Chapter 5

"Time to get up!" Alora heard Mama Adams call through the door, three sharp loud knocks on the door then a lantern flooded the room with light. Alora groaned and rolled away from the light source. "The rooster done crowed, it's time to do chores!" Alora felt Mama Adams shake her.

"Okay, I'm getting up." Alora said as she sat up and scratched her head. "I need Jessy to help me dress."

"Nope, no time for fancy skirt frames. Here's a petticoat, it should fit you nicely, I wore it when I was younger. Just put one of your regular skirts over it then come down stairs, I have coffee on right now." Mama Adams told her as she left the room.

Alora slid out of bed Mama Adams had left an oil lamp in her room so that Alora could have a bit if light to dress by. After pulling off her nightgown she poured a bit of water into the basin on the dresser, she washed her face then got dressed. To Alora's surprise the petticoat Mama Adams had left her fit perfectly without having to be cinched up all tight. Opening her trunks she dug until she found one of her plain checker pattern skirts along with the shirt that matched.

Once fully dressed and hair pulled up into a braided bun she did a couple turns in front of the mirror, pleased with how she looked she picked up the front of her dragging skirt with one hand, the oil lamp in the other she found her way to the kitchen.

"Good morning!" Mama Adams said as she set a mug of black liquid in front of Alora.

"Oh thank you, no… I don't drink coffee." Alora said wrinkling her nose.

"Sweetie, I guess it's time to learn." Mama Adams chuckled. Alora frowned, she had tasted her father's coffee before and found it bitter. "I have sugar and cream to put into it." Mama Adams figured that was the reason Alora didn't like coffee. She carried a sugar bowl and a porcelain cream container and set them down in front of the beautiful young woman. "Around here, ya need the coffee to make it through the prebreakfast chores."

"Pre… prebreakfast chores?" Alora was always woken up with breakfast on a cart delivered to her room.

"Yes, prebreakfast… where do you think the eggs for breakfast come from?" Mama Adams asked her. "Where do you get the milk for pancakes?"

"Well I… I never really thought about it." Alora chewed on her bottom lip.

"Finish your coffee and then we start the chores." Mama Adams said as she took a large swig of her cup of coffee. Alora on the other hand tested and experimented with the cream and sugar until the coffee became sweet and a bit creamy, satisfied with its flavor she drank the quickly cooling liquid as quickly as she could.

"You might want to put on a shawl, it's a bit nippy outside right now." The son was just starting to rise, casting golden light over the entire ranch. Alora stopped and admired how beautiful everything looked. "Lets go collect the eggs." Mama Adams told her as she led the way to the large chicken coop.

As soon as the two ladies entered the chicken coop the hens began to cluck angrily, "Shoo! Shoo you birds!" Mama pushed the chickens out of the way motioning for Alora to follow. "The elder woman lifted chickens off of the nests passing Alora warm eggs until the basket they had brought with them was full.

"Well that was easier than I thought it would be." Alora smiled.

"This is usually a young'un's chore, when you and Danny have children they can collect the eggs for you." Mama Adams told Alora as they exited the coop. "Now we need to milk a few cows."

"Cows!" Alora stood motionless, she had always been afraid of the larger animals. Growing up she never rode a horse, let alone get close enough for it the hurt her, she always road in carriages' with drivers.

"Ya gotta learn some time… Now is a good time to start." Mama Adams chucked. "Here's your bucket." She said as she handed the pail over to Alora. "Don't worry, I'll show you… once you got it down I'll be going back to the kitchen to start breakfast." The plump woman grabbed a three legged stool and placed it beside the first cow, then reached for the bucket she had given to Alora. She grabbed two of the teats and began milking the cow, squeezing at the top and forcing the milk out of the utters. Within just a few minutes she switched to the other two teats and in less than five minutes the cow was drained. Alora watched closely thinking that this shouldn't be too hard.

"Ok, now it's your turn." Mama Adams told her moving the bucket under the next cow, and repositioning the stool. "Don't for get to warm your hands up, they don't like cold hands grabbin' them."

"Oh….. Okay." Alora said nervously as she sat down on the stool and rubbed her hands together to create warmth. She cautiously took hold of the utters like she had been shown then slowly copied Mama Adams' motions.

"Looks like you got it down." Mama Adams told her. "I'm gunna start breakfast now." The woman said as she walked out of the barn leaving Alora alone with several cows to milk.

Danny didn't sleep well that night, no matter how hard he tried to focus on other things all he could see in his mind was Alora's smiling face and how sweet her voice sounded when she thanked him for the candy.

He could tell morning was close and gave up on any chance of sleeping. He went into the barn and climbed up to the loft, he sat in the upper doors, hanging one leg out and watched his bedroom window. He got goose bumps again thinking of her sleeping in his bed at that very moment. "Why do I feel like this?" He asked himself aloud. He ran his fingers through his hair scratching at the same time, he wanted to be close to her, and he wanted to talk to her. He watched as a lantern began to light up the bedroom, his mother was waking Alora up for what he knew would be morning chores. He wondered how well the city girl would do with farm chores. Another lantern was lit in the room and he knew that the young woman would be changing her clothes, being the gentleman his mother raised he left the barn loft and started some coffee on the iron pipe stove in the bunkhouse.

After he had a couple cups of coffee he went about starting his chores, while hard at work he heard a high pitched scream and ran to its source. He found Alora in the barn, he was laying on the ground, worried that she had been hurt he ran to her, when he got to her she was crying. "Are you okay?" He asked concerned. "You're not bleading or anything are you?"

"I… I can't do this!" She cried. "I have animal…. Animal stuff on my skirt!" He chuckled softly. "It's not funny!" She yelled. "I don't know how to milk cows or anything… I tried to milk the cow like she showed me but I couldn't get the milk to come out as fast as she did, then the cow kicked the milk bucket and it went all over me!" A bit of milk dripped from her hair. "And I hope she doesn't get mad at me for not having as much milk as I'm supposed to… Walking around the chicken coop… I got chicken yuck on my skirt… now I have cow yuck on me too! My shoes are ruined! And I don't even fit in here! "

"Oh…" He shook his head trying his hardest to not smile or laugh. "It will be okay." He reached his hand out to help her up. "She knows you've never done these things before, you'll get better with practice."

"I doubt it… I never really was good at anything." The girl's bottom lip stuck out and he had to resist the urge to kiss the soft flesh.

"Let's get you back to milking the cows, I'll help." He told her picking up the stool and bucket.

"Don't you have other chores you have to do?" She asked him with a sniffle.

"Yeah, but those can wait a bit, sit." He told her gesturing to the stool. She sat back down and rubbed her hands together, and took hold of the cow's teats, and began to milk the cows again. He watched for a few minutes and discovered what her problem is. "Let me show you." He told her, she beganto get up. "No, no stay put." He told her he squatted behind her, reaching his arms around her and putting his hands on her. "Feel." He told her as his hands made her hands milk the cow properly, he breathed in deeply taking in her soft rose scent, his mind drifting away and before he knew it the cow was completely drained.

"Uuummmm…." Alora had never had a man so close to her before and she was having a hard time thinking. "The… the cow is empty." She told him.

"Oh, uuummmmmm…. Sorry, I wasn't paying attention." He told her as he let go of her soft hands and backed away. "You… You should be able to finish the other three cows on your own." He told her then left the barn as quickly as he could. Once back outside he began cursing to himself. "Why? Why did you do that? What are you thinking?! Now you have more distractions than before!" He shook his head.