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Authors: John A. Heldt

Mirror, The (48 page)

BOOK: Mirror, The
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Ginny looked at Jason and saw a warm smile that was already beginning to grow on her.

"Thank you, Jason. Most people think we're fraud artists."

"Let them think that," Jason said. "People who matter know the truth."

"Thanks."

Ginny turned to James.

"How did you end up in Thousand Oaks?"

James grinned.

"I went there looking for you when I got back from 'Nam. I drove straight to California. I knew it was probably a goose chase, but I didn't care. I figured if you had made up the time-travel thing, I might be able to see you again. I wanted to find you."

Ginny sighed.

"You didn't though."

"No. I didn't," James said. "I found another girl instead and married her."

Ginny again reached for his hands.

"Did you bring your wife? I want to meet her."

James smiled sadly.

"I'm afraid that won't be possible. Dorothy passed away a couple years ago."

"I'm sorry to hear that."

"There's no need to be sorry. We had fifty wonderful years, not to mention five kids and fifteen grandkids. Jason's a twin in a family of eight, just like you and Katie."

Ginny smiled at the college sophomore.

"Well, there's nothing wrong with that," Ginny said. "Maybe we can talk about birth order and behavior a little later. I have several theories on the subject."

Jason laughed.

"I'd like that," he said.

James loosened his hold on Ginny's hands and let them drop.

"I think that's our cue to get in the buffet line," James said with a hearty laugh. "We'll see you downstairs."

Ginny gave him another firm hug.

"Count on it."

She watched James and Jason nod at the bride and then step toward the door. A few seconds later, they disappeared behind the tinted windows, leaving the sisters again to themselves.

"I can't believe you tracked him down," Ginny said. She looked at Katie with awe. "Thank you for doing that. That was so sweet. I owe you. I owe you big time."

Katie shook her head.

"No, Gin. I owe
you
. I've never made amends for what I did to you when we were stuck in the past. I forced you to make an impossible decision. I was incredibly stubborn and selfish, but you stayed with me anyway."

Ginny looked at her sister thoughtfully.

"I stayed because I love you. You're my twin, Katie. Going home alone was never an option. I would rather stop breathing than leave your side."

Katie gazed at her sister with glistening eyes.

"You're wrong about the rest too," Ginny said. "You may have been stubborn, but you weren't selfish. No way. You put your family first – your new family. You did the right thing."

Katie stepped forward and gave Ginny a long hug.

"Thanks, Gin. I love you."

When Katie pulled way, she smiled at her sister warmly and then broke into a laugh.

"What's the matter?"

"I think we may want to stop by the ladies room," Katie said.

"Do I look like a raccoon?"

"No. You look like the Lone Ranger."

"Oh, great! I still have to toast the bride," Ginny said. She wiped a spot of runaway mascara with a fingertip and then glared at her twin. "It's all your fault."

Katie laughed.

"Let's go," she said. "I can fix it."

"You can fix my eyes?" Ginny asked.

Katie nodded.

"I can fix your eyes," Katie said. She smiled. "The rest of you is another matter."

 

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

 

The thing I like most about finishing a book is jumping into the thank yous. I enjoy giving credit where credit is due, particularly to those who volunteer hours of their time to help turn a slush pile of nouns and verbs into a polished novel. I am deeply indebted to several such people, including Cheryl Heldt, Beth Pofahl, Christine Stinson, and Diana Zimmerman for reading the early drafts; Mary Heldt, Esther Johnson, Veena Gupta Lothe, and Becky Skelton for reading the later drafts; and Jon Johnson, Leslie Mills, Craig Stoess, and Neal Wedum for providing subject expertise.

I am also grateful to Laura Wright LaRoche for producing the wonderful cover, Aaron Yost for bringing the editing process to a close, and several others for providing research assistance. They include library colleague Bobbi de Montigny and staff from the Library of Congress, Seattle Public Library, Washington Office of the Secretary of State, Washington State Historical Society, and Washington State Law Library. I offer my thanks to all.

 

BOOK: Mirror, The
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