Read an Excerpt
"Oh, that is truly a long story, Mr. Thompson."
"It's a long ride home, Miss Jones."
Dani met the gaze that looked down on her. His faded blue eyes offered friendship, not animosity as she expected. Positive energy seemed to secrete from his mere presence, and it was powerful. It engulfed her and made her feel protected and safe. Her gaze touched on the rest of his features. Soft laugh lines touched the corners of his eyes and mouth. Tell tale signs of the laughter he often found. A small dimple, which she hadn't noticed until now, was perfectly situated in the center of his chin. It was a delightful face-no, a handsome face. Even while framed with mud. A large glob was ready to drip from a tuft near his right ear. She gathered a bottom corner of her blanket and wiped the muck away.
John reached out and grasped her hand before it could retreat below the blanket. Her fingers trembled beneath his. He tightened his hold, for some reason he wanted to absorb the nervousness from her. There was something about this little girl he liked, really liked. She reminded him of a little bird, one he wanted to protect from the harsh elements. "Just start at the beginning, Miss Jones," he encouraged.
John waited until her head nodded at his statement then released his hold.
She folded her hand below the blanket and started her tale, "Well, I guess the beginning would be about ten years ago, when my parents were murdered." She tilted her head back and looked up at him. "You did say the beginning."