Did you miss part one of Chapter One?
Chapter One Continued…
“So . . . where is she?” he asked.
Vicki put her hands on her hips. “Aha! Are you finally going to ask
“I’d like to,” Leo said. “And I’d like to do it without you being so
nosy about it.”
Vicki pumped her fist triumphantly. “You know I want my best
friend to be my sister-in-law. Get to it.”
“Well, where is she, for crying out loud?” Leo asked, exasperated.
“She’ll be here soon. She was running over to talk to some of the
people at the cheese booth to see if they could pair some dry cheeses
with her jam.”
Leo nodded. Mona was a workaholic. It was one of the things he
liked about her. Before long, he glimpsed her honey-colored hair
through the crowd, and a warm feeling filled his chest. A shy smile
crossed Mona’s face when she saw him, and the warm feeling grew.
“Hey!” Mona said. “Are you hungry? I’ve wrangled some cheese
samples.” She unpackaged the bundle she was carrying, and Leo dug
into some cheese and grapes.
“Well . . . I had another reason for coming,” he said after he swal‐
lowed. “Although this cheese is excellent.”
Mona looked at him expectantly, and Vicki ducked down as if she
were digging more product out of the boxes underneath the table.
He paused, then blurted, “I was wondering if maybe you had time
Wednesday afternoon. I have the day off. I wanted to hike up to the
falls, maybe have a picnic.”
Mona bit her lip. “I’d love that,” she said, her voice squeaking.
“Wednesday it is.”
They looked at each other awkwardly, and suddenly Leo didn’t
know what to do with himself. He wanted to kiss her, but that would
be too much too fast. Like an idiot, he fought the impulse to stick his
hand out to shake hers.
She’d agreed to a date, not a business deal, for crying out loud.
Clumsily, he stuck his hands in his pockets.
“I can pack the basket,” Mona said, her cheeks reddening. “I’ll get
some more of these cheeses, and maybe a little wine?”
He nodded. “That sounds great.” From his pocket, he fished out the
coupon Aunt Bee had given him and offered it to Mona. “Oh, I have a
two-for. Two beers for the price of one, but I can’t drink right now.
I’m on duty.” He tapped the police-issued radio strapped to his
Mona accepted the coupon. “Thank you! Vicki and I will have
some after we clean up our booth. We’ll toast to you.” She gave him a
big wink, then seemed flustered about it. “It’s . . . the last day of the
festival. The booth has done really well, so it’ll be good to have a way
“Good. I’m very glad,” he said. “Now I need to go and patrol—keep
this rowdy Fall Festival crowd under control.”
As if on cue, a country band took the stage and started crooning a
cover of “I Cross My Heart.” In front of the stage, couples paired off to
Leo and Mona exchanged looks. He wished he could stay and
dance with her, but he needed to make the rounds. And it wasn’t like
he could ask her to slow dance yet; he’d just asked her on a first date!
Two teenage boys whizzed by them, a vendor in hot pursuit.
“Shoplifter!” yelled the vendor.
Adrenaline surged in Leo, and he bolted after the little thieves,
shouting over his shoulder, “See you Wednesday!”
⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐”I couldn’t stop reading!”
⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐”Fast-paced and fun. I love these mysteires!”
⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐”Diana Orgain is my new favorite author!”
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