Blacksmith’s Heart ~ A Love Under the Sun Romance by Dellani Oakes ~ Part 74

“We haven’t really thought about it,” Hana said. “Why?”

“Because Uncle Ed and I were married in November, a week before Thanksgiving. Would you consider that?”

“We sure will,” Hana said. “I would love to share your special day. If so, we’ll have to get hopping. It’s mid-September. November fifteenth will be on top of us in no time.”

“Talk to him about it.” Enid put her hand on Hana’s. “And ask your mother to help. I know it would make Aileen happy to help you with your special day.”

“I will. Thank you, Auntie.”

Hana approached Jasper when he was setting up to shoe the family horses. They also had some new arrivals. Mitch had convinced Jerry to adopt some Mustangs, and they badly needed hoof care. He, his brothers and cousins had a system in place to do the job quickly and efficiently.

“Hey, baby.” He gave Hana a distracted kiss. “What brings you out here on this chilly morning?”

“Besides visiting the most handsome farrier in the whole state of New Mexico?”

Jasper chuckled. “When you start to butter me up like that, I worry, Hana Belle.”

“Auntie asked if we’d set a date. We haven’t really talked about it.”

“No kidding? She anxious for us to get married or something?”

“She’d like us to get married on her anniversary, if you’re not opposed to it.”

“November? That’s kind of coming up quick, isn’t it?”

“Yes. But it might not be a bad idea.” Her tone changed somewhat.

Jasper’s green eyes riveted on her. “What aren’t you telling me, Hana?”

“Well….” She wasn’t sure how to tell him. Better to blurt it out and pick up pieces after he had his heart attack. “I’m pregnant,” she said quietly.

Jasper dropped his hammer, his hands suddenly numb. Fortunately, he missed his foot. His eyes widened. “For real?” His face nearly split in two, he grinned so widely. “Really? Oh, Hana, that’s amazing! Just utterly fantastic! Really?” He picked her up, whooping loudly.

The horses snorted in chorus, startled by the big, noisy human. The other men were equally as startled. All of them wandered over, grinning, waiting for information.

“Yes!” Jasper whooped again. “Really?” He laughed loudly, throwing his hat in the air.

“What’s got you so happy?” Jimmy asked.

“We’re getting married!” Jasper yelped, whooping again.

“We know that already, blood.” Jimmy’s expression changed as realization struck. “Son-of-a-bitch! Hana, that’s great news!”

“She didn’t say anything,” Jeff said.

Jimmy stared down his twin, raising an eyebrow. It took a second, but Jeff finally grasped the unspoken news.

“Hana Belle, that’s fantastic!”

“Why are y’all just congratulating me? This is Jasper’s yahoo moment too.”

“Because we like you more than him. Does anyone else know?” Jeff asked.

“Auntie figured it out. I told Marnie when I first suspected.”

“You told her before me?” Jasper said, sounding wounded.

“Best friends,” Hana said. “I wanted her advice, and I wanted to be sure before I said anything.”

The men drifted off, leaving them to talk.

“I didn’t tell anyone else but Marnie,” Hana assured him. “I went to see Dr. Weatherly yesterday and she confirmed.”

“This is the greatest news ever,” Jasper said, kissing her deeply. “Oh, I love you so, Hana Belle.”

“I love you, too, Jasper.”

The morning of November Fifteenth dawned, with frost in the air and the prospect of snow in the weather report. The family members had arrived from out of town, the day before. Mitch and his family had driven up in a huge, expensive RV he’d bought for the occasion. The big house and cabins were full to bursting. Some of the other guests had also brought RVs and campers. Some brave souls had even brought tents.

There was no room big enough for all of them, so the wedding was held outside, using the front porch of the big house. Marnie and Aunt Enid were Hana’s attendants. Jeff and Jimmy stood up with Jasper. The ceremony was beautiful, simplistic and everything Hana could have wanted. Her mother had brought it all together perfectly, with the help of Jasper’s mother and grandmother.

A huge barbecue followed, with lots of music and dancing, until the weather took a turn, driving them indoors.

“Y’all better get on the road,” Tyee said, gazing at the sky. “There’s a bad storm coming.”

“Is that some fancy Injun shit, Dad?” Jasper teased.

“Nope, weather app on my phone,” Tyee replied, chuckling. “Jeff will take you to the airport and you should be in Albuquerque before five. From there, you connect in Dallas and should be well on your way before this thing hits.”

“Where are we going?” Hana asked, not for the first time.

“You’ll see, Miss Anxious,” Jasper teased.

“That’s Mrs. Anxious,” Hana countered.

“I stand corrected. Let’s get changed so Jeff won’t get stuck coming home.”

©2022 Dellani Oakes

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