Authors: Samantha Price
Amish Breaking Point
Amish Secret Widows’ Society Book 7
Copyright © 2014 Samantha Price
All Rights Reserved
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Thank you for respecting the author's work.
This book is a work of fiction. Any resemblance to any person, living or dead, is purely coincidental. The personal names have been invented by the author, and any likeness to the name of any person, living or dead, is purely coincidental.
Yea, though I walk through the valley
of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil: for thou art with me;
thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.
“Daddy!” young Bailey cried as he was surrounded in darkness. The boy’s little fists battered helplessly against the solid oak door that kept him trapped. Between his cries for help, Bailey could just make out faint murmurs of sound through the thick wooden barrier. Feeling his lungs burn and his eyes sting, he fell silent.
Young Bailey waited in fear as the clicking began. The slow, gradual clicking that signaled that the door would soon be pulled open. The enveloping darkness faded, giving way to light that flooded the cupboard. He closed his eyes from the harsh light which stung his eyes.
The adult Bailey sprang into an upright position and opened his eyes.
Taking a sharp breath, Bailey adjusted to the realization that he was in the Amish Community. He rested his weary head in his hands, silently wondering when all of this would be over.
He would have to do something about these nightmares before he married Silvie, and he could not waste another day thinking of doing so; the time to act was now.
The night was dark with still no hint of morning sun. Bailey closed his eyes and tried to get some more sleep before the early morning milking of the cows. Bailey was staying with Jack’s
A requirement after joining the Amish was that he stay with a
and learn their ways. Jack and Pamela Fuller had offered for Bailey to stay on their farm with their five small boys. Jack had a dairy farm, which Bailey quickly learned meant a lot of hard work and early mornings.
Bailey had offered to help Jack with the farm work. His body was now weary, but his mind worked overtime. Would he have to go back to the psychiatrist; was that the answer to rid him of his terrors?
After a moment, Bailey laid his head back into his pillow, and to alleviate his tense body, he imagined waking up with his bride to be.
It had to be around two or three in the morning and as soon as the night sky began to lighten, that was the time to wake and milk the cows – so many cows. Bailey had no idea how Jack did it year after year. The only thing that got Bailey through helping out on the farm was the knowledge that it was merely a temporary situation.
Bailey heard a noise downstairs and sat on the edge of his bed. The fear of danger drawing closer hurried Bailey to his feet, urging him to investigate. He padded barefoot across his bedroom floor, crept across the hallway and descended the staircase. Squinting into the darkness, Bailey slowly inched forward, his nerves keeping him aware of every single sound that slipped through the silence. He searched the whole of the darkness downstairs. There was no danger, nothing that could have made those sounds. Maybe the sounds had been in his imagination.
When he found himself in the kitchen, Bailey approached the sink. Feeling dry mouthed from the anticipation, he was eager for a drink. While he filled a glass with water, he noticed a flicker of movement at the edge of his peripheral vision, which caused his fear to spike once more. He wanted to face the person, to turn and command the figure of his nightmares to cease, but he froze, unable to move.
Watching the faint outline of the shadow linger closer, it wasn’t until he felt the hand clamp down on his shoulder that Bailey turned sharply. His gaze was met with that of Jack’s. The look of apprehension remained heavily on his features until the realization slowly seeped in that this was no nightmare. Bailey’s years of training in self defense had failed him, or Jack would have been down on the floor with Bailey’s arm around his neck ready to snap it, in two seconds flat.
“Jack,” Bailey whispered. “Sorry, I....”
“Are you okay?” Jack quickly responded, clearly alarmed by his friend’s expression.
“Yeah....” As words failed him, Bailey’s gaze slid down towards the half full glass in his hand. “I just needed a drink.” Raising the glass to his lips, he drank the lot in one large gulp.
Shooting Bailey a questioning look, Jack gave a brief nod of acknowledgment before returning upstairs.
Left alone once again, Bailey placed the glass on the sink and headed to the yard outside. The cold night breeze immediately bit into his skin, causing him to shudder involuntarily. The air was bitter, condensing his breath into vapor trails that spilled from his lips with each exhalation.
As cold as it was outside, it was also quiet; the two things Bailey needed right now. His mind still swirled between lethargy and deep concern; he needed to clear his head, and outside amidst the midnight chill, he felt was the place to do exactly that. However, with the passing of each minute, Bailey felt the warmth fall further from his body. Now, he would appreciate the coziness of his bed. He returned into the house and made his way up the stairs. Resting his head upon the comfort of his pillow, Bailey found that sleep came quickly, but it did not come peacefully.
