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 Practically Almost

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New Pioneer
New Pioneer

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Location : long island, ny
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PostSubject: Practically Almost   Mon Oct 20, 2008 10:55 pm

link to the complete story down below

Practically Almost

A fill in between LIW and Divorce WGS

“My bag,” Laura said, after Manly had kissed her. She started for the departing stage, but Almanzo held her back.

“Forget about your bag,” he said, his smile widening. “Let’s go tell your folks.”

“Well they’re in Sleepy Eye for Mary’s anniversary.”

“Darn, I wanna tell them.”

“Well, so do I,”

“Let’s go there,” he said, still smiling, holding onto her.

“To Sleepy Eye?” she questioned, looking back at him.

“To Sleepy Eye,” Almanzo confirmed.

And so here they were, in Sleepy Eye at one of the rooms in the Blind School, man and wife, just as Laura knew it would always be. She turned to watch Manly sleeping next to her. He was so close she could feel his breath on her face. She reached up and found his hand tightly entwined with hers. So it wasn’t a dream, she smiled, snuggling tightly against him. She hated to wake him; he looked so peaceful and calm.

Manly,” she called softly, not wanting to touch him, not wanting to break the bond. “Manly.”

His eyes flew open at the sound of his nickname and he smiled.

“Beth,” he whispered, looking into her brown eyes. He picked his hand up and found it still entwined with hers, not wanting to break the connection. “You’re still here.”

“And just where did you think I’d be, Almanzo Wilder?” she asked playfully, pushing herself up. Not breaking the bond, he brought their hands up to his lips, kissed hers, and then pulled her close. They made love once more, their hands still entwined, their bodies wrapped around one another.

They lay together, their energy spent. They looked at each other, hands still bonded, smiling.

“Beth,” he breathed, “I could never have imagined, not in my wildest dreams.”

He grabbed for her, kissed her and pulled her close. “I love you,”

“I love you too, Manly,” she breathed.

Almanzo smiled and bent his head down to kiss her, when the knock came on the room door.

“Hey you two, time to get going,” It was her Pa.

“Be right there,” they called together, but there was no answer.

“I can’t let you go,” he breathed, “I don’t want to let you go.”

They kissed again, but this time, she cut it short. “Come on, we’ve got a farm to run.”

“You’re right, we’ve got our whole lives in front of us,” he answered, smiling. He started off his side and she started off hers, but something held them back.

They were still holding hands.

They turned, each calling one another by the nicknames they gave each other, then laughed together.

“I don’t want to let go,” she said.

“I can’t let go,” he said.

They looked into each other’s eyes and started to kiss again. Another knock.

“Ready yet?” Charles’ voice called out from the other end.

“We’re going to have to let go if we have to get dressed,” she said, trying to pull away, but Almanzo had other thoughts.

“Maybe we can try to get dressed like this,” he smiled, holding up their hands.

“Well,” she answered, “you know what Pa says, with confidence and determination, you can lick anything.”

Moments later, they had both come downstairs, cleaned, dressed and still holding hands.

“You sure did a good job with breakfast,” Caroline said to her eldest daughter Mary. She was getting up to help clear the dishes. She looked at Laura, who was getting the last of them. “Didn’t you have a bag with you when we dropped you off at the stage yesterday?”

“My bag,” Laura said, forgetting that she let it go to Radnor. “All my clothes are in there.”

“It’s in Radnor,” Almanzo said, “we let it go there yesterday.”

“Don’t you think that you should go get it back?” Caroline asked.

“Can’t we just wire Radnor and tell them to send it back?” Adam suggested.

“It ain’t in Radnor, I just been down to the post office,” Houston said, walking into the kitchen. “It’s in Springfield over at the railroad station. It’s on its way back to Walnut Grove on the next stage over.”

“Well,” Almanzo said, “We’d better go meet that stage.”

“Last stage, accordin’ to Springfield, left about half hour ago. Should be arrivin’ about an hour from now, dependin’ on conditions, I expect.”

“Well,” Charles said, getting up. “What are we waiting for?”

After some tearful farewells between Hester Sue, Adam and Mary, Almanzo, Laura and Eliza Jane squeezed into the seat on Almanzo’s rig. Charles and Caroline were behind them.

