The Saga of Lovelace Lane: Chapter Six
Mason started to chase after her but thought about his own parents. When his mother was most upset, it was always best to give her space, let her calm down. His mind told him to do the same; his feet, however, were already following her. The sound of the phone stalled his steps.
|Catch her, tell her you love her, that you'd never....|
He checked the number and scowled: Deke DeFoliate.
“Yes,” Mason answered the call.
“So, the prodigal granddaughter’s returned.”
“I take it you’ve warned her about us?”
“I made a recommendation that any conscientious attorney would give his client.”
“Did you tell her that we can solve all her money problems?”
Another call interrupted, sending a quick Thank You to God, Mason said, “I have to go” and clicked off without waiting.
“Did I just see you with Rose Redmond?”
“Is she staying?”
“I’m not sure.” But, oh, he wanted her to. The sight of her, a woman he’d spent barely an hour with fifteen year ago, and it all came flooded back. They fit. It was in the air that electrified around them - because of her. It was in the sound of her voice - that surely was the melody of an angel. It was in his heart.
“Did you tell her?”
“I didn't get a chance. She’s quick. She was reading some of the paperwork as I was talking and caught on to the broken branch of our family tree carved with the name DeFoliate.”
|He hated that he'd put the look of sadness, mistrust, in her eyes.|
“Phewhf,” his father said. “You need to find her and warn her.”
Fifteen years ago, his family had returned to Lovelace, Virginia, because they’d inherited land. Only, to be cheated out of half of it.
By Deke Defoliate’s brother Darryl.
As Rose drew closer to the Victorian, she noted her car still parked in front - suitcase waiting in the trunk - and someone on the porch.
Hah. If either of the DeFoliates were waiting for her, she’d send them packing and then unpack herself. She was staying!
But, it wasn’t a stranger standing at the stop of the porch steps. Strangers didn’t wear bright red shirts, white cotton pants, red tennis shoes, and a welcoming smile.
“Eden!” Rose’s feet practically flew the rest of the way. “I’m so glad you’re here. It’s been quite a day.”
“I saw you with Mason. Did he catch you up with all that’s going on?” Eden Damask and her grandfather should have married. They had the same wry sense of humor and the same deep love for Lovelace, Virginia.
“Somewhat... Did you know he’s related to the Defoliates and-”
“And is connected to them the way a match is to water,” Eden finished. “Come on, let’s get your luggage, you always did dally when it came to unpacking. Then, I’ve supper on the table. There’s a few thing we need to discuss.”
“Like what you’re going to be doing the next few weeks, months, years.”
It flashed before Rose: her job, the promotion, the condo of her dreams. Then, the flash slowed into how much history was here in her town. There was plenty of work here and she’d be her own boss. Plus, the condo paled in comparison to the Victorian. The tiny yard was nothing like the lake.
“I’ll listen,” Rose said.
Thirty minutes later, both women sat by the kitchen window at the old table where Grandpa had taught Rose how to play checkers. Eden served up tomato soup and grilled cheese. Without asking, Eden handed Rose a glass of milk. Always a mom, Eden was.
“I’m thinking,” Eden said after taking a bite of sandwich, “that Mason told you you’re land rich and money poor.”
“I think I know a way to help you solve that problem.”
Careful not to spill her drink, Eden pulled a manilla envelope from the bag laying on the table. She carefully opened it and slid a yellowed piece of paper toward Rose.
“Looks like directions,” Rose said, “but it’s incomplete.”
Eden leaned forward. “This is a document my husband’s family has had for years. Two weeks ago, Mason and I were going through your grandfather’s files and we found its mate. I almost fainted right then and there. I didn’t tell him that I had this.”
|Oh, how the secrets of the past muck up the present|
“John always grumbled that the bank was owned by the Defoliates. I, of course, told him that the Grants were the Grants, but when I saw how Mason looked at the map, I couldn’t stop thinking about my husband and how he didn’t trust anything or anyone connected to the Defoliates.”
Rose nodded. She completely understand.
“Something I noticed before Grant stacked it with the other papers,” Eden said, “Is that the complete map has to be four pieces. I’m giving you one. Mason has the one your grandfather had. You need to find the other two pieces.”
“What do you think they lead to?” Rose asked.
The doorbell rang before Eden could answer.