Maggie's Marriage (The Cloverleaf Series Book 2)

By: Gloria Herrmann

Book Two in the Cloverleaf Series



Dedication



This book is dedicated to marriage. As a married woman, I have experienced the battles of compromise and utter frustration. I have also found my partner, my best friend, and an overall incredible human being. Marriage takes work, patience, and a tremendous amount of love. We both learned this from our parents, and only hope to set the same example for our children.

Traveling on this road toward the hopes of a successful marriage, we have enjoyed the times when it was smooth and scenic, we have encountered the bumps in the road and obstacles that life threw at us, but there is no one else I would want to share this ride with. I’m thankful to have married such a wonderful man; one who has patience, and who supports and encourages me regardless of my successes or failures, and who just gets me. I love you, Tim.






Chapter One





Maggie



Maggie Trembley clutched her queasy stomach. The pungent smell of the raw sea was not settling well with her today. She slowly sucked in the damp air through clenched teeth, trying to push past the urge to empty the contents of her stomach. She watched as her daughter got into line with the other students. The teacher tried to command the excited group of children, who were more interested in poking each other and giggling than listening to their teacher. Melanie, Maggie’s child, was trying to follow directions the best a six-year-old could, but it helped that her mother’s watchful eyes were targeted on her. Melanie’s rust-colored, bobbed hair swung right below her chin. She sent Maggie a wide smile which showed she was missing her two front teeth.

Thick, angry, gray clouds threatened to burst open on that spring day in Seattle. Maggie felt the cool ocean breeze swim lightly in the salty air, blowing through her own chestnut-colored waves. She reached back, trying to smooth her tresses, and was thankful that the majority of this field trip was indoors. It wouldn’t be the first time she or any of the residents in the city would get caught in an outrageous downpour, but who really wanted to be out in the rain? She wasn’t in the mood for it today, that much was certain.

That was one of the drawbacks of living in this wet and busy place; it was nothing like back home in Birch Valley. Sure, Birch Valley had rain, it was probably even snowing there right now, but Maggie missed that wonderful little place that, at the moment, felt so far away.

In the almost eight years she had lived in Seattle, she still wasn’t quite used to it. Recently, Maggie had been more homesick than ever before. She knew a lot of that had to do with the irritation she felt with her husband, Michael, and his constant absence at home. Michael, who was trying desperately to make partner at the law firm where he was a corporate defense attorney—the same firm where they had met and ultimately fell in love. Maggie knew there were more reasons why she missed Birch Valley, but right now, dealing with Michael never being around was ranking high on the list.

They had recently returned from a lovely weekend camping trip. Nestled deep in the woods of Birch Valley in their RV, sharing a nice time with her family, only made her longing worse. Coming back to the bright lights of the Puget Sound, the streets thick with traffic, and Michael leaving for the office only moments after they arrived home, reminded her just how lonely she was here.

The teacher announced to the children that they would be getting into different groups and were to be on their best behavior at the aquarium. Maggie smiled weakly at the teacher as she was given a handful of children to chaperone, Melanie clinging protectively next to her. The teacher passed a sheet to her and the other parents who had tagged along with the day’s itinerary. Looking over at her daughter, Maggie announced to her small group of first graders that it was time to see some fish.

The tanks were filled with colorful fish that captured the attention of the children only briefly. As she eyed the little ones, Maggie was jealous of all the energy they possessed. She tried to keep up with the children; corralling them at various exhibits proved to be very difficult and exhausting. Their lunch break was a little calmer as the little ones enjoyed their sack lunches and shared what they loved seeing.

“Mom, are you having fun?” Melanie asked, taking a good sized bite out of her ham sandwich.

Maggie was nibbling slowly on a wheat cracker; it was all that her stomach could handle. “Yes, this is such a neat place. Are you enjoying yourself sweetie?”

“Oh yes, it’s awesome. You don’t look so happy, Mom.” Melanie’s green eyes flickered with concern for a brief second.

Maggie avoided Melanie’s questioning stare, diverting her attention to the other children who were seated around them. Why did children always have to be so darn perceptive?

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