It’s like the first bug that sees me arrive at Gram’s house tells the other bugs I’m there. “Hey! Guys! Look! Tom’s here!”
“I love to bite that kid!”
“Me too! I bit him five times last year!”
“Oh, yeah? I stung him ten times!”
“No you didn’t!”
“Yes I did!”
“You’re a bee! If you sting him one time, you die!”
“Well… um… I.. wanted to sting him ten times.”
He glances around the room and his eyes light on the pile of charity-shop paperbacks on the rickety table. “What about those?”
I shake my head dismissively. “No room for them. I can’t keep books.”
I wonder whether he caught the note of sadness in my voice, because he immediately switches the suit to one hand and gathers the books up under his other arm. “There’s plenty of room in my house for books,” he says briskly and nods as if to emphasise his point. “There’s a couple of titles here that I fancy reading myself.”
Moisture pricks the back of my eyes. Who is this man?
“Quinn looked to the horizon as the cornstalks swayed with the breeze. The corn itself could have been waving hello, or it could have been breathing.”
“Jason struck out the first, second, and third batters.
“Do not go talk to him,” Bird said.
“Don’t even look at him,” she said.
“Now, that I can’t do. He’s so cute.”