A sleek black Porsche pulled into the driveway of Ashley’s father’s farm. Ashley’s younger brother Greg pushed his face against the glass of the front window, then ran to the back door for his boots and coat.
“Holy smokes!” Greg was out the door and down the porch steps before Ashley even knew why he was so excited. She had no idea that it was because Caleb had arrived. This wasn’t the reaction a little brother normally had when his big sister’s date pulled in the driveway.
Suddenly, Ashley’s two older brothers Steve and Donnie were out the door as well and a circle of spectators was forming around Caleb’s car. He got out and extended his hand to meet her family.
Her older sister Sarah came up behind Ashley and let out a low whistle.
“Are you whistling at my hot date?” Ashley asked Sarah. “Or his hot car?”
“Both,” Sarah affirmed. “Where on earth did you snag him?” Sarah was about Caleb’s age, and probably more suited for him than Ashley was.
Sarah was a little more feminine than Ashley, beautiful and outgoing. She’d been homecoming queen in her senior year of high school, was tall and blond and would make a good trophy wife for a young doctor. Her perfectly manicured hands and long blond curls contrasted greatly with Ashley’s callused and sun-tanned skin, sloppy French braid and faded blue jeans.
“College.” Ashley teased her sister. “You should try it sometime. It’s fun.” She pushed past her and hopped down the stairs to go out and greet her date.
Caleb was surrounded by Ashley’s admiring brothers and he allowed them all the excitement of ogling his sports car.
Out of the corner of her eye, Ashley saw her father walking up from the barn to meet her date… with Paul. She hadn’t expected that.
Paul hung back and sauntered over to stand by Ashley’s truck, leaning against the rusty frame and sizing up the man who was about to drive off with his girlfriend.
Ashley walked first over to him and punched him playfully on the arm before treating him to one little wink. “No commitments, remember?” she whispered as she walked past.
“That was your idea, not mine,” he grumbled back at her. Still, he hung back and let Ashley’s dad have his moment with Caleb.
“Hello Bishop Hardman,” Caleb walked up to Ashley’s dad with an outstretched hand. “I’m Caleb Rogers. It’s a pleasure to meet you, Sir.”
“Please, you can call me Stan,” her dad said, shaking Caleb’s hand.
Ashley doubted that Caleb would ever call her father Stan. It was not in his nature. It wasn’t in Paul’s nature either, for that matter. She glanced back at the boy she’d loved for years, wondering how he was handling this new man in her life. His sullen expression and furrowed brow spoke volumes. He wasn’t handling it well at all. Her shoulders slumped. Oh dear, what had she done?