It was eight thirty after she’d brushed and flossed her teeth, showered, dressed, put on a little makeup, and combed her hair. Taking a deep breath, she went downstairs.
Greg was in the kitchen with his head stuck in the refrigerator. Straightening, he turned to her, still holding the door open. Fully dressed, he had that lock of hair hanging on his forehead, and day-old whiskers shadowed his face. His dark eyes assessed her.
Was he waiting for her to banish the awkwardness of the almost morning after? Or was he as uncertain as she was about how to proceed after their steamy interlude in the middle of the night?
“Hungry?” She tried to sound unaffected.
Her cheeks heated, and she grabbed the teakettle and started water for tea. When she faced him, his head was back in the refrigerator.
“If you want some toast, find the butter in there,” she said. “Jam, too.”
The endearment caused a flutter in her stomach.
“Is there any honey? For the toast.”
He wants honey on the toast, you idiot.
“Check the lazy susan in the corner cupboard.”
Closing the fridge, Greg decided to risk asking. “What about some pancakes?”
“No eggs.” She turned back to the stove.
He should’ve remembered he’d annihilated the eggs.
He watched her bend over and get a skillet from the drawer at the bottom of the stove.
Her blue shorts rode up the backside of her thighs, stopping right at the beginning of the enticing curve of her firm little ass. Aw jees, his body reacted instantly.
To get rid of the pressing problem in the front of his pants, he concentrated on the problem he’d face when the Tillers returned. Hazel didn’t like Allie living there and was sure not to want him staying. But Allie couldn’t be unprotected.
He could take her to his place, but besides the fact it was barely a notch above slum, she’d already noticed him favoring his shoulder. He’d have to remember to keep it covered. The scar from the bullet wound would raise questions. And that thought sent a bolt of realization through him.
He didn’t want to feed her some fictitious story about getting shot. Then the real kicker hit him. He didn’t want to lie to her. Because…why? Shit. Where the hell was his brain?
He couldn’t dismiss the fact she’d discovered two murdered men in three weeks, and someone was trying to kill her. If word got out he was a cop, she wouldn’t want him around, and without a bodyguard, whoever wanted her dead might succeed. That thought solved the problem with his pants, and he went to the corner cupboard and found the honey.
“What’s on the agenda for today?” he asked as she took a plate of something from the fridge to the stove.
“I need to see some people. Want some ham?”
“Ham’s good. What people?”
“People at the High View Planning Department.”
Apparently, she wanted to find out why Harry had visited the planning department. Did she think it was connected to his murder?
“Strange if your ex didn’t like High View that he came to the planning department. Don’t you think?”
She glanced over her shoulder at him. He knew her frown could simply mean, mind your own business. Or, I wouldn’t be frowning if you’d had a condom.
“Plates are in the cupboard above the counter next to the fridge.” That didn’t answer his question.
The ham started sizzling, and the smell made his stomach growl. He went to the bread on the counter and put two slices in the toaster. Getting the plates, he asked, “You think you might get more information from your friend at the planning department?” When she didn’t answer, he looked at her.
She was staring at the ham with the spatula poised over the skillet. Preparing to rescue the meat, he set the plates on the counter.
“I went to high school with Tammy Rogers. I didn’t know she was going to have a baby.”
Her voice sounded wistful, and he figured she was either going down memory lane or she wanted a baby of her own. Telling himself not to even think about what it would be like to combine his desire for children with his desire for her, he moved in and grabbed the spatula.
“Oh, the ham.” She stepped aside for him to save the main course.
When they sat down to eat, she said, “After breakfast, you can go home. I’ll be fine. No one’s going to break in during the daytime.”
He couldn’t tell her how wrong she was, but how could he convince her to let him stay?