Redemption Road (Jackson Falls #5)

Redemption Road (Jackson Falls #5) by Laurie Breton

Book: Redemption Road (Jackson Falls #5) by Laurie Breton Read Free Book Online
Authors: Laurie Breton
Tags: Jackson Falls 5
“Don’t go there,” he
muttered to himself. “Don’t even go there.”
    “Go where?”
    The two women went into the five-and-ten store and Harley swiveled
his head around to find Annabel studying him keenly. Heat raced around the back
of his neck and flushed his face. He exhaled a hard breath.
    “Nowhere,” he said brusquely. “Just get in the truck.”
     

Colleen
     
    It had been eons since she’d stepped inside the five-and-ten, and
the familiar smells of dust and fresh-popped corn immediately transported her
back to her teenage years, when she’d spent hours in here every Saturday with
her best friend, sifting through the discount bins of Cover Girl and Maybelline
and the stacks of 45 records. A wave of nostalgia washed over her, so strong
she could taste it. Unsettled, she wrestled it into submission. Nostalgic
feelings only led to trouble. Colleen raised her chin and said, “Why’d you do
that?”
    Five paces ahead of her in the home goods aisle, Casey examined a
bolt of blue and green calico print fabric with a frown of concentration. “Do
what?” she said absently.
    “Invite that man to supper.”
    Casey looked up in surprise. “Harley?  Because he’s our friend,
that’s why.”
    “I don’t like him.”
    “What do you mean, you don’t like him?  You met him once. You
don’t even know him.”
    “I don’t trust him. There’s just something about him. And stop
looking at me like I have two heads.”
    “You’re crazy. You do realize that?”
    “Right back at you, Siss y.”
    “In the name of all that’s holy, do not call me Sissy. Nobody’s
called me Sissy since I was twelve. And I’d just as soon it stayed that way.” Casey
tilted her head and studied Colleen’s face. “How can you not like Harley? He’s
a great guy. Is it because he bought Dad’s place?”
    “I don’t know.” Irritated, she fingered a swatch of red velvet. “Maybe.”
    “Don’t you think that’s a little unfair?  Not just to Harley, but
to Dad?”
    She swung around and demanded, “How’s it unfair to Dad?”
    Her sister’s eyes met hers squarely. Casey said, “You moved on. Shouldn’t
he have the right to do the same?”
    For an instant, all the breath left her. It was like being socked hard
in the diaphragm. She’d forgotten how bossy, how self-righteous, her sister
could be. This was a lousy time to remember why she hadn’t wanted to come here
in the first place. A lousy time to remember that whenever they were together,
they regressed to a pair of squabbling eight-year-olds. It had been that way
ever since Mama died. Before that, they’d been friends. Now, they could barely tolerate
each other.
    The wave of nostalgia returned, stronger this time, accompanied by
something even worse: regret. She gathered her resolve around her like a cloak.
“It’s probably better,” she said, “if we drop the topic of Harley Atkins altogether,
and concentrate on what we came here for.”
    “Fine by me.”
    After that, their interaction was polite but distant as they
selected, from the limited assortment available in this rinky-dink
establishment at the far end of the earth, the household items she would need
to get her apartment up and running. Because it had been designed as temporary living
quarters for visiting musicians, the place was furnished, the bathroom stocked
with soap and towels, the closet with bed linens, the kitchen with the
essentials. But she still needed other items:  a broom and dustpan, household
cleansers, sponges and cleaning rags, a mop and bucket. A set of matching
potholders and kitchen towels to dress up the kitchen. An alarm clock for the
bedroom. Coat hangers to hold the designer clothes that would be useless here
in rural Maine. Maybe a picture or two she could hang on the walls to make the
place seem less like a hotel room.
    She even picked up a winter coat and boots. Neither made a fashion
statement of any kind, but this was Maine in winter. The state might be in the
middle

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