Kristy was gently touching the edge of the satin fabric, her face pensive. Brandon waited quietly until she was ready to speak. “Brandon Carter, I think I have loved you for a long time. You are the kindest, most patient and loving man I have ever known. I made you wait a very, very long time,” she laughed a little with a laugh that was half a sob. “But you have waited with good grace and now I am happy to accept your proposal.”
It took Brandon a moment to realize what had just happened. “Did you say yes?” he asked in disbelieving tones. When Kristy nodded, he whooped and jumped up. Then he started to reach for Kristy, but she warned him back, her hands held gingerly over the fabric, not wanting it to become soiled.
“But what is this for?” she asked, gesturing to the white satin. Absent-mindedly she fingered the softness. “It is beautiful,” she said, “But I can’t imagine what I would use it for.”
“Your wedding dress, of course,” Brandon said. “I ordered it just for you.”
A flush came into Kristy’s face and she closed the package back up. “It’s lovely, but you know I can’t wear white.” Her face was bright red now and her fingers fumbled to tie the twine back around the package. “Mama and I will make a nice cream colored dress, or maybe I can just wear my pale blue. It’s new and you said you liked how it brought out the blue in my eyes.”
Brandon put a finger under her chin and raised her face to meet his. “Kristy,” he said, as he gazed intently into her eyes. “God has forgiven you, I have forgiven you and you have forgiven yourself. In my eyes you are as pure as you ever were and God has given me a gift in you.”
“But think what people will say,” Kristy protested, tears beginning to brim in her eyes.
“After everything you have been through, after everything that we have been through, do you really care what Mrs. Mayweather has to say about your wedding attire?”
“I suppose not,” Kristy said, opening the package to peek at the fabric again. “It really is the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen in my life.”
Brandon draped an arm around her shoulders and Kristy nestled into his embrace. “I would be honored to wear this as my wedding dress, Mr. Carter. Thank you.” Brandon pressed a kiss to the top of her head. What a miracle that Kristy was really his at last.
Catherine’s fall had sent the entire Carter family spinning. Brandon knew his mother was the center of the family, but he wasn’t aware just how much she did until she could no longer do it. Although Catherine had insisted that all of her boys learn basic cooking skills, there were some interesting results as Brandon and Darrell tried to prepare the meals.
Thoughts of Travis and Kristy were a constant presence in Brandon’s mind, but he was far too busy with family concerns to do anything else.
“Ma,” Brandon said, calling over his shoulder as he stood at the stove. “Is the gravy supposed to have lumps in it for texture?” He poked at the mixture with a spoon. It was a strange grey color and looked more like porridge than gravy.
“Did you dump all the flour in at once?” Catherine said, exasperation tingeing her voice. Brandon knew she wasn’t irritated with him as much as she was irritated that she couldn’t care for her family. “I told you, put a little in at a time and stir it thoroughly. Throw it out and start over. What you’ve got there is probably better suited for glue than food.”
Brandon dumped the pot upside down over the slop pail and looked in horror as nothing came out. He shook it harder and a few chunks slid slowly out, but most of it stayed firmly stuck to the pot.
Taking the spoon he tried to scrape out the indigestible mess, but it was hard and the mixture was drying faster than he could scrape. With a grimace, Brandon set the pot down and filled it with water. He hoped the pot would be salvageable, but it didn’t look very promising.
“Do we really need gravy?” Brandon asked, getting out another pan.
“I guess not,” Catherine sighed as she shifted uncomfortably in the rocking chair. She sniffed. “What is that smell?” she asked.
Brandon’s hazel eyes widened. He flung open the oven door and a roll of black smoke exploded from the oven and filled the room. Catherine started to cough as the smoke reached her and Brandon ran to the kitchen door, opening it wide to try to air out the room. Gavin entered and went into an exaggerated gagging fit. Brandon glared at him, but the thirteen year old clutched his throat.
“I’m dying, I’m dying,” Gavin said, stumbling across the room and falling into a heap on the floor. Brandon ignored him, stepping over his brother’s twitching legs as he tried to fan the smoke toward the door.
Once the air had cleared, Brandon pulled a tray out of the oven. Gavin looked at the hardened lumps and made a face. “What were those?” he asked.
“Biscuits,” Brandon said shortly.
Picking one up, Gavin knocked it against the tray. The biscuit clanged and Gavin grimaced. “Ma’s never sound that way,” he said. “And hers are usually toasty brown, not black.”
“Just take them outside and throw them to the pig,” Brandon said.
Gavin took the tray carefully. “Okay,” he said. “But I don’t think even the pig can eat these.” Then he ran out the door, avoiding his brother’s swiping hand.
Brandon sank into a chair. “Well, that’s no gravy and no biscuits,” he said. “I can’t possibly ruin anything else today, can I?”
Catherine hesitated before asking, “You did put the chicken in earlier, right?”
Looking over, Brandon saw the pan with the raw chicken sitting on the sideboard. With a groan he slid off the chair and sprawled onto the floor. “I’m dying, I’m dying,” he said, covering his face with his hands.
There you have it! Two blog fests, one post and I'm out :)
I'm actually setting this to post in the morning, since I have to work 8-5, so it will be later before I make it around to all y'all's posts. I will make it, though! I promise!