When Mark returned to the conference room about three hours later, Rose and Persephone sat at the table drawing.
“Daddy, I drew a picture of the different seasons. Miss Purr-So-Funny told me the story about her name.” The child frowned. “I wouldn’t want to be kidnapped.”
“Your father would never let that happen.” He patted her head.
“I know.” Her smile stretched into a yawn.
“It’s time to go home and get to bed. Are you ready?” Rose nodded. “Say good-night to Persephone.”
She jumped up and threw her arms around Persephone’s neck. “I can’t wait till tomorrow.”
“Me either,” Persephone said.
Persephone stood and moved toward her black sweater coat draped over a chair. Mr. Lawrence handed her money and followed her to the front door. “Thank you for helping out with Rose tonight. I hope she wasn’t any trouble.” They stood in front of the flowers and the mirror next to the door. He loved the smell of freshly cut flowers, even in the dead of winter.
“Not at all. Goodnight, Mr. Lawrence.”
“Please, call me Mark.” He ran his fingers through his hair out of habit. “Will you be okay driving home?”
“Yes, Mark.” She smiled, pulling her arms through her sweater coat and tightening the belt around her trim waist. He leaned forward and opened the door for her. The gush of wind brought a hint of lavender to his nose, and he realized it was the smell of her hair. She stepped out to the porch. About a third of the way down the stairs she turned and waved at him. He caught his