Laurie Alice Eakes
Publisher: Barbour/Heartsong Presents
Series: New Jersey Historical, Book One
Finalist in the American Christian Fiction Writers 2010 Carol Award – Short Historical category
Meg dreams of teaching school. Now that Colin Grassick, a master glassblower from Scotland, has arrived to help at the Jordan glassworks, Meg Jordan’s dreams of teaching the poor, local children are coming true. Finally, someone will have time to make windows for the rural New Jersey schoolhouse, to keep out the cold—and vandals. But the vandalism continues and Colin, whom Meg has befriended, is injured in a suspicious accident at the glassworks. To Joseph Pyle, the wealthy, arrogant man to whom Meg will soon be betrothed, the destruction of Meg’s new windows is inconsequential—as his wife, she will be forbidden from doing anything as common as teaching. Why would Meg’s father insist she marry a man like Joseph and stay away from the endearing Colin? Meg knows what—and who—she wants. But what does God want her to do?
“I can’t abandon the needs of my father any more than you can abandon the needs of your family.”
“I’ll do my best to change things. There must be a way out.”
“If there were, I’d take it.”
Colin’s chest rose and fell in a silent sigh. “You should go back inside before you catch a chill.” He brushed snow from her hair then let his fingertips linger against her cheek.
She didn’t move. She feared even a breath would dislodge his hand from her face, would send her skittering across the snowy grass in an opposite direction to his. If she remained motionless, the moment would last as long as she wanted it to. There in the night, a gauzy curtain of snow sheltered them from the music and laughter in the house, where half a hundred people celebrated someone else’s wedding.
“I can’t go in there.” Meg clasped his hand against her face. “I can’t go back there and pretend I’m happy. I want to stay out here with you, where I don’t have to pretend.”
“Aye, lass, the pretending lies in thinking we don’t have to say good-bye.” He curved his other hand beneath her chin. “Or that I have a right to this.”
He touched his lips to hers. His kiss was warm and gentle and far too brief. Before her heart remembered to beat, before she thought to respond, he drew his hands away from her face, turned his back on her, and vanished behind the swirling mantle of snow.