Today's Reading

As soon as she was out of his sight, she ran past the kitchen and down the hall to her bedroom. In the closet by her bathroom were three plastic baskets stacked on top of each other and filled with dirty clothes. Why hadn't she done the laundry before she left!

Because two days ago, her father had given her the impression that if she didn't immediately go to Richmond and pick up the new life jackets, he might have a stroke.

"Have them FedExed," she'd said. She had three boats to see to, someone said a barbecue grill was down, a raccoon was getting into the garbage of number eighty-four, number eleven had a broken window and Moonlight Beach had used condoms scattered across it. She did not have time to go to Richmond!

But then Elaine twisted her ankle and couldn't drive and there were six boxes of dresses that needed to be picked up. She acted like adding to her already-packed dress shop immediately was the most important thing on earth.

Terri had glared at her dad and his girlfriend, Elaine. "You two haven't heard of delivery services? Get Anna to call—" She broke off at the sight of them. They wore identical pleading expressions.

So Terri drove to Richmond and when nothing was ready, she checked into a motel. While she waited, she saw a movie, went to a boat showroom, spent hours in a bookstore and generally enjoyed herself. She didn't get back until late last night.

That's why she hadn't done the laundry. She rummaged through drawers and pulled out a T-shirt and shorts. Not too tight; not too short. Just because a gorgeous man was in her kitchen, she wasn't going to tart herself up.

Okay, a bit of mascara, a comb through her hair. She looked in the mirror. She was always being told she looked like an "all-American girl." Right now she'd like to be a little more... Well, sultry. Exotic. Interesting.

She took a breath, dabbed on some lipstick and left her bedroom.

He was in the kitchen, his back to her, and looking down at two skillets on the gas stove. Terri hadn't been aware there was even one skillet in the cupboards. "What can I do to help?"

"Nothing," he said. "Just have a seat. You like eggs?"

"Sure. Anything." She sat down on a stool on the other side of the island. He wore a blue cotton shirt that looked like it had been washed many times, and jeans. On his left wrist was a black bracelet braided out of something. Horsehair, maybe?

He poured a mug of coffee, set it in front of her, then waited for her to taste it.

"Wow. You didn't get this from any store in Summer Hill."

With a smile, he turned back to the stove. "I brought beans with me. So what do you do around here?"

"You mean for work?" She waited for his nod. "Everything. If it breaks, someone calls me to fix it. I jump in the lake about twice a day to save some idiot who falls off a dock. Oh! Sorry. I mean I help the people who stay at Lake Kissel have a good time without visiting the emergency room."

"Or calling Dr. Jamie?" He put an omelet and toast in front of her.

"This looks great. Either Jamie or Dr. Kyle. Summer Hill now has two doctors. We've come up in the world. But you said you're going to live here so maybe you know about us." He was cooking eggs for himself but he was adding spices from little jars that were along the countertop. They hadn't been there before he arrived.

"Jamie is my first cousin. His dad and mine are brothers and I'm going to be working for Jamie's dad and an uncle."

"Doing what?"

He shrugged. "Money things."

She didn't think he sounded too enthusiastic about his coming job.

He picked up his plate of eggs and toast and walked toward her. "You mind if we move to...?" He nodded toward the dining table around the corner.

When she looked up at him, she knew he wanted to sit so he'd be facing the water. It's where she liked to be too. That they agreed made Terri smile—on the inside. She didn't want him to see it. Too early for that!
...

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