Dinner that night was good. After all, we were having chicken and mashed potatoes. What wasn’t good about that? During the entire meal, Melinda kept batting her eyelashes at Donovan Reagan, who returned her look with a pleasant smile.
Donovan’s voice was a pleasure to listen to; his deep, southern drawl was so fascinating. He had such elegant speech it was no wonder Melinda was head over heels in love with him. But . . . something didn’t seem right. Donovan was almost too nice.
I wouldn’t have thought much about it if it weren’t for the fact that Chad regarded him suspiciously. Every other look from Chad was one of raised eyebrows or studying eyes, and I didn’t like it. Chad never did like Melinda’s suitors, but he’d never quite acted like this.
Justin and Donovan chatted all through dinner, talking about politics and the like. Mother listened politely, adding her thoughts every now and then. Justin seemed fine with Donovan, as did Mitch. But I don’t think Mitch was paying too much attention to him; he was paying much more attention to the food on his plate.
Only Chad acted strange, and I made a mental note to ask him about it later.
“So, Andrea, how is that golden horse of yours doing?” Donovan asked me, snapping me out of my thoughts.
“Fine. She’s the fastest horse in town,” I answered proudly.
“So I hear.” Donovan chuckled. “Especially after your little escapade through town where you nearly ran over your teacher.”
I squirmed in my seat, embarrassed he’d brought that up. That had nearly been a year ago; I was much more mature now!
After dinner I managed to corral Chad long enough to ask him what was bothering him about Donovan.
“I dunno, sis. I don’t think he’s here for Melinda,” Chad muttered.
“What on earth could he be here for then?” I demanded.
“I don’t know, but I’m going to find out.” Chad assured me. He tugged on one of my braids. “Now, stop worrying your head about it and start worrying about some chores I know you ‘forgot’ to do.”
I crinkled my nose and made a face, and Chad laughed. “Can’t I do the chores tomorrow?” I pleaded.
Chad shook his head. “Get on it with, girl!” He playfully spanked me as I made my way to the door, and I stuck my tongue out.
But even the thought of picking up dirty manure couldn’t cloud out what Chad had said to me: “I don’t know but I’m going to find out.” What could Donovan Reagan possibly want from us? And why would he use the guise of courting Melinda to get it? I decided right then and there that I should help Chad get to the bottom of this too. I didn’t want Melinda to get hurt again by another man that used her.