seven lines excerpt. three.

I almost forgot to post today, so here’s another quick excerpt!

Jeremiah Gale reached for a pair of wire strippers and told himself he was out of his mind. First, for even listening to the gossip in Color Me Crazy. Secondly, for thinking what he was.

The salon’s owner, Beattie Whittle, had hired him to refit one of the stylist stations that had been sitting unused for months—a job that meant spending a couple of days in the company of Touchstone, Texas’s most prolific busybodies while they speculated about the folks in town.

Folks like Allie Ellis.

He knew from the grapevine who she was, of course. Not many people moved to Touchstone on purpose. Fewer moved back having left years before. All of that was common knowledge: That she’d been gone a while. That she’d returned. Small nowhere dots on a map weren’t places where privacy thrived though he’d managed to do a pretty good job of keeping his past close.

What Beattie and the others were saying about Allie’s life during her time away, however… Nope. He hadn’t been aware of any of it and he was sorry to hear about it all. Still, he wasn’t particularly surprised by the revelation. His family could’ve written the textbook on cheating spouses and marriages falling apart—the very reason the institution had never tempted him.

So to hear that Allie had come to feel the same, that after ten years she’d sworn off further romantic involvement to live on her own, had a strange sort of buzz vibrating down his spine.

He did know the part about her house burning to the ground two nights ago.