Romance Fiction posted March 3, 2013 Chapters:  ...33 34 -35- 36... 

This work has reached the exceptional level
Piage gets scared.

A chapter in the book Savannah Love

Chapter 8, part 5

by barbara.wilkey

Paige was raised in Boston and inherited an antebellum house. Cash was hired to restore the house to authenticity. South vs North as these two attempt to find love.
Cash entered the library and grinned. I guess the Bookman family history's too much for her. He set the diary on the table and picked up Morgan. "You have a vet appointment in twenty minutes." The pup squirmed. "Shh, don't wake Paige. She didn't get much sleep last night."

Nala turned the corner and smiled as Cash held his finger to his lips. They walked to the front porch.

"It shouldn't take longer than forty-five minutes. If Paige wakes up, let her know I took the mutt. If you need anything, Billy Joe is on the south side of the house."

As Nala petted Morgan, she smiled. "I'm sure Paige won't wake up for a long while." She went inside.

An hour later, Cash returned with Morgan and smiled when he saw Nala. "Is sleeping beauty awake?"

"Paige went back to sleep. She only sleeps twenty minutes at a time. I think she's in pain. Why didn't the doctor prescribe pain pills?"

"Paige wouldn't let him. She said she didn't need them. I don't know what that's about." Cash set Morgan down. "Any ideas?"

"Why don't you ask?"

Cash winked and grinned. "That's a pretty good idea. I'll do just that." He rushed into the library as Morgan whined attempting to crawl onto the couch. "Don't wake her. She needs sleep. You can help Billy Joe and me outside." He turned to leave with the pup. I might as well give up on getting any work done.

"I'm awake. Is Morgan healthy?"

"Yep, the vet said he's a very healthy three month old puppy." He set the dog beside Paige.

She smiled. "Does he have any idea where he came from?"

"No, but he thinks this mutt's a purebred. He's surprised somebody'd dump a lab pup."

"I'm very lucky I found you." She hugged the puppy. He licked her face and wagged his tail.

"You up for a question?" After Paige nodded, Cash continued, "You have to be in pain. Why'd you turn down the pain pills?"

"A friend was in a car accident and got hooked on the pills. He ended up going to rehab. I don't want to chance that."

"Is your friend all right now?"

"He left rehab about a year ago. We stayed in contact for a while, but I haven't heard from him in months."

Cash turned when he heard Billy Joe call his name, then glanced at his watch. "I need to see what he wants and get some work done. Be back in an hour."

When Cash and Paige opened the door to Faye's house, she greeted them with hugs. It wasn't long before Faye held up Morgan and studied his face. "Aren't you just the cutest little thing?"

The puppy licked her face.

Faye laughed.

"He says, 'I sure am.'" Paige grinned.

Cash shook his head. "You two are just alike. He's a mutt."

"You said the vet thinks he's a purebred Labrador." Paige tilted her head and eyed Cash.

"Mom, how close is dinner?" Cash took the wiggly critter from her. "You're holding up my pan-perfect catfish."

"Just a few minutes. Help Paige get situated at the table."

Cash brought a pillow from the living room so Paige could keep her ankle elevated. "The sooner the swelling goes down, the sooner you can get a regular cast and crutches." He laughed. "You'll probably break your arm falling down those stairs. I wonder if I'd better install an elevator."

"Ha ha, that's not funny." Paige frowned, trying not to smile.

Faye swatted Cash with a dishtowel. "You behave yourself and help set the table."

After grace, Cash took a fish filet and set it on Paige's plate. "Taste this and let me know if it ain't the best thing you've ever eaten."

Paige took a bite. "Yum, it's really good." She watched as Cash filled her plate with coleslaw, French fries, hushpuppies and another fish filet. "There's no way I can eat all this."

"You need to eat so your ankle heals quickly."

"I doubt eating has anything to do with it, but eating will make me fat. I can't workout with a cast."

It wasn't long before the dinner conversation switched to Dwayne Walker.

Faye set the fork beside her plate, then finished chewing. "I wonder if his people own that large plantation north of town by the river?"

"Doesn't that place go back to before the Civil War?" Cash's eyebrows rose.

Faye used her napkin to dab her mouth. "It does. The family dates back to James Oglethorpe. They were supposed to be on the first ship from England. They settled in Savannah sometime in 1733. If he does, then his family dates back to an original American aristocracy."

"That would explain his comment about belonging to a 'social society'." Paige used her fingers to highlight social society. "His family would've been slave owners before the Civil War."

