Carol gazes out the window at the passing countryside. Just as I stayed,to be near Shawn and Niall, it means everything to her simply to be here, where her son was, where she hopes he still is. I can’t tell her he is indeed here. Just not in this century. I hate withholding information. But I can’t tell this insane story to a grieving mother.
A ham and noodle casserole waits in the crock pot at home. She smiles.
“Did you know this is my favorite?”
“I remember Shawn going out of his way to make it for you once.” I serve up rich creamy noodles while she pours us water. I join her as she prays over her meal.
Lifting her head, she says, “You said you and Angus were working on a different angle.” I stare at my hands, not knowing what to say, and revert to the nervous habit of twisting my ring.
“How unusual.” Carol’s heightened pitch breaks through my quest for a sane answer.
I glance up. She’s reaching to touch the red stone. Panic flutters in my heart.
“You always wear such delicate jewelry. Can I see it?”
I can’t think of a reason to say no. With shaky hands, I slide it off my finger and push it across the table. Carol studies the wide gold band. “Where did you get it?”
“Shawn.” I clear my throat. “Shawn gave it to me.”
Carol squints at the inscription inside. “Robert the Bruce?” She looks up. “Of Bannockburn fame?”
I nod guiltily, furiously wishing I’d learned anything from Shawn about making up stories.
From The Water is Wide
Book Three of The Blue Bells Chronicles