The two shoppers returned in silence, each in their own world. But once they arrived back at the hotel, Spencer told Kate he wanted to check on his car before going in. She waited for him in the lobby. Spencer walked around to the side of the building to make sure it had been returned, and sure enough it was. Except for some extra snow on the tires and the body, it looked the same. He was relieved.
Together, they rode in the elevator without saying a word. After returning to their room, Kate dropped her purchases on her bed and then walked into Spencer’s room. She continued their previous conversation. “Yes, I do have to repay you, Spencer. And I will, as soon as I get my act together.” She tossed her shoes toward her door and plopped on his bed. “And if we ever get out of here.”
Spencer leaned on the wall by the dresser and crossed his arms. “Kate, if I hear you say that one more time, I’ll throttle you.” He raised his voice slightly and continued, “You. Are. Not. Going. To. Repay. Me. Ever. And that subject is closed.” Spencer squeezed his eyes shut and rubbed his forehead with one hand.
“Spencer, if I have to cook dinner for you for the rest of my life and wash your car, or whatever else, by golly I’ll do it. And you can’t stop me.”
Spencer took a deep breath before saying through clenched teeth, “The discussion is closed. I’m getting a headache.” And a heartache.
“I’m sorry! Do you need something?” She got up and rummaged through her purse. “Here, I have some Tylenol.” She opened the bottle and dropped two tablets in his hand. Their hands touched and a spark shot through her arm. She glanced at Spencer to see if he’d felt it too. He had. They stared at each other for a moment before he said, “Thanks,” and left to get water in the bathroom.
Kate sat down slowly on the bed. What was wrong with them? Why was he being so stubborn about her wanting to repay him for all his kindnesses? What was wrong with that? Out of the corner of her eye, she noticed the Bible on the bed where Spencer had left it earlier and pulled it closer to her. She found a bookmark in it, with Spencer’s name on it. She opened the book to the chapter he had been reading in Psalms. The book looked well read and had notes in many of the margins.
Then Kate flipped a few chapters before and after his bookmarked section and skimmed some of the passages. She read some odd things in another book, called the Song of Solomon. This kind of stuff was in the Bible? Intrigued, she kept reading and then sensed someone next to her. Her face flushed and she felt caught reading something private. She dropped the open Bible on her lap.
Spencer towered over her before sitting down next to her. “Surprised?”
She nodded without speaking. She was too embarrassed to say anything about what she read, and didn’t understand it. Spencer eased the Bible from Kate’s lap and said, “That book was written by King Solomon, David’s son, believe it or not. And yes, that stuff is in the Bible. Beautiful stuff, actually. I’m looking forward to it myself one day.” Spencer closed the book and set it down on his other side.
Surprised, Kate looked at Spencer and blurted out, “You mean you’ve never—”
“No…I’m a one woman, one man and married only kind of guy.”
“Me either, but not for lack of trying.” Kate looked away from Spencer not believing the conversation they were having at a time like this. She should have known Spencer would save himself for one woman. He hadn’t even tried anything that night at her place.
For some reason she was relieved knowing this fact about him, though she didn’t know why and it certainly wasn’t her business. “I’m sorry for intruding,” she pointed to his Bible, gladly changing the subject.
“That’s ok. You can borrow it anytime. Or we can read it together, if you like.” Then he added quickly, “But not that part.” He grinned at her, hoping to erase her embarrassment.
“Can I? Borrow it, I mean?”
“Here. I can read it later.” He handed it back to her and she said thanks before going to her room. Before she shut the door she said, “I hope your headache gets better.”
“Thanks. Good night, Kate.”
Spencer got ready for bed but lay awake for hours. He tried to figure Kate out. Why was she being so adamant about paying him back for doing things he would do for almost anyone? Did she think he expected something in return? She couldn’t be more mistaken. He wasn’t that type and didn’t keep score with favors. It wasn’t worth it.
His pounding head prevented him from watching TV or reading. In the dark, he stared toward the ceiling talking to God about the difficulties he was having with Kate and prayed for safety on the rest of their journey.
He finally fell asleep with dreams that included Kate.
On the other side of the door, Kate was so confused, it wasn’t funny. Why wouldn’t Spencer let her pay him back for all the nice things he’s done for her? And why did he think it so strange for her to offer? He seemed to get angry at the very idea.
Just thinking about it was starting to give her a headache also. She changed into her pajamas and sat in bed with Spencer’s Bible. It felt like reading someone’s journal. Spencer had written several notes and dates throughout the book. Kate read most of those first. He had written things like the name of the pastor who preached a sermon on that passage, or things he wanted to pray about, or where he was stationed when.
Kate then read part of Psalms, where Spencer was reading. There wasn’t much she understood, but she felt comfort in reading it anyway. And knowing a strong guy like Spencer took time to read this book and wrote notes in it made her appreciate his qualities more. Was this where his strength and assurance came from? Maybe she would ask him sometime. Right now she was ready to get some sleep.
Until next time,