Mail-Order Husband:The Millionaire's Debt

By: Rebecca Tilley

“Look, I don’t know what has happened since our last letter, but I know you need me. I feel like if you will just give me a chance you might come to like being my bride. Why won’t you at least give me a little time? I’ll stay in the spare room, and you’ll hardly even know I’m there.”

Daphne knew she would like being his wife and that was why she didn’t want to stay with him. Now that the candlesticks were gone she didn’t have anything to offer other than a farm that was swimming in debt. “The candlesticks were sold this morning. Everything I had to offer is gone.”

“The candlesticks were sold?” Micah seethed with anger. His eyes narrowed, and became hard.

“I knew you wouldn’t want me after you found out about the candlesticks. I am so sorry. I wish I could have let you know before you made the journey. I was supposed to have three more days, but Mr. Gantry came out this morning and told me the awful news. I am so sorry.”

His face grew harder and angrier the more she spoke. She was certain he was going to explode in a fit of anger and do something violent. She braced herself for the worst. Why had she decided to send for a husband? Why didn’t she just let the farm go and start fresh somewhere else? As quick as a flash, however, his anger had passed and he was looking at her sweetly again.

“Darlin’, I don’t care a whit about those darn candlesticks, other than that they mean so much to you. I wasn’t going to take them anyhow.”

“Really? Then why did you get so angry when I told you they were gone? And why did you come here, I have nothin’ else to offer.”

“I am so angry because I hate that that old snake in the grass took advantage of you. I am so angry because banks think they can get away with anything. I am so angry because men, if you can call them that, like Mr. Gantry live high on the hog while folks in their town need help, and they just turn their backs.” His temper was flaring again and a vein in his neck began to pulse, but he calmed himself with a deep breath. “I am here my dear, because you are in need of help, and I am in need of a wife. I had grown weary of my surroundings in Texas, and I wanted to try my hand at something new. When you wrote to me about how you had been treated here over the last eight years my heart broke. I wanted to make you feel safe again, and in time, I hoped you would come to love me. If all it takes is a few hundred dollars to make at least part of that come true, I am happy to give it.”

She actually needed $1,200 to pay off the farm, but he already knew that. This man was kind and generous almost to a fault. She thought she might be able to give herself over to him, but she did not want to come across as desperate, even though desperate is what she was. “Well Micah, you have a deal. We will stay in separate rooms under the same roof for a time. I will not make you any promises about marriage, but we will see how things go and if for any reason either of us does not want to be wed, we will call it off and I will leave.”

“Sounds good. Let’s go in and sit for a spell, I would love some of that water you were talking about and a little bit of rest. Tomorrow I will go into town to return my horse and deal with the bank. I think I will also introduce myself to the neighbors to see if we can work together to grow our farms.”

Chapter 4

When Daphne woke in the morning there was a flutter of excitement in her stomach. It had been years since she had cooked breakfast for a man. She quickly dressed, adjusted her hair and scurried out to the kitchen. When she got to the kitchen, however, there was no sign of Micah in the house. She found a note on the kitchen table that read, Wanted to get an early start this morning. I made myself a couple of eggs and some coffee. Leftover coffee is on the stove. I will be visiting the neighbors until around lunch-time, then I will come back home before I head to town. I am sorry I missed you this morning. I look forward to seeing you when I get back.

Disappointment settled in where the excitement had been earlier. But she didn’t have time to feel sorry for herself now; she had to set about doing her chores. She had a house to maintain. Even though she had no intention of marrying him, she wanted Micah to think of her as a good homemaker. Her excitement returned when she set down the note and saw a vase full of fresh flowers sitting in the middle of the table. How early does this man wake up? If he keeps trying this hard I might just have to give in to him.

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