Joshua, though startled, pondered this new information for less than a moment and then he told her, truthfully for the most part, that it didn’t matter. He told her that he wanted to be the one who would protect her from ever having to endure anything so terrible ever again. And then Joshua smiled and kissed her shyly and reminded her that she had yet to answer his question.
They were married in Preacher Brown’s little church two days later.
The first night they lay together Joshua was a bit surprised that, if only fleetingly, he felt a twinge of anger and regret as joined with his bride knowing that someone else had stolen her precious virginity. But he brushed that aside, the love in his heart overpowering his silly male pride, and gave silent thanks to God for giving him such an amazing woman as his own. He was tender with her…not wanting her to think that he thought of her like the rent women he’d laid with in his past…and he was strong for her…because he was her husband and that’s was his role was supposed to be.
Rosa, who had been afraid that her rape might have led her to be fearful of being with a man again, was pleased that her love for Joshua made that a foolish notion. She prayed that she would not be a disappointment to him. She shuddered as his rough hands cupped her breasts and stroked her stomach. She trembled beneath the weight of his sturdy body and felt herself truly a woman at last as he took her with awkward and steady…shy and sure…determination and sang his passion…all masculine gasps and grunts and prayerful endearments…deep into her welcoming womb.
Joshua took on a hired hand to help out at the shop while he and Rosa staked out some arid land on which they were going to build their home. The scandalous whispers about their marriage…white men and Mexican girls didn’t often marry in that neck of the woods…quickly died down. The townspeople saw that Joshua was still Joshua and that
They would still get the occasional disapproving stare as they walked down the street but neither of them paid it much heed and in quick order only strangers to town found their union to be particularly remarkable.
Thanks to Joshua’s hardworking nature and fair dealings, there had been no shortage of men, from in town and from miles away, who gave time and sweat to help Joshua and Rosa build their house and barn on the land just a bit outside of town. The job was done is fairly short order and Joshua and Rosa threw a big party to thank everyone…and to announce that
Joshua began to take on more work and work longer hours in order to make sure they could have everything they needed for his child. He was so proud that he could burst. Joshua even wrote a letter to his father, not expecting a response but wanting to share the news just the same. Some nights he would be so tired that he could hardly see straight when he got home. He was often silent and withdrawn on those nights, not wanting to do anything other than eat a bit and fall into bed.