Read An Excerpt
"What’s this? ”
The tissue-wrapped box on the dining room table failed to answer. Strange, no name on it. No card. Just a square, white box with a curly blue ribbon spilling over its sides.
Curiosity was one of Keira Johnston’s failings. Although she’d never opened a present before its time, she’d thought about it a lot. Shaking the box, albeit gently, left her with no more information. Since she and her husband, Bjorn, were the only two people who now lived in this big old house, it had to be for one of them. She pondered the box, then picked it up and sniffed it. Still no clues.
Just as she dug her cell phone out of her purse, she heard the back door open. She called, “I’m in here.”
“Where’s here? ”
“The dining room. Do you know anything about this box on the table? ” She turned at her husband’s entrance and gave him a welcome-home hug.
“Hmm. Who could have left that? ” his blue eyes twinkled. “Who’s it for? ”
“No card, no name, just a white box with a pretty ribbon.” She watched his face to see if he was teasing her. he seemed as confused as she was.
“So open it.”
“What if it’s for you? ”
“Why would someone give me a present? It’s not my birthday.”
“Nor mine. our anniversary is still three months away. Who would put a present here on the table?” She looked pointedly from him to the box, swiping a strand of hair behind her ear. Her hair usually swung in the blunt-cut style she’d worn for years, but now it was in need of a cut and probably a highlight session again. Dark blond, it looked naturally sun streaked due to the gray turned silver around her face. “You open it.”
“What, you’re afraid of a bomb or something?”
“No. I’m just trying to be generous and my curiosity is killing me.”
He hefted the box. “Can’t be a bomb, too light.”
“Bjorn Johnston, just open it.” She rolled her eyes when he shook his head. “All right. I’ll get the scissors and we’ll open it together. Surely there will be a card or something inside.” She dug a pair of scissors out of the “stuff drawer” in the kitchen and returned to stand by him.
“Maybe we’d better sit down.” Bjorn pulled out an oak chair from the table. “Oh, did you tell Paul about the date for the family reunion? He called and I couldn’t remember the exact day.” Paul was their elder son, who was twenty-four and married to Laurie. They lived in Houston, Texas.
She rolled her eyes again. “How could you not know? It is on every calendar in the house and the office. The third weekend in June. I’ll e-mail him. We’re due at Leah’s for supper tonight.”
“Oh, I forgot that too. Something must be wrong with the calendar on my cell phone. I set the reminder feature but it didn’t. Remind me, that is.” He picked up the box, propping his elbows on the table. “Okay, cut the ribbon.” Together they unwrapped the tissue paper to find a white box, about eight inches square. They set it on the antique dark-oak table. Bjorn shrugged, opened the one flap lid, and handed the box to her.