He stared at the closed door for several long seconds before turning to make his way back outside to his car. The thought that she’d been so anxious to get rid of him didn’t sit well.
And much like the way she’d interrupted his run—granted, through no fault of her own—she annoyingly infiltrated his thoughts for the remainder of the day.
Larissa slid behind the wheel of her car, intending to attend Sunday morning church services. However using her right foot to drive proved nearly impossible. After several jerky attempts at driving with her left foot, she let out a frustrated groan, turned off the car, and awkwardly climbed back out from behind the wheel. No way was that going to work. She was more likely to hit something than not.
She stared up at the cloudless sky, fighting a wave of helplessness. This stupid ankle was going to ruin her few days off work if she couldn’t manage to drive a car. She propped herself against the vehicle, enjoying the cool breeze as she tried to figure out what to do next.
Less than one day and she was already heartily sick of being stuck in her apartment. Maybe she could manage to hobble down to Rose’s Café? Josie would keep her company at least for a while. There was nothing the café owner liked more than gossip.
She turned when she heard her name, surprise widening her eyes when she caught sight of Gabe Allen walking toward her. He’d parked his car a few spaces down from hers.
“Hi, Gabe.” She was glad that this time she didn’t smell like sweat and was dressed in a flowery skirt and a matching pink, short-sleeved top. She tried not to fidget with her clothing. “What are you doing here?”
“I brought over a pair of crutches in case you needed some help getting around.” He gazed at her attire and lifted his brow. “Are you headed somewhere special?”
She blushed and wished she could stop this ridiculous reaction to him. “I planned on attending church services, but driving is apparently not an option.” Had he mentioned crutches? She brightened with the possibility. “I bet I could walk to church, though, if you’re serious about allowing me to borrow those crutches.” Church and then Rose’s café. Much better than sitting around and staring at the four walls of her apartment.
“I think it would be better if I drove you to church,” Gabe said slowly. “Crutch walking isn’t easy for long distances.”
“Oh.” She was flabbergasted by his willingness to take her to church because she’d never seen him attend services in the past. “That’s very kind, but I don’t want to take you out of your way.”
“It’s no problem. Here, lean on me, and we’ll get you over to my car.”
She found it unsettling to realize she was standing close to Gabe with his arm anchored around her waist for the second time in less than twenty-four hours. She had no idea why God kept sending this man into her path, but for right now, she couldn’t think of an excuse not to go along with his offer. Other than the obvious one, that spending time with Gabe wasn’t smart.
But she breathed a little easier when she was safely seated in the passenger seat of his car. She waited until he slid into the driver’s seat before glancing at him. “You know, I wouldn’t mind if you dropped me off at church and came back in an hour if you don’t want to go in with me.”
Gabe looked past her, over his shoulder as he backed out of the parking space. “Is that a polite way of saying I’m not welcome?” he asked.
“No! Of course not.” She was horrified that he would think that. “I guess I just never noticed you attending church services before.”
A smile bloomed across his features. “Isn’t it the job of a good Christian to convince us non-goers to attend church and to rediscover our faith?” he asked in a teasing tone. “At least that’s what my sister always tries to do.”
She relaxed after hearing his sister was a Christian. “Yes, you’re right about that. I would love for you to come to church, but I can’t force you to believe in God. You have to come to that realization on your own.”