The War of 1812 has cooled off, however Captain Lawrence Orr and Miss Abigail Aimes have new problems. Abigail's father is determined that Lawrence has no future and is not deserving of his eldest daughter, and has forbidden the two to even speak much less wed. While Doctor Aimes has another suitor lined up for Abigail, the flirtatious Barbara Aimes is set on bringing her sister and the man that she, too, loves together. And, while this drama plays out, a sinister figure lurks nearby and spies for the Americans, in preparation for another invasion of Upper Canada. Can Captain Orr discover the spy before he kills again? Can Abigail and Captain Orr find a way to overcome her father's prejudices? Or will the spy add Abigail to his list of victims and then lead the Americans across the Niagara River and to victory? This sequel to The Doctor's Daughter is an adult adventure and romance for readers who are 18+.
“You have been a foolish girl,” chided Abigail, as the two sisters slipped quietly into the kitchen. The elder sister refused to look Barbara in the eye. The room was very orderly and freshly cleaned, which was no surprise to the younger Aimes sister. Abigail, she thought, never had so much as one light brown hair out of place, even at the worst of times.
“I have?” Barbara’s mouth dropped open in surprise at her elder sibling’s admonishment. She removed her travelling cloak and set it over a chair, then pushed a wayward strand of blonde hair back under her bonnet. With a roll of her eyes, Abigail picked up the discarded cloak. “No,” stated Barbara, “’tis my cloak so let me dispose of it.”
Abigail watched in wonder as her younger sister actually performed a household chore without the need for repeated chiding beforehand. While tucking a cloak away in the wardrobe was a simple task, Barbara had sat idle for years while the elder Aimes sister had done all the family’s cleaning and cooking.
“What cause have you to chide me for being a foolish girl...” Barbara’s voice dropped off as she realized what she was saying. “I mean, sister, what recent act have I done that makes you think I am foolish.”
“You seduced him!” hissed the elder sister. She tugged at her own light brown hair and still would not look Barbara in the eye.
“I admitted this much to you before I departed to collect Father. Lawrence would make any woman an ideal husband, so you have no reason to label me a fool simply because I used what tools I have to lure him. And, as you well know, I had thought he had feelings for me and I,” she raised her chin, “...I did as I saw fit to establish a happy future for myself.” Then she nodded at her sister, for emphasis.
“A courtship does not begin with premarital intimacy!”
Barbara’s eyes flashed. “If you have not taken advantage of my absence these last two days, sister, then I will call you a fool to your face. As I informed you: I was leaving the two of you in seclusion so you would become better acquainted.”
“Better acquainted?” Abigail stuttered, then grabbed a pot from the stove and headed outside through the rear door of the house. Barbara followed her, then worked the pump for her sister — again to Abigail’s surprise.
“You have availed yourself of the opportunity, have you not Abigail? Lawrence’s heart was always yours, even when he and I briefly thought it belonged to me.” Abigail did not respond to the question. “Oh! You call me fool, yet I have charted my course and set my sails whilst you busied yourself baking cookies and worrying over the larder! Why could you not cast yourself on the wild seas and live? Must you always be so proper? So obedient?”
“Your maps are faulty and lead you to an end you shall not like!” countered Abigail.
“At least I live! Sister, why could you not have taken him in your arms and enjoyed what time you were given? Don’t you know that we have but a fleeting time on this mortal world? We have heard so often enough in that boring old church! Lawrence lives and breathes, and he was here, alone with you in our home all night, yet you cowered on your bed with your sheets pulled over your head!”
“I did not cower in my bed...” Abigail whispered.
“Then you did...!” Barbara released the pump handle, tightened her hands into fists and spun on the spot. “Oh, you finally cast aside fear and doubt, and took a plunge!”
The elder Aimes sister remembered her fear, her uncertainty, and then her heathen pleasure at the intimacies she had shared with Lawrence during the night. Momentarily, she was lost in the recollection of his firm hands guiding and caressing her, his lips brushing against her shoulder, her neck, and her back. The act had been like nothing she had ever imagined, and lying in his arms afterward had surely felt like Heaven itself. “We should not talk of this!”
“Oh, but we must!” Barbara reached out and took her sister’s hands in hers. “Everyone is so fussy about such things. You must tell me everything! And then we’ll compare...”
“...AND I SHALL NOT COUNTENANCE YOUR ADMISSION TO THIS HOUSE AGAIN!” shouted Doctor Aimes from inside the house, interrupting their conversation.
The two sisters stared at each other in shock, and then hurried back into their home. The front door slammed shut, and they rushed through the house to find their enraged father struggling to light his pipe by the fireplace, his hands shaking.
“Father! What has become of Lawrence?” demanded Abigail.
“Captain Orr,” Barbara reminded her sister as discretely as she could.
“That man shall not have entry into this house again, nor shall you speak with him! I forbid it!”
“Father...!” begged Abigail.
Doctor Aimes growled in fury. Then, his eyes softened as he looked into Abigail’s face. “Captain Orr dared to ask me for your hand, Abigail. If I had only been here to protect you against such men!” He began pacing.
“What slight has he offered?” asked Abigail, quietly. Barbara knew her sister was submitting to her father’s will and she felt a cold chill.
“That penniless officer could offer you no real future, Abigail.” The doctor turned to Barbara and pointed his pipe at her. “Mark my words both of you! A Captain’s salary may seem like a gold mine while you wear a maiden’s bonnet, but it’s a pittance once the war has ended. And if he were to be slain in battle, you would have next to nothing Abigail.”
“Father,” began Abigail, “Captain Orr has more to offer than...”
“My mind is made up, Abigail!”