All the way to his quarters Fahy fretted over Thankful’s lie about enjoying sex and was disappointed.
Maybe Thankful couldn’t be trusted. Fahy considered his own lame attempt at making the night special. He had hoped that she would enjoy the element of risk and find the woodpile area endearing, but had known as he brought her there that he had failed.
Fahy did want to please Thankful, but she was so stiff and restrained. Being with her forever suddenly felt like a frightening burden even as he loved Thankful very much. Now Fahy wished he hadn’t pressured her. Before, Thankful seemed to enjoy touching, but he’d been impatient and may have spoiled it all. Fahy took a slug of whiskey. He didn’t even like it. Why had he assumed Thankful might? Ugh. The night had been a disaster. Fahy turned around and went back to the Markhams’ home now.
“May I speak for a moment with Miss Crenshaw, Captain Markham?” he asked the sleepy older man.
Markham called up to Thankful, and she came to the door in her wrapper with her hair loose now. The oil lamps made her face glow. Markham left for the kitchen.
“Thankful, I’ve been a brute. I never should have asked you to do what you’ve done.”
“Well, it’s too late now,” said Thankful. “Are you here to break our engagement?”
Fahy laughed nervously. “No, why?”
“I just thought . . . well, you tried so hard tonight.”
“Thankful, you’re wrong. I didn’t try at all. I’m the selfish one. Forgive me. I want you to wear my ring.”
“Oh, thank goodness!” Thankful whispered. “You seemed terribly disappointed in me.”
“No, it wasn’t you. With practice, you’ll be fine. It’s just that I ruined it for the wedding—you were right about that.”
“Lieutenant Fahy, I don’t want to talk about it anymore.” She pointed to the kitchen where Captain Markham rattled pans. “I’m just happy that you aren’t angry at me.” Thankful peered up at him and ran her small hand over his. “I must go to sleep now—but would you mind if from now on I call you Pierce?”
“No, call me whatever you like,” Fahy replied, but seemed uncomfortable with the idea.
It troubled Thankful when Fahy moved his hand away from hers. “Maybe I’ll stick with Lieutenant Fahy,” she said, trying to make light of it. “That’s what I’m used to.”
“I’m sorry, what did you say?” Fahy asked, glancing behind him at the empty parade grounds.
Thankful pulled her wrapper tight. “Nothing. It’s not important. Good night.”
“Yes, good night. I suppose I’ll see you tomorrow.”
“Thankful, please, stop trying to catch me in my words.”
“I didn’t mean to . . .”
“I know. Damn. I’m just knackered. Things will seem better in the morning,” the lieutenant said.
“Why do things suddenly seem so bad?” Thankful asked.
Fahy shook his head. “Good night, miss.” He kissed her hand and left again.
PREVIOUS EPISODE: WEARY of RUNNING
***Featured image “Sadness” by Julia Margaret Cameron
Excerpted from WEARY OF RUNNING. Read more about Buck Crenshaw, his sister Thankful and William Weldon’s misadventures when you buy the book today!
“The second installment in The Tenafly Road Series definitely did not disappoint. With the introduction of new characters and the return of familiar ones, Weary of Running made for an exciting read. The protagonist, Thankful, is the real highlight of the novel. She consistently makes very poor decisions but in the end, you can understand why she has made every last one of them. The story ranges from love and romance to questions of faith and morality. It does all this without being preachy and explores many angles of different aspects of life. This is one of the best books I have read in a long time.” Amazon Review
“Buck Crenshaw is my favorite dysfunctional lovable character.”