Lily hurried down the stoop stairs and headed for the warehouse. At the entrance of the wide roll-back door, she discerned movement within the murky interior. I have an excuse to hide in the gloom. What's yours, Mr. Montgomery?
Her steps faltered. She waited for her vision to adjust. Ready or
not, here I come.
He leaned against the hood of the old, white Ford 150 Joy had parked there so Lily could use the garage for her glasswork. Ankles
and arms crossed, he was a tall rangy man with large hands and wide wrists, and an eagle's head tattooed on his right forearm. Prison residue?
"Looking for me?" he drawled.
Lily tensed. She stood backlit by the sun, her outline clearly visible to him. Squaring her shoulders, she asked bluntly, "Have you decided?"
"Selling the farm? That's why you're here, isn't it?"
He pushed off the truck and ambled toward her. The image of a big male lion sizing up a gazelle flashed through her mind.
From somewhere he'd located a blue bandanna--likely a hip
pocket--and was in the process of wiping his hands. "My mother," he said, "wants it producing again."
"Doesn't matter what I want. For now Mama holds the deed."
"But she won't be--" Around much longer. Had she nearly spoken the words aloud? Had she become calloused to Effie's inevitable
death? Effie, who had given Lily a home on her quiet ancestral land when no one else would.
Montgomery's gaze softened. "I know." The emotion in his tone surprised her. "That's why I'm home."