Pages of the Past (Bellingwood Book 9)

Pages of the Past (Bellingwood Book 9) by Diane Greenwood Muir

Book: Pages of the Past (Bellingwood Book 9) by Diane Greenwood Muir Read Free Book Online
Authors: Diane Greenwood Muir
rang through the cab of the truck. "Andrew Donovan, you're wonderful. You'll try anything, won't you? Homework first, then you can decide whether you want to watch Star Wars or go down to the barn."
    "Okay," he said sheepishly as Polly pulled into the garage.
    "Take your books upstairs and bring Obiwan back down," she said. "Don't stay out too long with him. It's cold."
    She waited at the door while the three kids got out of the truck with their backpacks. As they passed in front of her, she put her hand on Kayla's shoulder. The girl flinched at Polly's touch and ducked enough to avoid it. She kept her eyes focused on Rebecca's back and followed her up the steps into the apartment.
    Polly grabbed Andrew before he could go up with them.
    "What? I'm sorry. I was just excited," he said.
    "No, that's not it. You're fine. Do you know Kayla very well?"
    He shrugged. "I suppose."
    "Does she have very many friends?"
    "No. She isn't popular. They call her Trayla Kayla because she lives in the trailer park. They call her other things too but those are really mean."
    "Have you ever met her family?"
    "She doesn't have parents. She only has a sister. The kids say mean things to her about that, too."
    "Okay, thanks. And thanks for being nice to her."
    "She's just another kid like me."
    "There is no other kid like you," Polly said and pulled him into a hug. "I think you're wonderful."
    Andrew grunted and waited limply for her to release him.
    "You don't like hugs much, do you?"
    "You do it a lot," he said matter-of-factly and headed for the doorway to her apartment.
    "I guess I do," Polly retorted and went into the kitchen.
    "Thanks for picking up the kids," Sylvie said.
    "Rebecca brought a friend home - a Kayla Armstrong. Do you know her?"
    Sylvie thought for a moment and said, "I've seen her. She's a little chubby and lives with her older sister?"
    "Yeah. I just tried to touch her and she flinched. Do you think there's a problem?"
    Sylvie took Polly's hand and led her back to the table. "No, it isn't with the sister. Rumor has it they escaped from an abusive home, that when the sister turned eighteen, she took Kayla and ran because the dad was starting to... you know."
    "But the flinching? I'm a woman."
    "I heard that he beat them all up too."
    "Where do you hear this stuff?" Polly asked. "Do the parents live near here?"
    "No," Sylvie's spoke quietly and Polly had to lean in to hear her. "Who knows how much of it is true, but you know how kids talk and sometimes things get out from teachers and other parents."
    "It seems to me like those are the people who'd want to keep her safe and not gossip."
    "I know. Half of what I told you might not be true."
    "Poor thing. Well, it looks as if I've trained Rebecca in the rescue and keeping of people. She's the one who asked to bring Kayla home." Polly saw the three kids running and romping with Obiwan through the back window. "Since they closed the library on Mondays, Joss and I thought about opening the classroom and computer room here for kids to do their homework."
    "Who's going to watch them?" Sylvie asked.
    "We haven't gotten that far. What do you think, though? Would you consider making snacks if we start this?"
    "I'm going to really need that bakery, aren't I?"
    "Isn't it just the best idea?"
    "You don't do things in a small way, do you?"
    "Not if I can help it. Why wouldn't we go for it? I know that I won't have to be involved in the actual work, but if you think it's doable, then why not?"
    "It's going to be hard work and early hours. I'm not sure if I'm ready to be working early mornings and then late evenings on the weekends."
    "Then you'll have to hire and train good people."
    "But until we get busy, it's just going to be me."
    "We'll figure it out. And speaking of baking, I told the kids I'd make brownies while they worked on their homework. What are you working on in here this afternoon?"
    Sylvie gave Polly a grin and dropped her head. "I'm actually catering a dinner out at Secret

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