Chapter Three

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Micah felt the gawking eyes. It wasn't a big town to begin with and having been just featured on the news making a bold statement, gazes shifted to and away from him in rapid succession. He pretended not to notice as they perused the market's aisles.

"Sheesh, you'd think we're the most excitement this place has had since sliced cheese," Trent mumbled.

"I think you mean sliced bread," Micah countered.

"No, my friend, that's where you're wrong. Sliced cheese is the bomb. Comes out all easy. You've got provolone, Swiss, maybe a little pepper jack, and why not lay some cheddar right on me? No wonky chunks, just sweet bliss."

Micah gaped at him. "What are you talking about?"

"The sandwich I was supposed to get an hour ago."

"Food beat out girls. You must really be hungry."

They had waited for the camera crews to clear before resuming their work. Damon hadn't seemed to care what the reporters thought of Micah's statement. He'd kept right on working, commanding the elements to do his bidding while Trent began complaining about needing lunch. Having spent the last few days eating up Vern's food supplies, Micah and Trent had offered to head into DeKalb for lunch and to restock the shelves. Micah had voted to hit the grocery store first, then find some fast food to take back to Vern, his dad, and Damon. Huge mistake.

"Seriously, Micah?" Trent griped when Micah piled more cookies into their shopping cart as they passed the bakery.

"What?" Micah asked. "I'm hungry too."

"We need meat. Not cookies." Trent took hold of the shopping cart, shoving Micah out of the way. "Give me this. You are shopping like a friggin' girl, man. Now where's the deli?"

"Lead the way. I'll eat anything at this point," Micah agreed just as he felt someone tug on his arm from behind. He turned to find a young girl with red braids and olive-green eyes gazing up at him.

"Hey, I saw you on the news today," she announced unabashedly.

Micah grinned. "Oh, really? Cool."

She returned the grin, dimples lighting up all her features. "I can't wait to go in the city you're building. My mom said we wouldn't be able to, that it was all just crazy, plus it's private property, but I told her I would."

"Oh, uh... that's great," Micah said, unsure what to say. When Trent pushed the shopping cart forward, Micah followed after, adding over his shoulder, "Maybe one day you can."

To his dismay, the girl followed. Micah glanced around, hoping to see someone who might claim her. Last thing he needed right now was for the locals to think he was some kind of pedophile.

"Hey, where's your mom?" Micah asked.

The girl shrugged and flipped a braid over her shoulder. "Don't know."

"Maybe you should go find her," Trent said. Micah could tell by his tone that he wasn't comfortable with the girl following them either.

"I told my mom I've seen the city," the girl continued, following close on Micah's heels. "I've been dreaming about it for a long time."

Micah halted and stared at the girl. "Wait. You have?"

The girl nodded just as a woman's voice rang out. "Olivia Anne Barlow, you get over here this minute." The guys glanced up to see a redheaded woman marching their way, with a look of both relief and horror written all over her face.

"Oh, that's my mom. Guess I better go. See you, Micah and Trent," Olivia called as she dashed toward her mother.

Micah just gaped after her.

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