Home > Easy For Keeps (Boudreaux #3.5)(11)

Easy For Keeps (Boudreaux #3.5)(11)
Author: Kristen Proby

I frown, realizing that I haven’t told him about Kurt. So, I take a deep breath and smile.

“This is an interesting subject,” I reply.

“You’re not divorced yet,” he says grimly and I immediately shake my head no.

“It’s not that at all. Kurt, my former husband, was killed. He was a police officer in Miami, and he was murdered in the line of duty.”

Adam sits stunned for a moment, then slowly shakes his head and takes a deep breath.

“Fuck, Sarah, I’m so sorry.”

“Me too.” I reply the way I always do when I tell the story, but the pain of the words has faded and now it’s just a retelling of a story that happened long ago. “He was a good man. A great father and husband, and a dedicated policeman.” I shrug and take a sip of the tea, surprised that the tears don’t threaten the way they have in the past when I have to talk about Kurt. I’m not numb, I don’t think I ever will be, but it’s not a knife stabbing me in the heart anymore. “It’s been about three and a half years, so Hailey doesn’t really remember him.”

“But you do.”

“You don’t forget your first love, no matter how the relationship ends,” I reply. “I was with him from when we were in high school until the day he died. So that’s why Becca and I are so close. I’ve been a part of her life since she was a little kid, and I love her like a sister.”

“I’m glad you have her,” he says quietly, watching me. “Are you sure you want to be here tonight?”

“Yes.” I nod, and when he starts to let go of my hand, I reach for his. “I wasn’t for a long time. This is the first date—aside from one bad one that doesn’t count—that I’ve been on. Frankly, life goes on, Adam. Kurt would tell me the same thing. Life goes on, and we have to live it. I’m so glad you asked me out.”

“Me too.”

“Okay, all of the other questions won’t be as difficult to answer as that one. So what else do you have?”

“Hmm…” He sips his tea and narrows his eyes like he’s thinking very hard. “What kind of underwear do you have on?”

I choke over my laughter, completely taken off guard, but happy that he’s lightened the mood again. “I guess that’s for me to know and you to find out.”

His eyes flare.

“What about you?” I ask. “Boxers or briefs?”

“Commando,” he replies with a wink. “Why did you choose to be in protective services?”

“Because I was saved by them when I was young,” I answer truthfully. “I’ve lived in a house like the one you saw the other day.”

He’s frowning now, but he just lets me talk.

“My father was a violent son of a bitch, and my mom kept going back to him because she didn’t think she had a choice. He ended up killing her.”

They’re just words now. I am numb to this.

“I’d already started dating Kurt, and he and his family pretty much made me part of their family. I didn’t live there, but I was there a lot. After high school, he went to college and then to the police academy, and I knew that I wanted to help women and kids get out of horrible situations like the one I’d been raised in.” I shrug and smile reassuringly. “I’m great, Adam. I don’t carry a bunch of baggage from it. I had excellent counselors and a good support system. I just think that everyone should have access to that.”

“I agree,” he says.

“Have you ever been married?” I ask, immediately changing the subject.

“Hell no,” he replies, shaking his head quickly. “I don’t think I’m the marriage type.”

Totally called the one-night stand thing. Right on.

“No? How come?”

“That doesn’t make you want to run away?” he asks with surprise.

“No. Why would I judge you for that? It’s your life.”

“Huh. Well, I guess I just haven’t met a woman that made settling down sound like a good deal. And, I love women.”

“As simple as that.”

“As simple as that,” he agrees.

“But what about being with one person forever? Someone you trust and admire and respect?”

“I’m not convinced that forever exists, Sarah. Not because I couldn’t be monogamous, but because people fall out of love, they get angry, they move on.”

“Wow,” I reply, a little sad for him. “Maybe you’ll meet someone someday that grabs your attention.”

“Time will tell,” he says with a half shrug. “You intrigue me more than most.”

“Me?” I ask, taken off guard. “Why?”

“You’re just…different.”

“You’re not the first to tell me that,” I reply with a laugh.

“You’re so damn strong. I knew that before you told me your story. Watching you with your kiddo and with that woman the other morning was just inspiring. You love what you do.”

“I do.”

“But you have soft moments too. You have a gorgeous body, but you’re not 100% comfortable in your own skin.”

“How do you know?” I lean forward, intrigued by his assessment. I had no idea he was paying such close attention to every little move I make.

“You fidget a bit. Pulling your shirt over your shoulder the other day, even though you have beautiful shoulders. You tug your hemline down.” He shrugs. “But you have no reason to be self-conscious. You’re beautiful.”

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