“I thought a private supper might be nice,” he said, taking her bag. “Lamb stew, brown bread, and, for dessert, a nice lemon meringue pie.”
“I finally get to see where you live,” she said, giving his arm a squeeze.
“Don’t get too excited. It’s not much bigger than your place.”
“I thought country lords always had a London house.” On their first date, Ian had told her about Kenniston Hall, his father’s Somerset estate.
The gold flecks in his eyes dimmed, and his jaw subtly clenched. “My sister Trish stays there when her husband is in town. He’s a major—used to be my superior officer in fact—but then we got,” he paused, “separated at Dunkirk.”
She hesitated by the car door as Ian opened it. The early battle had already gained legendary fame for the massive evacuation of British and French soldiers from the Dunkirk shores by sailing vessels of all kinds, even fishing boats. If not for the heroism shown that day, the Allies wouldn’t have had the manpower to withstand Hitler’s forces.
“‘Separated’? He didn’t make it back?” But that didn’t make sense. Ian had just said Trish’s husband came to town.
“He was evacuated. I wasn’t.” His characteristic half-grin flashed, but didn’t light his eyes as it usually did. “Get in the car, would you? I’m starving.”
She settled into her seat, but didn’t take her eyes from him as he strode in front of the car to the driver’s door. If he hadn’t been evacuated, then he’d been left behind enemy lines. Yet here he was, in London. Perhaps whatever had happened to him before he came home was the reason for his hidden pain.
He slid in beside her but didn’t start the vehicle. “You’re staring at me.”
“Only because I care about you.”
“That’s dangerous in our line of work.”
“How did you get back to England? Did the French Resistance help you?”
“Eventually, yes. But first I spent two years in German prison camps.” The corner of his lip turned up in a slight smile. “I was afraid that’s all I’d have to tell my grandchildren. Now I get to tell them about my romance with the famous American actress.”
“But you will be.” He switched on the ignition and pulled away from the curb, his eyes focused on the street.
She studied his profile, as strong and open as his character. Yet there were depths to him she could never have guessed. If she had met Ian first, before she met Frost, would the German stranger have such a strong hold on her heart? Loving Ian would be so much simpler, so much safer.
Christian Fiction Friday is a weekly blog hop where authors post snippets from their current works in progress. It is hosted by Alana Terry and Hallee Bridgeman. Click here for a full list of rules and suggestions.