Home > Easy For Keeps (Boudreaux #3.5)(7)

Easy For Keeps (Boudreaux #3.5)(7)
Kristen Proby

“You have the best day ever,” she says and kisses my cheek. “And take care of Brother Bear.”

“Deal. I’ll pick you up after school.”

She nods and runs over to her teacher who has come out to welcome all of the kids. I wave one last time and get back in Adam’s car.

“Thanks for doing this. She would have been late otherwise.”

“Not a problem.” He pulls away from the school, still quiet, and I don’t know if I should start a conversation or just leave it. Which is dumb. I don’t know him, and I’ll probably never see him again. I should just leave it.

But I don’t.

“Are you okay?” I ask.

He doesn’t answer for a moment. He just rubs his hand over his mouth in agitation, then finally sighs long and slow. “No.”

“You’re not okay?”

“No, Sarah, I’m not okay.”

I frown, staring at him. “What’s wrong?”

But rather than answer, he just shakes his head and drives me to an auto shop, parks, turns off the car, and turns to face me. “How do you do that?”

I blink at him, convinced that I’m missing something.

“Drop my kid off at school?”

“No, damn it, how do you work with cases like that every day and not go crazy?”

“Look, taking you in there was not the right thing to do, but I didn’t feel like I had a choice.”

“I’m not fucking worried about me!” His head whips around so he can glare at me, his green eyes on fire, and it should concern me how sexy I find him right now. I’m not afraid of him. At all. But oh, Lordy, I’m turned on. “You shouldn’t be putting yourself in danger!”

“And just like that, he ruins it,” I mutter, slapping my palm to my forehead.

“What’s that supposed to mean?”

“Look, this is my job. What you saw today pales compared to some of the cases I’ve seen. I’m trained very well to handle myself and anything that might come up. I’m registered to carry a weapon, and I know how to use it. You have no idea what I’ve seen in my life, and what I’m capable of.”

I’m panting now, with anger and frustration.

“I’m not a little woman—”

“What does that have to do with anything?” he asks, confused. “You’re a woman, period. And I’m not implying that you’re not capable of kicking ass because frankly, I’m not convinced that you won’t be kicking mine before the day is out, but I don’t love that you put yourself and your kid in situations like the one this morning. It could have been very dangerous.”

“You don’t know me,” I say more calmly than I feel. I grab my purse and open my door. “You don’t mean anything to me, Adam. Thanks for being a Good Samaritan this morning, but now you can go get on with your life and forget us. You don’t have to worry about a thing.”

And with that, I leave his car and walk into the auto repair office to handle my car and every other little thing in my life. On my own.

The way I like it.

* * * *

“And then Peter said that he wants to be Lizzy’s boyfriend!” Hailey says that evening over dinner. We’re tucked safely away in our little townhouse for the evening. This is my favorite time of day, when we can talk and laugh and spend time together.

“I think five is a little young to have a boyfriend,” I say calmly, but my stomach just did a huge flip-flop. We’re talking about boyfriends? Already?

“Well, he isn’t her boyfriend,” Hailey says before eyeing a sprig of asparagus with contempt. “He just said he wanted to.”

“How old is Peter?”

“Six.”

“Ah. An older boy.”

“He smells,” Hailey says and takes a bite of the vegetable, then spits it back out onto her plate. “Yuck, Mom.”

“It’s good for you.”

“I think that I should have a dog because he could eat my gross vegetables for me.”

“I think not,” I reply and point to her plate. “You need to eat three bites, without spitting them back out. That’s not good table manners.”

“What if I don’t want to?”

“Then you don’t get dessert,” I reply logically, and she immediately takes three bites, chews fast, then chases it down with her juice. “See? That wasn’t so bad.”

“I need the dessert to cover the taste,” she says and wrinkles up her nose, making me laugh.

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