Remember Me(102)

By: Ashlee Mallory

Relief filled every inch of her. The people responsible for hurting her and murdering Mr. Williams were going to pay.

Tears stung her eyes.

Sam stood and came to sit in the chair next to her. “You okay? All things considered,” he added, a smile curving his lips.

She sniffled, and nodded. “I am. And oddly enough…I’m famished. Do you think they have anything to eat this late? I could eat three cheeseburgers.”

“I’ll go see in a second. But first…” His hand settled on hers. Warm. Comforting. Sending the familiar and welcoming thrill coursing through her. “I want to be sure things between us are okay. Because when you get out of this place, I want nothing more than to take you out for a decent first date. Something that’s been way too long in coming.”

She smiled, her heart dancing pirouettes in her chest. “Fourteen years long.”

He laughed. “Well, Allie McBride, you were definitely worth the wait. Now, don’t go anywhere. I’ll go see what I can scrounge up to eat. Then I’m going to tell you all the ways I’ve been an idiot and how I’m going to make it up to you.”

Chapter Nineteen

Allie stood in the opening of her patio door on Sunday and watched the afternoon’s entertainment with a smile. Molly had really outdone herself. Not only had she arranged a snazzy number in honor of Vi’s birthday, she’d managed to make it a duet with the birthday girl. Allie laughed as the two swished their hips in time to Sugarland’s Stuck Like you. Even after nearly a week convalescing in the hospital and at home, she was surprised they’d managed to keep the performance a secret.

Thank God the rain had cleared, and the sky decided to be cooperative.

She looked at the crowd scattered around her back yard, all smiling and nodding to the performers. Everyone had shown up for the big event.

Except one.

But it wasn’t as if she’d given Sam a formal invitation or anything. After their little heart-to-heart the other night—which she always remembered with a smack to the head since she’d dozed off by the time Sam had returned with food—they hadn’t spoken about anything of real significance. Every day he visited her at the hospital there had been a constant stream of visitors who made it impossible for any private discussions. Allie had learned, however, that Sam’s son, Josh, had arrived on Thursday and was contemplating staying for the summer.

So, Sam was probably busy spending time with his son. And rightfully so.

But she missed him.

“And to think I almost missed this charming entertainment.”

Allie’s stomach fluttered at the sound of the deep, familiar voice behind her. The back of Sam’s hand grazed hers as he came to stand next to her.

“I’m sure Molly would have done an encore performance if you’d missed it.” She turned and met his gaze, grayish-green today, thanks to his matching shirt. Her body instantly responded, her heart suddenly beating at a crescendo pace, her palms sweating. Could he hear her heart beating frantically from there?

“You’re looking much better.”

“I suppose anything is an improvement over that hideous blue paisley hospital gown.”

His lips drew up into a warm smile that set the corners of his eyes into crinkles. She congratulated herself on going with the blue wrap dress that emphasized all her curves. Especially when he looked at her like that.

“I see you got my flowers.”

The huge bouquet of fragrant pink roses was hard to miss from its place of honor on her kitchen counter. “They were perfect.”

The last notes to the song come to an end. Allie tore her gaze from Sam’s and joined everyone in giving Violet and Molly a round of applause. Well, everyone except Grandma Ethel, who glared at Molly, not even pretending to have enjoyed it. No surprise.