Dad put his hand on her arm, raising guilty eyes to hers. “Give us a minute, will ya, Sam?”
With a nod, Sam left the pair of them on the porch.
Her father tugged her until she was seated on his lap with his arms wrapped around her shoulders, the way he had held her as a child when she or her feelings had been hurt. The sensation of being home, and loved unquestionably settled on her like a soft, fuzzy towel, warm from the dryer.
“I’m sorry, Pipsqueak. I didn’t mean to bring up bad feelings.”
“It’s alright, Dad. Those feelings are never far from the surface anyway.”
“God dammit, Pip. I miss him so much.” His voice trembled with emotion. “He was a good man, and protesters like the Battalion tarnish what he stood for.”
Pip shut her eyes against the hot rush tears. “Only if we let them, Dad. People who knew Mark, who loved him, will always remember him in the glow of his patriotism. The Battalion can’t touch the good memories of everyone who has lost someone they love in the service. The protesters are getting a lot of negative press right now.” She sighed, laying her head against her dad’s solid shoulder. “And groups like the Patriot Honor Guard are standing up to them, keeping them in check.”
Her heart lightened as she remembered the Guard standing vigil at Corporal Wright’s funeral. And how Clay had stood up to Dewey in the cemetery when she’d visited Mark’s grave.
“Thank God for them. At least they have a lick of sense.”
“Bruce? Pippa?” Her mother’s voice rang through the screen door. “Are you two coming?”
“Be right there,” he answered, swiping the back of his hand across his eyes. “I love you, Pipsqueak.”
“Love you too, Dad.”
I apologize for this being longer than six paragraphs, but I wanted you to get a good sense of Pippa and Bruce's relationship. Thanks for sticking with it. Now click here to hop on over to read more fabulous snippets from the other Sneak Peek authors.
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