She raised her face to his. “Who are you?”
“I’ve already told you too much about myself.”
“Not your name.”
Marie bit her lower lip and decided on a different approach. “What did you mean earlier? When I asked you about these clothes?”
Frost hesitated before answering. “For the past few weeks, I’ve been trailing you. Off and on.”
She lifted her head and widened her eyes.
“From the Hatfield station to Twist’s flat,” he said. “Then back again.”
“Impossible.” She practically spat the word. “I would have spotted you.”
“I’m very good.”
She ignored his boast. “But why would you?”
Again Frost hesitated. He laced her fingers with his and chuckled. “It’s the hands,” he said, his eyes momentarily void of emotion. “They’ll give you away every time. You should have worn gloves.”
“That doesn’t explain why.”
“Twist was worried about you. That you would be caught up in, shall we say, a different enterprise. But he couldn’t stop you from coming because he needed to keep this cover.”
She tried to decipher Frost’s guarded words, what he wasn’t saying, and came up with only one incredible answer. “Twist was a triple agent?”
“No, of course not.” Frost took a deep breath and slowly exhaled. “He didn’t want anything to happen to you. So he asked me to watch out for you. That room was mine. I got the clothes so we could do exactly what we did. I hoped it wouldn’t be necessary, that Twist was wrong about his suspicions.” He jutted out his chin, setting his mouth in a firm line. Hard steel deepened his light eyes as if he feared saying too much. Twist’s death had obviously angered him as much as it horrified her.
He gave her a half-grin. “Twist guessed you were lovely. I don’t think he realized how much.”
“Changing the subject?”
He started to say something , but was interrupted by the piercing whistle of an approaching train. The announcement for the Birmingham connection crackled over the loudspeakers. “Time to go.”
They joined the crowd scrambling to get on board and found an open compartment. Marie sat by the window, still clutching the cash-filled purse. An older couple nodded polite greetings as they settled in the opposite seats. Soon after, the train jostled its occupants as it jerked forward.
Once the city lights of Hatfield receded into the distance, Frost shifted in his seat, stretching out his long legs. Marie stared out the window and tried to once again evaluate her meager facts. She couldn’t even begin to imagine what kind of “enterprise” Twist was involved in. Or his connection to Frost.
She glanced at the older couple. The man read a newspaper while the woman hummed softly to herself as she knitted. What would these strangers do if they knew a German was in their midst?
Half-German, Marie corrected herself. A German father and a Danish mother. Whereabouts unknown. As mysterious as their son, restlessly sitting beside her.
In the world outside the speeding train, the early evening sun cast long, slender rays across the rural landscape, highlighting the grassy green of spring growth. The dormancy of winter couldn’t linger much longer.
Renewal and hope, the joyful emotions of spring. They were coming, and surely the oppression of this mad season of war would end, too. Renewal and hope would be reborn in this land. And in Momma’s homeland.
A warm hand covered both of hers. “Are you all right?” Frost whispered.
“Fine,” she murmured. Stay in character. She intertwined her fingers with his.
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.