Lilac Spring by Ruth Axtell Morren

By Ruth Axtell Morren

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I just arrived. My trunks are still down on the wharf,” she added, unable to restrain the laughter bubbling out of her. His gray eyes were alight with amusement. How she’d missed that look! ” “I know. That’s precisely why I came a day early. I wanted to settle in quietly. Tomorrow I’ll be the dutiful daughter, but today…” Her glance strayed across the cluttered boat shop. ” He nodded, and she knew he understood. ” she asked, her eyes searching his once again. “Of course I’m glad. The place isn’t the same without Cherry underfoot.

They navigated through narrows and channels between the coastal islands, some wooded, others bare, rocky fortresses withstanding the relentless battering of waves. Cherish breathed deeply of the crisp breeze. Her glance met Silas’s and she smiled. He smiled back and she knew they needed no words to express the enjoyment of being in a well-built craft upon the sea. She closed her eyes and lifted her head heavenward, feeling the sun on her face, the wind whipping at her cheeks. It was good to be alive.

Cherish stood to get out. “Hey, don’t get your feet wet,” he cautioned. He hesitated an instant, wondering at the same moment why he did so. But one glance at her delicate-looking white kid boots settled it. He leaned forward to pick her up. He’d done the same thing a hundred times when she’d been younger—why did he vacillate now? She was the same girl—only bigger. She immediately put her arms around his neck and laughed, a sound of sheer delight. His arms held her under her arms and knees, his fingers feeling the soft fabric of her gown, his nostrils catching the same soft fragrance of perfume.

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