Find Wonder In All Things

Find Wonder In All Things by Karen M. Cox

Book: Find Wonder In All Things by Karen M. Cox Read Free Book Online
Authors: Karen M. Cox
if you can kiss like that,” she whispered.
    He felt his ego soar. He’d never had any complaints in that department, but then, he’d never had any particular praise either. Of course, he reminded himself, it was her first real kiss. She had nothing to compare it to. That, in and of itself, was exciting. He put his arm around her and drew her head down to his shoulder, planting a reverent kiss on the top of her head as he leaned back against the seat.
    “What’s this movie about again?” he asked.
    “I have no idea.” She let out a soft sigh. “James?”
    “Kiss me again.”
    A shudder of excitement ripped through him. This could be dangerous. She was too eager, too pretty, and she felt too good. He had been in a months-long, dry spell that left him champing at the bit, but Laurel was still innocent. He tilted her face up and fulfilled her request, keeping the kisses purposefully shallow and sweet. When she began to shift toward his lap, he stopped her.
    “I think that’s enough for tonight.”
    She looked confused and perhaps a little disappointed. “Oh, okay.”
    He tilted her chin up and saw the sadness and insecurity in her eyes. “It’s not you. You didn’t do anything wrong. It’s tempting, but I don’t want things to get out of hand.” He looked in her eyes. “You’re incredibly beautiful, and you don’t even know it. And it makes you that much more stunning.”
    “I think you just redeemed yourself in the romantic, sweet nothings department.”
    He grinned. “Thank you. Now let’s get you home on time so we can do this again real soon — and I can keep my job.”
    She pushed herself up off his chest and sighed, combing her hands through her hair to right it. He made himself turn away from her.
    “You’re the boss, Jim Dandy.”
    He smiled weakly. If only that were true.

Chapter 5
    The sun beat down on the young couple holding hands as they picked their way through the cornflowers and Queen Anne’s lace that adorned the sides of the path leading to the little clapboard house.
    James looked up and squinted in the sun. A faded turquoise pickup, balanced on cement blocks, stuck out above the timothy and crabgrass to the right and behind the house. The truck appeared to be as old as his father.
    Laurel followed his gaze and answered his unspoken question. “That was Grandpa’s. Daddy never would sell the old thing.”
    “Does it run?”
    She shrugged. “I’m not sure. Why? You want it?”
    He laughed. “No, I think I’ll choose something from this half of the century if you don’t mind.”
    Laurel slowed her pace, looking up ahead at the simple house sitting all alone in the middle of a field. “I remember when Grandma and Grandpa were living; we’d come up here on Sundays for dinner. My grandma made the best green beans you’ve ever tasted: home-canned and flavored with ham hocks and onion.”
    James shuddered. “I like mine fresh or frozen please.”
    “Buckeye,” she teased.
    “Hillbilly,” he teased back.
    “Anyway,” she went on, “after Grandma passed away and Grandpa went to live at the rest home, the old place just kind of shriveled up. We could never get my mom out here to go through any of their things.”
    “Why not?”
    “Mama is . . . well, it’s hard for her to leave the house sometimes. She’s a real homebody.”
    “A homebody?” His voice was incredulous. “Laurel, I never see her — not since I was a kid, and not at all this summer.” He paused and his tone softened. “Is she sick? You can tell me, you know. I won’t say anything if you don’t want me to. Is that why you had to cancel our dates a couple of times?”
    Laurel’s voice was quiet and small. “She’s not sick physically, but I’m starting to think there’s something else wrong. She’s never liked to go out much. She was always fine just tending her garden and raising us and doing her sewing, but now it’s like she’s afraid to go anywhere.”
    He pulled her close

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