Love Song
clearly troubled, unconvinced.
    “Think about it. That’s all I’m asking. You’re his child, and he loves you very much.” He smiled and tucked a strand of hair behind her ear. “Ten years ago, you told me to put my hand in his, to trust him with my hurt and my problems. I’m kinda hard-headed, so it took a few years before I followed your advice. Others shared his love and nurtured me, but you planted the seeds, Andi. It was remembering your belief in him, your faith and trust, that kept me from turning my back on him completely. I never did thank you for that.”
    “You just did.” She tried to smile, but it wobbled around the edges.
    “I guess so.” He smiled and glanced up and down the street. Not a car in sight, and it looked as if the neighbors weren’t home. He dropped a quick kiss on her cheek, then opened the front door. “I’ll give you a call tomorrow. Sleep well.”
    “Yeah, right.” She shook her head, but her smile held firm. “Since I got sick, my poor brain has cranked out some pretty weird dreams. After all that has happened today and everything we’ve talked about, they’re bound to be doozies.”
    “That’s probably where some movie makers get their ideas. You could start a whole new career.”
    She laughed and poked him in the stomach with her finger. “Say good night, Wade.”
    “Good night, Wade.”
    Groaning at his corny joke, she tried to poke him again, but he jumped out of the way with a laugh.
    He stopped at the edge of the porch, one foot on the first step, and looked back at her. “Good night, darlin’.”
    He kept his smile until she went inside and closed the door. Walking to the Blazer, he whistled an old, mournful cowboy tune, wishing with all his heart for what could never be.

     

CHAPTER 7
    Andi went inside and closed the front door behind her. Pausing for a moment, she listened to the tune Wade was whistling, an old song of unrequited love. Hearing those sad notes confirmed her belief that what he felt for her went beyond friendship and physical attraction. She wondered if over time, it could grow into love.
    Is there a future for us? The depth of her hope and longing frightened her. Could she be imagining her feelings for him simply because she wanted so badly to care for someone and have him care for her? The last thing in the world she wanted was to hurt him. He was tender, considerate, and protective. Maybe too protective. She was used to fending for herself against the often overwhelming demands placed on her. It would be easy to grow too dependent upon him.
    Dawn looked up from the romance novel she was reading, interrogating her cousin with her gaze. “Well?”
    Andi dropped into the big, comfortable, yellow chair. “I like him a lot. And he likes me. Maybe a lot. I think I can safely say we’ve moved a step beyond merely being friends.”
    “So I assume he kissed you?”
    Andi laughed softly. Her cousin could be the most tactful person on earth when she wanted to be, or the most direct. “Nosy. Yes, he kissed me.”
    “And?”
    “And what?” She couldn’t resist teasing her.
    “What was it like? Did you hear a symphony?”
    Andi considered the question, remembering those precious moments. “No symphony, but a flute, the sweetest, purest notes drifting on the wind.”
    Dawn sighed. “How romantic.”
    “And fireworks. Big time. Like the Fourth of July at the Statue of Liberty.”
    Dawn’s golden-brown eyes grew wide. “Oh, my.” She groaned and pounded her fist on the couch. “I’m green with envy. I don’t think I’m ever going to find the right man. Not in this one horse town, anyway.”
    “I thought you liked living here.”
    “I do. I wouldn’t really want to live anywhere else. But I think I’ve dated every eligible man within twenty miles—except Wade. I haven’t had fireworks with anybody. Haven’t even heard a firecracker or a sparkler.”
    Andi laughed. “Sparklers don’t make noise.”
    “Sometimes they kind of

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