Authors: Pepper Phillips
“I hear you make great lemon cookies.” Claude said.
I had to smile. I could easily start a cookie factory in
“Yes, I seem to be delivering them all over town.”
He reached over and touched my hair again with his
fingertips. “So beautiful. Your eyes are like mine. Not the shape, they’re
Maudie’s shape, but the color is mine.”
Grant walked into the kitchen, rubbing his hands. He looked
happier than I’ve ever seen him.
“I hope you don’t mind, a friend is coming over.”
Claude was gracious. “No. I don’t mind.”
I did. I just wanted to be alone with my father for a while
without anyone else there asking questions. “Who did you invite?”
“Naomi, for one,” he said.
I know my face lit up. I was missing the old girl, no one
knew where she went off too. I knew that Della wished she was back, as well.
“Where was she?” I asked.
“Hiding out with a friend.” He poured himself another cup
I snorted. “Naomi. She really needs to settle down,
instead of running after men all the time.”
Claude spoke up. “Naomi was married once. Of course, that
was years and years ago. I imagine that not many people remember it. I
believe it lasted only a week or so.”
My eyes must have popped out of my head a little. “Married
for a week?”
Claude smiled. “Perhaps. A fellow by the name of Randall,
if I remember correctly. Yes, that sounds right. Randall.”
Grant and I looked at each other and burst out laughing.
Randall, the town drunk.
The doorbell rang and Claude went to answer it.
Grant grabbed my hand and kissed my knuckles.
That was sweet and romantic.
“I love you, Sara. I want you to remember that.”
I think it was burned into my heart. He loves me. Why?
“Why?” I asked.
“Yes, why?” Asked Naomi.
We jumped apart like we were doing something wrong.
Naomi started to laugh.
I looked at Grant, and he dimpled at me.
Oh, gracious. I loved this big lummox.
I grabbed him in a hug and held on for dear life.
Then someone coughed behind me. Uh-oh, Claude.
I let go of my future and turned around.
There was my mother.
My birth mother.
Maudie. I’d know her anywhere.
I would have fallen if Grant wouldn’t have been holding on
She stood there with Claude’s hand on her shoulder. She was
in tears. “Sara.”
She waited there in front of me. Still. Quiet. Expectant?
I hesitated only a second, then stepped forward and wrapped
my arms around her.
I don’t think life could have been any better than this
moment in time.
I felt like I was home.
Truly at home.
We were grouped in the kitchen.
Naomi was making coffee. I was whipping up a coffee cake.
I was so happy I could have burst. Grant was supposed to be helping me. The
man can’t crack an egg without making a mess.
Claude and Maudie were standing there, arm in arm, beaming
at me. I felt so loved in that instant.
Naomi started talking. “We’ve been hiding out down in the
motel in the next town. All we did was talk, watch movies and call for room
I pushed the cake into the oven, and dusted off my hands.
“I don’t understand why you just didn’t come out and declare
yourself, Maudie,” I said.
“I was so afraid. What if you didn’t like me? What if you
didn’t care?” Maudie said.
Claude hugged her closer to him.
I walked over and held them both close. “I do care.”
Maudie started to cry. She grabbed me and held me in a
tight hug. “I never thought that I would be able to put my arms around you, to
hold you, to kiss you.”
She reached up as I bent down and she kissed me.
She looked up at Claude with tears in her eyes. “Isn’t she
the most beautiful woman you’ve ever seen”
Claude looked down at her with love in his eyes. “You’re
the most beautiful woman I’ve ever seen.”
I could hear Naomi sniffling behind me so I turned and drew
her in my arms.
“Who knew that Naomi could keep a secret?” I murmured into
Maudie laughed aloud. “Yeah, who would know? She was in
Marksville and managed to spot me at a convenience store. It was a risk
including her in this plan, but I had to keep her out of touch because she
really can’t keep a secret. Claude called me that you were coming over, and I
thought about it and decided to call Grant and see if it was safe to come over.”
Naomi let out a deep sigh. “I surely wish someone loved me
like that. Just once.”
“I thought that you and Randall were married once upon a
time,” I said.
She grinned up at me. “Baby, that was pure lust! He was
the best in bed. Absolutely, the best.”
Naomi. You can give the lady credit. She never would
Claude cleared his throat.
“Do you mind if I tell people that I’m your father?”
I laughed. “If you’re hungry, we can go to Hank’s, everyone
in town will know by nightfall.”
“In fact, we should all go. Maudie needs to take her place
back in the community, Claude needs to declare his intentions.” Grant said.
Claude beamed. “Maudie and I are finally getting married.
She said yes.”
Maudie looked up into the eyes of her beloved.
I was so happy I cried.
Grant wrapped his arms around me. “I think I might want to
get married. This roommate deal just isn’t working out. After all, my
underwear is still pink.”
I looked up into his gorgeous eyes. He flashed his dimple.
How could I possibly resist?
“I think a double ceremony would be nice,” I said.
Maudie and Naomi both started to bawl.
I was the happiest person in the world.
The consensus was to meet at Hank’s at six for dinner.
“No doubt about it. Everyone in town will know about our
plans before dessert,” I said.
Grant bent down and whispered in my ear. “And I know what I
want after dessert.”
Hot damn! It was finally
I could hardly wait!
I took my notepad and pencil out of my pocket and started to
write down everything about the weddings so I could report it for the paper.
It’s not every day that you get to attend a double wedding.
Both of the bride’s wore white, mother and daughter decided
to blend the wedding, so I’ve been told, so that each would have the elements
that mattered the most to each of them.
Maudie had those baby pink roses in a mass of baby’s breath,
while Sara had white and pink roses in her bouquet.
The Methodist Church was packed. They didn’t send out
invites, it was an open ceremony for anyone who cared to attend. They asked
that no gifts be given, but a donation to the Fire Department for the Toy and
Doll Fund would be appreciated.
Maudie always spearheaded that program. She said no kid
should have Christmas without at least one gift. Sara agreed.
Claude and Grant showed up in their tuxedos with wedding
rings. As far as I can imagine that’s the only job the groom better complete.
Else there’s hell to pay.
The only person I could see that didn’t enjoy the wedding
When Grant said, “I do.” She stood up and stalked out of
Nothing like a poor loser. Even I knew she never had a
chance getting Grant to the altar. But she’s a pretty girl, she’ll find
someone, someday, who’ll take a chance on her.
Her little tantrum couldn’t wipe the smiles off the wedding
couples. All four of them were beaming. It’s nice to see that at a wedding.
It wasn’t long before they kissed and strode down the aisle, the young couple
first and then the bride’s parents.
I stood in the back, watching as everyone left the church to
head to the reception hall where Hank was doing the catering.
I do have to say, that Naomi was looking pretty ‘hot’. She
winked at me as she left the church. I wonder what that was about?
for additional and upcoming books and the lemon cookie recipe.
You know you want to eat one!
If you enjoyed this book I’d love for you to write a review.