A nondescript blue Jeep Cherokee sat in the driveway under the just-rising sun. As she and Tick stepped onto the porch, a tall man clad in jeans and a T-shirt unfolded himself from the driver’s seat. His face set in serious lines, he moved up the walkway, his stride one of proud bearing and easy authority. Close to Tick’s side, Ruthie studied him—muscular arms and shoulders, trim waist above long legs, square jaw shadowed by a couple days’ growth of stubble, short brown hair, a tan highlighting ice-blue eyes.
That cool gaze flicked over her as he mounted the steps and took Tick’s outstretched hand in a brisk shake. “Tick.”
“Hey, Chris, thanks for coming. I really appreciate it.” His palm warm at her back, Tick drew her forward. “This is my sister, Ruthie Chason. Ruthie, Chris Parker.”