Under the Amish Sky

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Chapter 9

* Authors Note *

I’m so sorry I haven’t updated the story. My husband and I found out we were pregnant, the pandemic happened, I got writers block, then gave birth to my beautiful baby girl, my life got busy and I’m just now able to return to writing in my free time. Updates may start off slowly bc I will be going back to work part time. But I will try to update at least once or twice a week until I finish. I have an idea for a sequel as well as other book ideas. I have gone back adjusted some of the story. Not much. But just where I had started saying I and instead of her. Please continue to give me kind but constructive criticism! I’ll take it all into account as I continue writing. Thanks for your patience!

She sighed, tapping her foot on the the floor of the buggy. She had been waiting for Eli to return to the buggy for nearly 20 minutes. Surely it wouldn’t take that long for Bridgett and Lisa to pack up what few belongings she had. She glanced out the window for the fifty millionth time. Still no sight of Eli. Or any movement in the house for that matter. Just as she was about to get out of the buggy the front door of the house opened. Out walked Eli with her one simple black suitcase. A very stern look on his face. Followed by a worried Abraham, a concerned Bridgett, and a crying little Lisa. She started to get out but the quick shake of Eli’s head stopped her in her tracks. He quickly loaded her suit case, took his seat, and immediately urged the horse forward, back in the direction of his home. Tears formed in her eyes, and slowly slid down her cheeks. She watched out the window as they left. Lisa nodded her head once as a farewell. Tears still streaming down her her face. Rayna lifted her hand and let it rest against the window. Once they were a ways down the road, Eli slid open the window. “I’m sorry, that must have been hard for you.” Rayna wiped a stray tear from her cheek. And sniffled a response. “They felt like family to me. I may never see them again.” She said, sadly. “Maybe, maybe not. It’s in the lord’s hands now.” He responded. She snorted. She’s never been religious. But she had learned to accept the idea of it during her time there. All she knew was that things from now on would be uncertain. Whether the lord was real or not, she hoped he’d keep the Gingrich’s safe.

They were now just a short distance from Eli’s house. She’d never actually seen his house up close, just in passing. They had just turned off the main road and was traveling down his long driveway. His house resembled the Gingerich’s. Only a little smaller. She could see, just a little towards his back yard, the outhouse which was still being worked on. “Why is it taking so long for your outhouse to be built” she wondered out loud. Eli snorted, a sound she hadn’t really heard him make. She looked at him amused. “I’m working on it by myself, believe it or not, it’s a lot harder than I thought. Our people don’t really have much knowledge when it comes to updating our way of life around here. I only have the notes Abraham had when he built his a few years ago.” Eli said. “So... how am I to shower now? Since I can’t go back to the Gingerich’s house.” She asked. “You’ll have to do without a shower. Until Agent Presley can relocate you in the next day or so.” He answered. She looked at him, appalled. He saw her expression and rolled his eyes. “I’m certain you will not parish just for going one day without a washing.” He said with a shake of his head. Rayna feigned a dramatic gasp. “Well I’m quite certain I might perish, thank you very much.” She said in an appalled tone. Eli laughed a little, looking at her with one of his rare smiles. He seemed to have caught himself because just as quickly as it appeared, it disappeared. “You should do that more often you know.” She told him as he parked the buggy near his barn. “Do what?” He asked, as he climbed down the buggy, and opened her door to help her out. She looked at him full in the face and took his outstretched hand. “Smile or laugh.” She said making eye contact with him as she stepped out of the buggy. He returned her eye contact. A light blush creeping into his cheeks. Their hands stayed joined. She had one foot still in the buggy, the other on the ground. As she moved to lower her other foot, her other leg gave way, pitching her into Eli’s arms before she could hit the ground. They stayed that way for one intense moment. She was blissfully aware of what his strong arms felt like wrapped around her waste. The way her breasts felt, pressed against his hard chest. His bright blue eyes for just a moment flicked it’s gaze to her lips. The light blush turning to a scarlet red, spreading down from his cheeks to his neck. She thought that maybe if she leaned in a bit more maybe he would meet her there. She leaned in slightly, angling her face a little more towards his. Her hands which were resting on his shoulders, slid slightly up to his collar almost to his neck. She paused there, waiting to see what he’d do. She watched as his eyes, once again dipped between her gaze and her lips. Heat resonated between them. Just as she’d made up her mind to kiss him, he jerked himself away from her, with a cough, and an embarrassed expression. He’d removed himself so quickly she very nearly ended up on her ass anyway.

Eli quickly went to unhook the horse. “If you’ll just wait a moment I will put Georgie away, and then help you with your bag.” He said quickly. “Wait...Georgie?” She asked confused. He nodded briskly. “The horse” he replied. “Oh.” She said. She waited as he put the horse away. As he did so, she got lost in her thoughts. She was so close to tasting those sweet lips of his. Something she had fantasized about for what seemed like forever. She could still feel the heat of his body on hers. She bit her bottom lip in thought.

“Would he ever consider kissing me? He seemed so close to it. I should have seized the moment. I shouldn’t have allowed room for hesitation.” She glanced in his direction, which was just inside the barn.

Should I kiss him when he comes back out? Would his people exile him if they found out?... Surely not, they aren’t a cult...” She started to doubt herself.

Would he even want me to? What if I imagined our attraction. He could possibly not even be attracted to me...” Her thoughts were cut short. Eli was making his way out of the barn.

