Blown Away

Blown Away by Sharon Sala

Book: Blown Away by Sharon Sala Read Free Book Online
Authors: Sharon Sala
your head wrapped around it and do it. In the meantime, come on into the kitchen with me. I just took a pecan pie out of the oven. Mr. Mike does like my pecan pies.”
    “Thanks, Songee, but I’m not all that hungry.”
    “That’s no excuse,” Songee said, then headed for the kitchen. She paused in the doorway then turned around. “Well…you comin’ or not? Mr. Mike won’t be back for a couple of hours. I’ll make sure we leave some for him.”
    Cari sighed. Time had to pass somehow. She might as well pass it with Songee and a piece of pie.
     
    Mike’s morning at the office had been awkward and full of discord. He had wasted half an hour looking for information that Susan would have been able to give him in minutes, which only aggravated his sadness and sense of loss. Finally he’d found what he needed and the conference call had gone as planned. Now he was on his way home, but with an unusual sense of anticipation.
    He even found himself accelerating as he pulled into his driveway. He loved his home. He loved coming home. But this was the first time he’d had someone besides the housekeeper waiting for his arrival. Even though the situation was full of despair, he was becoming more and more intrigued by his unexpected guest.
    He drove around to the back of the property andparked under the shade of a live oak, unloaded two sacks of potting soil and carried them to the shed, then headed for the back door.
    It was the sound of laughter that Mike first heard as he walked up on the porch. In the short time they’d known each other, he’d seen Carolina North run through a gamut of emotions, none of which had been joy. A shiver ran through him as he listened, and he suddenly wished he’d been the one to make her laugh. Choosing not to decipher why he’d thought that, he grabbed the doorknob and entered just as Cari laughed again.
    The door swung shut behind him.
    At the sound, Cari turned, still wearing the smile.
    Breath caught in the back of Mike’s throat. Not once in the seven years he’d known Susan Blackwell had he ever had an urge to take her to bed. He would have felt a little easier if he could say the same about Carolina, but that was no longer the case.
    “Speak of the devil,” Songee said, as she got a dessert plate from the cabinet.
    Mike grinned. “So, Songee, since you were obviously talking about me, I deserve to know what beans you just spilled.”
    His housekeeper smiled. “I was just tellin’ Miss Cari about the night the skunk came into the kitchen through the dog door.”
    Mike chuckled. “You notice I no longer have a dog—or a dog door.”
    Cari shuddered sympathetically. “I can only imagine how long it took for the smell to go away.”
    Mike squinted slightly, then looked at Songee. “I’d guess it was at least a month, right?”
    Songee rolled her eyes. “Seemed longer to me,” she muttered.
    Cari laughed again, and then almost immediately felt guilty. How could she be laughing when everything was so awful? She ducked her head and looked away.
    Mike sighed. How quickly joy could end.
    “I made pie,” Songee said.
    “Could I talk you out of a piece?”
    Songee snorted softly. “You know you got a silver tongue when it comes to gettin’ what you want.”
    Mike winked at Cari, trying to tease her back into the conversation. “Don’t listen to her. She’s totally in charge of this house, and of me, too.”
    “The pie was wonderful,” Cari said.
    Mike pretended indignation. “You mean to tell me you two have already cut it?”
    “Oh, stop your fussin’ and grab a fork.”
    “Yes, ma’am,” Mike said, and slid into a chair on the opposite side of the table from Cari.
    He eyed the shadows in her eyes and wished she would smile again. Just once.
    “I’m really liking that haircut,” he said.
    She tucked a stray lock behind one ear and then ran her fingers through the sides, trying to fill the awkward moment and ignore the glitter in his eyes.
    “Thanks. It’s

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