e's late! I know something's happened." Molly Grandville gnawed on her lip whilepeering out into the darkened sanctuary, her seal brown eyebrows pulled into a worriedfrown."Now, hon, don't get yourself into a state," her husband, Thad, soothed, patting herplump shoulder with a clumsy hand. "Case said he'll be here, so he will.""But Pastor Lutz wants to start the ceremony at three o'clock sharp and it's almost tentill."Standing to one side, Prudy Randolph watched the young couple with a mountinguneasiness she was trying very hard to hide. Maybe, a tumble of years from now, she mightlook back on this and laugh at the acute case of nerves presently turning her knees to jelly. At the moment, however, her thoughts were centered on the man they were expecting to walk down the center aisle of the big old church any minute now.Case Randolph. The baby's godfather to her godmother. And her ex-husband."I specifically told Uncle Case not to be late, and he
," Molly said plaintively,giving Prudy a quick, anxious look. Prudy took a deep breath and fashioned what shehoped was a reassuring smile, but before she could utter the soothing words thatautomatically came to mind, Molly rushed on. "I know he's been on this important case, which is why he showed up at the hospital looking like a hoodlum, but—""Now, hon, Case explained about that," Thad reminded her with only a hint of impatience. "He was just coming off a stakeout when I called him, and he couldn't very well turn up looking like a banker when he's working undercover.""At least he could have shaved," Molly insisted. "And covered up that awful tattoo on hisshoulder. The poor nurses were scared to death when he walked in and demanded to know which room I was in."Prudy heard the thread of hurt in the younger woman's voice and stifled a sigh. ThoughMolly was twenty-two and already a wife and mother, she had yet to completely outgrow her dependence on her father's little brother. But then it had been Case who'd paid forMolly's private schooling after her parents had been killed. And Case who had paid forMolly's wedding to her childhood sweetheart ten months ago. What he hadn't done was try to take her parents' place. Case wasn't about to become anyone's daddy. Hadn't he toldPrudy that often enough?"What if he's forgotten the baptism is supposed to be today?" Molly wondered aloud."You know how he gets sometimes – his mind on his job and everything else on hold."