Sorbonne.” “I’m no artist, but I would imagine that Paris is one place where every artist should spend time, if for nothing else than the museums and galleries.” Caylor mentally recorded Dylan’s expressions of self–consciousness and wistful hope. Not being able to figure out why he seemed so familiar to her irritated Caylor—she would do whatever it took to figure it out. But until then, she would find ways to keep studying him, keep observing him—as the template for the hero in her next romance novel, be it contemporary or historical. Maybe if she got to know him well enough, he might even agree to let the publishing house use his image for the front cover of the book.
D ylan checked his watch and downed the last gulp of coffee. He’d been ready to go for almost twenty minutes, but until he heard— Under his feet, the automatic garage door opener whirred. He popped a piece of sugar-free peppermint gum in his mouth, shrugged into his sport coat, and loped down the stairs to the garage. When he’d informed Perty yesterday he’d decided to go to church with them—this week, anyway—she’d suggested he ride with them and visit the singles class while he was at it. If he hadn’t heard Zarah, Bobby, and Flannery talking about the class Friday evening, he might have balked. But at least with them there, it might not be so awkward. Gramps nodded over the roof of his Lexus—Dylan wasn’t sure if it was meant to convey a greeting or approval. Could have been both. Whatever. If he looked up duress on Wikipedia, there would be a video of this situation. “Here.” Perty handed Dylan a large, gray, leather-bound Bible. “I wasn’t sure if you had—if you’d unpacked yours yet or not.” Of course. Having grown up in church, he should have remembered that only heathens and backsliders went to church without a Bible big enough to choke Godzilla. He climbed into the backseat and put the book down beside him as he buckled up. Perty surprised him by going around to Gramps’s side of the car and climbing into the backseat as well. “We’re picking up Sassy Evans on the way,” she explained at his questioning look. After several long minutes of nothing but soft classical music filling the car, Perty turned to look at him. “When did Dr. Holtz think he might be able to let you know about teaching next semester?” Dylan shrugged. “He wasn’t sure. Said he needed to do some shuffling. But he probably has two classes for me.” Apparently able to see that was all she was going to get out of him, Perty turned forward again. “I hope it works out for you.” Another pause. “Your father called this morning to let us know they’re back from Chicago early and will join us for lunch after church. Pax is meeting us at the restaurant, too.” Great. Dylan knew he should have driven himself this morning. He’d hoped to put off the inevitable confrontation with his parents longer—a lot longer—like after he had a full-time job somewhere else and was repacking to move far, far away. “Did Spencer come back with them?” “No—his finals are this week, but I don’t think he’s planning to come home as soon as they end. He mentioned a possible ski trip to Utah with some friends in his last e-mail to me. It will be the last chance he gets to relax. I’ve read the final two quarters of his program are merciless in their intensity.” Dylan turned his head away from this grandmother and rolled his eyes. Paxton was getting a PhD in physics from Vanderbilt University, Spencer, an MBA from Northwestern. And the whiz kid of the family, twenty-one-year-old Tyler, had just started his PhD work in math at MIT. One of the few things Dylan would miss about living in Philadelphia was getting together with Tyler for weekends in New Haven, Connecticut, about halfway between their homes. Tyler seemed to be the only one in the family who didn’t look down on Dylan for not pursuing a “real”