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Gator Girls - Chapter 1

Chapter One

 

When Cam St. Angelo and Tab Fortner returned to Baton Rouge after the NCAA Softball tournament in Oklahoma City, it was time to say goodbye to their friends and teammates for the summer. They would see each other again in mid-June, and then in mid-July for a weeklong softball camp. Cam had received confirmation from her coach, that Wanda, Cam’s thirteen-year-old sister, and Logan, Wanda’s best friend and teen crush, had slots reserved for the July camp. She planned to share the news with them when she returned home for the summer. Just as Cam had promised, she and Tab would share a weekend with Wanda and Logan, at the hunt camp on The Island, to give them an opportunity to discover their feelings for one another.

 

“I’ll see you in two weeks for the campout, right?” Cam asked Tab.

 

“If not before. I don’t cherish the thought of spending this summer with my mother.”

 

Cam could hear the sadness in her voice. She wrapped her lover in her arms. “We’ll put you to work, but you’re more than welcome to spend as much time as you can with my family. We can take over the hunt camp for the summer, and I’ll teach you how to be a country girl.”

 

“Are you serious?”

 

“Absolutely. You’re a part of our family now and are welcome any time.”

 

“Do you need to clear that with your folks?”

 

Cam gave her a sweet smile. “It’s already cleared. It was Dad’s suggestion.”

 

“No way.”

 

“Yes way. He knows how happy you make me. He will work you hard, though.”

 

“I’m not afraid of hard work. I’d do anything to be able to spend the summer with y’all.”

 

“I’ll go ahead and move out to the hunt camp, then. That way my sister Teresa doesn’t have to bunk with the others again. And at seventeen, I’m sure she’ll appreciate that. We’ll have some privacy that way too. You know Mini-Me will insist on spending time with us, though.”

 

Tab chuckled. “Sandy is such a sweetheart. I don’t mind sharing you with her at all.”

 

“Oh no, my dear, it’s you she’ll want to spend time with. I hope you like to fish.”

 

Tab blushed with a confession. “Um, I’ve never been fishing.”

 

Cam stepped back to look at her. “Never, ever?”

 

“Nope, so you’ll have to teach me.”

 

“You will have two of the best teachers ever.”

 

“That sounds like fun. What kind of clothes do I need to bring?”

 

“Jeans, shorts, T-shirts, some work boots if you have them. If not, you can use a pair of mine.”

 

“I’ll be borrowing a pair. The closest thing I have is hiking boots.”

 

“Those wouldn’t be bad to bring.”

 

“Would it be okay if I come down next weekend?”

 

“That would be perfect.”

 

They kissed, and when Cam stepped back, she said, “Let’s go say goodbye to Liz and Ruth.” Liz and Ruth were their teammates and best friends, and Cam was really going to miss them.

 

 

After agreeing to meet Ruth and Liz back on campus a week before the first camp, Tab and Cam started for home.

 

“I love you,” Tab said as they walked to their vehicles. “I’ll call you soon.”

 

“Love you too. Can’t wait to see you next weekend. Drive carefully.”

 

She watched Tab’s Mustang disappear, then drove by the stadium on her way off campus. Cam smiled as she thought about her freshman year. She had survived her first year of classes and found she really enjoyed college life. Living away from home had given her experiences that had made her mature and realize she was rapidly becoming a leader. It was different from being with her sisters, and her desire to be the best had made a lasting impression not only with her teammates, but within the friendships she had developed. While she hadn’t realized her dream of playing in the national softball tournament, she had experienced a great first year. The disappointment of losing in the Super Regionals charged her motivation and desire to work harder in the coming year. Most importantly, she had found love. Cam had never dreamed that falling in love could feel the way Tab made her feel. The smile grew on her face with every passing mile. The year had been great, but she was ready to be home.

 

 

Cam pulled up to find Sandy, her baby sister, and her dad, Ronny, sitting on the porch waiting for her arrival. Sandy bolted off the porch and ran to meet her big sister.

 

“Hey, Squirt,” Cam said as she climbed down from her Jeep. She picked Sandy up and twirled her. She was amazed at how much her nine-year-old sister had grown.

 

“I am so glad you are home,” she squealed as Cam spun her around.

 

“Me too, and I have a surprise for you.” She placed Sandy back on the ground.

 

“What is it?”

 

“Tab is going to be spending some of the summer with us, and I need you to teach her how to fish.”

 

Sandy looked at her, and lifted her hand to block the sun from her eyes. She scrunched up her nose. “She doesn’t know how to fish?”

