Falling for the Flyboy(10)

By: Trish Milburn


Cam clipped the needle off and gently wrapped a towel around her hand. He bent and pulled her uninjured arm across his shoulders.

“Tilly, are you good to get home?” he asked as he helped Amanda through the living room.

“Yeah.”

During the drive into town, Amanda didn’t say anything, simply rode with her head on the back of the truck’s bench seat. Inexplicably, he wanted to hold Amanda’s uninjured hand, to tell her that everything would be alright.

As he maneuvered the familiar turns toward the small clinic once run by Sophie Waldon’s father, he glanced at the passing buildings. No matter how much some things changed, others stayed the same. Cedar Bend still rolled up the streets when the sun went down.

When his headlights lit the front of the clinic, Dr. Sophie Waldon opened the door and motioned him inside. By the time he reached the passenger side door, Amanda had it open and one foot on the ground. She swayed and grunted when she accidentally hit her injured hand on the door. The pinched look on her face told him she was doing her dead-level best not to cry.

“Take it easy,” he said as he shut the door and helped her into the clinic.

Sophie took over immediately, allowing Cam a moment to exhale and shake off the strange feeling he’d had in the truck. It had to be because she’d appeared so close to passing out and didn’t seem to have a soul around on whom to depend. Yeah, that was it. He was simply feeling sorry for her. His background of serving and protecting coming to the fore. At least that’s what he told himself.

With Sophie and Amanda in an examining room, Cam pulled out his phone and dialed Frank Berm. He and the real estate agent were supposed to meet and have dinner up in Dickinson tonight to discuss available commercial property around Cedar Bend. But he couldn’t leave Amanda to fend for herself. Even if she felt better after being treated, she didn’t have a way to get back home.

“Hey, Frank,” he said when the older man answered the phone. “Cameron Blue. I need to reschedule our meeting. I’ve had something come up.”

“Fine. How about lunch tomorrow at Hannah’s?”

Visions of Hannah Radnor’s chocolate fudge pie made Cam’s empty stomach rumble. No matter how many people left or how many businesses around her closed, Hannah managed to keep her little restaurant open for hearty breakfasts and filling lunches. She stayed in business because the residents of Cedar Bend were literally addicted to her fudge pie.

“You’ve got a deal. Oh, and Frank, I noticed a For Sale sign on what used to be my grandparents’ farm. I didn’t know it was on the market.”

Cam almost couldn’t believe his good fortune when he’d spied the realty sign nearly covered with roadside weeds on the way into town. Getting Amanda to sell wouldn’t be a problem after all.

“You interested?” Frank asked. “That property’s been on the market a long time. I could probably get a good deal from the owners.”

Owners? Was Amanda married? He hadn’t noticed if she wore a ring.

“The farm was subdivided when it originally sold,” Frank continued. “The house and a few acres sold a couple years back. Times being as hard as they are, the larger acreage with the barn hasn’t drawn much interest.”

Cam’s hope fell from the height it’d flown to. Had Janet mentioned the farm had been subdivided again? “So the house isn’t for sale?”

“No. Are you still interested?”

It wasn’t as simple as he’d hoped, but it was a start. Maybe those hard times would allow him to get the barn tract cheap, still leaving enough money to buy the house. “Yeah, I’m still interested.”

“Great. I’ll bring the information on that tract tomorrow, along with that for the commercial properties.”

After calling Janet to let her know he wouldn’t be there for dinner, he glanced out the window. The sign in front of the Jiffy Market across the street advertised fresh fried chicken and potato wedges. It wasn’t Hannah’s fried chicken, but he’d eaten worse places than a gas station. And he doubted Amanda would feel like cooking when she got home.

“Be back in a minute,” he yelled down the hallway.