by Laura Hamby
Caleb kept an eye on Beth while she did the dishes and cleaned the little cabin. He puffed on the pipe he'd made the first week of November. Terrible habit, but one he only indulged in during his month at the living history museum. She didn't show any signs of winding her activity down, seemed content enough with just the light of the fire to see by.
When he'd had enough, he extinguished the pipe and set it on the mantle over the fire. Beth had moved the bed so she could sweep under it and he wrapped his arms around her to still her determined sweeping.
"Bedtime," he mumured when she arched against him, attempting to free herself from his hold.
"I'm not tired."
"I'm exhausted just from watching you. You'll regret it when morning comes so early. Put the broom away."
"I have to be doing something. I'm not going to sleep one wink tonight. I never do after my mother has a go at me." She sagged against him. Caleb pried the broom from her hands and set it against the wall. "I could go do some weaving."
"No. Things are locked up tight now." He released her so he could put the bed back where it belonged.
"Thank you for standing up for me. No one's ever been on my side before."
To be continued...