THE LOVE OF A HUSBAND
Copyright © 2006 by Leah Kelley
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“You’re right, Dad. It’s a great opportunity for her. Just... let me talk to Cam and pray about it and I’ll get back with you tomorrow. Yes I know. I will. Thanks, Dad. Bye.”
Caleb hung up the phone with a sigh. Cameron didn’t bother to hide the curiosity he felt at the strange call. “Well? What did he say?”
Caleb closed his eyes and rubbed his temples. “He wants my sister to stay with us for three months while she takes a temporary job with an adoption agency here in Lexington. It’s something she’s very interested in and feels called to do. Dad won’t let her come unless I agree to take responsibility for her.”
Cameron frowned. “How old is your sister? I thought she was college age now.”
“She’s 21,” Caleb said, “but in my family a woman is never old enough to live out from under the authority of her father or husband... or another male head of household. It’s just a belief my family has.”
Cameron nodded but his mind was racing. It sounded like a philosophy straight out of the nineteenth century. He knew Caleb’s family held some really backward beliefs but most 21 year olds would never stand for that kind of parental control.
“Well, would it be so bad for her to stay here for three months? It’s not long, and it’s not like it would cramp our style since we don’t have one anymore.” Cameron smiled and Caleb grinned back.
Last June, after years of nagging on Caleb’s part, Cameron had finally gone with his roommate to church and soon thereafter gave his life to the Lord. His life had changed dramatically, but he wouldn’t take anything for the peace and joy he now possessed.
Cameron and Caleb were college roommates their whole four years at the University of Kentucky where they both majored in engineering and became the best of friends. After college, they both went to work for Cameron’s father, who owned an engineering firm, and rented an apartment together. At first the arrangement was wholly for Caleb’s benefit to save money, but since Cameron became a Christian it benefited him for accountability purposes as well. Giving up the party scene, especially the women that went with it, was the hardest part of the Christian walk for Cameron. Thank goodness for friends like Caleb.
“It’s a big responsibility,” Caleb said.
“Come on. She’s 21 for crying out loud. How bad can it be?”
“About like having a teenager. I’d have to know where she is every hour of the day. I’d have to look after her spiritual development. I’d have to... ”
“She’s your sister,” Cameron reminded him.
Caleb rubbed the back of his neck. “Well... if you’re sure you don’t mind, I guess I don’t. She’s a good cook so we could eat in, and we wouldn’t have to pay Molly Maid for awhile. She might save us a bundle.”
Cameron laughed out loud. “Leave it to you to think of it in financial terms.”
Caleb’s brows rose. “I guess if I’d been born with a silver spoon in my mouth I wouldn’t think about it much either, but as you know... ”
“Yeah, I know,” Cameron grinned. “Just quit being jealous, alright?”
Caleb threw a cushion at him.
Shoshana had never been so excited. Having rarely been away from home as a youngster, driving through a city the size of Lexington was a big deal for her. She threw her head back against the pickup truck window to peer up at the tall buildings and saw Caleb grin and shake his head in her peripheral vision.
“Did I tell you how much I so appreciate this, Caleb?” she said.
“Yeah, about twenty times now. I’m glad you could come, Shana. I mean that.”
Shoshana smiled. Caleb had always been her favorite brother even if he was a bit stern at times. “I won’t be any trouble at all. You’ll see.”
“I know you won’t be any trouble... ” he said as he pulled his truck into an apartment complex, parking in the large parking garage. Shoshana shielded her eyes from the sun and peered upwards. It was going to be so cool living right downtown in a big city.
Caleb removed the two largest of her suitcases from the truck bed and Shoshana brought the two smaller ones. She followed her brother through the glass doors and to the elevator where he pushed the button for the fifteenth floor. Shoshana’s heart pounded with excitement. Lexington was a far cry from the teeny tiny town in eastern Kentucky where she’d spent most of her life so far.
Caleb’s apartment was lovely, if a bit neglected. Shoshana could already envision a nice vase of flowers on the kitchen table, an afghan on the back of the sofa, and some throw rugs scattered here and there. But that was after the floor was vacuumed, the kitchen floor mopped, and those terribly smelly dishes out of the sink.
Shoshana’s heart picked up in rhythm when a man she assumed was Caleb’s roommate walked into the room, shirtless and barefoot, and flashed them a devastating smile with deep dimples on each side. She felt her face flush when he strode across the living room, hand outstretched. He was the most attractive man she’d ever met. How would she manage to live with him for three months and speak in coherent sentences?
“Shoshana, I’d like you to meet Cameron. Cameron, my sister, Shoshana,” Caleb said before moving on into the room with her suitcases.
“Shoshana,” Cameron said with another heart stealing smile as he shook her hand. “I’ve heard a lot about you.”
“Hi,” she managed to whisper before ducking her head and following Caleb down the hallway.
He put her suitcases into a small room that contained a desk with a computer, some bookcases that had been pushed off to the side, a twin-sized bed, and a small chest of drawers. Shoshana looked around and smiled at Caleb. She’d never had her own room. She pulled back the curtains and peered out the window. She had a beautiful view of the courthouse square with its fountains and statues. At night the lights would be stunning.
“Thank you, Caleb.”
“You’re welcome. Make yourself at home.”
Cameron walked into his apartment and froze. This did not look like his apartment, and it certainly didn’t smell like it. He ran his fingertips over the clean end table as he doggedly followed the scent of roasting meat into the kitchen, his stomach growling in anticipation. His eyes lit on the small kitchen table all set with the real dishes he’d almost forgotten he possessed before seeking out and finding Caleb’s sister as she removed an aromatic roast from the oven. Caleb already sat at the table.
He raised a brow at Cameron. “Hungry?”
“Mmmm,” Cameron nodded.
Shoshana turned quickly to stare at him with wide eyes. He smiled and winked at her, watching her face pinken. She’d hardly spoken three words to him since her arrival a couple of days before, but she always blushed when he looked her way. Though she could not be described as glamorous with her soft brown hair caught in a braid and freckles sprinkling her nose, she was certainly as cute as a button. He loved to watch her as she hopped about the apartment, always busy doing something or another. It amused him that she was so shy in his presence.
The food was quickly placed on the table. Cameron removed his coat and tie and rolled his sleeves to mid-forearms. He could hardly wait to dig in. Caleb said grace and everyone filled their plates.