Hello, Hearties! Six words: school fair, visit in-laws, day trip. That was my Friday and Saturday in a nutshell. Hence the reason Part 2 did not appear yesterday. I do ask your forgiveness. But I’m here now! If you missed it, Part 1 was posted last Friday. So now, for your reading…pleasure (maybe), I give you Crossing Wires Part 2.

Bill scoffed, then went on. “I know what you’re trying to do.”

“And what exactly might that be?” Henry countered. If Bill was going to spout unsolicited advice, Henry was going to make him say every bit of it.

Bill was never one to back down from a challenge, however, and he shot back, “You’re trying to alter yourself to appear as an eligible and appealing bachelor…a bachelor who will catch the eye of a certain lady who happens to hold your former position.” Once again, Bill had twisted everything around, but Henry refused to dignify his accusation with a response.

Bill took the silence as relenting, though, and his eyes were filled with triumph. “Frankly, I don’t know why you think Abigail would want you to court her.”

“What wouldn’t I want, Bill?” Both men’s heads shot up like starter pistols. Abigail had already finished her shopping, and was heading back to her office, her basket bulging with supplies. Bill stumbled over his words momentarily, but recovered quickly, too quickly. “I was just telling Henry here that you would never want to go to court again.”

Abigail visibly shuddered. “Ugh! Two experiences I will never forget, but never want to repeat; not unless it’s absolutely necessary, of course.”

Not only was Henry disappointed that Bill had been able to recover his blunder so quickly, but he also couldn’t help wondering if those two experiences were so unpleasant to her because he was involved. He was just opening his mouth to strike up some pleasant conversation, and leave Bill’s “advice” in the dust, when a voice across Main Street turned Abigail away from him…leaving his mouth gaping to catch the flies.

“Mayor Stanton!” the voice called cheerfully. Henry felt bile rise in his throat as the new “distinguished gentleman” in town met Abigail in the middle of the road.

“Oh, good afternoon!” he heard her call back to…what was his name? It didn’t matter; the bad taste was there all the same. Ever since he’d arrived in Hope Valley, he’d been monopolizing a very large portion of Abigail’s time. “Business,” he’d said, but Henry knew better! How could he not be attracted to her? Henry reluctantly watched as the two walked back to the mayor’s office. He was certain he heard something about plans to meet the following evening, and her laugh echoed in his ears, like the memory of a fantasy.

Henry was yanked back to reality by the very real, and still lingering, presence of Bill, whose smugness was reaching new heights of glory. He winced.

“ You see, Henry? Abigail needs someone stable, someone kind, someone without a record. Trust me when I tell you that you’re better off forgetting all about this little venture. Stick to business.” Bill stood and walked away, seeming very confident that he’d told Henry what’s what. But there was one thing Henry did realize: if he stayed silent, his opportunity may pass him by like the train.

“We’ll just have to see about that, won’t we, Bill?” Henry whispered to himself.

Have a great rest of your weekend! And by the way, I’ll be having a Season 6 premiere party on Monday the 25th, so let me know if you happen to be in the Austin, TX area. This is Hooked Heartie, signing off! May your heart let your hope blossom!

Hey, everybody! Can you believe that in just two and a half weeks we’ll be rubbing shoulders with Elizabeth, Abigail, Lee, Bill, Rosemary, and the rest of them??? We’ve been waiting so long that it hardly seems possible that it’s so soon! Just as a reminder before the season begins, once the first episode airs, the blog will be on a different schedule. I’ll be posting on Mondays for #MondayMusings to discuss the most recent episode, then we’ll still have #WonderWednesday to talk about the topics that still involve WCTH cast and crew, but go beyond the actual show.

Which brings us to today! I thought with February 24th inching closer and closer, it might be fun to spin some fan theories we’ve all been “wondering” about. There certainly are plenty to choose from! “He said, she said; they’re not together anymore; oh that is SO old news!” Have you taken part in conversations like this lately? I just saw a new preview that sent my mind into a whirlwind! We might have a bit of a rough start with our screens being Jack-less, but I truly believe we have a lot to look forward to. So here come the speculations, in no particular order! Spoiler theories ahead if you don’t want to read them

1. Bill and Lee become babysitters. The question that really begs to be asked is: which honorary uncle is Baby Jack going to cuddle with, and which one is he going to wail at every time he comes close.

2. Lee and Rosemary receive a bundle of joy of their own. Or she at least announces she’s pregnant. I hope she’s prepared for what’s in those diapers.

3. Lee builds Elizabeth her dream home on the land. I’m just going to leave that one there.

4. Lucas Bouchard tries to court the pretty young teacher. Chris said in an interview with ET that Elizabeth catches his eye, but he left it at that. One of those “we’ll wait and see” things.

5. Mountie Nathan Grant makes a connection with Elizabeth. Some think there’s an attraction, some (like me) think things will start with Nate being one of the Mounties that Jack saved. I wrote a story about it. I left it open so the relationship can stay platonic or turn romantic.

6. Elizabeth and Carson fall in love. Yeah, we’ll leave that one alone.

7. Shane Cantrell and Phillip come back, and Elizabeth and Baby Jack join their family.
8. Elizabeth forges ahead as a single mom. You know, there’s something interesting about the sad turn of events. Back in those days, women couldn’t really hold down a job as a wife and mother…unless it was absolutely necessary to enable her to…support her family. So that’s one way the plot can work: with Jack gone, Elizabeth NEEDS to keep teaching.

