Elijah And The Widow (Lancaster County Weddings 4)
make it.”
    The little frown that had settled between her eyebrows eased. “I’m glad you liked it.” She bit her lip, drawing attention to her mouth. A slight breeze teased the tiny tendrils of her dark hair that had escaped from her kerchief while she was gardening earlier. She had the longest lashes, a nose that was small and rounded at the tip. He studied her mouth. Her lips were dark pink and nicely formed. He felt an odd kick to his midsection as he gazed into her brown eyes, eyes that for some reason held confusion...and maybe a little fear.
    He dragged his eyes from her face to the distance, where cattle and sheep grazed in Martha’s pasture. He had no business admiring Martha’s features, no right to be thinking about her in any way other than as a woman who had hired him for a job.
    Ike King had been dead for several months, he reminded himself, and Martha was his grieving widow. The sooner he finished this job, the better. His only focus should be on opening his own carriage shop. He stood abruptly. “I enjoyed the food. Danki. ”
    Something flickered in her gaze. “You’re willkomm .”
    She left for the house, and he headed back to his roller tray. Eli felt unsettled as he watched her go.
    * * *
    She carried the dishes to the kitchen sink and set them in the dish basin. As she washed plates and cups, Martha gazed out the window toward the bench in the backyard.
    There was no sign of Eli. She went to the window and saw that his vehicle was still parked in the yard. I shouldn’t have sat outside with him. She was inviting trouble by spending any time in his company that didn’t involve a discussion or an action involving the house repairs.
    She went to the sink to finish the dishes. She was overwhelmed by the urge to watch Eli work but didn’t give in to it. Instead she dried the dishes and put them away before she returned to her vegetable garden.
    She had knelt on a folded towel when she heard the clank of metal against wood; the noise came from the front of her house. She narrowed her gaze. That can’t be the ladder. Intuition had her quickly setting down her spade before she stood. With brisk strides, she rounded the house, then stopped in her tracks.
    “Elijah John Lapp!” she scolded when he’d taken a step up the ladder.
    He froze, climbed down and faced her. He looked like a guilty little boy who’d been caught with his hand in a cookie jar.
    “Have you forgotten what happened to Horseshoe Joe?” Martha regarded him sternly with her hands on her hips. She felt herself softening at his approach.
    “I was just going to fix a shutter,” he admitted. “It’s only a few feet up.”
    She saw the crooked shutter in question. “Not without anyone holding your ladder.” The shutter did need to be fixed as she could tell that in its present condition she wouldn’t be able close or secure it against high winds and heavy rains. “Can’t fixing it wait until Isaac’s here?”
    “Ja.”
    “Gut,” she said firmly. “Please put the ladder away. I’d hate to see you fall and injure yourself.”
    He suddenly grinned, and Martha felt a sudden shift in her heart rhythm from even to rapidly unsteady. She was suddenly taken by how handsome he was, his close proximity to her and the warmth of him emanating across the distance separating them.
    Her face grew hot with embarrassment.
    His expression went soft. “You care about me.”
    She swallowed hard, shocked by his statement. “I care about all of my friends.”
    “Friends,” he murmured. “I’m glad to know you consider me a friend.”
    Startled by his sudden shift in mood and the conversation, Martha could only stare at him. She frowned. “I have work to do,” she said stiffly.
    He appeared to be amused. “As do I.”
    “We ate lunch late. What time are you leaving?”
    Eli raised an eyebrow. “Are you asking me to leave?”
    “Nay!” Her face burned like fire. “But you shouldn’t feel as if you have to stay late.”
    “It’s

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