Things in the south had begun to come to a boil. Natalia had been watching it all, but was unsure whether she would take part. She desperately wanted to get in touch with Uncle Greg, but was scared what Momma had already told him about her situation. Would he still be as loving as he once was? What of Danni and Martin?
She would just wait and watch the events. She could only hope that things would go back as they were later where her own life was concerned. Right now, Matt was all that mattered. If Momma and daddy wanted to find her, they could come looking.
Trent stood watching Natalia. He didn’t know her name, but he was mesmerized by her beauty. He had to get to know her. Where did she come from? Who was she?
He was determined to find out. At nineteen, he was looking for a relationship. He was tall, handsome and strong. He was a good catch for any girl.
He walked up to her and touched her arm. “Excuse me, Miss?”
She turned to him and smiled. “Yes?”
He smiled nervously. “I-I was wondering if you might be interested in possibly going on a date.” He suddenly felt as if he had blurted a little too much.
She looked at him. “You don’t even know me. Why would you want to go on a date with me? There have to be hundreds of girls waiting to be asked by you.”
He blinked. “But none as beautiful as you.” He suddenly cursed himself for blurting that out as well.
She blushed. “I-I don’t know what to say. You are the first person to tell me I am beautiful. You aren’t trying to do anything, are you?” She eyed him suspiciously.
He shook his head honestly. “Oh no. I just want a date. Maybe a relationship. I don’t want to hurt you.”
She smiled again. “Good. I don’t trust very easily. The last guy I trusted hurt me.”
He smiled sadly. “Sorry to hear that. I mean you no harm. I promise that my intentions are pure.”
She relaxed. “What time?”
His eyes lit up. “Around five? Does that sound good?”
She nodded. “Yes.”
He took her hand. “Where can I pick you up at?”
She looked at him. “You know where the shelter is?”
He nodded. “Yes, Why?”
She looked down. “That’s where I am staying at the moment.”
He lifted her head and smiled reassuringly. “Then I shall pick you up at five outside the shelter.”
She was still gazing into his eyes. “Do you mind if I bring my baby son?”
He shook his head. “Oh, no. I don’t mind. May I know your name?”
She smiled a sappy smile. “Natalia Morrow.”
He grinned. “Well, Natalia Morrow, I am Trent Goodacre. I will be more than honored to pick you up at the shelter. Can I have a kiss?”
She was suddenly unsure of herself. Evidently he was interested in her. That she could tell. Still, she was unsure whether he was being genuine or just acting on a dare. Who ever heard of kissing before you knew someone? Really, it seemed quite preposterous to her.
She shrank back. “You aren’t doing this out of a dare, are you? I mean, this is not a joke is it?”
He blinked in obvious shock, clearly hurt by her apprehension. “Why, no. Why would I ever do that for? I-I am just taken by you.”
She kissed his cheek. “I hope that will do until we know each other better.”
He relaxed and smiled. “That’s fine. I really didn’t expect you to do anything more.” He kissed her on the forehead, then turned to go. “I’ll see you at five.”
She looked down again. “I don’t have anything dressy to wear. Does that matter?”
He turned back to her and shook his head. “Come as you are. You are beautiful no matter what.”
She blushed. “OK. See you at five, then.”
She watched him leave. She wanted to run after him, but did not. She was afraid that it was all a dream and that she would wake up at the shelter. No one had ever bothered to ask her out. Not since before Matthew was born.
She made her way back to the shelter. She had to get ready. Five was only a couple hours away and she needed a shower and clean clothes. She had to get Matt presentable as well. It would do him good to be away from the shelter. Hell. It would do her good as well.
She dressed in her best blouse and pair of jeans after her shower. They weren’t much, but they were the best she had. She spritzed herself with some perfume she was able to borrow from one of the other women. She hurriedly tried to get her tangled hair brushed and curled.
She had never been so nervous in all her life. Trent was better than any man she had seen. He seemed to have better manners as well. But she was still apprehensive. What if it was all an act?
A counselor came to where she struggled with her hair. “Big date?”
She nodded. “Yes.”
The counselor smiled. “Need help?”
She nodded again. “I can’t seem to get my hair to brush out so I can get it curled. I am also not quite sure of the intentions of the young man.”
The counselor sat down behind her and began gently brushing out her hair for her. “What is his name?”
She shrugged. “He said his name was Trent Goodacre.”
The counselor stopped. “Goodacre?”
She nodded. “Yes.”
The counselor turned her around and looked her in the eye. “Trent is my son. I know he won’t hurt you. I raised him to respect women. He will treat you good.”
Natalia froze. “I-I didn’t go looking for anyone, please don’t think that of me.”
The counselor laughed. “I don’t, Hon. I know how it is to be where you are. I was once in the same position. No home, No food, No hope…then Trent’s father found me. I work here to help those like I once was. Women like you. Trent knows that.” She pushed against Nattie gently. “Now turn back around and we’ll get this hair straightened out. Can’t have you going on a first date with tangles in your hair. After we’re done, let’s go back and see what we can find in the dresses that’ll fit you. ”
By five, she was standing at the doors of the shelter, Matt in her arms, waiting for Trent. He was not long in arriving, and got out to open the door for her. This was all new to her. No one had ever opened doors for her. Or helped her in any way. She could tell that this was going to be a night to remember.