“Stay away from him,” muttered Luke. The darkness of the night, plus the brim of Luke’s hat, cast a deep shadow on his face. His arms were crossed and he was breathing heavy.
“Excuse me? Stay away from him? I didn’t date him!” she whispered vehemently. It took Luke three strides to get right in front of her. She could see the rage flashing in his eyes. His face was a cold mask.
“You think that I would…that Ashley…that I could do…what?” he managed to get out without strangling his words too much. He stepped back and put his hands up in surprise. She was about to get in his face when a hand on her shoulder stopped her. She turned and saw her dad’s kind, old face. He had a warning in his eyes.
“Sarah’s wondering where Mommy is, and there’s nothing Mom-mom or Pop can do for her” he said, talking quietly into Grace’s ear, “Relax, go get your girl. I’ll handle Luke.” She kissed her dad on the cheek and hurried to find her daughter.
Sarah was sitting in the kitchen with Grace’s mom. Sarah looked dead on her feet. She was insisting, however, that she could stay up later and wasn’t tired at all.
“Ready for bed, Sarah?” asked Grace. She could see the fight go out of her daughter. Just then, the kitchen door opened and May flew in. She raced to her friend’s side and whispered in her ear.
“I know they’re here, I just met them,” said Grace. May had whispered the news about the Moore family but Grace was way ahead of her. She picked up Sarah and went to head up the stairs.
“Whose here?” asked Grace’s mother. She looked curious and worried. May took Sarah from Grace’s arms and headed out of the kitchen. As the door swung closed, she called, “Fill her in and I’ll put Sarah May to bed.”
Grace began to fill in her mother with the gossip when her father came in the kitchen carrying Nick. Grace looked at the clock; it was 9:45, way too late for little kids.
“Let us put him to bed, okay?” said her dad. Grace nodded and headed back outside.