Maybe Garth was right, Nancy thought. Maybe Shana was too much of a distraction for the handsome PI to get any work done. Last thing Cupid's Corner needed was a man on the run. Maybe if all three of them were out there looking, surely, the mystery behind Nancy’s secret admirer as well as Garth’s reason for being in Cupid’s Corner would soon be solved.
Nancy opened her mouth to thank Garth but Shana spoke first. “Don’t go.”
She jerked around to Shana. Was it just her imagination or had her level-headed friend asked, no, make that begged Garth not to go? Shana threw Nancy an apologetic smile before turning her attention back to the man. There was something different about her, a softness that hadn’t been there before, a feeling that when beyond simple attraction.
Nancy pressed her lips together. No one fell in love that fast. Why, Shana didn’t even know how the man took his coffee or if he liked Castle or if he had a relationship with God. Love doesn’t happen all at once, but over time, once you really know someone, know everything about them. That’s when love happens. Not like a bolt of lighting.
Hadn’t she loved Brad from the beginning?
A painful knot formed in Nancy’s chest. Yes, she’d loved him from that first moment, when he’d give her his chair after she’d shown up late for Sunday school and fell deeper the more she learned about him. Like how he always carried a bag of cherry lifesavers because he knew they were her favorites. Or the notes he made along the edges of his Bible when he thought no one was watching. He’d seemed too good to be for real, right up until the moment Tanya Watson had shay-shaded into the shoe store at the mall where Nancy worked, clinging to Brad’s arm as if her life depended on it.
And rather than listen to his explanation, she’d turned tail and ran as fast and as far as she could.
Shana snapped her fingers in front of Nancy’s face, and she blinked. “What do you think.”
Nancy glanced at Garth, trying to get a read but he looked as confused as she felt. “I’m not quite sure I understand.”
“I was just saying that we might be able to help each other.”
Maybe so, but did she really want either of them around someone Garth had chased all the way from Georgia? Still curiosity got the best of her. “And how would we do that?”
“A stake out.”
The suggestion just confused Nancy more. “But we don’t even know if my secret admirer and the man Garth is looking for is related. And where would this stake out be? He switches up where he delivers the gifts to.”
“No,” Garth disagreed, flashing a smile at Shana that caused her friend to blush. “He has them delivered to where he knows you’re at.”
“Well, if that’s it, how do we know where to have this ‘stakeout?’” Nancy asked.
“The question isn’t where,” Shana answered, slipping an arm around Nancy’s waist. “But who.”
Nancy shook her head. “I don’t think this is such a good idea.”
“I do.” Garth gazed into Shana’s eyes with such admiration, Nancy couldn’t help feeling a little bit jealous. “He’s here in Cupid’s Corner because of you. So why not use you to draw him out in the open?”
Like a cricket on the end of one of her daddy’s fishing poles, dangling over the water, that’s how Nancy felt. But if it was Brad, wasn’t it time she learned the truth so that she could move on with her life? “Okay, Garth, how do we get started?”
Patty Smith Hall has been making up stories to keep herself and others occupied since she was knee-high to a grasshopper. Now she’s thrilled to share her love of history with others, including her husband of 30 years, Danny; her beautiful and talented daughters, Jennifer and Carly, and her future son-in-law, Dan. Her third book based in World War II Georgia, Hearts Rekindled is available Feb. 1st.