Amish Treasures of the Heart

BOOK: Amish Treasures of the Heart
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Amish Treasures

Of the Heart

BOOK TWO

 

 

Sophia Grace

 

 

 

Copyright © 2015 by Sophia Grace

All Rights Reserved

License Notes

This ebook is licensed for your personal enjoyment only. This ebook may not be resold or given away to any other person. If you would like to share this book with another person, please purchase an additional copy for each person you share it with. If you are reading this book and did not purchase it, or it was not purchased for your personal use only, please return it and purchase your own copy.

Thank you for respecting the author’s work.

 

_____________________________

 

This book is a work of fiction. Any resemblance to any place or person, living or deceased, is purely coincidental. All names and characters are the result of the author’s imagination, and any likeness to persons, living or deceased, is purely coincidental.

 

BOOK ONE also only 99 cents!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chapter 1.

 

“Stop fighting me, Angus!” Ellie reprimanded her father’s horse for the umpteenth time. She had no idea what the animal’s real name was. Her father had neglected to tell her a lot of things before he’d left his farm to her. He’d promised her the horse was trained and obedient, but he’d never been one to keep his word.

Frustrated, and sweating like a man, Ellie’s temper was overheating just like the rest of her. She’d practically made up her mind she was going to name the horse after Angus; not because she didn’t know its name, but because it would seem the horse had the same temperament as her father.

The black gelding reared up and whinnied, flapping his gums at her as if to mock her.

“You don’t like the name?” she asked him. “Then stop acting like him!”

She crossed her arms and huffed. Ellie loved horses, but this animal had an attitude. She’d never handled a horse that wasn’t completely docile, and this one was trying her patience a little. She hadn’t realized just how much she’d relied on farmhands to do even the simplest of things such as harness the horses, but she’d never had to do it. She’d taken it for granted, and now that she was the sole owner of Angus’s farm, she would either have to learn, or rely on men for the rest of her life.

She thought of Jake for a moment. The one man she could stand to rely on for the rest of her life, but he had no more idea how to harness a horse than she did. Wouldn’t they make quite the pair? They’d be the laughing stock of the community; both only half Amish, and couldn’t rely on their heritage to give them the same skills that full-Amish seemed to be born with. It had been a thorn in her side for some years, especially knowing that part came from Angus. Perhaps she had a little bit of his temper in her too, but not enough to get her into trouble like his temper had.

“Let’s get one thing straight,” she told the horse sternly. “It’s not
my
job to pull this buggy; it’s yours!”

The more she tried, the more restless the horse became. He shook his head and whinnied again, digging his hoof into the dirt. One heavy snort from him, and she knew the animal was not up to cooperating with her.

Angus had taken his men with him. They knew the animals on this spread of land, and she would not likely survive without the hired hands she expected later in the day. Perhaps there was something to this farmhand thing. She certainly wasn’t getting anywhere with this horse, and if it was going to be like this every day, she’d be happy to have hired hands to do this for her when needed. Jake had offered to help, but she wasn’t certain she could handle being around him too long, or her attraction to him would become a problem.

She reached for the horse’s nose, and he jerked his head up, whinnying his dislike for the situation. “I’m not going to hurt you, boy,” Ellie said gently. “I just want to hitch you to the buggy. Am I doing something wrong?”

She’d seen Angus treat his stock with coldness and an impersonal manner, and she’d even gotten after him once as a child when she’d seen him snap a whip at one of the horses during training.

Realizing the horse probably had not been handled on the friendliest of terms by her father, she rethought the name for this black beauty. His black mane was as shiny as the sun, and smooth as silk. She patted his neck, getting him used to her.

Before long, he was tolerating her to the point she was almost able to touch his nose. “You’re just as black and shiny as a piece of coal,” she said, nuzzling his neck. “How would you like the name
Coal?”

The horse whinnied and bobbed his head as if to let her know he approved.

She giggled. “Alright,
Coal,
let’s try this again. I’m going to harness you to the buggy, and you’ll pull me into town so I can pick up some supplies. I’ll pick up some fresh apples as a treat for you, if you behave yourself.”

Coal nudged Ellie and nibbled gently at her cheek with his velvety lips.

She giggled. “Well, you’re just a little flirt, aren’t you, Coal?”

She had been so preoccupied with her new horse that she hadn’t heard Jake walking toward her. “You have a way with animals,” he said, startling her.

She looked up nervously, and saw Jake heading toward the barn. It was as if he had sensed she was thinking of him. She braced herself for the visit, trying not to think about their obvious attraction to each other. He closed the space between them, chuckling, which brought heat to her cheeks, and she was certain the redness showed.

She darted her eyes between the horse and Jake. “You wouldn’t have said that if you’d shown up here a few minutes ago! He was being very stubborn, but we had us a little chat. Now we’re old friends.”

She patted Coal’s nose, and this time he didn’t pull away.

“Ain’t it so, Coal?”

“I don’t know much about working on a farm, but it seems as though you could use some help.” He said.

“As a matter of fact, I’m waiting on some farmhands that I hired. I’m hoping they’ll know how to harness the horse since they’re
Englishers
.”

