“No, but I want to go. Have you?”
“Oui, several times. My father’s work required him to travel to many different places. We often accompanied him.” He seemed momentarily lost in his memories. “Paris is a beautiful city. Of course, it was a favorite of my mother’s. She loved the fashions.”
“Where are you parents now?”
“I will tell you another time. We’re almost at the station.” Frost stopped walking and faced Marie. “We will go together to the ticket window. Say nothing. Only smile. As if you’re happy to be with me. Do you understand?”
“I am happy to be with you.” The words were out before she could stop them, and she pressed her lips together in frustration. “I mean, I’d rather be with you than with the SD.”
The muscle in Frost’s cheek twitched, but his expression didn’t change. “We must be careful.”
“How will we know them?’
“We may not. So stay close.”
“I will.” Marie mentally kicked herself for what she had said. He must think her a fool, a silly schoolgirl. She needed to stay focused, to remember that Frost might be the danger.
As they entered the station, Frost scanned the early evening crowd and the ticket boards, before sauntering to a window with Marie on his arm. He appeared relaxed, but she could feel the tension emanating from him. He bought two tickets to Birmingham on the evening train. Ten minutes to wait. They sat close together on an isolated bench, both keeping a surreptitious lookout.
“What will we do in Birmingham?” Marie asked.
“So am I. Rescuing you has made me hungry.”
“I was only window-shopping,” she said flippantly, “when you accosted me.”
One corner of Frost’s mouth tilted upward. “And I was only crossing a street.”
“You didn’t need to push so hard.”
“I didn’t intend to push you at all. But when you started across the street just as—”
“Did you see him fall?”
“He didn’t fall, Marie. He was pushed.”
The silhouette. The shadow. She remembered then, the scream when she fell, the strange nightmarish echoes. Her shoulders stiffened with the memory, and she pulled Frost’s jacket about her, retreating into its dark warmth. He placed his arm about her and drew her close.
I’m playing a character. She rested her head against his chest, allowing his rhythmic breathing to calm her coltish spirit. From her tangled thoughts, a startling clarity emerged.
She clutched the purse in her lap with one hand and swiped at sudden, unbidden tears with the other. For the first time, she understood the wellspring of her parents’ fairy tale. Why Momma had left her native France for a hard life in a foreign land.
At least Momma had known Papa’s name.
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.