"Mom, can I get you something to drink?" Camilla forced herself to
be hospitable, even though her mother hadn't thought it important to
phone before she stopped by.
would be lovely, thanks." Lucia sat primly on the porch swing,
swaying ever so slightly while she stared at the yard in front of
her. "New birdfeeders, I see."
Camilla was surprised her mother had noticed, since the lawn was
dotted with a couple dozen feeders. But then, Lucia always did have
an eye for details - especially when she could poke at Camilla with
nothing more important to spend your money on?"
rolled her eyes. "I’ll get your tea, Mom." She scooted into the
house, grateful for any time away from her mother's nagging. If you
listened to Lucia long enough, you'd be certain that Camilla
couldn't do anything right. Shoving away the desire to run out the
back door and not come back until she saw Lucia's car pulling away,
she grabbed a tray, a pitcher of tea and two glasses.
her toe in the small opening she’d left in the front door, pulling
it enough to slip her leg into and then bumping it all the way open
with her hip. Lucia was still sitting in the swing, but now it was
motionless while she peered through the pair of binoculars that
Camilla kept outside for watching her birds.
What are you doing?"
entire body jerked at the question and she tossed the binoculars
onto the cushion beside her. "Nothing." She patted her hair. "Bird
Camilla conceded the possibility, though her mother had never
shown any interest in the birds before. Still, she could tell her
mom was hiding something. She held the tray out. "Tea?"
Lucia poured herself a glass and took a sip, pursing her lips. "Too
rolled her eyes. Last week it was too strong. Odd how, in nearly
thirty years, she hadn't made one decent pitcher of tea.
next to her mom on the porch swing, picking up the binoculars and
cradling them in her lap. After she sipped her tea - not too sweet
at all - she set it down on the wooden table beside her.
the swing back and forth gently with one foot, she gazed in the
general direction of her mom's interest. She saw two feeders
complete with birds fluttering about them, but also, a little
further away, was the pond. There was some movement there – had her
neighbor, Jed taken his dogs for a swim?
a sideways glance at her mom before lifting the binoculars to her
eyes, ignoring the gasp of protest. Sure enough, a muscular torso
filled her view, strong arms slicing through the water. Her chest
tightened when he reached the edge of the pond and, laughing at the
antics of one of the dogs, stood. Water slipped down his nearly
naked body and Camilla followed its path from his broad shoulders to
his waist, hips and -
glasses were torn from her grasp. "Camilla Jean, what do you think
you're doing?" Her mother stood before her, one hand on her hip, the
other waving the binoculars.
corner of Camilla's mouth lifted in a half smile. "Same thing as
you, mom. Bird watching."