Huckleberry Harvest
a shelter for the propane tank was worth his best time and effort. He took great care with every corner and every surface.
    Mandy handed him another screw so he wouldn’t have to hold them in his mouth while he worked. In truth, Mandy was completely useless to Noah’s project. He could certainly hold his own screws in the handy pocket in his tool belt. She saved him a little time by handing him tools and wooden slats, but she wasted more of his time with questions and idle conversation. Still, she kind of liked being with him, sometimes just being silent together, sometimes laughing at something funny.
    She handed him another slat.
    He glanced at her before screwing it into the frame. “I feel like I might be keeping you from something important,” he said. “If your mammi needs you in the house, I can fetch my own wood.”
    “I’m okay,” she said, rocking back and forth on her heels. “Unless I’m bothering you. You said you like to be left alone. I can leave.”
    A frown stumbled across his face. “I’m sorry I said that.”
    “And I’m sorry I spied.”
    The storm clouds parted, and he smiled. “We’re not to mention the spying ever again.”
    “Or that you saved my life. Let’s just leave it in the past. Everything.”
    “Okay. Everything.”
    Mandy grabbed another handful of screws. “You know, Noah, I’d be perfectly comfortable letting you raise a baby.”
    He snapped his head up and looked at her as if she’d eaten her shoe. “What are you talking about?”
    “You’re so careful with everything.”
    “I don’t even know how to change a diaper.”
    “But if you had to, you’d figure out how to put one on. And then you’d mold it perfectly to fit the baby’s bottom. Diaper rash would never afflict your baby.”
    His mouth curved upward. “If you gave me a manual I could probably do it. I’m not all that smart, but I know how to read directions.”
    He pulled his battery-operated drill away from the slat he was working on and knelt beside his toolbox.
    Mandy stood ready with a board in one hand and a level in the other. “What do you need?”
    “A different drill bit.”
    “I’ll find it,” she said. “What size?”
    They both heard a bell. Mandy peered around the corner of the house and caught her breath. She’d been having so much fun that she’d forgotten about Kristina. Her best friend ambled up the lane walking her bicycle, occasionally flicking the bell with her thumb to make it tinkle. The lane was steep enough that most bikers didn’t try to pedal up the hill.
    “Oh.” The word escaped her lips before she could pull it back.
    “Who is it?” Noah said, squarely focused on his shed.
    A thread of guilt wrapped itself around Mandy’s throat. How would Kristina react if she knew Mandy was spending time with the “enemy”?
    Or worse. What if Kristina knew Mandy was enjoying spending time with Noah? Kristina still loved him. Would she be jealous?
    Should she be jealous?
    Mandy tossed her handful of screws into the bucket. Of course not. She had recently come to think less harshly of Noah, but Kristina was still her best friend. Mandy would never do anything to jeopardize that friendship.
    “It’s Kristina,” Mandy said. Did she sound disappointed?
    Noah instinctively stepped back, even though Kristina couldn’t see him from this angle. He crossed his arms over his chest so that the drill pointed into the sky. With the resentful frown etched into his face, he looked like a brick wall, impossible to topple. Whatever kind of attack Kristina planned to use, he was ready.
    Mandy’s mind raced for a way to make this awkward meeting less uncomfortable for everybody. Kristina still hadn’t seen Noah. Maybe she didn’t have to know he was here.
    “Krissy,” Mandy called, waving and skipping across the lawn to greet her.
    Breathing as if she’d run a race, Kristina nudged the kickstand with her foot and parked her bike right in the middle of the lane. “That is a

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