Friday, 22 April 2011
Author Spotlight week -Excerpt from Saving Pale Moon
When Jessie stepped into the old-fashioned kitchen a half hour later, only Abby sat at the table. A half-eaten slice of pie in front of her.
"I didn't mean to be in the shower for so long."
"Don't worry about it." Abby rose and walked to the stove. "I hope you like your chili hot."
"The hotter the better," she said truthfully. "I love spicy food. It used to drive my sisters crazy."
Abby grinned. "I guess I have something in common with your sisters then."
"You don't like it that way?"
"No." Her grinned widened. "But my husband and sons love it."
Abby looked over her shoulder. "Don't let him bother you, Jessie. Blake's never been the trustful type. It comes from thinking he's like his--"
"She doesn't need to know my history."
"Speak of the devil," Jessie mumbled.
"What do you want?" Abby set a bowl of chili onto the table in front of Jessie, dragging a cooled down plate of cornbread near her seat. "I thought you went back to work in the office."
"I did," he said while sinking down in the chair opposite her. The same chair he'd been sitting in at breakfast. It seemed all families had their assigned seats. Where would she fit in here?
"Then why are you back now?" Abby settled into her seat and lifted her coffee cup. "I've never known you to leave that office until everyone was asleep."
He glanced briefly at Jessie before twisting to stare at his mother. "I just wanted to let you know I changed the appointment for tomorrow."
"This late at night?" Jessie asked. "I would think the lab was closed at this time."
"Kelly works there," he said, still not meeting her eye. "I called Kelly and asked her to change it for Thursday. The lab is rarely busy."
"Oh, you go out with her once, and you think she owes you a favor." Jessie groaned as the hard words filtered through the air, and she sighed in regret. She looked toward Abby and watched as her lips formed into a loose smile. "I'm sorry. I don't know why I said that."
"Don't worry about it."
Jessie would swear she heard a hint of laughter riding in those words. But when she glanced at Abby, the woman's face showed no expression at all.
"I've never heard anyone say anything like that about Blake, though. Now, Nick, that's an entirely different story. The ladies seem to like my eldest son. They'd do anything for him. But Blake is different. Other than Eve's obvious interest in him, that is." Abby glanced at the man. "Blake's not as outgoing as Nick. He's pickier when it comes to women."
"I doubt Jessica wants to hear about that," he said, tightness deepening his gruff voice. Jessie liked his voice. "And, just because I'm picky about who I date, doesn't mean anything. This ranch and the horses keep me way too busy."
"Nick dates," Abby said easily.
Blake seemed angered by her statement. "I just came to let you both know I changed the appointment."