9. Elizabeth puts herself in some serious jeopardy. In the preview, I saw Abigail clutching Elizabeth in a very worried embrace. Maybe Mountie Nate saves the day?

10. AJ returns to Hope Valley, and she and Bill pick up where they left off.

11. Abigail and Henry get married, and adopt Millie and her sister. Yeah, you don’t want me to comment on THIS fan theory. You Gowen fans won’t like what I have to say.

12. Jesse and Clara get married. It seems pretty obvious that they’re planning their future. I hope their wedding goes more smoothly than the Coulters’ and the Thorntons’…nope, probably won’t happen.

13. Carson and Faith become a couple. You know you’ve thought it. 

Two questions that I don’t have theories for, but I know they’ll be addressed.

1) There’s a new lady arriving in town, Fiona Miller. Who is she? What does she stir up? If it’s up to Brian Bird, plenty!

2) This is the most important issue in the whole series! Drum roll please.…………………who places the first phone call to Hope Valley????? 😀

Did I miss any? What are your fan theories? To be completely honest, I’m trying to remain neutral, and just see what happens. And that’s just what we’ll do very soon. This is Hooked Heartie, signing off! May your heart let your hope blossom!

Well, Hearties! I didn’t think this was possible! I don’t know what could possibly have possessed me to write this story, but the idea simply would not leave my head! I’m still in shock myself. Here’s your only clue: all you Gowen fans should be very satisfied! So enjoy Hooked Heartie’s latest short story!

 

                                   Crossing Wires

Henry Gowen allowed half a smile to touch his lips, but only after ensuring he wasn’t being watched. His eyes softened, and the muscles in his shoulders began to relax as Abigail came into view, briefcase in hand. How lovely she looked, how calm and confident. Henry discreetly gazed at her forest-green clad figure as she crossed the street from her café to her office. Somehow, it didn’t even irritate him that that mayor’s office used to be his. His mind was far too occupied with wondering if that was a new gown, and how becoming her full golden curls looked when she left them unpinned.

Then Florence Blakely walked into his sightline, hands clasped, eyeing him down her nose very suspiciously. And just like that, his smile melted in the light of the sun, and his sullen expression resumed. Henry tipped his hat to Mrs. Blakely. She hesitantly went on her way, and he, slowly but efficiently, limped toward…where was he going? Ah! The mercantile! That seemed as logical a place as any, if only to cover his true errand this morning. As the sidewalk boards creaked and groaned under his boots, Henry let his mind wander back to Abigail. He was not comfortable with these sentiments that had slowly been overtaking him; slowly, but aggressively. He’d not felt this way for anyone since Nora; he didn’t even remember his feelings for her so all-consuming. All the emotions became exhausting; so, the mercantile forgotten, Henry took a seat on a nearby bench. Time passed as he sat almost motionless, pondering his predicament.

“But what can be done about it?” Henry asked himself aloud as he forcefully banged his cane down in frustration.

“Pardon me?” inquired a startled voice. Panicked, Henry looked up, but it was only Molly Sullivan, passing by on her way to the mercantile.

“Oh, nothing at all, Mrs. Sullivan. Good day to you.” He offered a somewhat forced and patronizing smile, and again tipped his hat. Mrs. Sullivan moved along, and Henry returned again to his thoughts. “You’re a fool,” they chided him. Henry certainly had to agree. He’d already lost his status as the town’s public official, then most of his dignity with his prison sentence. Why would he sacrifice what was left of it for something that could never be?

“Planning your next business venture, Henry?” a familiar voice questioned. Henry knew that voice that always interrupted everything! He shook his head, and emitted a sardonic one-syllable chuckle before raising his eyes to meet those of Sheriff Bill Avery.

“Not at all, Bill. Just having a moment’s contemplation.”

“Is that so? What about?”

There was a long pause as Henry tried to mentally craft his next words while attempting to stare Bill down. Unfortunately, Bill had an infamous glare of his own, so Henry settled for, “Nothing that concerns local law.”

“Oh, so you’re going for something with a farther reach, huh?” Bill retorted.

Henry shook his head, and squeezed his cane head very hard before offering a very controlled, “Nothing that concerns…you…”. Henry’s words trailed off as he heard someone approaching. It was Abigail, basket in hand, heading for the mercantile. Was it her lunch time already?

“Afternoon, Bill. Henry,” Abigail smiled as she walked between them. How fetching her smile is, Henry thought. He nodded and smiled in return, and his eyes inadvertently followed her a she passed by.

When Bill cleared his throat, Henry knew he’d made a mistake. He tried to remain nonchalant, but Bill’s snake eyes saw straight through his façade. “Henry,” Bill began as he sat down, uninvited, “may I tell you something as a…friend?” The words pushed past his teeth like he hated saying it as much as Henry hated hearing it. At Henry’s grimace and skeptical glance, Bill gave an annoyed grunt. “As someone you’ve shared a drink with?”

“You’re welcome to try.”

 

 

I’m afraid that’s all for now. The last time I wrote a story, I posted in installments, Dickens and pioneer periodical style. It served to be very effective, so I promise more next Friday.

Have a great weekend! See you Wednesday! This is Hooked Heartie, signing off! May your heart let your hope blossom!