 

“Did you forget Tab’s a city girl?”

 

“Yeah, I guess I did. I can teach her. That’ll be fun.”

 

“I figured you were just the person for the job.”

 

Her dad had walked up. “So Tab’s going to join us for the summer?”

 

“Part of it anyhow. We’ve got a couple softball camps to host, but she’ll be down this weekend.”

 

“That’s great news. Your mama and sisters have cleaned the hunt camp for you this week and stocked it with some basic supplies. You’ll still come home for meals, right?”

 

“Oh, heck yeah,” Cam answered.

 

Sandy took a bag Cam handed her. “Mama’s making your favorite meal to welcome you home: fried chicken, cream corn, with rice and gravy.”

 

“Now we’re talking.” Cam grinned. “Will you help me carry these out to the boat?”

 

“We both will.” Her dad took two bags from her. “Lunch should be ready soon.”

 

Cam grabbed the last of her bags, and they carried them to the dock and placed them in one of the aluminum boats. “You want to go out with me later to get set up at the camp?”

 

“Can I spend the night out there with you tonight?” Sandy asked.

 

“If Mama approves, then yes you can.”

 

As they walked back to the house, Cam slipped her arm around her dad’s shoulder. “What are we doing tomorrow?”

 

“Sleeping in. It’s Sunday and your mama has convinced me to take the day off when we can. We can get back after it Monday. We’ve got cane to cut for mash, and some summer corn ready to be picked and taken to market.”

 

“Since we’ll be staying out at the camp this summer, I’ll need to tell Tab about cooking the moonshine. Is that okay with you?”

 

“Do you have any worries about telling her?”

 

“No, I can explain everything to her just fine.”

 

“I’ve got no problem, then. I trust your judgment.”

 

Cam patted his shoulder. “Thanks, Dad.”

 

“Has she really never been fishing?”

 

She chuckled. “Never, ever.”

 

“Tony at LB’s told me he’d take as many catfish as we can bring him this summer. That sounds like the perfect job for the three of y’all.” LB’s was the local processing plant for gator hides and other food sources obtained from the bayou.

 

Sandy looked up at him. “He’s going to skin them, right?”

 

Ronny laughed softly. “Yes, honey, he’ll have his boys process them. You just catch and deliver them.”

 

Sandy turned her gaze to her sister. “Can we start tomorrow, Cam?”

 

Cam looked at her dad, who nodded. “It’s up to you.”

 

“Sure thing, Squirt. Not at the crack of dawn, though.”

 

Her dad grinned. “You can come over for breakfast and then load up your gear.”

 

 

Wanda met them at the back door. “Mama’s got lunch on the table.”

 

“I reckon we better come in and eat then.” Ronny winked at Cam.

 

Cam held the door for everyone. “It sure smells good in here, Mama,” she said as she walked into the dining room and hugged her.

 

“Welcome home, Cam.”

 

“Thanks for cooking all this. It’s quite a spread.”

 

“Come eat it while it’s hot.”

 

The family shared a feast together. Cam told them about the playoffs and her experiences with Tab at the national tournament. When she mentioned Tab’s broken arm, Sandy frowned.

 

“Is Tab going to be okay?” Sandy asked.

 

“Yes, she’s healing well and will be out of the cast soon,” Cam assured her.

 

“Will she be able to fish?”

 

“Yeah, Squirt, she will.”

 

Camille refilled Cam’s tea glass. “I’m glad Tab’s going to be able to spend the summer with us, or at least part of it.”

 

“She was delighted with the invitation.” Cam frowned. “Her parents aren’t the warmest people I’ve ever met. Let me correct that—her dad was cool, but her mother is a snob. Tab wasn’t looking forward to spending the summer with her.”

 

Camille shook her head. “That’s no way to treat your child. I hope she’ll feel welcome here.”

 

“I’ve no doubt she will, Mama. She loves it here, says it feels like a home to her.”

 

“She can come out anytime she wants. I hope she knows that.”

 

Cam scooped up a final bite of rice and gravy. “If she doesn’t know already, she will soon. Squirt is going to teach her to fish.”

 

Wanda dropped her fork. “She doesn’t know how to fish?”

 

“She’s a city girl,” Sandy reminded her. “I’m going to fix that.”

 

Ronny chuckled and looked at Cam. “You think Tab has any idea what she’s getting into?”

 

“Probably not, but she adjusts really well.”

