Cyrus the Magnificent

Welcome to Fiction Friday! This week is hosted by Rhonda at Beach Reads. Be sure to join us there for links to some fun fiction.

Cyrus the Magnificent
“No! You ain't gonna court my daughter!” Cyrus slammed his hat on his head and glared at the young man. If the overgrown kid knew what was good for him, he'd turn tail and run, but he didn't look that smart.

Fred smirked. “She's old enough to make that decision herself. I'll see her whether you like it or not.”

The smirk on the kid's face infuriated Cyrus. He stepped closer and shoved a long finger under Fred's nose. “The only way you'll see her is over my dead body! And I can assure you that I won't die easily.”

“Old man, you gotta get with the times. Girls are--”

Cyrus flung out his arm, pointing out the barn doors. “Get off my property and don't you ever come back.”

Fred contorted his lips into an ugly laugh. “You cain't stop me, old man.”

“Get!” Cyrus roared, his face scarlet. “If you so much as look at one of my daughters you'll regret it!”

Fred backed toward the barn doors. “Old man, you're crazy if you think this will stop me. You just wait. I'm gonna marry Emmie, and there's nothing you can do to stop us.”

Cyrus grabbed a pitchfork, ready to use it. “I said get!”

Fred walked out the doors, laughing. But Cyrus noticed he didn't dawdle.

He stood watching as Fred mounted his horse rode away. When the kid was out of sight, he turned from the doors, stormed to an empty stall and sank the pitchfork back into the mound of hay.

Lucy entered from the other end of the barn, a smile curving her lips. Cyrus turned and studied her, his shoulders relaxing with just her presence. Had she heard?

“You're magnificent when you roar!” Lucy stood in front of him and smoothed her hands up his chest.

Yup. She heard. A smile eased his face and his hands rested on her full hips. “Magnificent, huh?”

“Mmm hmm. Magnificent.”

He dropped a hard kiss on her lips, his heart finally slowing. “How magnificent?”

Lucy laughed. “Magnificent enough to drag you into the tack room and bar the door.” She sighed. “But we can't. We need to get to the house. Gideon got in from the orchard when you were out here bellowing and I told him to stay and make sure Fred didn't circle around. Otherwise he and Evie would've been out here tacking Fred's hide to the wall.”

“I was ready to do that myself.” Cyrus nuzzled Lucy's mouth, peace settling around him like an afghan on a cold evening. “I'll collect later for being so magnificent.”

“I'm sure you will.” Her eyes danced but he could see the concern lurking.

He rested his cheek on her hair as he held her close for a moment.

“Was that the word we've been looking for?” Lucy asked.

“Yeah, I think it was.” Cyrus said, feeling Lucy's shoulders fall. “What're your thoughts?”

She pulled back and he could see her answer in her clear blue eyes. “I think it's time.”

“That's my thought, too.” He saw something more in her eyes. “But?”

Lucy looked over his shoulder for a moment, hesitating. He gave her time. She looked back at him and her fear was plain for just a moment. “There are so many dangers on the trail.”

She toyed with a button on his shirt, worrying her bottom lip with her teeth.

He gently lifted her chin with a scarred knuckle. “We don't have to go, you know.” Many times they had talked about the dangers of joining a wagon train and moving to Oregon.

Lucy turned and studied the pitchfork he had thrust into to the hay. Her shoulders rose and he could see determination pulling her chin up as if it were on a string.

“Yes, we do have to go.” She turned and looked back to Cyrus. Pain fired her determination. “I watched my sister be destroyed by an evil, lazy man and I'll not hand any of my daughters over to men like that. I'd rather lose them on the trail than have them suffer like my sister did.”

Cyrus fingered a curl of hair that had pulled free from the bun Lucy wore her hair in. It was silky between his calloused fingertips. “You're the bravest woman I've ever known, Lucy Maddox.” He snaked his arm up, reaching for hair pins. Maybe they could sneak into the tack room after all.

She swatted his arm, her pleasure twinkling out her eyes again. “Most likely the craziest, too. Come on. We need to go talk with the children, otherwise Gideon and Evie will be out here looking for us.”

“Long as you're crazy for me I'll be a happy man.” He pulled her under his arm and steered them to the house. “So, I was magnificent, huh?”

She hugged his waist. “You know I love it when you roar.”

This story is hot off the press--I just wrapped it up last night before shutting down early to relax with my family. Cyrus and Lucy Maddox are the parents of the main characters I'll be writing about in my next writing project, but I love them, so I thought I introduce them to you. Next week, hopefully, you'll get to meet their kids, well, at least a few of them. *wink* We'll see how the week goes...


  1. OOooh I love the spunk in these two!You definitely whet my appetite on this one. Great job!

  2. Wonderful writing. I'm looking for the next part.

  3. So cool! I love the characters! Great writing, Peejers! Thanks for sharing.

  4. Oooh! This is your happy place, Peej! You are GOOD at this! I loved it! Especially the 'magnificent' way you worked that word into the story. and I love both characters! Hilariously special!

  5. Love this, Peej. I posted a prairie story, too, but so far, all of mine are repeats-lol! Looks like another good book is in the works here, Girlie!

  6. Love their spunk! These are wonderful folks--I can see why you love them. Can't wait to meet the rest of 'em!

  7. Yea! A new story and new characters. I love fiction from this time period. And I love the character change in Cyrus when in his wife's presence and in her arms. Super writing!

  8. I'm looking forward to more (and having a daughter, I reckon I've got a certain kinship to old Cyrus...). Nice set-up and background story.


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