“Well I’d be more than willing to help in any way I can, maybe in exchange for a home cooked meal?” Jake asked, just hoping to be near her more often.

His attraction to her made him nervous, but he just couldn’t help himself. He wanted to be around her all the time, regardless of how strange it must seem to others. But the Amish married their cousins; he’d read it when he’d looked it up online. So what would be so strange about dating or courting a woman whose mother just married his father? It wasn’t like they’d grown up together. They were both adults, and they couldn’t help who their parents had married.

Unfortunately, no matter what he thought, he still had to take Ellie’s feelings into consideration, and she had not given him much reason to think she felt the same way he did. Oh, there was a little bit of flirting and the usual shyness, but nothing that made him sit up and take notice. Perhaps with time, she’d let her guard down so he would know how she really felt, and if there was any hope.

“That’s a very nice gesture, Jake. I could definitely use some immediate help. Perhaps you could help me get Coal harnessed to the buggy so I can go into town for supplies. Maybe between the two of us, we can figure it out.”

Jake smiled, pleased that she accepted his offer to help. He got straight to work on the harness. Ellie helped by instructing him what to do. She knew how to do most everything on a farm. She just didn’t have the muscles to do a lot of the chores. He was a good listener, she’d give him that much. She’d seen the hired hands harness the horse several times, but she had trouble controlling the eager gelding at the same time as strapping him down. Jake was doing as fine a job as they would have, but she enjoyed watching him more.

He tightened the final strap and looked at her with his inviting hazel eyes. “What’s next?”

“Do you know anything about mucking out stalls?”

“Sounds like a dirty job,” he said with a chuckle. “But I’m willing to learn.”

He followed her into the barn, and she handed him a pitchfork. Once she felt Jake got the hang of things, she excused herself to go into town. It was only a few miles, and she wouldn’t be gone more than an hour, but she didn’t want to leave at all. She would be content to watch Jake all day, but reality told her she had plenty of work to do. In a few hours, she would have a couple of hired hands, along with Jake, and they would need a meal, and she was not prepared.

Jake followed her as far as the doorway of the barn, watching her climb into the buggy, and wishing very much that he could go with her. It delighted him that she trusted him to finish the jobs she’d delegated to him while she would be gone. He intended to finish everything she asked of him, and he’d do it as professionally as if he was a real hired hand.

When he finished mucking the stalls, Jake went to work in Ellie’s kitchen garden, pulling weeds and hoeing between the rows. Then, he picked up the colander from the grass where she’d set it, and began to pick the string beans. He’d never seen such healthy plants, and he intended to ask her what her secret was. Jake had tried to grow tomatoes on the fire escape of their Brownstone in New York, but his father had told him the plant died because it lacked one ingredient you just can’t get in the city, but he never did tell Jake what that ingredient was.

When Ellie returned, Jake had settled himself onto the porch swing, and had busied himself snapping the beans while he pushed the swing gently with his foot. He’d sat there daydreaming so long about how it might feel to sit there with Ellie at night and watch the stars, that she’d managed to return home before he barely had a chance to snap even a few of those beans.

Ellie stepped up onto the porch with a plastic shopping bag hanging from each arm.

Jake rose to his feet and held a hand out to the bags. “Let me help you with those,” he offered.

She pulled away gently. “I’ve gotten them this far,” she said. “
Danki,
but your services are needed more for finishing up those beans. I’ll need them soon enough for dinner.”

He sat back down just as a truck pulled into the drive, and Jake assumed they were the hired hands. He stood, colander in hand, and immediately felt a little intimidated by their appearance. They were around the same age as Jake and Ellie, but they were clearly more muscular than Jake. Their confident swagger as they stepped up to the porch and tipped their hats toward Ellie would indicate they knew their way around a farm. Both men allowed their eyes to trail over Ellie’s figure, and it made Jake angry that they could be so disrespectful.

These men were going to be trouble, he could already tell.

He watched as Ellie greeted them, and they were obvious about their immediate attraction to her. The way they gawked and practically drooled made him realize he would have to stick around just to keep an eye on the two of them. He wasn’t exactly jealous of them, but a little intimidated, if anything. He wanted to help Ellie work on her farm as a means to prove he was capable of holding his own on the farm, and was qualified to step into a more important role in her life
.
How would he do that now with these experienced, flirtatious farmhands getting in his way?

Jake’s heart beat a little faster at his realization.

The only advantage he might have over these strong, hired hands was that he was part Amish. But how far did he really want to take things with Ellie? Was he considering a commitment? He already cared for her a great deal, and over the last couple of weeks since he’d first met her, he’d found himself falling in love with her.

Ellie directed the men to the field. “I’m going to need you to take the tractor out to the cornfield and till between the rows; the weeds are getting out of control with all the rain we’ve had. The north field needs to be hay-mowed. You’ll need to spread the pesticide granules this week too. Those are the most pressing things on the list; you can do them in whatever order you want, as long as it all gets done by Friday.”

They both nodded politely.

Jake handed Ellie the colander of string beans and greeted the farmhands with the firmest handshake he could muster.

BOOK: Amish Treasures of the Heart
13.75Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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