 

“Sandy told me she’s going to stay at the camp with you tonight. You want me to pack up some of these leftovers to send with ya?” Camille asked.

 

Cam grinned. “That would be perfect.”

 

“Let’s get you set for dinner, and your sisters can clean up the kitchen for me.”

 

“I can help,” Cam insisted.

 

“I know, but you need to go get settled into the camp. You sure you’ll be okay staying out there?”

 

“Yes, but I’ll take my pistol with me if it’ll make you feel better.”

 

Sandy scowled at Camille. “Why, Mama?”

 

“In case she runs into a snake or something.”

 

“Oh, okay.”

 

 

Sandy carried a pitcher of sweet tea, and Cam brought two large plates of food to the boat. Sandy untied the lines as Cam secured the food, and they drove across the bayou to the hunt camp. The sun was starting to fade as they finished unloading the boat, and Cam settled into the camp. The small two-bedroom cabin was perfect for a summer getaway and would still give her the freedom she’d become accustomed to at college. She was thankful her parents realized how much more independent she had become while away from home.

 

“The only thing about being out here is there’s no TV,” Sandy complained.

 

“I can live without television. It’s all reruns in the summer anyhow, and we’ll be too busy to be bored.”

 

“I’m so glad I get to teach Tab how to fish.”

 

“She’s going to love it. Fishing will be a good opportunity for you to earn some money this summer. Speaking of this summer, you’ve got a birthday coming up. Any ideas of what you want?”

 

“Naw, not really.”

 

“I saw Mama brought out several of her jigsaw puzzles. Are you up for working on one?”

 

“That sounds like fun. You want me to grab us something to drink?”

 

“You can bring me a beer, and I’ll get the puzzle out on the table.”

 

Cam opened her beer after Sandy brought it, and they were scattering the puzzle pieces on the table when her phone rang. She looked at the screen and saw Tab’s number. “Keep going. I’ll be back in a few.”

 

Sandy rolled her eyes and grinned. “It must be Tab,” she teased.

 

“Yeah, it is, smarty pants.” Cam answered the phone. “Hey there,” she said as she walked into the bedroom. “Yeah, I’m all settled in at the camp. Sandy and me are going to work on a jigsaw puzzle.” Cam sat on the bed. “I wish you were here too, sweetie.” She sighed. “I’m sorry your mom’s not happy with you, but the family is so ready for you to be here. Sandy’s excited to teach you to fish, and one of the local companies will buy as many fish as y’all can catch.” She listened to Tab for several minutes. “Sandy was asking when you’d get your cast off. I’m glad you have an appointment Monday.” She chuckled. “I bet you are ready to get it off, but you’ll still need to be careful for a while.”

 

She smiled. “We’re going fishing tomorrow, but not until after breakfast. Yes, I’ll tell them all hello for you. I miss you too, baby. I’m looking forward to seeing you next week. That works for me. Get here as soon as you can. Yes, call me tomorrow. Love you too.”

 

They had been apart less than a day, but Cam was missing Tab already. Hopefully she’d stay busy until Tab got here, so she wouldn’t dwell on their separation. She plugged her phone into the charger and placed it beside the bed. Her pistol was lying there, and she hoped she would have no need to use it over the summer.

 

When she walked back into the kitchen, Sandy was kneeling in a chair, busily turning the puzzle pieces faceup.

 

“Well, darn, I thought you’d have it done by now.”

 

Sandy looked up at her. “You’re such a goof. When’s Tab coming down?”

 

“Later in the week. She’s excited you’re gonna be teaching her to fish.”

 

“I’m looking forward to it too. I can’t believe she doesn’t know how to fish.”

 

“I imagine there are a few things we’ll be teaching her this summer.” Cam sat next to Sandy and rubbed her hands together. “This is going to be fun.”

 

 

After a hearty breakfast, Wanda walked with them out to the boat. Cam sent Sandy into the workshop to get a bucket of bait, then turned to Wanda. “Do you still want to invite Logan out to the hunt camp?”

 

“Yes, I do. She’s excited to meet the famous Cam St. Angelo, and her girlfriend.”

 

“Ha! I’m nowhere near famous.”

 

“Not according to Coach. She constantly raves about you. You’re a celebrity at school, even if you don’t believe it.”

 

“Whatever.” Cam chuckled. “Tab will be down this weekend, so how about next weekend?”

 

“Do we need to check with Dad about his schedule?”

 

“That’s not a bad idea. I’ll leave that up to you, and you can fill me in later, okay?”

 

“I will. Thanks, Cam.”

