Today, I’m wrapping up chapter 9 of Heir Force. I hope you enjoy it. Stay tuned next week for the beginning of chapter 10!
Kate and Sarah Walk to the Park
The next morning after breakfast, Kate tried returning Mrs. Kern’s call, but had to leave a message. Kate realized it was Sunday and John’s mom was probably at church. Oh, well. They would have to play phone tag for now.
Since the day was almost as warm as yesterday, Kate took Sarah and Buttons out for a walk around the apartment complex and showed Sarah the little playground. Sarah wanted to swing, so Kate pulled her out of the stroller and strapped her in the blue plastic bucket swing while Buttons roamed around the stroller which he was tied to. Sarah loved the swing and Kate smiled at her squeals. “Is this fun?” Kate asked her.
“Yes! More, Mommy.”
Kate pushed her a little higher, but not too high. She didn’t want to scare her. Kate let the sun warm her face as she kept the swing going. She was glad to be out of the apartment, the first time in several days. Exercise and sunshine were sorely missed.
Kate and Sarah talked about the different birds and small animals they saw. Buttons yapped at a squirrel and tried to run after a cardinal. “Nice try, Buttons.” Sarah tired of the swings, so they walked over to the sandbox. “Do you like sand, Sarah?” Kate asked her.
Sarah looked up at her with an unsure look on her face. “Maybe another time,” Kate said. “How about the little horse over there?” In a small square of wood chips a few metal and plastic animals sat on large springs that bounced back and forth. Kate sat Sarah on a brown horse and showed her how it worked. She held on to her though so Sarah wouldn’t slide off the side. “Do you like it?”
Buttons began to bark in a friendly manner and then a voice said, “There you guys are.” Kate turned around to see Spencer bent over, petting Buttons. Kate stole a glance at him, puzzled at his appearance. Then Spencer stood and up and they locked eyes. He must have come from church. Thus the khakis and button up shirt and tie. Kate’s heart lurched. He looked…handsome.
Kate rarely saw him in anything but his uniform or jeans and sweats. He caught her off guard and she realized she was staring.
Finally, he said, “Are you ok?”
“Sorry. Just wasn’t expecting to see you today.” Or looking so nice.
“It just so happens that Mrs. Pettigrew had a get together last night and has leftovers for a picnic. It was her suggestion, if you didn’t have plans.” Considering their conversation before Spencer left last night, he was glad he could give credit to his neighbor for the picnic idea. Otherwise, he probably wouldn’t have come.
“Sarah and I do not have plans for the rest of the day, actually.” Kate swung Sarah off the park equipment and held her.
“Hi, Sarah. Having fun?” Spencer was glad to turn to the little girl who wore a big smile.
“Yes! I love to swing.” She clapped her hands with excitement. Today, Sarah was in another pink outfit, this one with matching top and pants with pink stripes and polka dots.
“Me, too. When I can find one big enough.” Spencer’s statement surprised Kate. “I do too,” she added.
“So what kind of leftovers are we talking about?” Kate asked, heading back to the stroller on the sidewalk where she parked it. She strapped Sarah back in and Spencer took Buttons’ leash.
“Ham. Baked beans. Potato salad. Brownies.” Spencer paused between items.
“I see. What do you think, Sarah? Should we have a picnic with Spencer and Buttons outside?” Kate leaned over the stroller to see Sarah’s face.
“Yes, Mommy! I like outside.”
“I guess we’re going on a picnic.” Kate looked at Spencer and he gave her a small smile.
“The food’s in my car. I figured you guys were around somewhere since your car hadn’t moved.”
Kate nodded. She was suddenly nervous and afraid to say too much. Suddenly she felt like she was on a first date and it unsettled her. Perhaps she should look at it that way, and see how it went. Now that she knew Spencer supposedly wasn’t spending time with her and Sarah out of any sense of obligation, she felt off balance. With that decided, she was determined to enjoy this impromptu picnic.
Next up, the last installment of chapter 9.