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Cash helps Paige.
Chapter 2, Part 2
| Category: || Romance Fiction |
Posted:|| August 10, 2012 Views: 1902|
Paige was raised in Boston and inherited an antebellum house. Cash was hired to restore the house to authenticity. South vs North as these two attempt to find love.
When Paige heard police sirens, she glanced out the front cut-glass window. Two police cruisers were parked along the curb and two alongside the house, their sirens now silent. The flashing lights gave an eerie glow. A tall officer ran to the door and knocked.
She cautiously opened it. "There's someone in the old kitchen behind the house."
"Are you all right, Ma'am?" When she nodded, he followed the other officers.
Paige relocked the door, hurried to the back window, and watched.
As the officers appeared behind the house, Cash stood outside the building. He looked toward the back door, shook his head, and held up his hands.
After Cash and the officers spoke for a while, they followed him inside the old kitchen. A few minutes later, the five men headed toward the house.
Paige opened the door allowing the officers and Cash enter.
The tall officer asked, "Ma'am, do you know this guy?"
She nodded. "Cash Wilkins. I met him this afternoon. My aunt hired him to restore this house."
"Did you know he's using the old kitchen for storage?"
"No, sir. He didn't say anything about it."
"On my way home, I stopped by the lumberyard. After supper, I brought the supplies over. I didn't want to leave them in the truck bed overnight. Your aunt said I could use it."
"It makes sense." Paige chewed on her bottom lip. "Officers, I'm sorry.
It's my first night in the house and guess I'm a little jumpy. How do I make this right?"
The lead officer glanced toward Cash. "When we searched the building, we saw the supplies. He showed us the receipt. So, I'd say Mr. Wilkins is telling the truth." He turned toward Paige. "Is it okay if I let him go?"
She nodded. "It sounds like a good idea."
"I think we're done here." The officers turned and left.
As Cash began to follow them, Paige touched his arm. "May I speak with you?"
"I owe you an apology. I'm sorry, I caused so much trouble."
He ran his fingers through his short sandy hair and stared into her bright blue eyes. "You worried about ghosts?" After she nodded, he walked over to the dining room table and held up the paper with his phone number on it. "Why didn't you call?"
"It would've made sense, since you were the one outside." Her face flushed pink. "Now I think about it, why would a ghost turn on a light? I should've gone out to check before I called the police."
"No! What if there would've been a prowler? You'd have no way to defend yourself. Next time just call me or Billy Joe." After Paige nodded, Cash continued, "I better leave. I'll be back about sunrise."
"Would you like a drink or something to eat?" She opened the refrigerator door.
"I need to go."
Paige stared inside, paused, then closed it. "Of course, I'll see you in the morning." She avoided Cash's eyes.
"I better check and make sure the doors are locked." He went to the front of the house.
"You don't need to do that." She followed. "I'll be fine."
Cash turned. "It's your first night alone in the house. I understand why you'd be nervous." He turned the knob. "This is locked." He checked the second door. "Where's your phone. I'll put my number in."
Paige handed it to him.
"Keep it by your bed and call if you need anything." He handed it back. "I'll see you later. Try to get some rest. Be sure it's locked after I leave."
Paige nodded. "I will." She watched Cash leave, then locked it. I'd better clean my brushes. She went upstairs to the bedroom where she had been painting. Next to the easel sat the paints, but no brushes. Where could they be? I know I didn't move them. Cash or police didn't come upstairs.
She searched the room, then retraced her steps throughout the house. For over an hour she searched without finding them. I'll go on to bed. Tomorrow they'll show up.
The following morning, Paige stretched, stood beside the bed, then glanced at the alarm clock. "I have time for a cup of coffee before my meeting." Still in her nightshirt, she stepped into the hallway. "ARHHH!" She ran back to the bedroom, slammed the bedroom door, and tried to turn the lock.
"AHHHH!" Sounded at the same time.
Paige cracked open the door. "Who are you?"
"You aren't a ghost?"
"I'm Francine's daughter. You must be Paige Swanson."
"Yes." She released a deep breath and offered the petite black woman her hand. "Nobody told me to expect you."
"Miz Paula had a trust set up. I get paid monthly."
The women glanced toward the stairs and watched Cash and Billy Joe run up them. At the top of the stairs, Cash asked, "Paige, you all right?"
Nala shook her head. "Mr. Cash, I know your mama taught you better than to show up at a lady's bedroom door. Now, get." She held up a towel she'd carried in front of Paige. "My mammie assisted in bringing you into this world."
