A pang of sadness struck Grace, and she wondered if

“A pang of sadness struck Grace, and she wondered if missing her mother would ever go away. Apparently, Ford didn’t know that Felice Holbrook had passed away within a year of her son’s death, or that her father blamed Ford for that incident as well. “She’s been dead over ten years now,” she said quietly, keeping her explanation short and precise and skimming the more devastating details of her mother’s passing. “She died of a severe strain of pneumonia.”

“Ahhh, Grace, I’m so sorry.” Genuine regret deepened his voice. Standing, he came around to her side of the table and offered her his hand. “Come on, I think we could both use some fresh air.” He nodded toward the open slider leading to the balcony.

She agreed, and settled her small hand in his much larger, warmer one, engulfing her, physically and emotionally. Odd, she thought, that he could return after eleven years and slip under her skin so easily again. For as much as he’d hurt her with his abrupt departure, for as much as they’d both changed in the time he’d been gone, she still felt that crazy infinity with him—as if he was “the one”.

A foolish notion, she knew, obviously leftover from her youth when she’d believed in happy endings, white knights, and happily-ever-after’s. Now, she was a grown woman—experience having taught her to be practical in her expectations about men, romance, and forever promises.

Out on the balcony it was dark, illuminated only by the glow of the moon. Letting go of Ford’s hand, Grace curled her fingers around the railing and took a deep breath of fresh, chilled April air, clearing her head and lungs. Though they could hear the sounds of people talking and laughing from the dining room a few balconys down, she and Ford seemed to be cocooned in their own solitary world. Grace preferred it that way—not only was she enjoying their privacy, but she had no wish to deal with curious stares and whispers behind her back. There was no need for anyone to know her business, or that she’d spent the evening with Ford McCabe.

Especially her father.

“Things sure have changed since I’ve been gone,” Ford commented idly, pushing his hands into his trouser pockets. “And then some things haven’t changed at all.”

She regarded him curiously. “You mean the people?”

“The whole entire town. Whitaker Towne Square is new, and a much needed, modern addition to the town, if you ask me. Yet Frankie and Earnest still sit out in front of the Barber shop, playing their game of chess while watching the people in town go about their business.”

She refrained from commenting that Frankie and Earnest’s daily ritual might end soon, depending on what the new land owner of that strip of stores decided to do with the property. “Did you stop and say hello?”

“No.” He grinned an adorably impish grin. “I’m not sure if they’re still holding a grudge for the time I rode by on my bike and threw a bunch of firecrackers next to them and nearly gave them both a heart attack.”

Grace laughed at the old memory, but clearly remembered the outrage that had followed on the heels of that prank. What Ford had done had been foolish and dangerous, no doubt, but when she’d told her mother of the incident, Felice had just sadly shook her head.

While everyone condemned Ford, her mother made the comment that the act of rebellion was a cry for attention. At the time, Grace hadn’t understood how a perilous stunt could be construed as such, until she’d met Ford face-to-face and she’d seen the hostility in his eyes, and the pain and loneliness of a lost little boy. And despite her father’s warnings to stay away from that “no good McCabe boy”, Grace had made it her personal crusade to befriend him when the rest of the town scorned him.

Never would she have guessed she’d fall in love with him.

Exhaling a deep breath, she thought about all the different things that had remained the same in his absence, and the other things that had changed. Like the place where he grew up.

“Ford, I don’t know if you realize this yet or not, but . . . have you been out to Cutter Creek?”

“Yeah, I’ve been there.” His expression remained unreadable as he commented on the land where he’d lived the first twenty years of his life. “Quite an impressive house someone built there.””

How To Start A Blog The Right Way

Technically speaking, there’s no right or wrong way to start a blog since it can be anything you want it to be. However, if you’re serious about wanting your blog to succeed, you’ll want to know how to start a blog in a way that will help you achieve your goals. This is where pre-planning comes into play.

You know how any task is much easier when you have all the pieces in your head before starting on it? Yeah, it works the same way with blogs. This is as good a place to start as any.

How Do You Define Proxies?

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