 

She pulled Wanda into a hug. “You’re welcome. I’m looking forward to meeting Logan.”

 

Sandy returned with the bait and climbed straight into the boat. “All set, Cam.”

 

“Will you untie us and toss the mooring line to Squirt?”

 

Wanda smiled. “You got it.”

 

“Let’s get some fish.” Cam grinned as she started the motor.

 

 

Three hours later, Sandy had filled the live well with fish.

 

“Should we swing by LB’s to see if anyone is working today?” Sandy grinned at Cam, excited with the day’s catch.

 

Cam nodded. “It can’t hurt.”

 

Cam increased pressure on the throttle as they headed across the water toward town. As they approached the docks, Cam noticed the movement of workers at LB’s.

 

“Looks like we’re in luck.” She waved when Tony Doucet stepped out onto the dock. “Toss him the line, Squirt.”

 

Cam slowed the boat, allowing it to coast toward the dock. Tony caught the line and guided them into a slip.

 

“Whatcha got there, Squirt?”

 

“Our first delivery of catfish,” she answered.

 

“Let’s check them out. Let me grab a tub.”

 

Sandy threw open the cover to reveal the fish she had caught and smiled when Tony stepped into the boat. “Whoa der, you been busy, little one. You catch all these cats by yourself?”

 

“Sho nuff did,” she answered.

 

Tony looked at Cam, who had stretched out at the console. She nodded. “Every single one of them. I’m just the driver.”

 

She watched as they placed the fish in the tub.

 

“Wow, dey be heavy too. Did you stuff ’em with rocks?”

 

Sandy chuckled. “No, Mr. Tony. Just big, fat, fish.”

 

“These are perfect for filets. Keep ’em coming.”

 

“Cam says we can fish every day after we finish our chores.”

 

“Let’s go weigh these and see what you’ve got.”

 

Cam took one handle on the side of the tub and helped him carry it from the boat to the scales. They put it on one, and Tony subtracted the weight of the tub. “Eighty-seven pounds. That’s a great catch.”

 

Cam turned and gave Sandy a high five. “Way to go, Squirt.”

 

Tony hit a button on a small adding machine to print off a receipt. He logged in her catch. “You okay with a weekly payment?”

 

Sandy looked at Cam, who nodded to her. “That sounds good to me, Mr. Tony.” Sandy held her hand out and they shook. “Deal.”

 

“I’ve entered this on the books but keep the receipt for your record. I bet Cam will have a Ziploc you can put them in until I give you a check this Friday.”

 

“See you tomorrow then,” Sandy said.

 

“Thanks, Tony,” Cam said as they climbed back into the boat.

 

 

“Eighty-seven pounds!” Ronny was in disbelief. “That’s a lot of fish.”

 

“She filled up the live well,” Cam said.

 

Ronny’s chest puffed out with pride. “Take the bigger boat home with you tomorrow. It’s got a deeper live well.”

 

Cam nodded to her dad. “You may hit a hundred pounds with the extra space, Sandy. You think there’s a danger of running out of catfish, Dad?”

 

“The way Sandy is catching them we may run out this summer.”

 

“No way, Dad,” Sandy replied.

 

“Maybe not, but you may need to change fishing holes every now and then so you don’t overfish an area.”

 

“We can head out to the far side of the island tomorrow and start working our way back,” Cam told her. “Better get a good night’s sleep. I think we have to harvest mudbugs tomorrow before we can fish. Is that right?” She looked at her father.

 

“Yes, it is. Do you want us to pick you up at the camp in the morning?” he asked.

 

“Why don’t we run two boats tomorrow? Sandy can help you, and Wanda can run with me.” Sandy opened her mouth to protest. “That way we’ll have all afternoon to fish.”

 

“That’s a good idea. We got mash ready to cook for Tuesday night. Are you up for helping me?”

 

“Sure, Dad, I’ll get Sandy and Wanda to help me load some buckets for the mudbugs, and then I’ll head back to camp and see you in the morning.”

 

“I’ll send some ham biscuits out with Wanda,” her mama called from the kitchen.

 

“Let’s do it, then.” Cam took her two youngest sisters out to the workshop for buckets to place in both boats.

 

 

Cam drove across the bayou as the sun drifted below the horizon. The last rays faded from the water as she pulled into the canal at the hunt camp. She tied off the boat and climbed onto the dock. The crickets and nighttime symphony began as she walked toward the camp.

