“Does your son know it’s the middle of summer,” Emily Ann asked absently as she tried once again to curl a stubborn sliver of chocolate into a flower petal. When it broke into several tiny pieces, she threw up her hands, her frustration obvious.
“Why don’t you take a break and try again later? You’ve been working on that one section for an hour,” Jackson advised gruffly, looking over the top of his newspaper.
He and Emily Ann were in the kitchen, him at the breakfast table, her at the granite-topped island, both periodically peering out the picture window at Rye in the backyard. His son, donned only in an old pair of old basketball shorts, was chopping his second cord of firewood of the day. It didn’t seem to matter that it was early June. Sunday after returning from their visit with Jensen in New York, they’d discovered Rye holed-up in the woodworking shop. Today was Tuesday, and Rye hadn’t once ventured over to spend any time with them. Emily Ann was about to drive him insane with her worrying.
This morning for his daily walk he just happened to end up next door, spotting John gathering vegetables from the garden. As Jackson had suspected, John relayed there had been some friction with Rye and Lacey on Sunday. Enough said. His son had woman problems.
“Are you going to talk to him?” Emily Ann asked for the hundredth time as she agonized over the instruction sheet for the curling set. “I don’t understand why I have to keep prodding you to check on your own child. I would talk to him myself but obviously it’s not something he needs his mother for.”
Jackson sighed and turned the page of his paper. “He’s a man, Emily Ann. Sometimes you have to let a man work things out in his own time,” Jackson muttered even as he cast another concerned glance at his son.
“Yes, and I know a man who’ll have to work some things out all by himself, too, unless he checks on my baby,” Emily Ann said, sending a pointed look at his crotch. Then she returned to studying the instructions laid out in front of her, as if she hadn’t just brought out the biggest gun she owned and aimed it at him.
Suddenly, as if he was on fire, Jackson walked out the patio door to the backyard. As he walked, he shook his head and berated the weakness of his flesh, but he wasn’t taking any chances.