Jailbird by Heather Huffman

By Heather Huffman

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When they caught me, I lost the presence of mind to reclaim my hand. ” Kindness rolled off of him. He seemed to be doing his best to help me along despite his own embarrassment. “Yes,” I nodded a little dumbly. ” “Well, Neena Torres,” he seemed to be sizing me up in his brief pause. “Welcome to Hampton. ” Anjelita saved me from having to form a coherent response. “Wouldn’t miss it,” Charlie promised, his eyes finally breaking contact with mine. My hand felt strangely bereft at the absence of his touch.

Nowhere near it. “Go get your things rounded up, I’ll be there in a minute,” he kissed her on the forehead and sent her along. As he stood, he seemed much older suddenly. ” I tried to understand. “I get along with my parents fine. ” “Oh,” I frowned. ” “They’re Cara’s grandparents. ” “That’s very kind of you,” I was still trying to process it. I didn’t like being reminded that he had once been married. It was better to think the stork dropped Cara in his lap. Why was I suddenly so possessive of him?

There was a solid, gentle way about Charlie Russell that told me he would never hurt another person. Maybe that’s why I was so drawn to him. I drew in a deep breath and stopped to admire a marshmallow cloud that drifted across a bright blue sky. One thing I knew for sure—I needed to spend my time thinking about my next step, not some man I could never have. With that resolved, I began humming an old hymn my mama used to sing as I started walking again. My bag swung merrily at my side and my thoughts drifted to Mary O’Donnell, my old cell mate.

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