Annie is a determined young woman who is left to run her family’s property after the death of her parents. Managing fourteen summer cottages with only the help of a family friend, she struggles to survive on her own. When she meets Drew, a young college professor, Annie thinks she’s finally found a love she can trust.
But years of conflict and pain destroy their bond and leave Annie alone again, unless she can find lasting peace and passion in the most unlikely arms.
In this family saga, love, loss and history twine together the people whose lives are changed by Annie’s determination and the magic of her knoll nestled along the head-waters of the Chesapeake Bay.
“Hello?” Annie said into the receiver. “Yes, this is Drew Bidwell’s wife. Please
tell him to meet me at the hospital. The baby is coming.”
Finally when Bo had Annie in his car and was pulling out of the Knoll, she
grabbed the dashboard with both hands and a tiny cry escaped throat.
“Go ahead and scream, Annie,” Bo advised. “And keep breathing. Don’t go
holdin’ your breath like that.”
The contraction passed, and Annie slumped back in the car seat with sweat rolling
down her face.
“I’m not one for screaming, Bo,” she said bravely.
“Well, you’ll be hollering before the night’s over,” Bo said with a laugh and sped
up a bit when he turned onto Center Street. The hospital in Chester Landing was at least
forty-five minutes away, and he was not going to deliver this baby! Then he saw the
red lights flashing in the rear view window.
“Damn,” Bo said.
Bo never cursed, so Annie pulled herself up to see what was behind them. Bo
slowed down, and then stopped on the side of the road.
“Oh, no,” Annie said when she saw Bunky Watson step out of the patrol car.
Patrolman Watson pounded his fist on the top of Big Black Bo’s car and then
directed the blinding beam of his flashlight into the driver’s side window.
“Roll down your window, boy,” he demanded.
Bo obliged, and Annie noticed that he immediately put his left hand back up on
the steering wheel next to his right.
Bunky Watson’s face then appeared in the open window.
“What are you doing here in town, boy?” he snapped.
Before Bo could say anything, Annie leaned forward.
“For God’s sake, Bunky, he’s drivin’ me to the hospital.”
“Annie, what are you doing in this Negro’s car?”
“What I’m going to be doin’ is having a baby if you don’t let us get on to the
“Is it his baby?” Bunky asked sarcastically.
“Now Bunky, you know that my husband is Drew Bidwell, and he’s at the college
so Mr. Bo, who works for me as I’m sure you also know, was kind enough to drive me
into the hospital where Drew will meet me.”
“Why aren’t you sittin’ in the back seat?” Bunky asked.
“I-I don’t know, Bunky. I was having a contraction when he helped me into the
car so I just sat where he put me.” Annie immediately regretted the wording of her
“You put her in the front seat with you, boy? What were you thinking?” Bunky
asked and waited for an answer.
“I thought I could keep an eye on her up here,” Bo explained.
“You know the sun set fifteen minutes ago?” Bunky stated with authority.
“Yes,” Bo answered.
“And you were going ten miles over the speed limit.”
Annie saw Bo’s hands grip the steering wheel tighter just when pain started
again deep in her spine. She leaned forward in her seat.
“Bunky, you stupid ass, I’m about to have a baby, and if you don’t let us pass
now, you and Bo are going to be delivering it together right here on Center Street.” Annie
seethed between her teeth, and then she let out a blood-curdling scream as the contraction
“Go!” Bunky ordered and stepped back from the car.
Gail Priest lives in New Jersey and summers in Maryland on the Chesapeake Bay with her husband and their cockatiel. In addition to writing novels, plays and screenplays, she teaches and directs in a high school performing arts program. She loves theatre, reading, birding and being out in nature
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