Part 1951 – Clarice Vansing Takes The Stand.

He needed a hug.

Jeff Farsigh needed a hug so bad.


Sarah looked up at Ambrose.

She wanted to stay with him. No matter what the other guys said, she wanted to stay with Ambrose.

He read to her.

He understood her when everyone else couldn’t.

But he and Barbara were saying that she couldn’t stay with either of them, which just wasn’t fair.

What if Jeff didn’t really care about her? What if he wanted her just as a fill in the blank until his daughter woke up? What would he do? Would he kick Sarah out of the house and tell her to get lost?

She scowled at the man kneeling at her feet.

There were so many questions and not nearly enough gestures to cover them all. But she would try to ask the most important one: Did he really care about her?

Sarah tapped the top of Jeff’s head until he looked up at her. She pointed at him, hugged herself, and jabbed a point at her own chest.

He sat back on his feet.

She repeated her question again.

“You want to know…” He frowned.

“I know what she’s trying to say.” Ambrose said. “But I’ll let you figure it out.”

“Thanks.” Jeff didn’t sound or look particularly thankful.

Sarah repeated the question.

“You want to know if…if I can hug you?”

She stomped her foot on the floor and repeated the question again.

Ambrose scoffed. “I don’t know what your problem is, hunter. It’s a very simple question.”

“You want to know if I can…if I do…If I love you?”

It wasn’t quite the right question, but it was close enough. She nodded emphatically.

“Bingo!” Ambrose said.

Jeff smiled. “I’m not one to profess my love that quickly or easily. I don’t know you and you just know my backstory. You don’t know me. But if you give me a chance, I could eventually say yes.”

Sarah quirked her mouth to the side as she puzzled through his answer.

It wasn’t a very good answer. It wasn’t yes and it certainly wasn’t no. Did it count as maybe? Not really.

Sarah walked over to Clarice, who was talking quietly to John and Barbara. She tugged on Clarice’s sleeve.

As soon as she got the older woman’s attention, Sarah gave her an expectant look.


Sarah tapped her fingertips to her lips and pulled them away.

Clarice stared baffled at her.

She pointed at Clarice and repeated the gesture.

“You want me to talk?”

Sarah nodded.

“Ohhh! Oh, I see what you mean. Ah. Well! My name is Clarice Vansing. I’m Elsie Vansing’s mom. She was my little girl, but she’s all grown up now. And hooooo-whee! Is she ever grown up! She’s engaged to this super hot hunter named Hildreth Mayhew.” Clarice thought about it. “Hmm. If you like Ambrose, you’d probably like Hildreth too. They’re not at all alike, but he is so smokin’ hot, let me tell you.”

Sarah tried to imagine someone being as good looking as Ambrose. She failed. She failed in the most epic fashion imaginable.

“My husband died some time ago and Elsie’s moved out. So, here I am, living all alone, rocking out in my widowhood. I’m not as young as I used to be, but I like to think that I still have plenty of pep inside of me.”

John smiled at that. “I’d say you do.”

She smiled affectionately at him.

Sarah noticed the lovey-doveyness sparking between them. She tugged on Clarice’s sleeve again.

“Mm. Sorry. I got lost in my thoughts for a moment there.”

Sarah pointed at Clarice, pointed at John, and tapped her index fingers together.

Clarice grinned. “Oh, yes. I’d love to kiss that man just like that. Mmm-mm. He’s a mighty fine kisser.”

Sarah smiled and covered her face with her hands. She peeked through her fingers just n time to see John kiss Clarice. She lowered her hands and watched.

While she wasn’t on the receiving end of the kiss, Sarah could tell that it was different from how Ambrose and Barbara had kissed. It was calm and relaxed with no signs of desperation. He cupped Clarice’s face in between his hands. Her hands came up to rest on top of his.

It looked ridiculously serene.

Sarah shook her head.

Maybe she would never fall in love.

Maybe she would never be kissed.

But if someone did kiss her, she knew that she wanted it to be like Barbara and Ambrose’s.

Even if she couldn’t fully understand why.

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