While doing a story on immigration, shed followed him around his
border patrol station, barely able to keep her pen steady enough to take
notes; the vibrations of his voice down her spine carried through to her
fingertips like a tuning fork.
The station tour and interview ended where it began, at the entrance.
Were just everyday guys doing our jobs, hed said and opened the door
for her exit.
Shed nodded and stood for an uncomfortably long moment, unable to
convince her feet to move out of his dark, magnetic stare.
I may need a little more info would you be available later? shed
asked, and hed promptly dictated his cell phone number.
A few weeks later, she lay naked beside him, wondering who was this
woman that possessed her body. Not Reba Adams. Or at least not the Reba
Adams from Richmond, Virginia. That girl would never have slept with a
man after knowing him such little time. Scandalous! But this girl felt shiny
new, and that was exactly what she wanted. So she had curled her body
around his and leaned her chin on his tanned chest, knowing full well that
she could get up and leave anytime she wanted. The power of that made
her light- headed with satisfaction, but she didnt want to leave, didnt want
him to either. There and then, she prayed for him to stay. He had, and now
she felt like a migrant bird tethered to a desert rock.
She jiggled her foot anxiously. Her stomach growled.
See you later. Riki kissed the back of her head.
Reba didnt turn around.
The door opened and shut, and a cool draft of November air swept
round her bare ankles. After his white- and- green US Customs and Border
Protection pickup passed the front window, she pulled the cake from the
shelf and to keep them perfectly symmetrical, she cut slivers from each of
the three remaining pieces, then licked along the blade of the butter knife.
Midafternoon, Reba parked out front of Elsies German Bakery on Trawood
Drive. The shop was smaller than shed imagined. A carved wooden sign
hung over the door: Bäckerei. The smell of yeasty breads and honey glazes
hovered in the air despite the blustery wind sweeping round the Franklin
Mountains. Reba pulled her jacket collar up under her chin. It was a chilly
day for El Paso, a high of 63 degrees.
The bell over the bakery door chimed as a dark- haired woman and her
son tottered out. The boy held a pretzel, studded with salt and half chewed.
But when can we have gingerbread? he asked.
After dinner. She took his free hand.
Whats for dinner? The boy bit into the knotted middle.
Menudo. She shook her head. Eat, eat, eat. Thats all you think about.
She pulled the boy past Reba. Sweet cinnamon and allspice clung to them.
Reba marched into the shop, ready to finally get answers. A jazzy, bigband
tune played overhead. A man reading the newspaper sat in the corner
with a cup of coffee and a slice of stollen. A slim but sturdy woman with
silver- blond hair worked deftly behind the display case, sliding a tray of
crusty rolls into a basket.
Jane! You put the sunflowers seeds in when I say to put caraway!
yelled someone from beyond the curtained doorway dividing the café from
Im with a customer, Mom, Jane said. She pushed a graying bang behind
Reba recognized her Texan twang from the answering machine.
What can I get you? This is the last batch of brötchen for today. Its
fresh. She nodded to the basket.
Thanks, but I well, Im Reba Adams. She paused, but Jane showed
no flicker of recognition. Ive left a few messages on your machine.
British Parliament asks Amazon to clarify why it pays $9 million in income tax on $23 billion of UK sales.(May 20 2013) Amazon will be called back to give further evidence to members of the British Parliament "to clarify how its activities in the U.K. justify its low corporate...