 

I think it’s time for a beer and some relaxing. She pulled out a cold beer and took a seat at the dining room table, smiling at the jigsaw puzzle she and Sandy had started. Her gaze drifted across the pieces, and she picked out one and found its mate. Cam grinned as she remembered spooning with Tab. Snuggling into her body felt like puzzle pieces sliding into place. She looked at the clock and decided it would be too early to call Tab. Her family tended to eat dinner a bit later, so she would sip on her beer and allow working on the puzzle to relax her. Piece after piece fell into place as Cam’s beer sat untouched.

 

The deep croaking of a bull gator broke the silence.

 

“Damn, that sounds close.” Cam walked to her room and grabbed her pistol before stepping out onto the back porch with a flashlight. The croaking continued as she walked outside, the sound vibrating across the heavy air. She searched the backyard and found it empty, and she aimed the flashlight toward the banks of the canal. The beam caught bright eyes as the gator let out a low rumbling growl. The hair on the back of her neck rose.

 

“You’re a big sumbitch, but you better hope Bubba Gump doesn’t find you in his territory.” She had barely spoken the words when another gator croaked in the distance. “Right on cue, Bubba.”

 

Cam had never seen two bull gators do battle, but she had witnessed the aftermath of Bubba Gump defending his territory. On numerous occasions, she had run across mutilated gator carcasses, evidence that Bubba did not tolerate another large male in his domain.

 

The gator slid into the water and disappeared from her view.

 

The crickets and frogs resumed their chorus, and Cam returned inside. She placed her pistol on the table, picked up her warm beer, and took a sip.

 

“Yuck,” Cam cursed and poured the remainder down the drain. She settled back into her puzzle until her phone rang. Cam looked at Tab’s number on the screen and smiled as she answered.

 

“Hey there.” Her smile grew when she heard Tab’s voice. “I miss you too. I can’t wait for you to get here, either. Your fishing teacher is excited as well.” She listened to Tab for a few minutes as she told her about the boring weekend she’d have at her parents’ house. “You know you can come earlier. We’ve got lots of things planned for you.”

 

She thought her face would crack when Tab told her she’d be there Wednesday. “That’s great news, baby. Maybe I can survive three more days.” Cam toyed with a puzzle piece. “I was just messing around with a jigsaw puzzle Sandy and I started. I’m going to shower and get ready for bed soon. Tomorrow’s going to be a busy day. … Yes, I’ll call you when I’m ready for bed. Okay, I’ll talk to you soon.”

 

Cam ended the call, still smiling at the purr in Tab’s voice.

 

 

Cam locked the door to the cabin and walked into the bedroom. She turned on the shower before stripping and plugged her phone in to charge. The tepid water felt wonderful as it washed away the grime from the day’s hard work. It was great to be home, and her parents’ suggestion that she spend the summer in the hunt camp was working out perfectly. She saw her family daily but had privacy as well. A short boat ride would bring her back to the Island after working or visiting with her family. Tab would be here soon, and they could create some special memories of their own.

 

She wanted to share so much with Tab; her life working alongside her family was a huge part of who she was. Cam was excited that Tab was genuinely eager to spend most of the summer with them, instead of with her parents.

 

After bathing, she rinsed and dried herself before climbing into bed. She had lit a candle, reminding her of Tab, and the soft fragrance wafted through the room as the shadows danced on the walls and ceiling. With a smile plastered to her face, she punched the favorites listing for Tab’s number.

 

 

Tab had excused herself from the dinner table and gone upstairs to shower. Her mother’s endless complaints about her current case were beginning to drive her insane. Her father had become expert in blocking out her voice but Tab had yet to learn that skill. When her mother had made a sarcastic remark about Tab traveling to the boondocks to stay with Cam and her family, Tab’s patience had reached its limit. Her teeth clenched as she thought up a semi-polite response, and her father winked at her for showing restraint. He clearly knew Tab wanted to blast her mother’s snootiness right back at her.

 

Tab locked her door behind her and took a leisurely shower, washing away the venom of her mother’s words. No matter what her mother felt or said about Cam, Tab was certain she loved her girlfriend. Tab didn’t give a damn about her mother’s lectures on social status. Cam’s family wasn’t rich by any stretch of the imagination, their love for each other was worth more than any amount of money could buy. Tab would gladly trade the big house and her fast car for a mere morsel of the love the St. Angelos shared.

 

She dried and slipped between freshly laundered sheets as she waited for Cam to call.

 

 

“Hey, darling,” Cam said when Tab answered. When Tab spoke, she sounded tense. “Is your mother giving you a hard time? … Yes, I can hear it in your voice.”

