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!

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