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CHAPTER FOURTEEN. "YOU'RE LOOKING BETTER today," Nana said over breakfast.






"YOU'RE LOOKING BETTER today," Nana said over breakfast.

"You skipped your walk," Ginny accused. "I could have fended for myself."

"I wanted to make sure you were okay. You missed dinner."

Ginny hadn't left her room the night before. She had slept some. A troubled sleep, but still, she had slept. She had heard Nana moving about in the house, had heard her making dinner, but she didn't want to join her. She didn't want to have to answer any questions. So she had stayed in bed, pretending to be asleep. She was hiding from Nana, but she couldn't hide from her thoughts. Or her dreams.

But she was better this morning. She didn't get all flushed when she thought about Kara's kiss, at least. Well, not much anyway. She closed her eyes. I won't think about it today. I won't.

They rode to the store together and Ginny stayed busy, doing paper work and trying desperately to occupy her mind. It worked. She was surprised when she glanced at the clock and it was already after twelve.

"Aren't you going for lunch?" Nana asked.

"I think I'll just eat it here," she said.

"You've been working nonstop. You should get away," Nana said.

Ginny rubbed her head, thinking that if Nana even had a clue as to what was going on inside her, she would not want her to be alone with her thoughts for even one minute.

"No. I don't really feel like going to the park today," she said.

Nana shrugged. "I'll make you a sandwich, then."

Ginny opened her mouth to stop her. She wasn't hungry. But she let Nana walk away. She would force down the sandwich and save herself having to answer to Nana.

"Oh, there's Kara," Nana said.

Ginny's heart fluttered in her chest and her palms grew damp as she raised her eyes to the door.

"Well, she didn't stop," Nana said. "I guess she was out sketching."

Ginny let out a sigh of relief and briefly thanked the heavens for sparing her. She didn't think she could face Kara. Not yet. And especially not in front of Nana.



"I really like her, Ginny," Nana said when she brought their sandwiches. "Maybe we need to fix her up."

"Fix her up?"

"With a man," Nana explained.

Ginny covered her mouth and suppressed the laughter that threatened to surface. Fix her up with a man?

"Maybe Phil knows some nice man that would be perfect for her." Nana smiled sadly. "She's already thirty-four. She can't wait around for ever."

"Nana, I don't think Kara would appreciate you-"

"Oh, I know she said she wasn't looking, that she didn't need anyone, but I don't believe that for a minute. She's so attractive. If she would wear a little makeup and grow her hair out, she would have men lining up to ask her out."

Ginny bit into her sandwich to save from answering. It was no use. Nana would never be convinced that a woman could be happy without a man in her life. Of course, Ginny could always tell Nana the truth, that Kara preferred to be with women.

"Oh, well. I guess it's really none of my business," Nana said. "She'll be going back to Seattle soon, anyway."

"Yes, she will," Ginny murmured. The sooner, the better, she thought.

Nana fixed her eyes on Ginny. "Why haven't you called Phil?"

"I... just haven't."

"Ginny, don't make the man wait forever. He may lose patience and then what? Maybe he'll meet someone else and then who will you have?"

"Nana, please don't start," Ginny pleaded.

"Do I need to call him myself?"

"Don't you dare!"

Nana stared at her for a moment longer. "Well, I declare. Women nowadays. I'll never understand you."

Ginny rubbed her temples, trying to ward off the headache that threatened. She wanted to scream out in frustration. Her nerves were on edge and she counted to ten before speaking.



"Nana, we've been over this time and again. When I'm ready, I'll call him," she said quietly. "Now, please. I don't want to talk about it."

"I'm only concerned-"

"I know you are," she said gently. "And I love you for it."

The bell jingled and a customer came in, a stranger, and Nana got up to help them and Ginny closed her eyes in relief. It was one thing to be worried over these feelings she had for Kara, but at least that she could do silently. Nana's constant concern over her and Phil's relationship was slowly wearing her down until she was certain that she was going to snap at her.

"Oh, Ginny. If you happen to talk to Kara, ask her about Sunday," Nana called.

"Sunday?"

"You haven't forgotten? Settler's Day is Sunday," Nana reminded her.

Settler's Day in the park. Ginny had forgotten. The town got together each year to celebrate its founding with food and drink and music. For a mere five dollars a person, all the burgers and fries you could eat and a glass of keg beer would run you only a buck.

"Nana, I don't think Kara would enjoy it. I mean, it's burgers," she said.

"Oh, pooh. There's plenty of other stuff to eat," Nana said, dismissing her lame excuse with a wave of her hand. "She doesn't know a soul here, Ginny. It would be rude if we didn't invite her."

"But still..."

"Ginny? Why in the world wouldn't you want to invite her? There'll be tons of tourists there. At least, we hope so," she added. "The more people, the more money."

Ginny smiled and nodded. "Okay. If I talk to her, I'll mention it," she conceded. But, of course, she had no intention of talking to her. Kara would never know about Settler's Day from her.



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