"I heard someone scream." He tried to look past Nala.
"I heard two ladies," offered Billy Joe.
"We surprised each other. I didn't know Aunt Paula made arrangements for Nala to work here. I knew once Francine passed on, her daughter came in a few times a week, but we hadn't met until today." Paige paused. "I guess Mr. Redman forgot to tell me everything."
"I know you had a rough night. Did things calm down after I left?"
"Not really." She looked toward the bedroom with her easel. "Somehow my paint brushes disappeared." She glanced toward Nala. "You haven't seen dirty paint brushes, have you?"
Nala shook her head.
"I have," interrupted Cash. "They got paint all over the inside of my toolbox. I wondered how they got there."
Paige's face turned pale. "So do I." She hesitated. "I painted a sunset scene. As I finished, I noticed it was dark so I went to lock the doors." She turned toward Cash. "That's when I noticed the light on in the old outdoor kitchen. After everybody left, I went back to clean my brushes and they were missing."
Cash scratched his head. "That doesn't make sense."
"It even makes less sense being in your toolbox. I know I didn't put them in there. I've never touched it." Paige turned her head when her alarm clock sounded. "We'd better discuss this later. I have an appointment in a few hours and need to get ready." She went into the bedroom and shut the door.
After Billy Joe poked Cash's arm, he glanced toward the porch and took a deep breath. "She's all decked out. I wonder who her appointment's with."
"I don't know, but she sure is purdy for a Yankee." Billy Joe grinned. "Ms Paige, where you going all purdied up?"
"I have an appointment with the department head, Mr. Simpson, at the Savannah College of Art and Design. I have a part-time teaching job starting this fall and he wants to discuss my ideas for the class."
"I thought your aunt left you all sorts of money." Billy Joe lifted his straw hat, brushed off the dust, and replaced it.
"Shhh, you aren't supposed to ask those kinds of questions." Cash slapped his buddy's back.
Paige smiled. "It's all right. Aunt Paula did leave me quite of bit of money, plus I have a trust fund from my parents. I teach because I like it." She glanced at her watch. "I'd better get going. See you two later."
"Do you know how to get there?" Cash grinned.
"I googled it before I left Massachusetts. I shouldn't have a problem." She walked toward her car.
Cash and Billy Joe watched until she drove out of sight. Cash took a drink of water. "Wanta bet she gets lost?"
"Nope." Billy Joe laughed.
About twenty minutes later, Cash answered his ringing cell. "Where you at?" He laughed. "If you don't know where you're at, how can I help?" He paused. "Is there a street sign?" After listening for a moment, he asked, "So the sign says Abercorn and you see a temple and a water fountain? Stay put. I'm on my way."
"How'd she get there? SCAD's only a few blocks away from here. She could walk."
"Who knows? I'll be back." Cash got into his pickup and drove off.
When Cash saw Paige's Jaguar, he pulled alongside and rolled down the window. "Follow me and I'll take you to SCAD."
She nodded, then followed his truck.
After Paige parked, she got out of the car and walked up to Cash's truck door. "Thank you. I guess SCAD is short for Savannah College of Art and Design."
He nodded. "That's what we call it around these parts. Call me when you're done and I'll show you how to get home."
"Think I'll ever figure this town out?"
"I have hope." He grinned, then watched a man in a suit walk up to Paige.
"Hello, you must be Paige Swanson."
"I am. Are you Dr. Walker?"
"Please call me Dwayne. I'll walk in with you."
Paige turned toward Cash. "When I'm finished, I'll call. Thank you, again. I appreciate the help." She walked beside Walker.
Cash watched the man take Paige's briefcase. Look at that fancy suit. I don't have a chance. I don't own a suit. Wait, I bought one when Billy Joe got hitched. She won't call, that guy'll show her the way. He continued to watch.
Dwayne held the door open for Paige. Before she entered the building, she turned toward Cash, smiled, and waved. Cash grinned, then backed out of the parking lot.
|The book continues with Chapter 3, Part 1. We will provide a link to it when you review this below.|
Thank you, Google Images, for a photo of the Hamilton-Tucker House. These images are of antebellum houses in Savannah, Georgia. Brian and I vacationed there in 2004. I fell in love with the city and my muse decided I should write about the city. I hope soon you will be able to understand where my first two posts of this novel fit.
Thank you for reading and reviewing. Errors in dialogue are intentional.
and 2 member cents.
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