~WHEN SWALLOWS FALL~
GLORIA DAVIDSON MARLOW
- Paperback: 260 pages
- Publisher: The Wild Rose Press, Inc. (American Rose) (November 5, 2013)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1628301120
- ISBN-13: 978-1628301120
Publication Date: October 26, 2013
“I’m sorry,” she said, moving away from the screen. “I can’t help you.”
“Wait!” he cried as she started to shut the door.
The desperation in his voice seemed to catch her attention, because she stepped closer to the screen once more. This time her grey eyes came into clear view, catching and holding his gaze as they searched his intently. Her face drained of color and she swayed toward him. His hand shot out to steady her.
“Don’t touch me!” she exclaimed.
“I’m not, I’m not.” He held his hands in front of him as if in surrender.
She seemed to gain some control of herself, as with a heavy sigh she turned away from the door.
“You better come in.”
He knew she had decided to help him, although he had no idea what changed her mind. He wanted to demand she explain, but deep down, he doubted he was prepared for what she would say.
“Have a seat, Mr. Sexton. I’ll get us something to drink.”
“Can I help?”
“No!” At her outburst, her cheeks turned pink and she drew in a deep breath. “I’m sorry. Wait here. I’ll be back in just a minute.”
She hurried from the room and Drake sank into a chair that faced the fireplace. Unlike the outside of the house, the inside was clean and cozy. The small living room had a warm, homey feel to it and he felt himself relax a little. He let his mind wander to a time before Madeline, Kelsey or Terrence Enterprises, the time before he became the man he was today.
He had been raised in a little house like this one. A fire blazed in the fireplace during the fall and winter. In the spring and summer, his mom kept a huge basket of flowers on the hearth to brighten the dark, cold stone. He closed his eyes, remembering the noise that had filled that house, the noise he had run from at his first opportunity.
With a small, ironic smile, he thought of the silence that filled his house now. He’d often wondered over the last few years if this was God’s way of answering the prayer he had prayed as a sixteen-year-old boy anxious to escape the noisy, crowded nest he shared with his five siblings and his parents.
“Mr. Sexton?” Her velvety voice enveloped him and he let it caress his ears for a moment before opening his eyes.
“Drake,” he said, taking the frosty glass of lemonade she held out to him. “Call me Drake.”
“All right, um, Drake. How did you find me?”
“A lady at the supermarket gave me directions. She goes to church with you. I think her last name was Potter, but don’t blame her for telling me. She really tried not to, but I was quite persistent.”
“I see. And why are you so persistent, Mr. Sexton? Are you a reporter? A stalker? What is it you want from me?”
Drake studied her for a long moment. She was unlike anything he’d expected. There wasn’t a wrinkle or wild gray hair in sight, no gobs of makeup caking on her face, and not a single piece of gaudy jewelry bedecking her neck and wrists. The woman who stood before him was young and pretty, with large gray eyes that matched the smokiness of her voice and dark hair that hung straight and thick around her face and shoulders. Dressed in snug blue jeans and a loose flannel shirt, she looked nothing like the sideshow quack he’d expected. In all his wild imaginings, he had never expected Sara Jennings to have lips so full and inviting.
She pursed her lips and he forced his gaze away from her mouth and met her eyes. She raised her brows slightly and he was surprised to feel his face turn warm with embarrassment.
“I’m not a reporter, Ms. Jennings and I most certainly am not a stalker. I just want you to help my daughter.” His voice became desperate. “Please, you’re the only hope I have. I need you to help her.”
As if sensing the truth in his words, she nodded in silent acknowledgment.