Heart and Mind (Ginger Man 7D)

Charlie had remained sitting at the makeshift table in his trailer, his arms folded across his chest. Maggie stopped her pacing, looked down at him, and tilted her head. She opened her mouth to continue, but stopped herself when she saw Charlie finally breaking his silence.

“Sounds like you’re none too happy with me.”

Maggie knelt beside his chair, laid a hand firmly on his chest. “If I thought you were in your right mind now, that the way you’re acting is who you really are — ” she withdrew her hand, pointed without looking behind her at the front door of the trailer — “believe me, I’d be outta here in a second.” She blinked, brought her hand forward and laid it back on him, gentler this time, then blinked again. “But I know you, Charlie. I know you’re stubborn, and sometimes as numb as a pounded thumb — but you’ve always had a good heart.” She blinked again. “It’s what makes your judgment so good, so right most of the time.”

He looked at her sharply. “Right about what?”

“People.” Her voice sounded surprised at the swiftness of her answer, yet also sure of her correctness. “You’re the best judge of character I’ve ever seen.” She smiled up at him. “It’s why you started seeing me, right?”

Charlie laughed. “If you say so.” He stared up at the ceiling.

“And it’s why you were such good friends with Mike.” He looked down at her face, both of their expressions suddenly gravely serious.


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