She must of had an intense look on her face because he took one look at her and seemed confused. “Elizabeth? What’s wrong?” He asked, concerned. He came to a stop in front of her. She opened her mouth but nothing came out. What could she even say? “I.... N-nothing. Nothing is wrong” she said quickly, and she made her way to his front porch. Eli scrambled to grab her suitcase and follow her to the porch. “Something must be? You looked like a puckering fish” he said coming up behind her. She whirled around, stopping him midway on the steps. “Excuse me? I did not!?” She put her hands on her hips with a quick sigh. “What’s wrong with me? What the hell is wrong with you?” She asked, exasperated. Eli looked confused. “I don’t understand?” He questioned. She threw her hands up. “Ugh! Men are so clueless. Do you even know what you did to me back there?” She asked, pacing his front porch. Eli watched her carefully like she was losing her mind. “I...apparently no? What on earth has gotten into you?” He asked, carefully. She stopped pacing and marched right up to him. Getting as close as they were outside of the buggy. Eli watched in alarm, unable to move. She pressed herself against him, placing her hands on either side of his face. Relishing the feeling of his strong jaw under her palms. Her face a mere inch or two away. Still he was unable to move away from her. She wasn’t sure if it was because he was still in shock or if he just didn’t want to. She waited for just a quick moment. She watched the heat creep back into his cheeks. She could feel sexual tension rise between them. She allowed her mouth to drift closer to his, just a breath away, never breaking eye contact. He stayed, frozen in place. He seemed to be holding his breath. “Nothing is wrong with me...What is wrong with you?” She asked. “Am I imagining this? This tension I could cut with a knife. Am I imagining your reaction? Am I imagining the way you look at me when you think I’m not watching?” She asked. He swallowed, hard. She watched his Adam’s apple bob in his throat. Still he said nothing. Still, he didn’t move away. “Where I come from, men aren’t afraid to make their move. And women aren’t either.” She said, bringing her eyes back to his. He watched her, still holding his breath. “But I won’t force myself on someone who doesn’t want me.” She said sadly. She removed herself from him quickly. Pulling her hands back to her sides. The air between them instantly felt cold. He all but almost stumbled forward from the abrupt distance being forced between them. She turned her back and walked the short distance to his front door. There she waited, with her back still turned. She could hear him release the breath he was withholding. He slowly walked to the door, unlocking it and pushing open. He stepped aside so that she could enter. Neither of them made eye contact. She stepped in and waited for him to follow.

His home resembled the Gingerich’s. The layout was much the same. He stepped into the house behind her, shutting the door. “I don’t have a spare bedroom prepared, but the sofa is comfortable. It will do for tonight.” He said stepping around her, and leading her into the spacious living room. He set her suit case down beside the plain sofa. Then turned to look at her. She nodded briskly. “If you’ll show me to the kitchen I will start lunch.” She said avoiding his eyes. He nodded. “Just at the end of the hallway.” He said as he nodded in the direction of the kitchen. She turned and headed that way without another word. She could hear him sigh as she left. Once out of sight, she shook her head. “I’ve lost my mind, what was I thinking making a move like that.” she said to herself.

She busied herself making something simple that Bridgett had shown her how to make. It was quick and easy, and required little clean up. Once finished, she set the table and called Eli in. She was already seated when he entered the room. She wasn’t sure what he was doing in the meantime, but he seemed to have forgotten their altercation on the front porch. He sat across from her. “Ah, this looks great Elizabeth. Bridgett has taught you well.” He said. Rayna only nodded. She bent her head for prayer. Eli coughed awkwardly, then started the prayer aloud. Once he finished, they ate in silence. When they finished the meal Rayna got up and started the washing up. Eli sat still as she did so. When she finished the washing she left the room. She found herself wandering back out to the front porch. She allowed herself to get lost in her thoughts, taking a seat on the top step of the porch.

She wasn’t sure how long she had sat there. She was still lost in thought when she heard the front door open and close softly. She felt Eli take a seat next to her, allowing some space between them. She kept her eyes on the rolling hills in front of her. There was nothing but corn fields for miles. They sat there for a moment in silence.

“It’s not that I don’t want you...” Eli started. Rayna snorted. “Please don’t tell me I’m about to get the ‘It’s not you, it’s me’ speech from an Amish guy.” She said, smacking her forehead. Eli chuckled. “Well... technically, yes.” He said. “It’s not that I don’t want you, Elizabeth. Clearly there is...something... between us. But...” he said. He paused for a moment. “It’s my faith. And your lack of it. Even with how much our community has evolved, it’s still forbidden.You are not officially part of our community.” He explained, with a pained look on his face. “And if I were?” She asked. He looked at her shocked. “If you were part of our community?” He asked. She nodded her head. “I would have asked Abraham for your hand in marriage the day that I met you.” Eli responded without hesitation. She looked at him then, when she did she was met with a pair of piercing blue eyes. His eyes turned sad. “Even if you asked to become an official member of our community, and committed to our faith, I could never ask you to stay when the coast became clear and safe for you to return to your old life. And I wouldn’t leave here to follow you there. This is where I belong. And you belong in the city. As much as I desire to have you, it can not be so.” He said. They stared at each other for a moment. She sighed. “I understand... but it doesn’t mean I have to like it.” She said with a sad smile. He returned her smile with a sad one of his own.

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