Cindy, I've known Russell Cade since he first moved to this area - since high school.
She left the post office feeling better about Russell Cade than she did about herself.
Where Russell Cade was concerned, the only thing they seemed to have against him was the fact that he provided them no new topics.
Apparently she found Mr. Cade not only attractive, but also irresistible.
Why had Cade singled her out for the job?
So when Mr. Cade strode into the diner Friday night, Cynthia's clothes were packed and stored in the back room of the diner.
He liked Cade, but not the situation.
Russell Cade was a meticulous driver.
Even Mr. Cade had hinted that it was unusually large.
She followed Cade up the steps and across the wide porch, waiting as he unlocked the door.
"I hope you don't find all this too primitive," Cade spoke behind her.
Cade stretched and yawned.
Was there anything Cade didn't do efficiently?
By the time Cade arrived in the kitchen she had biscuits, gravy, bacon and eggs ready.
Cade dropped into a chair and immediately began to put away the food.
Mr. Cade, do you mind if I have a friend over now and then?
Cade had been busy this morning.
This was one place Cade obviously didn't spend much time.
"Where Cade wasn't a household word," she concluded.
When Cade finally stepped through the doorway holding a cup of coffee, her breath escaped in a long sigh.
When Cade came into the kitchen she placed a cup of hot chocolate and a saucer of cinnamon toast before him.
Was Cade weathering out the storm?
Cade leaped from the couch as she entered.
Working for Cade might not be as dull as she had first thought.
Cade had put on enough weight to take the hollows out of his cheeks, making him look a good ten years younger.
Cade was slowly emerging from his shell, but the cat was still as wild as ever.
She watched from the family room window as he wolfed the food - a habit that had prompted Cade to dub him Scruffy.
The weather grew intermittently warmer and on one of those sunny warm days, Cade invited her to pack a lunch and join him in a ride on the ranch.
Cade mounted a gray gelding and they headed out across the treeless hills.
She glanced up to find Cade watching her.
Instantly Cade was beside her, helping her up.
Cade was her boss, and thinking such things was not only disrespectful of him, but job threatening as well - especially if he suspected the existence of such thoughts.
Cade reined in and pointed.
Thinking about Cade in that way could lead to no good.
Cade was trying to be accommodating, but sometimes he was as skittish about conversation as the cat was about being touched - and likely for the same reason.
She stopped, suddenly aware that Cade was propped against the kitchen door jam, nursing a cup of coffee.
Mary, on the other hand, was vocal about her opinion of Cade, even to the point of stating that he would be the greatest catch of the century - no doubt, even an exaggeration in Mary's mind.
Your loving sister, Claudette Cade-Lander.
The stoical Russell Cade was stammering around like a school boy.
Cade escorted her to town and purchased everything on the list - plus a few more items.
Nothing Cade did indicated that he gave a hoot about what anyone else thought.
Cade launched into an investigation of the old truck while Cynthia and Mary caught up on the latest gossip.
Mary stood by, unusually quiet, but when Cade left she found her voice.
And more important, did Cade think she was flirting?
And anyway, Cade definitely isn't romantically interested in me, so there's absolutely nothing to be concerned about.
She cut her explanation off short as Cade pulled into the drive.
As it turned out, the truck repair was minor, so she was able to follow Cade home that evening.
It would be nice to know she could leave the ranch at will without leaving Cade afoot, but she doubted if she would be driving to town soon.
The next morning, after Cade left, she threw a roast in the oven and eagerly set to work on the family room.
By noon she had the pictures and mirrors on the walls and was hanging the curtains when Cade came in.
Cade was completely uninterested.
The job would be harder to walk away from than Cade - wouldn't it?
Elizabeth Cade was a lonely woman - lonely and unhappy.
Vaguely she heard Cade close his book and cross the room.
Cade answered the door and ushered his sister into the family room where Cynthia was doing some last minute dusting.
Why they found it so amusing that Mr. Cade was a recluse evaded her comprehension.
Promptly at nine, she removed her apron and crossed to the table where Cade sat nursing his fifth cup of coffee.
Of course, Mr. Cade hardly seemed the seductive type and she certainly wasn't going to encourage it.
As she completed setting the table, the screen door squealed and Cade opened the door.
Cade made the introductions.
Cade was standing behind Claudette and her husband.
A few minutes later Cade popped his head around the door.
Claudette and Carl were waiting patiently in the dining room when Cynthia and Cade entered.
The evening was long and she was grateful when Cade announced he was going to bed.