Daffodil – Uncertainty

"Ahem." Cody shifted uneasily from one foot to the other. He waited… and waited… to him it seemed an eternity. "Ahem!" He cleared his throat louder this time, moving another few inches forward.

She went about her business. Her hand deftly searching out weeds amongst the flowers and plucking them from the ground she hummed quietly to herself. He watched her gloved hands move in and out of the long stemmed blossoms, winding through the maze as though she'd created it herself.

"Louisa?"

The only indication that she'd heard him was a momentary pause in her movements, a single beat of time where she seemed frozen, much like a doe sensing the presence of a hunter. Still, she didn't answer him.

Leaning on the rail fence that bordered her home, Cody gave a long suffering sigh as though he was about to swoon and fall to the ground.

There was only a quiver in the hem of her wide yellow bonnet to tell him that she'd heard the noise. "I swear, Louisa… you surely know how to test a man's patience."

"Oh?" The lilt of her voice was golden. "You have some to test, is it?"

He could only gape at her answer.

She plucked a flower from the ground and lifted it to her nose, the bloom disappearing beneath the lip of her bonnet. A long moment later she leaned back slightly, lifting her face so that he could see her beneath the bonnet. A moment later she turned away, back toward her gardening and he was stunned.

"Speechless? My… my… the showman himself struck dumb by a woman… I wonder what your throngs of admirers would say, hm?"

Cody had had just about enough of her coquettish behavior. "Why can't you just... dang it!" Cody paced away from the fence and swept his hat from his head, raking his fingers through the long blond length of his hair and sighed. "I just don't get you, Louisa."

"Get me?" She got up on her feet and pulled off her gloves one finger at a time. The utterly feminine gesture had Cody tied up in knots. "What is that supposed to mean, William Cody?" She'd straightened her spine and looked down her little button nose at him. "I find it hard to believe that someone as inconsequential as myself would be able to rile you like this."

"Incon- inconsequential?" He slapped his hat back on his head. "Honey, where did you ever get 'that' idea?"

She turned slightly, the brim of her bonnet again blocking her face from his curious eyes. "Never mind then… if it's not true then…"

He knew, somewhere inside, that something was just wrong. Wrong and getting worse by the minute. He wanted to hug her and kiss her and tell her just how very important she was to him. Then again… after she'd teased him with her 'shy' behavior all day long he wanted to turn her over his knee and give her a sound spanking.

Cody let out a huff that would have made his horse proud.

It startled her enough that she looked back at him.

That's when the rest of his life was decided for him. The instant he saw the worry etched on her beautiful face and the fearful tears in her eyes.

"Aw, darlin'…" Cody reached out over the fence and drew her closer by her shoulders. He stared down at her, past the long sides of her sun bonnet and gave her a smile that seemed to reach down to his toes, "you mean the world to me… more than any show or world-wide acclaim… and I mean to make you a part of it all."

"The… the show?" She seemed to struggle with the concept.

"No, silly goose," he leaned down and brushed a kiss over her lips, "my life… my work… my future… marry me, Louisa…"

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