Stifling a curse when Mary leaped from his lap, Paul rose, ready to blast the idiot who had screeched to a halt in front of the house. The ricochet of a car door slamming erased what was left of his good mood. The air hummed with barely contained energy generated by the sudden cacophony and the palpable ire rising from their unwelcome visitor.
To their surprise, it was Josh who strode up the walkway looking ready to spit nails. Hoping to defuse Josh’s anger, Paul assumed a genial tone he was far from feeling.
“Hey, buddy! Long time, no see. How’s it hangin’?”
Josh was in no mood to waste time on pleasantries and merely growled, “Have you seen Adams?”
Paul looked at Mary who just raised an eyebrow. “You mean Principal Adams? “
Growing more impatient, Josh snarled, “yeah, yeah, Principal Adams! Have you seen him?”
“Not since Friday.” Paul replied, growing more confused. “Why do you need him on the weekend?”
“None of your business. I just need to find him!” Not waiting for a reply, Josh stormed back to his brother's Bronco and drove off with tires squealing, leaving the stench of burnt rubber in his wake.
“Why didn’t you tell him what we saw at the mine?” Mary demanded.
“Did you want to have to explain why we were there in the first place?”
Thinking for a moment, Mary shook her head. “I feel sorry for poor old Mr. Adams. I know he lied to the whole town, but I can’t help feeling wherever those men took him, it isn’t going to end well.”
“Probably not” Paul agreed “but if you ask me, he got in bed with some pretty nasty folks. You get your hands dirty like that and you end up paying for it, one way or another.”
“I suppose.” Mary couldn’t wish ill upon anyone. “I hate to think he’ll get hurt because of his poor judgment.”
“One of the many things I love about you, Mary.” Paul put his arm around her and pulled her close. “You have a very giving and forgiving heart.”
Blushing, Mary curled into Paul’s embrace. “You’re not so bad yourself, Paul.”
Picking up where they’d left off before their peaceful day was shattered, the ugliness of Josh’s visit was soon forgotten.
* * *
Adams’s instructions had been to meet him in front of the school two hours ago. After waiting for over an hour, Josh decided he wasn’t going to show. Angry with Adams for leaving him hanging, he felt he deserved an explanation for ...