There is no fear in love;
but perfect love casteth out fear:
because fear hath torment.
He that feareth is not made perfect in love.
1 John 4:18
The next morning Bailey awoke still plagued with tiredness, a result of his nightmare filled slumber. He pulled a loose fitting shirt over his torso and headed downstairs with a big breakfast on his mind. Upon entering the kitchen, Bailey saw that Jack and his kids had obviously been awake for some time.
“Good afternoon, Bailey. Grab yourself some coffee, you look like you haven’t slept a wink.”
Bailey laughed. “Afternoon? It can’t even be six o’clock in the morning.” Jack chuckled while Bailey grabbed a mug from the countertop, filled the mug with hot coffee and sat at the kitchen table. Bailey offered Jack a thankful nod and a smile when he brought him a plate of breakfast.
“Would you mind helping me fix some machinery in the barn later this afternoon after you come back from being with Silvie?” Jack asked as he moved towards the oven.
“Before that, I’ll take Pamela and the children to visit my mother at her store in town. We’ll only be an hour or two.” Jack playfully ruffled his sons’ hair each in turn, gaining a series of giggles in return. Taking a seat at the table, Jack made a start on his breakfast.
After a morning spent milking the cows and other associated chores, Bailey washed up and sorted through his clothes trying to find something nice to wear for his date with Silvie. He might not have a job, but he told himself he had a new start, and along with that would come a new job in time. Until then, job or no job, he would try and look his best for Silvie. She always looked so nice.
As he dressed, there was a knock on his door. "Come in."
Jack strolled in wearing a smile as he inspected Bailey's efforts. "You're going all out for Silvie, I see."
lady, Jack. I have a good friend to take me in, and a fine woman to take me on. Least I can do is to appreciate my good fortune and dress as though I deserved it."
"You'd give the shirt off your back if someone needed it more than you." Jack chuckled.
Bailey thought about that and shrugged. Any good Christian would, but not everyone was a good Christian. He'd learned that the hard way.
"Have a great day, you both deserve it," Jack said, slapping his back lightly.
Bailey laughed softly, straightened his tie, and brushed down his trousers.
Jack went to leave Bailey, and then turned in the doorway. "Oh wait, you are taking the buggy, aren’t you?”
"I planned to get there on these two legs," Bailey said.
"Of course, you'll take the horse and buggy. I meant for you to take the buggy. You can use it at any time if I’m not using it; as long as the poor horse doesn’t go too far in the one day. Anyway, can't have you covered in dust before you even arrive, seeing you’re going to so much trouble.”
Bailey had assumed he'd walk the four miles to her house. "Are you sure? That’s very generous of you. Won't you need it today?"
"Got no place to be until later this afternoon. You take it." He raised his hand; there would be no arguing with him. "I'll go hitch the buggy while you finish up making yourself pretty."
Bailey laughed and picked up something to throw at Jack, but he was too late. Jack had ducked away and was already making his way down the hall.
Now, he would be able to take Silvie on a buggy ride, most fitting for their date. Jack had been so good to him; he wondered if he would ever be able to pay him back, although Jack would never expect to be paid back for his kindness. Bailey had come to learn that the Amish were kind and good-hearted. They were a community, as everyone kept telling him; more than a community, they were a large family.
* * *
When Bailey arrived at Silvie’s house, Silvie stepped out onto her porch. She wore a yellow cotton dress, her usual over-apron, and her long buttermilk hair was caught up under her prayer
As she came closer, Bailey looked into her sky blue eyes then marveled that she was the epitome of a summer's day.
"This Jack's buggy?" She jumped up without needing Bailey's help, though he'd offered, so he returned to his seat and grabbed hold of the reigns.
They sat side by side for a moment, silently taking in the presence of each other. Then Silvie smiled at him and Bailey thought that her face outshone the sun.
"Look at you, all fully Amish and driving a buggy. I’m so happy you’re here, Bailey.”
“I can’t tell you how I feel, Silvie. I’m beyond happy. Thank you for being so patient with me while I wrapped up my last case.”
