Thank you for your patience while I wrote this chapter! Hope you enjoy it.

The next day, Frank quickly changed into his fresh, newly repaired clothes in the barn. He could feel his body heave a sigh of relief as he slipped back into the warm wool long johns and the extra layer of cosiness provided by the flannel shirt. He felt proud of the fine "F" over his left hand side. A look of pure delight fell over his face as he breathed in the fresh soapy smell of his outfit. It mingled with the light delicate scent of something he smelled last summer and he was reminded of the barn raising and when he took the arm of Sarah that first time. It was like nothing he had ever smelt before but he could feel way deep down in his body that he needed more of it, to smell that fragrance again and feel the closeness of Sarah again. Warm and ready, he was able to head off to his work about the farm and do his jobs properly for a change, much to the relief of his older brothers who had been picking up the slack. They did notice that he was deep in thought most of the time and that he took to wood chopping an extra bout of enthusiasm, as if he was releasing some more tension than usual. Frank's mind was set on how he was going to get his gift to Sarah, and was anxious about what he'd actually say to her, if she cared to listen to him at all. A scheme formed in his mind and the first task that to be done was going to be unpleasant.

Frank waited near the fence just a little while before sundown. He knew Dorcas would be planning to meet Ben there for a chat, as she did most evenings. Like clockwork, she appeared clutching a knitted shawl around herself. She raised her eyebrows at him in surprise and the corner of her mouth curled into a half smile. "Well, good evening Frank!" she purred.
"Hey, Dorcas," he replied, groaning internally. Frank did not like this girl at all, the way she called him out on his behavior the other night in front of his brothers made him feel ashamed, even though he knew she was right. Still, this girl was much too forward for his taste and it irked him. He could understand why Ben was so bewitched by her, and jealous that he was getting somewhere with his gal. His cheeks grew red and he looked away as he mumbled at her, "I need your help."
"You need my help?" she repeated.
"Yeah...y'see I need some help. Somethin' for Sarah. And I know the other gals don't come out too much. You're the only one I could really ask seein' as you come out here most evenings."
She folded her arms, intrigued at this. "Well, go on. What do you want me to do?"
"See, I gotta get to Sarah. And after the other night I reckon she wouldn't let me see her. I just need to see her, somehow. So I can give her this." He held out the folded bolt of fabric for Dorcas to inspect. Her eyes widened with shock when she saw it, how on earth did he find this when there wasn't a scrap of fabric left on place? She was absolutely taken aback that Frank had such a thoughtful gift for her friend, these Pontipee boys were full of all sorts of surprises.
Sometimes, Sarah was not her favourite person to be around. She was a little too sensitive for Dorcas' liking and she did not like how she just went along with whatever Martha or Carl told her. But, when push came to shove all the girls loved each other dearly and Dorcas wanted nothing more than harmony amongst them all. Not only that, but Dorcas wanted the girls to be as happy as she was with Ben, for all of them to find love with the brothers. If she could at least help these two then her time as a captive on the farm would not have been wasted.
A glint of mischief in her eyes, she agreed to help Frank. "Frank, she will be over the moon when she sees this fabric!"
"Y'think it's alright?"
"She'll love it! Just what she needs to finish her dress and stop her moping!"
Frank grinned at that. She went on, "Here's what I'll do. I will ask her to go get some wood tomorrow night after dinner. Be out at the woodpile and you can give it to her yourself."
It seemed like a good plan, at least then she'll be alone and there would be no risk of embarrassing himself in front of anyone again. To be honest, he didn't know if his ego could take another hit. It was hard enough asking Dorcas for help. "Thank you, that's mighty kind of you."
She smiled, satisfied to be of help. "I'll just tell you one thing, Frank. Make sure you get her to tell you what she wants. No one ever asks her what she wants or what she feels, especially that Carl."
Frank chortled at her remark and nodded. Dorcas was smarter than she looked, he was glad he went to her after all.
There was the sound of scrunching through the snow as Ben appeared, not at all fussed to see his girl alone with his younger brother. A love struck smile spread over the tall man's face as he saw Dorcas, now perched on the fence like a pretty bird.
"Evening, Dorcas," he said lowly.
"Hello, Ben," she giggled. Ben looked at Frank and motioned with his head to get gone, which Frank happily did. He smirked at the thought that it may be him sneaking off all alone with his own girl soon, just like Ben.

The next night, supper couldn't seem to come quick enough. He scoffed down his stew (venison, again) and went to get his jacket that was hanging on a hook near the door. He kept saying to himself that the plan will to work, it had to work. He took sight of himself in the reflection of a glass window panel on the side of a barn, puffed up his chest and gave himself the most dashing, confident smile he could muster. He decided he looked mighty fine in his fresh clothes and he knew he could be charming, hopefully enough to keep Sarah near him for even just a moment. He grinned and told himself that he was gonna win this girl's heart, come hell or high water. He strode out of the barn and headed towards the woodpile that was cornered by a fence, set down a little path away from the house, but still close enough for place to be lit.

He paced around as he waited for what seemed like years. It was a clear night so he sat on the rail of the fence with his back to the light coming from the house and tried counting stars while he waited, stopping every once in a while as a thought popped up. What if Dorcas had tricked him? What if she decided not to help him after all? What if Sarah was busy doing something else, like having a bath? He groaned out loud as that image swooped through his head. Sarah in the bath, gosh almighty! He wasn't sure how much longer he was going to cope having Sarah away from him. This whole time the girls had been on the farm, the boys had struggled as no man should. He prayed that God could give him some relief from his thoughts.

