The Broken Road

The Broken Road by Anna Lee

Book: The Broken Road by Anna Lee Read Free Book Online
Authors: Anna Lee
Tags: Erotic Romance Fiction
gotten it out of the stuff I salvaged.”
    “Ooh.” Leaf whistled and threw Donovan a grimace of sympathy. “Tough break.”
    “Yeah, well…” Donovan shrugged uncomfortably. “I lived. Can’t ask for much more than that, can I?”
    “I don’t know. I think you could ask for a hell of a lot more. Like your house not burning down in the first place, for one.” Leaf waved backward at the taxi’s three rows of utilitarian plastic bucket seats. “Sit anywhere you like. It’s not as if I’m full up. Or you could stand right where you are—I promise I won’t let you tip overboard—and pass the time of day.”
    Wait. What? “Are you flirting with me?” Donovan asked, taken wrong-footed. “Me?”
    Leaf’s white smile widened further still, which Donovan would previously have thought an impossibility. It should have looked odd, or a bit like a lean timber wolf who’d just spotted a particularly tasty morsel wandering by, but it didn’t. “Why not you? You seem like an interesting sort. I can always spot the ones with good stories to tell. I’ve got an eye for it. Also, sorry if you think it was, but the way you’re looking at me isn’t exactly subtle.”
    Oh hell. Yes, he’d been looking, but not looking . Absolutely not looking . On purpose. Much.
    See, here was the thing—while thirty years old might be a bit early for a mid-life crisis and a profound need to reassess his priorities, from where Donovan stood—over the ashes of his former home—it might be none too early to take a step back and try to wrestle out a measure of control over his life.
    To be master of my destiny and captain of my fate. Or is it the other way around?
    Whichever. The quote didn’t matter. Intent, on the other hand, did, despite the loud wail from a small and unhappy piece of Donovan’s lizard brain. He would almost certainly hate himself for this later, but… “Are you going to drop-kick me off the boat if I say I’d better not? It’s just that it’s a bad time right now, and—”
    Leaf laughed, a bright and happy sound, stopping Donovan in his verbal tracks. In his experience, that wasn’t at all the usual sort of response to rejection. “Calm down. If you’re not interested, you’re not interested. Though now I really am curious about your story. I’ll probably get it out of you if you stick around for a while. Are you?”
    Donovan had the oddest feeling that he’d missed something there. He cleared his throat. “I’m staying on my friend Eve’s boat until the claims agents get through with their business.”
    “So, a few years?”
    “If they have their way? Yes.”
    “Tsk. Damn the establishment, anyway.” Leaf finished motoring the putt-putting water taxi into place at the end of the marina’s dock. He tied it off with good strong ropes, then hopped out quick as a wink to offer Donovan a hand up. “When you want to head back, just give me a shout. If I’m not here, I’ll come when I’m called.”
    Weird guy , Donovan thought. Weird, weird guy.
    Cute, though.
    Eve waited for Donovan near the far end of the long floating dock. She waved cheerfully to him, beckoning him on with one hand while she jiggled a lump of sleeping baby strapped to her chest with the other. Donovan waved back to indicate that he’d be there as soon as possible. Which, on a dock like this, wasn’t very soon at all. While logic told him the dock had to be as sturdy and secure as an armored car, his legs refused to believe the information coming from his brain.
    Again, Donovan hadn’t known what to expect—he hadn’t been able to make it to the housewarming party Eve and her then fiancé Tanner had thrown when they’d bought their live-aboard boat—but reality did not match his imaginings. Sturdiness aside, the dock was plenty wide, with room enough for at least two or three people to walk abreast, but surprisingly cluttered on either side with neat coils of line, potted plants, folded deckchairs, and the occasional

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