CHAPTER SIX HUNDRED and FOURTEEN
Monday early-morning — 2:03 a.m.
Looking for Jacob, Jill slid across the hardwood floors in her socks. She went out into the open space in the loft. He wasn’t in the kitchen or near the gas fireplace or in the boys’ room or in Katy’s room or in his office. She went out on the balcony off their bathroom and saw him sitting on the decking off the medical offices. Grabbing the baby monitor, she went down through the Castle kitchen and up to the second floor. She heard Valerie and Mike’s muffled voices from their bathroom as she passed. She went through the medical offices and out on to the deck.
“Are you okay?” Jill asked at the door.
She touched Jacob’s shoulder, and he jerked with surprise.
“Sorry, I didn’t mean to startle you,” Jill said.
“I’m okay,” Jacob said. “Lost in thought. Please.”
He gestured to the bench, and she sat down. They looked out over the snow-capped mountains. The setting moon cast everything in a deep purple and the snow on the mountains in a shade of lavender. The night was so still that it was almost as if the entire world had paused for them to enjoy her beauty.
“Spring is coming,” Jacob said.
“When?” Jill asked, pulling her robe around her and crossing her arms.
Grinning, he pulled her close. She rested her head against his shoulder. They sat together in companionable silence.
“Want to take me back inside and ravish me?” Jill asked.
Jacob looked at her.
“Let me ravish you?” Jill asked.
He kissed her.
“I…” Jacob said. “It’s a hard offer to turn down.”
“I know, I know,” Jill said. “You’ve got a lot on your mind.”
“I’m just… upset,” Jacob said, and kissed her head. “I’m sorry. Your offer is… enticing. I just…”
“The meeting?” Jill asked.
Jacob gave an almost imperceptible nod.
“You can talk to me,” Jill said.
“Oh, I know,” he said with a sigh. “My thoughts are angry. Dark. I don’t want to vomit it all over you.”
“Vomit away,” Jill said. “I have three children. I have known my fair share of vomit. I also know how to clean up.”
“Well?” Jill asked with a smile.
“I…” Jacob blew out a breath. “I’ve done so much to… to… Oh, I don’t know. I’m such a big headed jerk. I had this idea that the employees could take of the company and… All they needed was a little training and they could own their own company. By owning a successful, profitable, necessary company would pull them out of paycheck-to-paycheck poverty. And they…”
Denver Cereal continues tomorrow…
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