"Certainly they were. Passed down folklore says they were the first family to get more than the standard fifty acres. Since they were self-supporting and had indentured servants, they received about 950 acres."

"What did they grow?"

"Cotton, rice, tobacco, mulberry groves and indigo." Faye grinned. "The mulberry grove and the indigo weren't too profitable."

"I knew they grew the first ones, but why the last two?" Cash helped himself to the last hushpuppy.

"Mulberries for silk and indigo for dye." Paige smiled. "I'm an artist, remember?"

"How could I forget?" He ate the last bite of fish. "Perfection!"

"About how many slaves would they've owned?" Paige nibbled a French fry.

Faye tapped the side of her face with her finger. "Again with folklore, maybe around sixty-five."

Paige shook her head. "That explains a lot."

"We don't know for sure he's part of that family." Faye stood.

"It would explain a lot about what was said." Paige watched Cash push his chair under the table.

"You sit until I'm finished with the dishes." He winked at her.

"I wonder." Faye faced Paige. "It seems I heard a rumor the Walkers lost most their money a few years back playing the commodities."

"You mean the Chicago Board of Trade?" Paige's eyes widened.

Faye nodded.

After dinner and the dishes were done, Cash hung up the towels. "I'd like to stay longer, but I'd better get Paige home. She looks tired."

"Will you be back later?"

Cash shook his head. "No. I'm hanging around and make sure she's safe. Walker may be stalking her."

"Won't he see your truck?"

"After I take her home, I'm going to get Billy Joe. He'll drop me a few blocks away and then take my pickup home."

Paige frowned. "That seems like a lot of trouble."

Cash ignored her comment. "I need to run home and get a few things." He grabbed Morgan. "Come on. You need exercise."

When Cash returned, Paige glanced up. "Did you get what you needed?"

"Yes, but that crazy pup of yours tried to chase a polecat. I had to run him down." Cash shook his head.

"What's a polecat?"

"A skunk." Cash opened a drawer and put something in his pocket.

"Cash, do you think that's necessary?" Faye frowned.

"I want to be prepared, just in case."

"Prepared for what?" Paige frowned.

"Nothing, my dear." He turned and kissed his mom's cheek. "I'll call in the morning." He picked up Morgan. "Come on, trouble maker."

Faye smiled and took the pup. "I'll carry this adorable little guy. You get Paige."

It wasn't long before Cash helped Paige to her front door. Morgan trailed behind and struggled climbing the steps. Cash finally picked him up. "It'll take you forever to catch up or you'll get sidetracked and chase another polecat." Cash lifted Paige and chuckled. "You're getting heavy."

"I told you that you put too much on my plate."

"You didn't have to eat it all. You could've passed a hushpuppy or two my way. I'll set you down at the top of the stairs before my back gives out." He paused. "What's that?"

"I don't know." Paige removed a white paper taped to the door. "It's too dark to read it."

Inside Cash set Paige down and read the note aloud, "We don't want Yankees contaminating Southern purebreds. Show loyalty to White Society or get the hell out."

Paige touched the letters cut and pasted from magazines and newspapers. "Why would some one do this? I haven't done anything. I've only been here a week." She wiped a tear rolling down her cheek.

"I don't know. I better look around." Cash helped her to the parlor couch, then turned.

"Don't leave."

Morgan barked.

"What are you barking at? You're too little to do any good." Cash removed his cell from his jeans pocket. "Billy Joe, can you and Mary Pat come to Paige's? A note was taped to her door. It wasn't a welcome message." He put his phone away. "They'll be here in a few minutes. While Billy Joe and I search the place, Mary Pat'll stay with you and your vicious dog." He petted the pup on the head.

"I guess he knows I'm scared. I read somewhere that pets can feel their owners' emotions."

"I guess he'll have all sorts of emotions." Cash grinned.

Paige's eyes met his. "Please don't joke. I can't take it right now." Tears welled in her eyes.

Cash put his arms around her. She cuddled into his chest and cried. He kissed the top of her head. "I won't let anything happen to you."

After glancing at his watch, Cash stared at the door. What's taking Billy Joe so long? He should've been here fifteen minutes ago.


Thank you google images for the photo representing a fried fish dinner. Thank you for reading and reviewing. As I posted I ended up changing some things. I hope I didn't mess it up too badly. This is the ending of chapter 18. I won't be able to post next weekend. I'll be traveling Friday to MO. My parents are celebrating their 60th wedding anniversary. I'll be home on the 12th. I have the week off for spring break. Maybe I'll be able to catch up. Probably not. LOL
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