His ears pricked up as he heard light footsteps on the path that had been cleared from the snow. He turned around and saw a figure heading towards the woodpile - it had to be her! Her dark head was down as she approached closer and he jumped off the rail, giving her a shock. She stepped backed, eyes dark and cautious.
"What are you doing here?" she blurted out.
"I was waitin' fer you."
"Well, you scared me!"
"I'm sorry, I-"
"Frank, I don't want to talk to you. I just want to get the firewood and go back." She seemed to have simmered down a bit from her rage the other night, so he took advantage of it.
"Please, Sarah. Please just stay a minute. I want to thank you."
"For what?" she was puzzled.
"For fixin' my clothes. And washin' them. That was mighty kind of you."
"Better than you deserve," she glared.
"Yes, m'am," he agreed with a small, handsome smile.
She lifted her chin, feigning authority when she was actually fixed on his smile. "Well, I didn't want you to get cold. If you got sick then we'd have less help around the place, right?"
"Yes, m'am," he nodded. What could he say next? He kicked the ground. After a moment, he looked back up at her eyes and to search her face.
"So, why'd you do it? You should have just whupped me and left me naked and freezing."
Sarah blushed at the thought of him naked, and caused her to stumble over her words as he listened. "Well, I...I guess the Bible tells us to forgive the people who sin against us."
Frank felt his skin prickle at the thought that he had sinned against her. He hadn't heard that expression since his younger days when they would visit church in town or his Ma telling him Bible stories. Sarah looked out at the stars. "I do think God gives us grace every day, and I guess I thought you deserved some, too."
Even though she was being brusque in this moment, Sarah's kindness was being revealed more to him and he was falling more in love with goodness in her heart.
"I know I did you wrong, and there ain't much I can do to fix it. But I want to thank you," he said plainly. She knew he meant it.
"You're welcome," she replied gingerly.
He wanted to keep her there near him for as long as he could, so now was the time to surprise her. "I have something to give you. And then if you want to go, then you can, ok?"
He looked sincere enough in this moment. A part of her was still furious at him from his performance at the window the other night. She didn't want to trust him but his eyes suggested otherwise.
"Fine," she said as she crossed her arms and pursed her lips. "What is it?"
He said nothing but handed her the fabric, savouring the fleeting gentle brush of his fingers against hers. She looked down at the little package, delighted to see what it was. She was intrigued by the delicate white paisley print that bounced, swirled and dotted across the soft, dark blue cotton. She smiled as it was such a lovely thing to see after spending another afternoon fixing up plain calico and boxy gingham for the other girls. He was happy to see her pleased with it.
"I reckon you might have needed it for your dress."
"Where did you get it?" she asked excitedly.
"It was something my ma gave me when I was small. It's a bit old, nothin' fancy. But from what I saw you're talented enough to make somethin' pretty out of it."
Sarah was bewildered; she did not expect such a kind gesture from Frank. All she had seen from him lately was behavior not fitting for a gentleman but right now she felt like she was a princess receiving a rare gift from a knight. She wanted to cry for joy that there was last something real about what she felt when she was charmed by Frank last summer, and there was something good deep down in his heart. She did not know what she wanted to say to him or how to say it.
She was eager to see all of her gift and began to unfold it to look over the pattern when a small carved wooden bear fell out of a fold and onto the ground. She bent down to pick it up, but Frank swooped down and beat her to it. He rose and came closer, took her cold hand and opened it, placing the bear Adam had made for him on her palm.
"This is for you too, just something of mine from when I was young. You can take it back to town with you, when you leave." He frowned at those last few words.
She couldn't think of anything to say, so avoided his gaze. She hadn't thought about what she would do when the pass opened. Her heart was now so confused. At last she muttered a "thank you" and turned go back to the house. Frank's heart sank a bit as she did this, was there anything he could do to keep her there just for one moment more? He remembered what Dorcas had encouraged him to do.
"Sarah. I wanna talk to you, turn 'round."
She looked over her shoulder, a little frightened at his tone.
He squared his shoulders and cleared his throat, "Do you want to go back home?"
Her eyes widened at his question. How was she to answer? She missed her family and wanted to be near them. She did not miss Carl a jot; she hadn't given him a thought at all lately. She would much rather be up here on the farm then back home being fussed over by the young men in the town, never being brave enough to tell them she despised their advances and persistence. No, she did not want to go home to them. She did want to be honest, however.
"I miss my family," she began. Frank's heart sank at those words. Of course she would be missing her family, he felt dreadful for stealing her away from them. But he pursued her thoughts further.
"What do you want?" he asked her outright, his brown eyes looking directly into hers. She felt herself shiver at the way he looked at her and within that moment, something jumped in her heart. No one had ever asked her what she wanted, and now she finally knew.
She took a deep breath. "Close your eyes."
He didn't expect such a curt answer from her. Dumbfounded, he did as he was told.
She prayed for courage, then found herself pinning Frank up against the fence as she crashed her lips onto his. Surprised but overjoyed, he melted into her kiss and pulled her eagerly by the waist, closer to him.

Who knows how long they stayed like that out at the woodpile, but that night neither of them were left wanting.

I hope you all enjoyed Out at the Woodpile.
Thank you so much for your patience as I wrote my first Fanfic. Thank you also for the encouraging reviews and follows/faves. You guys rock! Please let me know if you'd like to read more stories like this or one shots or even an epic long story. I have one other small thing in the works but would I love to hear your suggestions! Any other Seven Brides characters you'd like to read about?