Sam didnt believe that for a moment. Ellie Prudhomme was doing her best to belittle him. He loved Beth and would do anything for her, but he wasnt going to allow anyone, not her mother or anyone else, to look and act as if he was dirt under their carefully manicured fingernails.
I know, she whispered. Its taken me this long to forgive myself.Something had happened. She didnt know what. The woman sitting across from her wasnt the same woman shed shared dinner with the night before. There was a complete turnaround in less than twenty-four hours.
I lost my sister because of what I did. Ellie paid an inordinate amount of attention to the napkin in her lap, smoothing it out with her hand, keeping her head lowered. And I hurt a good man.Sunshine leaned forward and teasingly asked, Okay, who are you and what have you done with my sister?A smile cracked Ellies tight features. When the waiter delivered their salads, her sister looked grateful for the interruption.
Phillip and I are going through a bit of a rough patch, Ellie admitted with some reluctance, as if it caused her physical pain to say the words. Weve had some heated discussions these last few months. I dont mind telling you Im lost without Beth. My days are empty. I hardly know what to do with myself.Her sisters honesty was out of character. All Sunshine felt capable of doing was listening. And an attentive ear was all Ellie really needed.
My husband and Beth have given me a lot to digest in the last few weeks. Ellies lower lip trembled. Phillip was right when he said my friends are shallow. Ive come to fear that perhaps I am, too. I have no one that I am close to any longer. I realize I ruined my relationship with you years ago.
No, please, let me get this out. What Peter and I did to you … Theres no way I can undo the damage. If I could turn back the clock I would. You … you have a wonderful life. Your paintings are magnificent and youre this huge success … and I have no one.A bloom of heat made her fidget in her seat. Do you now. And when are you spending the day with me so I can experience this in person?
He frowned and took a deep breath. God, I would love that.Then lets make it happen—oh, the driveway is here! She braced herself against the console as he hit the brakes. Sorry! I should have warned you.
Not a problem. Thats what they make snow tires for.The Range Rover mounted the hill like a well-shod plow horse, chugging up the incline, undeterred by the ruts in the snow and the patches of ice. As they gained a little altitude, Ivie cranked herself around and looked at the valley below. The farm country was sparsely populated, the houses separated by quarters and halves of miles, the fields in between delineated by stone walls and lines of trees that had been in place for generations.