Home > Easy For Keeps (Boudreaux #3.5)(3)

Easy For Keeps (Boudreaux #3.5)(3)
Author: Kristen Proby

“Oh.” She takes a deep breath and kisses her kid’s head, then offers me a shaky smile. “Thanks. She loves Belle, from Beauty and the Beast. I can’t get her to wear anything but this dress.”

“It’s pretty,” Hailey says with a grin.

“Very pretty,” I reply, smiling back at the sweet little girl. “What’s your mama’s name?”

“None of your business,” the girl’s mom says before Hailey can answer. “Thanks for your help.”

And with that she walks out of the store.

“Well, that was fun,” I mutter and smile at the lady behind the counter. “I can’t remember what I came in here for.”

“I think you were down the drink aisle,” she says with a laugh.

“Yes!” Rather than go back, I pull a bottle of water out of the cooler near the checkout and pay, then walk out to my car. Before I can get inside, I hear an engine trying to start, but it just keeps clicking. It won’t turn over. I poke my head around the side of the building, and sure enough, there’s Prickly Mom trying to start her newer model Honda.

“Having trouble?” I ask and grin when she looks up at me in surprise. Hailey is buckled into the back seat now and waves at me with a big smile, and I wave back.

“It was running fine when I left the apartment and came here.” She sighs and lays her forehead against the steering wheel. She’s a pretty woman. She has curves in all the right places, but doesn’t wear clothes that hug them. Her hair is long and just begging for fingers to thread through it.

And her lips are plump and damn kissable. Especially when she bites them the way she’s doing right now as she lifts her head and looks up at me.

“Sounds like your battery is dead.”

“Great,” she replies and blows out a breath.

“Do you have someone you can call?”

She hesitates and then shakes her head no. She’s not quick to trust, that’s for sure, and for some reason, that makes me want to try to help all the more.

It’s been a while since a woman was a challenge.

“We just moved here,” Hailey informs me.


“It’s okay,” I reply. “I can call you a tow truck. I know a guy.”

She nods.

“But I have to tell him your name.”

“Sarah,” she replies. “I’m sorry, I don’t mean to be rude.”

“Hey, stranger danger. I get it.” I nod and text my friend, then stare at the two girls for a moment. I can’t just leave them here.

“I can take you wherever you needed to get to.”

“No,” Sarah replies immediately.

“Look, let’s start again. My name’s Adam. I’ve never been arrested for anything, and I’ve received two speeding tickets in my life. I co-own a bar in the Quarter, and that’s why I haven’t been to bed yet today. I can give you references to call if you really want them.”

Her lips twitch into a slight smile and her eyes calm. They’re not just brown. They’re rich, dark chocolate.

And she has a kid. Just be a Good Samaritan and go home to bed.

“Okay, Adam,” she begins and pulls herself out of her car so she can square her shoulders and look me in the eye. Or the best she can, anyway, since I’m still a good six inches taller than her. “I’ll be honest. I just started a new job. The nanny can’t start until Thursday, and Hailey’s kindergarten doesn’t start until nine. I have to check in on a family before that. So, I’ll take you up on your offer of a ride, but I need you to understand this: if you so much as breathe the wrong way toward me or my daughter, I will rearrange your junk into a bloody, pulpy mess that even a surgeon won’t be able to fix. Understood?”

Is it wrong that said junk is now rock hard from her steady stream of badass?

But I don’t laugh, or even crack a smile, because I believe every word of it.

“Perfectly understood,” I reply with a nod. “I promise to get you where you’re going and back home safely.”

She narrows those amazing eyes on me and with her arms crossed, she looks me up and down, then nods once. “Okay. Hailey? Come on, baby girl, Adam’s going to give us a ride.”

“Our car’s broken?” Hailey asks as she climbs out of the back seat.

“Just a little broken, honey,” I reply and lead them to my car. When we’re all inside and buckled up, I turn to Sarah. “Where to?”

She rattles off an address, and I frown down at her. “That’s in the Basin Street Projects.”

“Okay,” she replies, as if it’s no big deal.

“You were about to take your daughter to that neighborhood by yourself.”

It’s not a question, and for reasons that I can’t even fathom right now, I’m worried and half-pissed. That’s one of the worst neighborhoods in the city. It’s certainly no place for this fancy woman and her daughter.

“I know exactly what I was about to do,” she replies and smooths lip-gloss on her lips. “This is what I do for a living.”

“You hang out in the projects for a living?”

She sends me an annoyed glance. “Sometimes, yes.”

“So you’re aware that going anywhere near that address puts both you and your daughter at risk?”

“You know, you’re awfully nosy for someone I just met.”

“Yeah, lady, well you can it’s none of your business me all day long, but when you’re being foolish with your safety, I’m going to call you out on it.”

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