By Ursula Reneé
He didn’t care if his way of thinking was archaic or if she’d take exception to his declaration. She’d just have to get over it.
The petite blonde, who barely came up to his shoulders, was the woman he had always imagined settling down with. On more than one occasion she had demonstrated that she was not afraid to get her hands dirty. Instead of helplessly waiting by the side of the road for her knight in shining armor to drive up and change her tire, she’d roll up her sleeves, pull back her hair and be half way through the job by the time help arrived.
She also valued the same things as he did. Family was high on their list, followed by hard work. And, though they dreamed of travelling, the small town of Douglas, NC would always be home to them.
Yes, they were compatible in every way imaginable and were meant to be together, ‘til death did them part.
Dallas downed the rest of his beer, slammed the empty mug onto the bar, and slid off the stool. Ignoring Hank’s curses over the abuse of his glassware, Dallas move through the crowd, determined to take what was his.
Unlike the other dancers who sensed trouble brewing and gave him space, the couple was oblivious to his approach and held tight to each other as they swayed in time to the music. This gave him the advantage.
Dallas grabbed the Casanova who was encroaching on his territory, spun him around, and delivered a punch that sent the other man flying back three feet.
Though the Casanova may not have had the intelligence to leave another man’s property alone, he showed better sense than to mess with a Reynolds. Without taking his eyes off Dallas, he backed away until he was at a safe distance from his foe, then turned and fled out the diner.
Satisfied the threat had been eliminated, Dallas turned to face the woman who was destined to be the mother of his children.
“No one’s allowed to dance with my wife, but me,” Dallas stated.
The glare Lynn fixed on him said she would not to stand for his caveman bull and for a moment he feared that death would do them part before they made it down the aisle.
Before he could toss her over his shoulder and claim what was his, she threw her beer in his face and told him where to go. She then stormed out the door, leaving him to wonder what had gone wrong.
A cough pulled Dallas out his stupor. He turned to the bar, where his brother had watched the fiasco of his proposal. Hank did not have to say a word; his frown spoke for him. He was disappointed in how Dallas had chosen to handle the situation. It was not how the man they called dad had taught them to behave.
Beau Reynolds had been a proud man who knew what he wanted and was not shy about going after it. Not long after their mother’s divorce from the sperm donor, as Hank and Dallas fondly called their biological father, Beau had decided that he wanted to make June his wife. However, instead of employing the ‘I’m man, you’re woman, and you’ll do what I say’ approach that would have had both June and her sons showing him the door, he set about proving himself worthy of being her husband and the father of her children.
Beau demonstrated that he was willing to stand by June’s side as they built a future together. He respected her and treated her like an equal, not only discussing things with her, but taking her opinions into consideration. He recognized that she was a strong woman, one who as was capable of taking care of her and her own and that she did not need, nor would she stand for, someone swooping and taking over.
Dallas glanced at the door that the woman he wanted to spend the rest of his life with had walked out. He had treated Lynn in a manner he would not have tolerated any man to have treated his mother. And, by doing so, he disrespected the memory of the parents.
The realization of his mistake must have shown on his face. Out of the corner of his eye, he saw Hank’s nod.
With a sigh, Dallas headed for the door to make things right. Following another example that their father had taught them, he went after the woman he loved to apologize to her. He figured, if he survived the tongue lashing she would surely give him, he would set out to prove that though she could make it on her own, together, with him, would be much better.♥
Dallas and Hank Reynolds are the eldest brothers to Austin and Shane Reynolds, whose stories are told in the yet-to-be-published romantic thrillers, SOUTHERN HOSPITALITY and SOUTHERN JUSTICE by Ursula Reneé. When Ursula is not writing, she enjoys drawing, photography and stone carving. Visit her website at www.ursularenee.com.
TOMORROW: Stop by and read Michael J. Molloy’s “Hero Manifest”