“Oh my God, where’s Katy?” Jill asked.
Her tears evaporated the moment she realized she didn’t know where her daughter was.
“She’s with Delphie. Don’t worry. Delphie’s really good with kids. Val and I spent a lot of time with her when our parents were working.”
“I left Katy’s meds in the refrigerator at the office,” Jill said. “I can’t go back in there.”
“Let me. Did you get the stuff from your desk?”
Jill shook her head.
“He’s s-so awful. He used to j-just work the w-warehouse. The last three months have been h-hell. I just … He lost an email. He deleted it from his personal inbox and then couldn’t find it. He does that all the time. If I tell him, he deleted it? He gets furious. So I found the email, and then he fired me. He … he threw me out.”
Jill lifted her shirt to show the developing bruise on her elbow where her boss had grabbed her. Jacob kissed her elbow. She threw her arms around his neck in a tight embrace.
“I’m so sorry,” Jacob whispered. He shifted and she released him to look at his face.
“I should probably get off your lap,” Jill said. “What about the Bronco?”
“I’ll call someone to get it. We have a job a couple blocks from here. They can pick it up and I’ll get it tomorrow.”
“You saved me again. Second time in two days,” Jill said.
Jacob shrugged. “Fixing messes is my specialty.”
Jacob crushed her mouth with his mouth. He tasted her soft lips and delicate tongue. Jill felt a rush of passion overcome her senses. Pulling back, he took a breath.
“I better stop or this might get a little … public.” He nodded to the police cruiser. “Are you all right here?”
“Jill? Don’t say you’re a mess. You’re the very best thing that has ever happened to me. Things are messy. That’s true. But life is like that sometimes. We’ll sort all of this out. Promise.”
Jill nodded and slipped off his lap. Jacob gave her the box of Kleenex. She kissed his cheek and he slid from the car. Jill leaned her head back against the leather seat. Smiling to herself, she closed her eyes.
How did she get so lucky?
Katy opened her eyes. Sitting up, she looked around Jacob’s apartment. Delphie was sitting near the bed knitting.
“Hello, Katherine,” Delphie said.
“I know you,” Katy said.
“Yes, you do,” Delphie said.
“But I don’t know your name,” Katy replied. Her small brow furrowed in concentration. “Did I meet you before?”
“A long, long time ago,” Delphie said.
“Are you a friend of my Jacob?”
“I am a friend of your Jacob. I’m Delphinium. People call me Delphie.”
Delphie set her knitting down and came to the bed to shake Katy’s hand. After shaking hands, Delphie sat next to Katy on the bed.
“I thought your name might start with an ‘R,’” Katy said.
“Yes,” Delphie said. “Your mommy is having a little bit of trouble. Your Jacob went to help her. So we have to carry on without her for a while.”
“Okay,” Katy said. “I’m glad Mommy has someone to help her now.”
“Me too,” Delphie said. “Would you like to go meet your Aunt Valerie?”
Katy nodded. “Will you help me go potty?”
Delphie helped Katy off the bed and they walked hand in hand toward the bathroom.
“I like you, Delphie.”
“I like you, Katherine.”
The retelling of Denver Cereal, Volume 1, continues tomorrow…
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