Three Times Elspeth Harris Rode to Town (FF)


Heat Rating: Steamy
Word Count: 20,262
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There had never been as much excitement in the town of Ghostbrook as there was the day Elspeth Harris faced trial for shooting a man. But it’s a clear case of self-defense, and she’s soon free to attend a wedding, where she meets Rose O’Sullivan, the town’s only seamstress, and engages her to make some unusual alterations.

Rose knows Elspeth has a secret she is protecting, one Rose has only seen hints of. As a lover of dime novels and tales of adventure, Rose’s imagination runs wild. Could Elspeth be a government agent? An undercover lady Pinkerton?

When they meet again at another wedding and share confidences about their lives and the difficulties of being a woman alone in the world, Rose grows ever more intrigued by the mysterious Elspeth. What secrets lie behind her beautiful, but aloof exterior?

Rose will finally learn those secrets when the third wedding of the summer comes around and with it, a bold proposal.

Three Times Elspeth Harris Rode to Town (FF)
0 Ratings (0.0)

Three Times Elspeth Harris Rode to Town (FF)


Heat Rating: Steamy
Word Count: 20,262
0 Ratings (0.0)
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Cover Art by Written Ink Designs

“Miss O’Sullivan, um, Rose,” Elspeth said as they went into the room and closed the door which led out to the front of the store. “You probably remember I had some clothes altered before that had belonged to one of my brothers. I wanted to be able to use them while working on my farm.”

“I remember,” Rose said. “It was a very practical idea. Foolish to waste them.”

She’d had three brothers, Rose recalled. One was still alive, but had gone back to New York several years ago.

“Well, ah, I want to ask you to do something similar now. But ... Well, let me show you.”

She untied the bundle, wrapped in what appeared to be a cotton tablecloth. Inside was a suit of men’s clothes. Rose lifted out the garment on top. A jacket, in dark brown twill. The pants lying on the bundle matched it. There was also a white shirt. These were not working clothes. This was a suit such as a man might wear for church, or to go to the bank. She frowned.

“Did you want me to turn them into working clothes?”

“Ah, no. I want you to alter the suit and shirt to fit me, as though I were a gentleman.” At Rose’s look of surprise she went on hastily. “I know this seems odd, but I swear to you I have a good reason for it. And I would appreciate it if you didn’t talk to anyone else about it.”

“Well a dressmaker keeps many secrets,” Rose said, with a smile. “A bosom that needs help. A stomach that needs to stay flat until after a wedding.” It intrigued her. Of course she wanted to know why on earth Miss Harris wanted to dress as a man. A disguise of some kind? Like the lady spies in the books, dime novels and sensation magazines Rose had a weakness for. They were always disguising themselves as boys. Or did she have a gentleman caller who liked her to dress as a man? Rose heard all kinds of secrets from the ladies whose clothes she made and altered. But she didn’t ask. If Elspeth appreciated discretion, Rose would afford her the courtesy.

She inspected the suit closely. Good quality work. A label from a tailor she knew of in Sacramento. Not as fancy as the one Mr. Willis went to, but who did good solid work for good solid working men, like Elspeth’s late brothers. She supposed Elspeth didn’t want it cut too close, to show off her female figure, but it was certainly too big. The pants too. She put the jacket down and looked at Elspeth, who was standing near the door, tense, poised as if ready to flee from some condemnation. Rose smiled, picked up her tape measure and opened the door into the fitting room.

“Come on then, let’s get your measurements.”

Elspeth relaxed visibly, and followed her into the room. While Rose bustled about lighting lamps, and finding her notebook to write down the measurements, Elspeth began to undress. She sat to take off her boots, then stood again and went behind the screen to shed her skirt, petticoats and blouse. She came out from behind the screen carrying them and her corset -- which she only needed to give some curvaceousness to her figure, not to slim her waist. In fact she was more of the form to need some help with her bosom. Her chemise and drawers were both plain white cotton. Rose approached, her tape measure at the ready.

“If you could raise your arms, please.”

Elspeth put down the things she was carrying, then stood still and straight for Rose, her arms held out to the side. Rose stepped close to take the tape around her back and measure the bust. Elspeth seemed to be holding her breath.

“You can breathe out now,” Rose said, as she stepped back and wrote down the measurement. Elspeth let go of the breath with a sigh. “Keep your arms out,” Rose said, and stepped close again to take the tape around the waist, then the hips. She measured the shoulders and length of the neck to waist in the back, and the length of the arms shoulder to wrist. Goodness me, but Elspeth was as lean and muscular as a cowboy. Her arms were impressively hard. All that farm work had certainly kept her strong.

“Ah, I’ll need to measure your inseam,” Rose said and laughed. “Not something I generally have to measure for ladies. Oh, you’d better put your boots back on. It will affect the measurements. ” Elspeth did as instructed and stood again.

“Go ahead,” she said, becoming tense again. Rose crouched and tried to keep herself from blushing too much as she reached up under the chemise. Not too high. She didn't want to embarrass them both. She was pretty sure she only touched thigh, feeling warm, firm skin. Elspeth’s legs were as muscular as her arms. Rose noted the measurement and wrote it in her book. The outseam was less embarrassing, but measuring the rise made her blush as much as doing the inseam. By the time Rose wrote the last figure in her book she was sweating. Not like her. She could usually take anyone’s measurements without blinking an eye. It was part of the job and she’d got over blushing about touching people years ago. Still, this was odd, measuring a lady for a man’s suit.

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