The rain suddenly started out of nowhere. It had been really cloudy in Sleepy Eye, but the sky darkened and the sound of thunder echoed in the distance.

“Good news is that we’re almost home,” Charles said to Caroline as the summer shower started.

“The other good news is that summer storms don’t last long,” Caroline smiled.

And it was true, the storm stopped as soon as it started, but everyone was wet.

Almanzo, Laura and Eliza Jane said goodbye to Caroline and Charles at the fork in the road. Caroline invited everyone over for dinner at the end of the week, a goodbye for Eliza Jane.

After dropping the two women at the school, Almanzo went down to Nellie’s to meet the stage. Laura had already described the bag as a large maroon carpet bag that was her mother’s. There was one like that sitting by itself when he got there. The driver told him no one had claimed it yet and that was the one he took. Luckily, it turned out to be the right one.

Eliza wasn’t surprised to see Albert up in the front of the room teaching the kids, but what she was surprised to see was how well the children were behaving.

Albert’s puzzled eyes quickly shifted to Laura’s as she walked in behind Eliza Jane. He knew immediately what had happened because she was supposed to be in Ohio by now and nowhere near Walnut Grove. She nodded her head and smiled at him and Albert smiled back.

“Thank you for taking care of the class, Albert,” Eliza Jane said, as Laura put their books and bonnets on the desk.

“Class, please come to order,” Eliza Jane said, sternly. “I have a few announcements to make.”

“I would like to introduce you all to my new sister in law and your new teacher, Laura Ingalls Wilder,” she said, which only made Albert smile wider.

“New teacher?” Willie asked, fidgeting with something or another.

“Yes,” Eliza continued. “Friday will be my last day here, I will be moving to St. Louis. I will miss all of you.”

“Laura’s going to be our new teacher?” Willie asked, abandoning whatever he had been playing with. He just looked up at her.

“It’s not Laura anymore, Willie,” Eliza Jane told him, “You will all call her Mrs. Wilder from now on.”

“CLASS!” Laura said, pounding the desk for order, since the entire classroom broke into giggles and laughter. “The sooner you behave, the sooner you can all go home.”

“You mean we can leave?” Willie smiled.

“Only for today.” Eliza Jane said. “Just be prepared for a long day tomorrow. And just you remember that I’m still your teacher until this Friday. Now, class dismissed.”

The children all ran out of the school, except for Albert who ran up to Laura and hugged her.

“When?” he asked, excitedly, releasing her, taking her left hand in his.

“Albert,” Laura said, looking at Eliza Jane.

“Was it last night? I thought that…”

“I’ve got the bag, Beth.” Almanzo walked into the schoolroom. “I asked Mr. Miller for the day…”

Albert turned when he heard Almanzo’s voice. “Hello, brother in law,” he said, walking over towards him, hand extended.

“Hey, Albert,” Manly said, pulling him into a big bear hug. “How are you doin' this fine mornin'?”

“You’ve got to tell me everything, Almanzo. I thought that you two were..”

“We can talk about that on the way back to our place,” Almanzo released him and reached out for Laura and pulled her close. “You can hop in the back of the rig and we’ll fill you in.”

“I’ve never been upstairs before,” Laura said as she followed Manly to his room.

“Well, now you have.” He smiled. “This,” he said extending his hand “is where I sleep. And from now on,” he said, putting his arms around her waist and pulling her close, “is where you’re going to sleep.”

His kissed her, hard. Now he knew what to expect, now he wasn’t as nervous. He let himself go and so did Laura, the both of them feeling comfortable.

“Manly,” she whispered, trying to pull him down.

“Beth,” he breathed, coming up for air, “I’ve got my chores; Skip and Barnum need to be unhitched, Bessie needs milkin’ and the chickens…”

She was playing with his belt, loosening it up and tugging at his trouser leg.

“Just once,” she whispered, kissing him harder. “We may never get another chance like this. Eliza’s gone to send a wire to St. Louis and…”

“I should be doin’ my chores,” he said, in between kisses. “Oh, Beth,” he breathed and they tumbled onto his bed, forgetting everything while he lost himself in her arms.

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