Jack and The Fountain of Youth — Installment 11

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Jack Cover with border small canvas

JACK AND THE FOUNTAIN OF YOUTH
by HL Carpenter
ISBN: 978-0-9884095-1-4
Ebook ISBN: 978-0-9884095-0-7
Copyright (c) 2012 by Top Drawer Ink Corp.

*****

Continued from Installment 10

 

“It’s hard for me to talk about.” He swallowed and met her gaze. “Perhaps one day I can tell you about Maria.”

“I’d like that.”

“I would, too.”

They stared at each other for a long moment. He sounded sincere. Had she misjudged him? She said, “Why are you really here, Jack?”

Still looking at her, he said, “Because I promised my editor I’d follow up on the tip the Pryer received about the Fountain of Youth.”

She wanted to believe him. More than anything, she wanted to believe him. Maybe she could. Not because she thought for a minute the Fountain was real, but because she knew the kind of stories the Pryer published. A feature about a non-existent Fountain of Youth was exactly the type of tale that would make the front page.

Or was she making excuses because she liked him?

She glanced away from Jack as Harey came out from under the porch. He looked silly with the long tusk protruding from his mouth. It kept him from eating properly, too. She and Cori had intended to trim it, but her sister had to rush to the hospital before they’d gotten around to doing it. She couldn’t nip off the extra length of tooth by herself. The rabbit was too squirmy for one person to hold, which was how he’d escaped in the first place.

She sent a sideways look at Jack, thought again of her impression of him as chivalrous. No matter how chivalrous he seemed, believing him meant letting a reporter hang around. No—it meant letting Jack hang around, an altogether different proposition, and one that might be more dangerous.

Jack said, “I’m not here about Bradley, whoever he is. I give you my word, Nessa. And I would like to help.”

She wanted him to stay. She couldn’t deny it, and she hoped she wouldn’t regret it. “Then you can start by holding Harey while I trim his tooth.”

“Trim his tooth? You mean that fang?” Jack eyed the rabbit. “Does he bite?”

“Of course not. Come on. The nippers are in the greenhouse.” She picked up the rabbit. With Jack following, she rounded the corner of the porch, and headed toward the long, glass-paneled building where she and Cori ran their herbal business. “He’ll feel better when it’s done. He’ll be able to eat normally again.”

She pulled open the door to the greenhouse. Behind her, Jack sucked in a startled breath, and said, “What happened in here?”

*****

***** ABOUT THE AUTHOR *****

HL Carpenter is the pen name of a Florida-based mother/daughter duo who writes from their home in Carpenter Country, a magical place that, like their stories, is unreal but not untrue. When they’re not writing, the Carpenters enjoy exploring the Land of What-If and practicing the fine art of Curiosity.

Also by HL Carpenter:

The SkyHorse.Fourteen year old Tovi thinks finding a flying horse is fabulous luck–until a mysterious stranger says finders aren’t always keepers.

The Demise of Fyne Literature. Who killed Fyne Literature? The Fictional Book Investigation Agency is on the case—and the lead investigator is closer to the culprit than he realizes.

Dream Stealer. Is stealing a dream better than losing your own?

Walled In. When her father is accused of fraud, seventeen year old Vandy Spencer discovers her entire life has been built on a heart-shattering deception.

Taxing Pecksniffery. Flying frizzles! The year is 2176, a rebellion is brewing, and the boss wants a recon report. Ichann Count is all wet as a spy, but she plunges into the fray. Will she emerge with her memory banks intact?

*****

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We write. Visit us in Carpenter Country, a magical place that, like our stories, is unreal but not untrue.

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