Duke's Redemption

Page 65

Deciding to try one more thing, I type:
Harold Whitmore, Maple Oaks, TX.
Once again, nothing.
Not able to give up, I continue to try different keyword variations to see what pops up, but none of it is helpful. I must lose track of time because a little while later, Duke pokes his head in.
“Hey, you okay?” He asks.
“Yeah, just hitting more dead ends,” I say, pushing my laptop closed and walking toward him.
“I didn’t mean to rush you.”
“You’re not. I’m finished.”
He smiles. “Good. Because I have a surprise for you.”
When I get to him, he takes me by the hand and leads me upstairs. I figure my surprise is in the bedroom, but surprisingly, he leads me past and right into the bathroom. As the door creaks open, I can see the entire bathroom bathed in candlelight.
I look around the bathroom in pure awe, and my mouth drops even further when I see the bathtub that is filled almost to the brim with water and bubbles and a bottle of wine and a glass sitting beside it.
“You did this?” I ask.
He nods. “I had to track down every single candle in the house, but I figured you could use a little relaxation.”
My voice cracks as I say, “This is really sweet. Thank you.”
Maybe I sound like a huge baby, but I’ve never had anyone do something so nice for me—no matter how small it may seem.
He leads me over to the tub and pulls my t-shirt off over my head. I step into the water, which is the perfect temperature, while Duke pours me a glass of wine.
“Do you need anything else?” He asks after I get comfortable.
“I don’t think so. Thank you, Baby. This is wonderful.”
“You’re welcome.” He leans down to kiss the top of my head before heading toward the door.
“Are you going somewhere?”
“Figured I’d give you some alone time so you can relax.”
“But I’ll be lonely,” I whine. “Do you want to come in here with me?”
“Eh, baths aren’t really my thing. But I’ll stay in here and keep you company if you want.”
He closes the toilet seat and sits down.
“Not really a bath guy, huh?” I ask. “I may just have to entice you to get in here with me so that we can change that.”
“Oh, Angel, you will never hear me complaining about that.” We are both silent for a moment before he asks, “What were you doing down on the computer?”
“Oh, get this. I did a search for Samuel Whitmore in the area, and nothing.”
“Nothing. Nada. Zip. Zilch. And nothing for Harold Whitmore either.”
“How’s that even possible?”