Hardheaded

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A soft knock sounded at the back door, and Waylon made his way to the kitchen to find an unsmiling face peering in at him. He opened the door, but instead of saying anything, Jill shot a look at the upper corner of his kitchen.

“I know, right?” Cal said. “What’ll they think? Cavorting with the enemy.”

She narrowed her eyes at him. “Competition.”

“No longer the enemy?

She sighed. “You were never my enemy, Cal. Just my ex. Whom I’m still angry at,” she added quickly.

He nodded with contrition. “And whom you don’t speak to.”

“Right.”

He held the door open wide and invited her in with a nod, and as he did, he didn’t take his eyes off hers for one second. When she smirked, acknowledging his smart-ass comment about her still not speaking to him, a grin spread slowly across his face.

“Stop it,” she grumbled. But she came into his house.

“I’m not doing anything.”

She smelled like sawdust and Sheetrock mud, and he found it strangely arousing.

“You were thinking something, so stop it.”

He was thinking a lot of things. “Fine. I’ll stop it. For now.”

She checked out every inch of the kitchen and new dining space as she walked in a small loop, and after her initial curiosity was met, she returned to the newly installed kitchen island. Where she crossed her arms and cocked out a hip. “So, what did you bring me over for?”

He pointed to the ceiling. “Listen.”

She stood motionless and listened, even closing her eyes to hear better, and Cal could tell by her face when the soft music playing in the upstairs bedroom had made it to her ears. She opened her eyes. “What? You left a radio on?”

He shook his head.

“Then what is it?”

“Mrs. Wainwright.”

Her gaze shot toward the staircase. “No, it’s not.”

The music changed to a jazz number, and Jill’s eyes stayed locked in the direction of the upper room.

“I told you,” he said.

“Pete has to be up there.”

“Pete went home an hour ago. Want to go up with me and see for yourself?”

The music changed once again, this time to an ’80s hair band, and Cal almost laughed out loud. Mrs. Wainwright had a sense of humor.

“I don’t think I do,” Jill answered.

“Scared?”

“Heather’s the one into ghosts. Call her next time.” She inched around to the other side of the unpainted island. The side that was closest to the door.

“I don’t want to call Heather.”

Blue-green eyes locked on his. “Then call your girlfriend.”

“I don’t want to call her, either.”

He took a step closer, putting him at the island as well, only standing on the opposite side as her, and was pleased when she didn’t turn and run. He’d wanted to talk to her again since Monday. Not about anything specific. Just to talk.

Just to see her. 

 

Deep In the Heart: Book One
October 31, 2017

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