“No. No. I don’t have any, just suitcases. Hmm, does that mean I’ve got the room?”
The other man laughed. “Sure, sweetheart. You’re exactly what we were looking for.”
His friend elbowed him, making her wonder what she was missing. There was a certain undercurrent at work here, but she was too ecstatic to pay it attention. She’d done it!
She’d found a place to stay where the rent would be low enough for her to have some money left over from her salary. She’d have financial security for the first time in her life. And all she had to do was to clean the house and make sure everything was ticking along, something she could do in her sleep.
She was so happy she let herself go for a second and beamed at them. They both stared at her as if they’d seen a ghost. She forced the smile back to where it came from and stood up. “Thank you so much. I promise I’ll do a very good job.”
“We hope you’ll like living here, Kristyn.”
“I’m sure I will.” And she truly believed her words. They both seemed nice enough. She just had to ignore what they looked like. After all she was a new woman now. She was a junior high teacher, a responsible, even boring woman. Nothing could take that away from her, not her past or the way they looked in form-fitting jeans.
No! Ignore them. Treat them as brothers. Yes, that was it. She’d imagine they were the big brothers she never had. Perfect.
Pleased with herself, she hooked her purse over her shoulder and asked for a tour of the house.
Weeks later, Kristyn was busy getting dinner ready when she turned the volume louder on her iPod. Her head nodding in time with the music she danced around the kitchen, her hair bouncing every time she moved. She loved that song!
She started singing along, her voice carrying through the rest of the house as she added some more chopped basil to the tomato sauce. “I want to get beside you so I can be your backseat driver!”
She shook her hips, her bare feet soundless on the tiled floor. Opening the fridge, she bent down and peeked inside. “Backseat! La la la laaaa.”
Ketchup in hand she closed the door, whirled around…and screamed.
Two men were standing in the threshold, looking at her with wide eyes and arrested expressions on their faces.
“Are you crazy?” She wrenched the buds from her ears and added, “You scared me!”
“If you stopped listening to your shitty music so loud, you’d have heard us come in,” Drew said as he stepped inside the room. “What’s for dinner?”
“It’s not shitty music!” she argued back, dropping the bottle onto the counter at her left. “And you’re early. It’s not ready yet.”
Scott pulled a chair from under the table and sat down. “Training session ended early. It smells good.”
She smiled at him. “Thanks.”
“So what is it?”
“Don’t I even get a hello?”
“Depends what’s cooking,” Drew drawled back, sitting down next to his friend before plopping his elbows onto the table. His gaze on her, he cocked his eyebrows and waited, a smirk playing on his lips.
“Funny. I bought some fresh pasta this morning and thought I’d make my own sauce.”
“What’s in it?”
She sighed, exasperated. “I can’t tell you. Secret ingredients.”
“I know you take your cooking seriously, babe, but that’s taking it a lil’ bit far, don’t you think?”