Free Serendipity by Cathy Marie Hake Page B

Book: Serendipity by Cathy Marie Hake Read Free Book Online
Authors: Cathy Marie Hake
Tags: Fiction, General, Historical, Ebook, Religious, Christian, book
in a home is hard on anyone, but that boy must be in anguish.”
    Maggie kissed her fingertips, pressed them to Mrs. Crewel’s temple, and whispered, “I now know where your son got his kind heart.” She went out and started stacking dishes. “Hi, Jerlund.”
    “Hi, Maggie. I’m gonna sleep in your bed – the one at Uncle Bo’s.” Nodding, Jerlund added, “Bo Carver said I can. It smells like your perfume.”
    Uncle Bo puffed up his chest. “My Maggie Rose makes it herself. Has nothing a-tall to do with her daddy’s family name, neither. My Maude, she taught her how to coax things from the rose. ’Twas the legacy she passed on.”
    Turning his head toward her, Mr. Valmer inhaled deeply. Gazing into her eyes, he rumbled, “A sweet one indeed.”

    The next morning, Maggie looked at the bottles of her perfume while brushing her hair. He liked her perfume. Should she dab on a little as was her custom, or omit using it because he might consider it flirtatious? He’d leave tomorrow, and he’d forget her perfume . . . and forget her.
    “Miss Rose.” Mr. Valmer’s deep, morning-husky voice whispered across the distance.
    I’ll miss the sound of his voice. Glancing up in the mirror, she spied him over in the doorway. The intensity of his unwavering gaze made tingles go up and down her spine.
    His eyes met hers in the mirror, and one side of his mouth kicked upward as he beckoned her. I’ll miss his crooked grin, too – though it doesn’t mean anything. That’s what I have to keep in mind.
    Setting down the brush, Maggie chose a comb. She held it between her teeth and twisted her hair into a long rope as she walked to the door. Once the whole length gave just the right tension, she coiled her hair and grabbed the comb. Daddy formed the comb with only three teeth – but they were all an inch apart and five inches long. Wiggling it back and forth from scalp to bun, she whispered, “Your mother had a difficult night. I’d like her to gain another hour of sleep yet.”
    “Fine . . . good.” Mr. Valmer stared at her as she crossed the room, but as she reached him, he tore his gaze away and muttered, “Sleep. The raveled care . . .”
    “ ‘Sleep knits up the raveled sleeve of care.’ ” Even though he’d jumbled Shakespeare, it was touching. He slipped in a quote from the Bible here or there and occasionally even a line from Shakespeare! Since Daddy died, she hadn’t spoken to anyone with the same ability.
    As Maggie squeezed past him and out of the room, they brushed against one another. She felt breathless and tingly. Funny, she never really noticed her heart picking up pace around any other fellow, but it kept happening around Mr. Valmer . He’s the only man near my age I’ve seen more than once. Well, other than a few of the fellows who come a-trading – and business is strictly business .
    Maggie wished to give Uncle Bo a piece of her mind. If he hadn’t been yammering about her “marryin’ up,” she wouldn’t be making such a goose of herself. These momentary reactions were nonsense, plain and simple. Besides, even if she were absolutely full-on smitten, nothing would come of it. This farmer must get back to his fields in Texas, and she was still needed in the holler.
    Pulling the door shut, Mr. Valmer cleared his throat again. “The door – it was ajar. I did not mean to intrude.”
    “The way you check on your mother warms my heart.” One last wiggle and stab, and the comb secured her hair. Maggie entered the kitchen.
    “It wasn’t my intention to eavesdrop.” His eyes sparked with humor. “As much as she’s cried, I worried you might be in danger of drowning. I came to rescue you.”
    Maggie found his admission disarmingly clever. “Especially at the start, it’s normal for a body to be sorrowful. As time passes, if your mama keeps a-crying a pond of tears and wallows in it, you’ll need to set her straight. Christ Jesus did the ultimate work when His precious arms and legs

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