Silvie smiled at him, and Bailey felt her love. Why had he taken so long to come to be with her? It all seemed pointless now that he’d spent some time in the community. Now, the community was all that mattered. He thought he’d miss the FBI, the cases, the excitement; he found it hard to tear himself away from a career that had taken hard work and many years to build. His old life was a futile one. He’d put people behind bars, but came to realize that some people just as guilty hid behind laws and others could afford fancy lawyers; nothing seemed fair.
Bailey resisted the urge to grin like a child or kiss her cheeks. "Shall we go?" With a flick of his wrist and a click in his mouth, he signaled the horse to walk on. "Thought we'd go to town for ice-cream first, and I've packed a picnic for lunch."
He watched her lick her lips in approval. "I haven't had ice-cream for years. What's your favorite flavor?"
Bailey breathed in her scent, which was of soap and honeysuckle. "Oh, I'm not fussy. Chocolate I guess, or vanilla. You?"
"Any. But, I remember I had a passion for butterscotch... so sweet," Silvie said.
And so are you,
Bailey thought as he watched her perfectly shaped lips form words.
When they reached town, he secured the horse and took Silvie for ice-cream. Once they had cones filled with double scoops, they strolled around, up and down the main street, unaware of those around them. The worry about his nightmares had left him for now.
When they finished, they were in the buggy once more and on their way to the picnic spot that Bailey had chosen. On the way there, Bailey had a flash of torment before his eyes. He squeezed his eyes shut against the dark images disturbing his wonderful day. He would not allow them to ruin things for Silvie.
Silvie nudged him in the ribs. "Were you dreaming? I thought I’d lost you to dreamland there for a second."
"No, no. Just the sun in my eyes, that's all," Bailey said with a deliberate laugh.
"Good, a girl could get paranoid if her date falls asleep."
They both laughed, and Bailey hoped she had believed him.
Bailey had found this picnic spot some time ago as he drove into the Amish farming community for the first time as an adult. It was a spot his grandfather had often taken him to. He unfolded a rug and placed the picnic box down, and both he and Silvie sat on the rug. Since the day was hot he had placed the rug under a tree with dappled shade. He opened a bottle of lemonade that Pamela had made and poured two glasses.
"So," Silvie said after swallowing a sip of lemonade. "What do you dream of, when you sleep?" She took a bite of her cheese sandwich.
Can she read my mind with those magical eyes? Can she see into the dark and shadowy truths behind mine?
Bailey bit a huge chunk from his sandwich, using the time it would take to chew it to think of something to say. He had to move the discussion away from his dreams. He could not lie to his future wife, but how could he explain the truth? He couldn't. He swallowed his mouthful. "Working, paying my way, building you a strong
to raise our
Loving you until the good Lord takes us home." Bailey's heart raced in his chest. "What else is there?"
"That's wonderful to hear, dear sweet, Bailey." Silvie rested her hand on his. "But, what I meant was what kind of work do you dream of doing, which occupation would truly satisfy you? You don't want anything stressful like your last job, so what now?"
"Ah, I see."
Thank you, Gott.
"I'll find satisfaction in earning enough to pay for our lives together. I haven't thought beyond that."
"You are a sweetheart, Bailey." Silvie tilted her head. "Perhaps what you want to do will pay for our lives together. Don't throw away this opportunity to find out what that is before you settle into something for the rest of your days."
"Um." He lowered his gaze, then looked up at her. The sunshine streamed through her organza prayer
and he could see her braids of gold fastened beneath it. Her eyes were the bluest of blue, and they glistened with goodness and truth. She was a good woman indeed. "What do you dream about, Silvie?"
Bailey could have sworn he saw her cheeks flush just before she looked away and then off into the distance.
"I dream of us, of our lives together, what our
will look like."
Bailey held out his hand, and she placed her hand in his.
"Although, after today, I'll dream about pistachio ice-cream too." Silvie gave a giggle and lay on her back and closed her eyes from the shaded light.
Bailey lay next to her and turned on his side to face her.
"I can hardly wait to be your
I never thought I'd marry again until I met you, Bailey. I never dreamed I'd be this happy."
"We will have a wonderful life together. You can rely on me, Silvie."
The most pressing thing was to rid himself of his nightmares and then the next was to find some paying work. He was shortly to be married, and he could not live off his
But more than that, he could not bear the idea of poisoning the peace between them with anything rotten from his past.
She wrapped her tiny hand around his and closed her eyes. "I know. I trust you with my heart."
Could I love her any more than I already do?