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Megan puts on the large, white-framed sunglasses, even though it’s starting to get dark out. The dress Will insisted she wear is too low cut for an evening in a pub and too sexy, even for her. She ties his red bandana around her neck and makes a double knot, turning it into kind of a cowboy kerchief.
‘You ready yet?’ Will calls from outside the cabin. Then he walks inside, and his boots squeak to a stop on the wood floor when he sees her. ‘Nice.’ He circles her slowly and then stops so that they are eye to eye. ‘Very nice. But take your hair down, will you?’
‘I thought a ballerina bun would look better with this dress.’
‘You’re not paid to think.’ He grins and swats her on the ass. ‘Come on, beautiful. Time’s a- wasting.’
She shakes out her hair, pulls it behind her ears and over one shoulder. The cracked bathroom mirror makes it look as if she has five eyes. Megan blinks all of them and says, ‘Let’s go.’
He’s promised this will be the last one, and she believes him. Will is many things but not a liar…not to her, anyway.
They pause at the top of the stairs, and the sound of the creek in back, combined with the redwood scent of the deck after a morning of rain, reminds her why she came here with him, and why she stays. Not that she needs reminders.
‘What are you thinking?’ he asks.
Just like that, she remembers something. ‘I was supposed to help Priscilla and the other women make blueberry jam tonight.’
‘Like she will care if you don’t show up?’ He starts down the stairs. ‘Priscilla. Michael. I’ll never figure out these people.’
‘Good people,’ she reminds him. ‘They took us in with no questions.’
‘And they leave jars of jam in those little stands with no one manning them. Like anyone will actually leave money in the freaking jar.’ He reaches the ground ahead of her and puts out his hand.
‘But they do.’
‘You’ve got that right.’ He helps her over the space at the bottom where the last step is missing and then puts his arm around her waist as they walk to the driveway. ‘Why would anybody leave money when they take jam from a stand with no one in charge? Once I’m back in school, I’m going to write a paper on that one.’
‘Me too,’ she says, and they laugh because they both know that only one of them will be returning to school.
‘Ready?’ he asks when they reach the car, and she tells him the truth because she is sure he knows it anyway.
‘Ready to get it over with.’