1. However, Audra wasn’t biting. “That’s not what I meant, and you know it. Mom, look. It’s been two years. And before that, you were there for Dad for the entire four years he fought that damn cancer. It’s over now. You still have a long life ahead of you, and Bailee and I want you to be happy. Dad would want you to be happy.”
2. “But you now must do something for me, since you’re buying,” George added. Before she could ask, he pointed to one of the tables on the veranda. “Care to sit and talk? Let me at least get to know your name, since it seems fate is determined to keep us bumping into each other.”
3. Tucking the phone into his coat pocket, he got to his feet. A shaft of sunlight highlighted the woman’s hair, and he noticed for the first time that it wasn’t colored. A few, almost unnoticeable gray hairs glittered among the red. Neither was it difficult to see the faint smattering of freckles on her pale complexion.
4. His actions had been instinctive, done without a second thought. At first, he’d been as shocked by his response as Lily had been. Never in a hundred years would he have considered himself to be the hero sort. He’d realized the car was coming at a fast clip and appeared to be gunning to beat the light, even though it had already changed. Had there been other cars already stopped in front of it, the incident wouldn’t have happened. But because, as a native New Yorker, he was always cautious of the traffic, he’d realized what was about to occur. Grabbing Lily to pull her back onto the sidewalk with him was almost a natural reaction. They’d been lucky, to say the least.
5. There was a moment of silence over the line. Lily was about to check to see if Bailee was still on the line, when her daughter cautiously asked, “Who’s George?” A small warning flag went up at the young woman’s tone of voice.
6. She ached to put her arms around him. This man had carried a flame for a woman who’d left him for another. Although it was a story that hundreds, if not thousands of people had faced in their lifetimes, it had affected him so deeply that he’d isolated himself from ever having another relationship with another woman.