 

Cam listened as Tab described her miserable evening, allowing her to purge the remainder of the tension. “You know you can come down anytime you’re ready. There’s plenty for you to do here.” Tab chuckled softly.

 

“Yes, I’m all alone.” Tab asked her to place her phone on Speaker next to her on the bed. “Are you feeling a bit naughty tonight?” she asked Tab. “Yes, I know. I can’t wait for you to be beside me, either.”

 

Tab’s voice changed to a soft, sexy purr and moisture spread between Cam’s legs.

 

“Okay, yes, I’m listening.”

 

As Tab described what she’d like to be doing to Cam’s body, Cam gently stroked her belly. She closed her eyes and imagined Tab lying beside her as Tab’s hands toyed with her nipples and grazed her lips down Cam’s neck. “Uhmm, yes, that feels great. Yes, my nipples are hard just waiting for your lips.” Her nipples had pebbled with excitement as Cam gently tugged and twisted them. She imagined Tab’s warm mouth sucking them, teeth gently nibbling the tips as Tab’s hand glided down the front of her body. Her fingers reached her damp curls. “You have me so wet, Tab. … No, I’m not inside yet. Oh yes, I want to come with you, baby. I want to slide my tongue deep inside your wetness and stroke you from the bottom all the way to your clit.”

 

Cam had never experienced phone sex before, but she could easily imagine her lover touching and teasing her. Moisture seeped from her lips as her fingertips followed the path of Tab’s voice. She trembled with anticipation as Tab’s words filled the room, her voice quivering with emotion as they made love through their touch and words.

 

“I need to go inside soon, Tab.” Her voice was a breathy whisper. Tab’s breathing sped, and she knew her lover was eager for release as well. “You’ve got me so wet, my fingers slid in so easily. Feels good Tab, don’t stop.”

 

Cam slid her fingers inside herself, and they were welcomed by the velvety wetness and the throbbing deep inside her walls. She expertly teased herself until she was on the verge of orgasm.

 

Her voice was raspy with need. “I’m not sure I can hold on much longer.” Tab’s voice was deep with emotion when she answered. “Oh yes, I’m coming with you, Tab,” Cam cried as she erupted with an intense orgasm.

 

Cam didn’t regain control of her breathing for several minutes, and judging by the sounds coming across the phone, she assumed Tab was having similar difficulty. “Wow, that was intense and felt so good, Tab.”

 

Tab chuckled softly.

 

“What’s so funny?”

 

“I can’t wait another three days to feel that in person, Cam. I’ll be down tomorrow, if that’s still okay.”

 

“It will be perfect. Call me when you’re getting close and I’ll make sure to come meet you.”

 

“That’s okay, I can hang with your mama for a bit if you need to finish up working.”

 

“We’ll see what time it is. Sandy and I are fishing tomorrow afternoon after we help Dad harvest the mudbugs. She’s got a new job, supplying catfish to a local buyer. She caught eighty-seven pounds today.”

 

“That’s a lot of fish.”

 

“Dad’s swapping boats with me tomorrow so we can use the larger boat with a bigger live well in it for fishing. If it’s not too late in the day, your fishing teacher may want to go ahead and begin your lessons.”

 

Tab laughed softly again.

 

“She’s really excited to be teaching you to fish.”

 

“I can’t wait. I’ll leave after my doctor’s appointment and try to be there by one. Will that be a good time for y’all?”

 

“We should be back from delivering the mudbugs and eating lunch then.”

 

“That sounds really good. If I get there earlier, I can help your mama cook.”

 

“She’ll probably shoo you out of the kitchen, but you can sit and talk with her.”

 

“That I can do with no problem. I can’t wait to see you.”

 

“Me either. Hopefully tomorrow will pass quickly and you’ll be here.”

 

“I love you, Cam.”

 

“I love you too. I bet I sleep like a rock tonight.”

 

“Me too, and we’ll have the real thing tomorrow night.”

 

“Yes, we will.” Cam remembered agreeing to help her dad cook up a batch of mash Tuesday night. She would need to have a talk with Tab before that happened, but that could wait until she arrived.

 

“I know you have to get up early in the morning, so I’ll wish you sweet dreams, my love.”

 

“You too, Tab. Drive safe tomorrow and I’ll see you soon.”

 

 

Cam ended the call and watched the shadows dance for a few minutes until her eyes grew heavy. She blew out the candle and hugged a pillow close before drifting into a deep, peaceful sleep.

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