Daisy was whitewashing the barn. Henry struggled to keep up with her.
“That's right,” Daisy said. “Make sure every bit is covered. A clean dairy makes better milk.” She gave him a peck on the cheek, getting whitewash on her nose as he tried to meet her mouth and caught her with the whitewash brush instead. He gasped, but she just laughed. “Now use your head, my darlin' man. Keep the whitewash for the wall.”
Daisy wiped her forehead with the back of her hand and watched her man work. Henry learned quickly, and he was willing. Her fairy godmother had been right about his back. He was willing to bend it for her. She wanted very much to drag him into the hayloft, but until her dairy produced the quality milk and cheese she needed to secure her income and provide for herself, she would not chance losing it, or having to manage with a baby on her back. Time enough for that. The bucket of whitewash ran out at the end of the last milking stall. Daisy was lucky that way.
Gob waddled in, moving quickly despite his short legs. “Cook wants yer,” he said, and pointing to Henry, he added, “And him too, the Lady said.” He surveyed the barn, nodded, and waddled out again, as quickly as he appeared.
“Fill the buckets with water, and put the brushes in. We'll clean them later.” Daisy splashed her face with water from the trough and dried off with the back of her apron. Henry dutifully followed her instructions and stood patiently while she scrubbed his face and hands.
She reached up to brush his hair out of his eyes. He reached his arm around her waist and lifted her off the ground. Instead of squealing or insisting he put her down, she wrapped her strong arms around his neck and kissed him within an inch of his life. Still embraced, he set her upon her feet and slid his hands over her. She felt his warmth, the dampness of his honest sweat, the musky, man smell of him.
“Cook would be wanting you directly,” Gob said, having reappeared. “She hain't got a lot of patience.” Henry blushed, turned Daisy loose, and stepped back.
“We'll be along shortly,” Daisy said with no loss of composure.
Gob winked, but waited for them.
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