It took a few days but soon Candy happily ignored Jill’s presence the same way she ignored Joshua. She also quit working for Grandma and found work in the next town over. She still lived here, but only until she had enough to move out which was soon. Candy wouldn’t admit it to Grandma, but everyone knew that she was working as a bartender at a strip club. She took a fit the night she was hired. They told her she was too old to strip or wait tables. Money helped her get over that. The patrons always tipped her well to keep them in drinks.
“I can’t believe after a week we finally get to meet prince charming,” Jill said teasingly.
She laughed. “Stop calling him that! His name is David!”
Jill giggled. “Okay, I'll call him David to his face then.”
Jill went back to her magazine while she dressed. She decided on a dress, something casual. She looked up to find Jill watching her with interest.
“So, are you going to tell me what he looks like or do you want it to be a surprise?”
Madison rolled her eyes. “I’m surprised you don’t know. The three times we went out you were waiting by the window.”
Jill sighed. “We tried, but we couldn’t see anything. The way this house is setup is so inconvenient. The only thing I know is that he drives a black car.”
“Then you know enough.”
Jill jumped off the bed. “That’s not fair! Come on, please!” She placed her hands together in a praying gesture and jumped up and down.
“Oh all right, sit down before you pass out from excitement.”
“Sure thing!” Jill crawled back on the bed. “Well?”
“Don’t rush me. What do you want to know?”
“Is he a good kisser?”
They heard something crash in the bathroom followed by a curse. They ignored it. “He’s okay I guess.”
“Is he handsome?” Jill nibbled on her lip.
Jill looked up at the ceiling deep in thought. She wasn’t happy with the answer and needed a comparison. “Is he better looking than Ephraim?”
She wanted to lie, but Jill would see for herself in less than twenty minutes. “No, he’s not as handsome as Ephraim.” She continued quickly. “He’s really nice. He’s an expert on British history and he’s a perfect gentleman.”
“He sounds dull,” Jill said.
“He is not!”
“Do you think…that you know he’ll be the one that you let…you know?”
She did know. Being a twenty-three year old virgin was starting to grate on her. She wasn’t saving herself for marriage or anything. “I don’t know. I can think of worse men to take a chance on. If I did I think he would be gentle and respectful.”
“So, you think you might with him?”
“Yes, I think so. If things continue the way they are.”
“Do you love him?”
“I think I like him,” she hedged. She just met the guy, but couldn't say that because Jill would think she was putting down her relationship with Seth.
Jill nodded. “Just don’t rush into it. I know I messed up and I regret it. I wish I hadn’t. I wished it had been with a nice guy. Just….just be sure, okay?” She looked sad.
Madison hated seeing her sad. She knew Jill cried at night over what happened. She really wanted to slap Candy upside the head for this. Instead she threw a balled up pair of socks at Jill. “Hey come on, no crying. You don’t want that boyfriend of yours to think that you cry over him.”
That got her attention. She jumped up and ran to the mirror, pushing Madison over to check her lip gloss. She looked very pretty and very fifteen.
She smoothed down her dress. “We should go downstairs. They’ll be here any minute.”
“I can’t wait!” Jill giggled.
They walked downstairs, talking and laughing. Grandma met them in the foyer and smiled. “One of my favorite guys is in the living room waiting for you, Jill.” Grandma loved him as well. He made her job easier and who wouldn’t love that?
Grandma lowered her voice. “We have a surprise guest tonight.”
“Oh, you have no idea how happy I am that he’s eating with us. Listen, I know your special friend is coming over tonight, but I need to sit him between you and Joshua. You two seem to irritate him less. I’ll sit your friend across from you which is more proper for a dinner anyway.”
A buzzer went off. “Oh, that’s my roast!” Grandma hurried down the hallway, leaving Madison to wonder. It had to be Reverend Michaels. Grandma was constantly trying to get the man to stay for a meal. He was nice and she did enjoy talking with him and Joshua loved playing chess with him. Hmm, having the Reverend here wouldn’t be bad. Candy was too much of a coward to make a scene in front of him.
Joshua walked out of the living room fidgeting with the tie Grandma most likely made him wear. “You really should go in there. It’s rude to make your friend wait for you.”
She froze. “He’s here? Why didn’t Grandma tell me?”
He shrugged. “Probably ‘cause I’m the one who let him in and she didn’t know.”
“Joshua, you are enough to drive me to drink.” She playfully pushed him on her way to the living room.
David sat on the couch, making conversation with Mrs. Adle, the resident widow. She was a sweet old woman who liked nothing better than to talk about her grandchildren.
“Oh, look who’s here.” Mrs. Adle smiled in Madison’s direction.
David’s blue eyes lit up. He pushed his shoulder length blond hair back as he walked over to kiss her on the cheek. Madison ignored Joshua’s gagging noise. “I’m sorry I didn't know that you were here yet.”
“It’s fine. I’ve had the pleasure of talking with Mrs. Adle so I can’t complain.” Mrs. Adle beamed. Madison ran her eyes around the living room. The good Reverend wasn’t here yet and thankfully neither was Candy.
David didn’t know much about her. She really should have warned him, but she couldn’t force herself. This was a nice guy and Candy would send him running for the hills. He was so old fashioned. He already told her he hated guys that went to strip clubs. What would he think if he found out that her mother worked at one?
Grandma poked her head in. “Dinner is on the table.”
David gestured for her to lead. She walked into the large dining room. It was the second largest room in the house, the kitchen was the first. It was custom designed for Grandma years ago when she decided to turn the house into a boarding house. The table was long enough to sit sixteen.