Witness by Beverly Barton Read Free Book Online

Book: Witness by Beverly Barton Read Free Book Online
Authors: Beverly Barton
found him at fault.
    All right, he had taken her innocence when he’d had no right to touch her, but he’d told her he was sorry and begged her to forgive him. He had rejected her girlish declaration of love as gently as he’d known how. If he’d been a real cad, he could have taken advantage of her time and again. But he’d cared about Deborah, and his stupidity in taking her just that one time had made him heartsick.
    But he had not ruined her life. It had been the other way around. She had almost ruined his a couple of months later by running to her daddy. Why had she done it? Had she hated him that much? Did she still hate him?
    Carol glanced at her daughter. “Deborah, come join us. Mazie tells me dinner will be ready promptly at six-thirty.”
    â€œShe’s always punctual. Dinner’s at six-thirty every night,” Deborah said.
    â€œShe’s prepared Allen’s favorite. Meat loaf with creamed potatoes and green peas,” Carol said.
    â€œHey, pal, that’s my favorite, too.” Ashe elbowed Allen playfully in the ribs.
    Allen leaned into Ashe, toppling the big man over onto the rug. Within seconds the two were wrestling around on the floor.
    Deborah looked from father and son to her mother. Nervously she cleared her throat. When no one paid any heed to her, she cleared her throat again.
    â€œCome sit down.” Carol gestured toward the tufted leather sofa. “Let the boys be boys. They’ll tire soon enough.”
    When Deborah continued staring at Allen and Ashe rolling around on the floor, both of them laughing, Carol stood and walked over to her daughter.
    â€œAllen needs a man in his life.” Carol slipped her arm around Deborah’s waist, leading her into the room. “He’ll soon be a teenager. He’s going to need a father more than ever then.”
    â€œHush, Mother! They’ll hear you.”
    Carol glanced over at the two rowdy males who stopped abruptly when their roughhousing accidently knocked over a potted plant.
    â€œUh-oh, Allen, we’ll be in trouble with the ladies now.” Rising to his knees, Ashe swept up the spilled dirt with his hands and dumped it back into the brass pot.
    â€œDon’t worry about it,” Carol said. “I’ll ask Mazie to run the vacuum over what’s left on the rug.”
    Deborah glanced down at her gold and diamond wristwatch. “It’s almost six-thirty. I’ll check on dinner and tell Mazie about the accident with the plant.”
    The moment Deborah exited the room, Allen shook his head, stood up and brushed off his hands. “What’s the matter with Deborah? She’s acting awful strange.”
    â€œShe’s nervous about the upcoming trial, but you know that, Allen.” Carol smiled, first at Allen and then at Ashe. “Our lives have been topsy-turvy for weeks now.”
    â€œNo, I’m not talking about that.” Allen nodded toward Ashe. “She’s been acting all goofy ever since Ashe showed up here today.” He turned to Ashe. “Nobody ever answered my question about whether you and Deborah used to be an item.”
    â€œAllen—” Carol said.
    â€œDeborah and I were good friends at one time.” Ashe certainly couldn’t say anything negative about his sister to the boy. “I’m four years older, so I dated older girls.”
    â€œDeborah had a crush on Ashe for years,” Carol said.
    When Ashe glanced at Carol, she stared back at him, her look asking something of him that Ashe couldn’t comprehend.
    â€œShe liked you, but you didn’t like her back?” Allen asked.“Boy, were you dumb. Deborah’s pretty and about the nicest person in the world.”
    â€œYeah, Allen, I was pretty dumb all right. I’m a lot smarter now.”
    â€œWell, if Deborah gives you a second chance this time, you won’t mess things up, will you?” Allen looked at him with eyes

Similar Books

A Haunted Heart

Kristi Pelton

Crimson Psyche

Lynda Hilburn


Richard Hooker

Hard Bitten

Chloe Neill

Season of Blessing

Beverly LaHaye

The Greek Islands

Lawrence Durrell


Candace Camp