Welcome to Whiterock, Oregon, where peculiar happenings are taken for granted. Where Sally Carruthers nurses her dying father. Where Gus Loring seeks forgetfulness.
Whiterock is a town where people are from, because there's nothing to hold them there. Every year more of the stores on Main Street close, and every year more of its young people leave to find their fortunes somewhere else; yet somehow it endures. So perhaps there's something more to Whiterock than dusty streets, shabby buildings, and discouraged residents, something as hungry for love as Gus and Sally.
Judith B. Glad, Writer & Botanist
The door flew open. "Lyle, what are you...you're not Lyle!"
He held out the forgotten parcel. "Nope. Thought you might need this before next week."
"Oh," she said, drawing the monosyllable out into a breathy sigh. "It's you."
Patiently he lifted the parcel a little higher, raised his eyebrows in matching inquiry.
"Oh. Yes. Just let me..." She unhooked the screen, pushed it open.
Pushed it farther, until it was wide enough for him to enter.
"Come in," she said. "You're just in time for supper."
Gus looked into her eyes, wide and blue and plaintive. She needed him.
He didn't want to be needed.
Being needed had a price he wasn't willing to pay.
Gus drew a deep breath full of the hurtful words he would batter her with.
And smelled lemon oil polish and rose sachet, honeysuckle perfume and warm, freshly bathed woman.
He couldn't help himself. He stepped across the threshold. With one hesitant hand, he reached out and touched her cheek. It was warm, slightly damp, soft as milkweed silk.
Her head turned, just a fraction, but enough to let him touch her lips.
The jolt of sensual electricity was so strong this time that it destroyed his thoughts. All he knew was that he had to have more of her, had to taste her, hold her, fill his hands and his mouth and his soul with her.