Later that evening, Joy received a call from the retirement center’s owner, Mr. Waif, saying that she had permission to attend Mr. Lockwood’s dinner in Montgomery, and that he, Mr. Waif, would personally manage the senior citizens while she was away, ending with, “Take as long as you need, Mrs. Murphy.”
Joy hung up and frowned at the phone. It was one of those older, beige models with the obnoxiously long and curly cord that always tangled. But that wasn't why she frowned. Gabriel must have really done some sweet talking to get Mr. Waif to manage for her. The owner was a good man at heart, but personally seeing to things was not his favorite activity. Mr. Waif preferred to sit back in semi-retirement and let his managers deal with any issues that arose.
“Was that Mr. Waif?” Simon asked, hanging homemade ornaments on their Christmas tree.
“Yes. It looks like we’ll get to go to Montgomery tomorrow.”
Simon smiled. He had no doubt that would be the case. He seemed to have an extraordinary amount of faith in Gabriel’s promise to get her a free day tomorrow. Just as Gabriel seemed to be exorbitantly at ease with the situation when they discussed it that afternoon at her parents’ place. In fact, Gabriel shrugged off her worries with Mr. Waif’s normal policies, saying, “Let me handle it.” So, she did.
“I guess I should call Mr. Lockwood and let him know,” she said absently.
“I think Mr. Lockwood would know already,” Simon replied. “Since he was the one who talked to Mr. Waif first.”
“I suppose...then I should at least find out the plan for tomorrow. What time we need to leave and all.”
Simon resumed his decorations and Joy dialed Gabriel’s cell phone number. “Joy,” Gabriel answered immediately, a clear smile in his voice. “I was just about to call you.”
“Yes, well...Mr. Waif called and said he would take care of things tomorrow,” she said to him. And then, she asked, “What did you say to him?”
Gabriel chuckled. “Whatever do you mean, Joy?”
“You know exactly what I mean. Mr. Waif never takes care of things. Especially on a Sunday. He always assigns one of his stand-by managers.”
Again, he chuckled. “He just needed a little persuasion of the right kind.”
“Oh, dear lord,” she moaned, knowing -- just absolutely knew -- what he meant by that. “You bribed him, didn’t you?”
“Bribe is a strong word, Joy.”
“Then what word would you use?”
“Ha, ha. Very funny, Jane Austen,” she groused, but a smile twitched in the corners of her mouth.
“Never read any of her works,” he quipped, still plainly smiling at her. “Now, about tomorrow...”
Joy knew she’d never get the details concerning Mr. Waif out of him, so she sighed and said, “Okay, about tomorrow. What time do Simon and I need to leave? Oh, and I’ll need directions to your grandfather’s house.”
There was that chuckle again. Gabriel seemed very amused with her tonight. “Joy, you won’t need directions, or to drive. I’ll pick you up around ten.”
“Oh, I thought...I thought you would have gone back by now,” she said.
“Not just yet. Grandad wants to meet you, and I am personally responsible for making sure that he does. Therefore, our paths must cross once again, Joy.”
YOU ARE READING
Angels Among UsRomance
Joy Murphy struggles to make ends meet every day of her life. Raising a son by herself is difficult, and this Christmas, nothing has changed...or will it? On the very morning she meets Gabriel Lockwood, her life suddenly becomes a whirlwind of hol...