Trusting Him
suspected he was an informant. Weren't they smart?
    "I did see Katherine tonight, twice." He turned. Jimmy had dropped blankets and a pillow on the couch. "You were right, she's at rock bottom. I wouldn't have suspected it before, and she even looked like she was functioning at the party tonight. But she's in pretty bad shape."
    "You're going to try to help her?" Jimmy sat, lacing his fingers behind his head. "Don't let it drag you back…"
    "I'm not going to do that."
    "I'm just saying…"
    "I can do it. I just don't want to give Vince a reason to come after the people I care about." He arranged the blanket and the pillows on the couch. "At this point, in the condition Katherine's in, I definitely don't trust her."
    "People you care about?"
    Jimmy would latch on to that. Michael shrugged, because he didn't have a real answer, at least not one he wanted to think about. He could have said something about his family, or the kids at church. Instead his mind took another route, thinking about Maggie.
    He would see her at church the next morning and he would see her each day that they worked together. Keeping his distance from Maggie Simmons wasn't going to be an easy thing to accomplish.

    * * *
    "What do you want for breakfast?" Maggie poured water into the coffeemaker and turned to smile at her grandmother. "I can't believe I managed to get up before you."
    "I stayed up late, working on your quilt." Grandma pulled orange juice out of the fridge and poured a glass. "You never told me where you were last night. Is everything okay?"
    Maggie turned so that her grandmother couldn't see her face or read her expression.
    "I went with Michael. His family threw a welcome home party for him, and he didn't want to go alone."
    "That's very sweet of you, dear. And he's a nice boy. I just keep thinking back to all of those prayers for him over the last few years, and look what God did with those prayers."
    "Yes, God has done a lot."
    "Well, there are still a few doubting Thomases in the church. They'll see, though. Michael just has to keep moving forward, and he'll show them that he is a changed person."
    "Yes, he's a changed man." She took the glass of orange juice her grandmother pushed across the counter to her.
    "There are people blaming him for the prowler the other night."
    Maggie made eye contact over the top of her glass. She took a sip and set it down. "He didn't have anything to do with that. We think we know who it was."
    "One of the kids?"
    "Maggie, honey, please be careful. I don't like that you spend so much time over there alone."
    "I know, Gran, but during the day there are a lot of visitors, or people needing help."
    "I just don't like it."
    Maggie kissed her grandmother's powdery-soft cheek. "I love you, Gran. I promise I'll be careful. Now sit down and let me make breakfast."
    Sunshine streamed through the kitchen window. Maggie reached to pull the miniblind closed, leaving the room in shadows. Her grandmother flipped on the light before opening the fridge to pull out bacon and eggs.
    "You sit down, and I'll cook."
    "But I wanted to cook for you today." Maggie pulled out a chair to sit. After years of the same argument, she knew who would win.
    "I want to spend my day without indigestion," Grandma informed her— the same old reason. "Sit down, dear, let me cook."
    Maggie did as her grandmother ordered, accepting the fact that she really wasn't the best cook in the world. The Sunday paper was on the table. She opened it thinking she would read, but then she couldn't.
    The shrill ringing of the telephone shattered the stillness of the room. Maggie slid out of her chair and hurried to answer it. "Hello."
    "Maggie. Good, you're still there." Michael paused. "I wanted to catch you before you left for church."
    "I'm still here."
    Michael didn't speak again, not right away. That gave Maggie time to escape her grandmother's prying eyes and ears. She walked outside, the cordless phone held against her ear with

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