Courted by a Knight
Author: Bree Cariad
In Hyacinth, Book Six
Deeka Williams is uncertain of her courting year. The list of single men in town who are looking for a wife does not give her a lot of hope. Until one of her father’s friends comes over for dinner. Intelligent, a gentleman, and sociable, Curtis Brenten catches her attention quickly, especially after he defends her against a bully. Unfortunately, he also seems to think that no woman would want a man in a wheelchair.
Between trying to convince Curtis that he is not his infirmity and fighting against the bully who delights in teasing her ruthlessly, she’s busy enough. But when she breaks a rule too many times by lashing out, she may have lost everything she has been trying to achieve. Have they built enough of a foundation to weather this storm or will the man she considers her knight walk away?
As she walked out of the woods that bordered their property, her eyes alighted on Curtis’s car and beaming, she sped up. He had been gone the last week—travelling she assumed—and she was thrilled to see him again.
But as she stepped inside the house, she heard raised voices from out back, making her pause and close the screen door quietly.
“I’m saying you have to make up your mind,” Barrett snapped. “It isn’t fair to her.”
“I know,” Curtis replied, quieter than his companion and yet still loud. “You don’t think I know that? What do you think I’ve been doing over the last three weeks, Barrett? Trying to get my affairs in bloody order so that I have something to offer your daughter.”
“Curt! You have plenty to offer and Deeka adores you. What do you have to get in order?”
Slowly and almost as though she couldn’t stop herself, Deeka made her way to the backdoor, standing just inside where she could hear better.
“Answer me,” her father said in a rough voice.
“Look at me,” Curtis said, his voice rough with emotion. “Take a good look at me, Barrett. I’m a good man and in every way but one I have everything to offer a wonderful girl like Deeka, but I’m trapped in this wheelchair for the rest of my life. The rest of my life!” he said louder when her father tried to interrupt him. “Don’t you think she deserves more than to be with a man whose legs will keep getting worse and worse until I can’t even use the crutches anymore? Do you really want your baby girl saddled with a man who one day will have absolutely no ability to stand at her side? She’ll be saddled with an invalid if she ends up with me,” he spat.
There was barely a moment’s pause before he continued, his voice softer, duller. “And that’s not the only thing. Barrett, when I realized there was a large possibility I could pass this on to my child if I ever made one, I knew I couldn’t do that. I had myself snipped. I won’t be able to give her a child if we did get together. No baby for her, no grandchild for you.” Deeka’s heart ached for the poor man. Did he truly think that mattered to her? If they wanted kids, there were tons of children the world over who could use a good home.
There was a long silence before her father spoke again, his voice dropping, tired but resolute. “You do Deeka and myself a great disservice by saying that, Curt. I know that’s Wren talking because that has never bothered you in the past. What Deeka needs is a strong man who’s willing to take up the mantel of head of house. She needs,” he stressed, “a man who will love her like no woman has ever been loved. She also needs a man who has no trouble with taking her over his lap and paddling her backside on occasion. I see nothing about your condition that would hinder any of the above things. And believe me, I’ve done my research on your genetic disorder. Curtis, Deeka needs a good man who will uphold the values we hold dear. I screwed up and married a woman outside of Hyacinth. It was a mistake, but one I will never regret because it brought me the most amazing daughter any man can ask for.”
Deeka peeked out the door where Curtis slumped in his chair staring off into the distance while her father sat at their table with his head in his hands. “Curt,” he said, quieter still. “The question you have to ask yourself is this: ‘Do I think I can come to love Deeka? Is she the kind of woman I may want to take as my wife at some point?’ If the answer to those questions is yes, court her. If the answer is no, then I’m going to have to ask you not to come to dinner until after she has either been courted or goes off to college. Seeing you constantly hurts her because she’s falling in love with you.”
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About the author:
Bree enjoys good books with great characters. While she may be an adult, her favorite memories are from her teenage years reading inspirational romance with girls just like her and strong heroes. That’s one of the reasons she’s written In Hyacinth, a series of Courting Romances.
Courting Romance – where contemporary romance meets traditional values.
Where you can find Bree online:
Bree’s website/Blog – http://www.breecariad.com
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Twitter – https://twitter.com/BreeCariad
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