Turner's Vision
ask exactly what his plans for their marriage were, they were interrupted by Henderson and the boys.
    “I believe you gentlemen have had a long and event filled day.” Micah addressed Adam and Joey, his hands lingering on Claudia’s shoulders, lightly caressing them as he spoke. “Tomorrow we’ll begin making plans to capture our ring of criminals.”
    “Aw, couldn’t we do it tonight?” Adam whined.
    “Yeah, we ain’t got nothin’ else to do.” Joey added.
    “Tomorrow will be soon enough, men. You may not have any plans for tonight, but I do.” Micah looked at Claudia with meaning.
    Blushing under his hooded gaze, she pulled the boys out from the room.
    “I believe it’s time for all of us to get some sleep, boys.” She pushed the boys up the stairs. “It has been a long day.”
    “Is Micah goin’ to go after the crums tonight?” Joey asked.
    “Yeah,” added Adam, as both boys stopped where they were on the steps. “We could help him.”
    “No, I believe Micah was speaking of another matter.” Claudia turned them back up the stairs. “You two heard what he said, the investigation will begin again tomorrow. And you two gentlemen will be right in the middle of it, I’m sure.” At their door she said good night, securing a second hug from each before leaving them.
    As she walked back to her room on the other side of the landing, she saw Micah talking to Henderson in the foyer below. Curious, she stopped to hear what they were saying.
    “He’ll be here at noon, so I would like you to take the boys out to get a few supplies just before he arrives. Claudia and I need to discuss the situation with him, and I prefer the boys be occupied with other things at the time.”
    “About how long would you like me to keep them out?” Robert asked.
    “I’ve a list of things for you to purchase which should take most of tomorrow afternoon.” He handed Henderson a folded sheet of paper and a small packet. “But in case you finish early, I believe there is enough money for three gentlemen to take in some sort of treat.”
    The two men laughed. Then Henderson began turning out all the lamps, and Micah returned to the parlor.
    Claudia wondered who it was they were meeting in the afternoon. They were meeting. She thought about the phrase. Micah really was planning to keep his word and not exclude her from the investigation. A smile crossed her face. She wondered if he was planning to keep his other promise. With renewed spirit, she walked more determinedly to her room.
    A lamp was lit for her on the dressing table, casting light on the neatly turned-down bed. For a moment she paused, wondering if that bed would be put to other pursuits tonight besides sleeping. With anxious fingers, she began to undo the buttons of her silk dress, removing the bodice, then the skirt. Walking over to her armoire to hang up the dress, she stopped. Micah’s valise lay on the floor in front of it, blocking the armoire’s door. She lifted it and found it still full of his things.
    Had he not had time to put them away? Or was he giving her the choice of where they went? Setting it aside, she opened the armoire and finished hanging up her wedding dress. Then she carried his bag over to her dressing table and set it down on the seat. Again she paused in her movement. There, lying on the table, was the key to her room tied with one of her own green hair ribbons.
    “It’s your key, my dear. It’s a gift from me.” Micah’s deep, rich voice spoke from the doorway. “I will never lock you in or out again. I can sleep here tonight or find my own place. The choice is yours, but let me warn you, if I do share your bed, I don’t intend to sleep anywhere else. If you really would like to spend your life alone, then hand me my bag and use that key.”

    Claudia stood looking at the giant man leaning against the doorframe, his arms crossed over his chest and one leg crossed in front of the other. The lamplight cast shadows on

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