally. He brushed her smart retort aside as he asked Eva Mae for the preserves. She could hardly look him in the eye as she glanced over to Sally and than back to him again. Samuel wondered what the two of them had been discussing. Obviously from her reactions it wasnít good Samuel thought to himself.
"I put the preserves in the shed out back. Iíll go get them," she replied as she left out the house.
"Well, Iím glad we have a few minutes to talk," Sally stated as she came near Samuel. "I can see why Eva Mae is so attracted to you but shouldnít you be trying to marry a woman?" she added as she stroked his muscular shoulders.
Samuel couldnít believe the words coming from Sallyís mouth as he stepped back a few feet. The audacity of her to touch him he thought as an unsettling feeling came over him. His nerves quickly started to unravel as she continued to await a response.
"Eva Mae is certainly a woman and our business is really non or your concern," Samuel replied. "It makes me wonder what kind of friend you are to speak of Eva Mae in such a tone."
"Oh, letís just cut to the chase!" Sally quipped with a snap of her fingers. "How dare you question my friendship. Iím trying to save Eva Mae from making the worst mistake of her life."
"How do you know this isnít the best thing for her life. And besides I donít owe you or anybody else any explanations," Samuel replied in his defense.
"PleaseÖI donít know what ideas youíve been feeding into Eva Maeís mind, but Iím going to make sure she sees you for the con-artist you are," Sally hollered.
"Thatís enough. How dare you come in here with your vicious accusations! You donít even know me but I can tell you one thingÖI want you out of here," Samuel said losing his patience.
"Oh, the truth must hurt," Sally said as she continued to aggravate him. "I know all about you. Who the hell do you think you are coming up here with some contract? Itís just like a dirty politician but do you think thatís fair. You ought to have some senseÖheck we just became free ourselves and now youíre trying to enslave people again," Sally hissed at him.
Samuel temper exploded in anger as Sally continued on her rampage. Never in his life had any woman been so arrogant and disrespectful. He never grabbed a woman in anger before as he found his hand coupling over hers. He would personally throw her out the house wishing he had taken Earlís advice.
"You canít face the truth," Sally screamed again as she tried to jostle her hands free. "What makes you think Eva Mae can take care of your child? For heavens sake sheís a child herself Samuel. Eva Mae has never been with a man let alone be responsible to raise a family. You and Earl Pakston are just crazyÖcrazy," Sally vented as Samuel clasp became tighter.
"You are unbelievable," Samuel stated as he tried to get Sally to leave.
Her adrenaline began to rush through her body in excitement as she took pleasure in this confrontation with Samuel. This was just her forte as his face turned completely red. Sally really set things in a whirlwind when she quickly grabbed between his legs. In a matter of seconds her mood swing had changed to a seductive tone as she beckoned for him to touch her the same. When her unwanted favors were not returned, Sally quickly pressed her lips against his. No man had ever turned her down and this Samuel Reily just needed a bit more convincing she thought as she spun into action.
Her time had run a little too short as Eva Mae walked through the doors. She quickly turned the tables as she called out for him to let her go. She made it seem as if Samuel was taking advantage of her as he stood there in bewilderment.
"Hey, whatís going on in here," Eva Mae called out as she ran over to the two. Had she seen right. Why was Samuel kissing her best friend? The thought of their conversation came crashing back to Eva Mae forethought. Sally said she could get any man and this just proved it she thought as the wind was knocked out of her. There was no way she was going to marry an unfaithful man. Samuel had been a respectful man but now she wondered what she really knew about the man who had
requested her hand in marriage.
By now Samuel had released his hold on Sally as she backed behind Eva Mae. Her frightened look was all show as she pretended to catch her breath. Just as he gathered his composure to speak, Sally abruptly cut him off.
"Eva Mae, Samuel tried to come on to me while you were out back getting those preserves."
Samuel nearly gasped at the words escaping her mouth. "How dare you spew such lies," he stated in a fury. "Now I want you outÖ"
"Stop trying to play games," Sally interrupted. "If you was so in a rush to have me out of here, why were your lips so heavily pressed up against mine? You disgust me," she said wiping her lips briskly with her hand. "You told me you preferred a woman in your bed. Did you really think I would fall for this sickening game," Sally called out angrily.
Eva Mae could not stand to hear another minute of this mess. "PLEASEÖwill the two of you stop all of this bickering," she shouted. She didnít know what was going on as a bad smell filled the room. "FIRE! Somethingís burning," she yelled running over towards the stove.
The room quickly filled with smoke as the room became foggy. Samuel insisted the two women leave the room as he smothered the flames from his burnt stew. When things settled down he went out to join Eva Mae. Sally was gone and he knew the damage had been done as her eyes swelled with tears.
"Samuel stop," Eva Mae cried. "I want you to pack your bags and leave from here. The game is over," she whispered in a faint voice.
"Game. Do you think this is all a game?" Samuel asked.
"No. Iíve honestly tried to keep to our arrangement. Youíre the one who has turned this into a big charade. Do you really think I would give you my hand in marriage when I canít even leave you alone for five minutes with another woman? How could you SamuelÖhow could you do this to me?" Eva Mae said as the tears continued to flow down her face.
"Eva Mae if youíd just let me explain," Samuel responded. He didnít know what to say as he too was baffled by the wickedness of her best friend Sally. All his accomplishments over the past few days had been washed away within a matter of minutes. How in the world could he recoup? How could he regain her trust? He hadnít done anything wrong but what was Eva Mae to think when her eyes saw something differently.
"I donít really know where to began. Everything seemed to happen so fast," Samuel stated as he tried to gather his thoughts. "I wish Iíd never even started cookiní that damn stew because the moment you walked out that door to get those preserves is when all hell broke loose. I never would have imagined that your friend Sally would start such a mess. This is all a game to her and you fell right into it. I should have known better because your father warned me of her."
"Well he never liked Sally anyway but he canít choose my friends just as he canít choose my husband," Eva Mae replied. "I donít understand why you think this would work Samuel. I donít know the first thing about raising a family. Itís not fair for either of us, most of all your son Matthew."
"Are you saying you donít want to marry me?" Samuel asked. He had to know the truth. He had to hear it from her mouth as he sat there awaiting her response.
Eva Mae did not say anything as a moment of silence fell over them. She had fallen in love with him. The piercing pain that ached through her body was enormous as she told him she could not go along with his plans.
Samuel slowly traced the tears from her eyes. It was truly over. He never thought he would find love again and now it had all gone up in smoke. He began to laugh as his own eyes swelled with tears.
"Whatís so funny?" Eva Mae asked in a faint whisper.
Samuel could hardly get the words out as his throat became clouded. "Just thinking back to your first plans to drive a wedge between us. I bet you and your best friend Sally cooked up that plan too," he stated as he stood to his feet. "Eva Mae I love you but I will not stand here and be made a fool of. If you truly donít want to marry me than I will go," he said as he entered into the house.
Samuel packed his bags thinking of his long journey home. He couldnít wait to see his son smiling face again. What a soothing thought as his heart crumpled in anguish. He sat on the bed with his hand folded over his face in tears. He had never cried for a woman with the exception of his wife death. Eva Mae had made him feel again. She had brought the life back into him again only to be wounded all over. The pain was too much; he had to get out of here he thought as rose to his feet again.
When he reached outside Eva Mae had hitched his horse to their wagon.
"What are you doing?" Samuel asked.
"Trust me, youíll enjoy it," she replied as she motioned him to come along.
Her whole demeanor had changed as she awaited him to join her.
"Donít worry, Iím not cookiní up any plans this time," she laughed as they headed down the dirt path.