Today's Reading

But in the interest of forestalling another interruption, I returned my mother's call.

"Georgia Ann?" Her Southern accent hadn't mellowed with age. Come to think of it, nothing about her had mellowed with age.

"Hi. Sorry, I just—"

"Did you get that picture I texted you from the magazine? The one of that hairstyle? That model has the same long nose you do, and I've been telling you for practically forever that . . ."

I sent a glance over my shoulder in Sean's direction as she continued to speak.

He lifted one of his black brows and then settled on his back, folding his arms behind his head.

"Well? Did you?"

"Sorry. What?"

"The hairstyle. The one I sent you."

"It kind of looked more like a wig."

Sean sighed and closed his eyes.

"Extensions, I think. But that wouldn't be so bad, would it? You're so busy with Sam. A few extensions would give it some body. And you wouldn't have to mess with it. Besides, if you find someone who can match colors, how could anyone ever guess?"

I cupped my hand around my mouth when I answered, trying to keep Sean from hearing what I'd given up sex for. "I am not getting extensions." And my nose wasn't that big. "And I'm kind of in a hurry. Can I call you back later?"

"I just wanted you to be the first to hear the good news. Your father heard it straight from Scott Edwards."

"Scott Edwards?"

"From Scottie. The secretary of defense?"

"Right." 'That' Scottie Edwards.

"He's resigning. Might not even hold out to the end of the year and . . ." She chattered on.

I'd given up sex for military gossip? I hated myself. I really did. And I wouldn't have blamed Sean for hating me too.

"And guess what?"

"Mom, I really don't have time right now."

"I'll just tell you: the president has taken Scottie's suggestion of nominating your father as his replacement—"

"Great! That's great. Dad must be really—"

"—so we'll be moving to DC."

"DC? Wow!" DC? No! I was a big girl, all grown up with a family of my own until my parents appeared. And then? I might as well be ten years old again. At least in my mother's view.

Sean's brows had collapsed.

I answered his unasked question with a look of horror as I replied to my mother. "I don't know what to say."

"I know! It's all so exciting. I knew you'd be happy for your father. Speaking of, he'd like to talk to Sean sometime."

"I'll let Sean know, okay? But really, I need to go."

"Say no more." Punctuality was one of the virtues my mother held sacred. Right up there with Respect for Your Elders, Patriotism, and Really Good Hair Dye. "We can talk tomorrow."

I was just about to sign off when her words registered. "Tomorrow?"

"When we get there."

"There where?"

"To DC. We fly in around three."

"You're coming 'here'? 'Tomorrow?'"

"We'll let you know when we land. Can't wait to see you!"

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