by Judi Lynn
GENRE: Contemporary Romance
Karli Redding is a traveling nurse. She has a month off between jobs, so when Mill Pond's mailman, Keagan Monroe, calls to say that her grandfather can't care for himself anymore, Karli volunteers to go to Mill Pond and help set up suitable health care for him. Axel's always been a pain in the rear, and age hasn't improved him. The two bump heads, and Karli ends up cooking and cleaning for the old man while she tries to decide what to do with him. She also finds herself getting more and more attracted to Mill Pond's mailman. But Keagan's been through one bad romance and he wants something permanent this time, nothing temporary. Can Karli give up her footloose lifestyle? Can she find happiness in a small town?
Keagan had started for the door when Axel yelled for him.
“Hey, boy, I need you. I could use a favor.”
Keagan frowned. Did he still expect applesauce and cottage cheese when Karli was cooking for him?
“A favor?” Karli shook her head. “He never words anything like that for me.”
“You’re a blood relative. It’s different.” Keagan stalked toward the back room. “I’m only a neighbor. I can ignore him.”
“So can I when he gets too feisty.”
Keagan went to see what Axel needed. He did a double take when he saw the old man. He’d actually tried to comb his hair. Not that it helped. It was too dirty with too many knots, but at least, he’d made an effort. “How can I help you?” he asked.
“I’m getting a little ripe. I could use a shower.”
Keagan expected the floor to open up and swallow him. He usually had to bully his neighbor into washing up. “When?”
“Tonight, if you have time.”
Keagan narrowed his eyes, suspicious. “Is a social worker coming to the house and you want to trick her, pretend you keep clean and tidy?”
Axel’s expression went sour. “Will you wash me or not?”
“I’ll be here.” If the old man would soap himself up, Keagan would get him under some hot water. “What if I come by when I get off work?”
“Fine.” Axel flicked at his beard. “Why don’t you find some scissors and trim this up, too?”
“Do you have a hot date? Is something going on that I don’t know about?”
Axel sniffed. “Don’t get too full of yourself, boy. I just need a little clean-up.”
“No, you need a do-over, but I’ll be here. I washed all of your sweat pants and T-shirts two weekends ago. We’ll get you in some clean clothes, too.”
“If you say so.”
Keagan cocked an eyebrow. “You’re feeling all right, aren’t you?”
“Don’t push it.” Axel turned back to his TV show, and Keagan started for the front door.
Karli called, “Since you’re coming, why don’t you stay for supper? I’m making vegetable soup.”
“I’m putting it in the pressure cooker now.”
That’s what his mom did, too, to get it tender. “What if I buy a loaf of bread at Maxwell’s? And I’ll bring wine.”
“Perfect.” She looked smug, but immediately turned to grab onions, potatoes, and carrots out of the refrigerator drawer.
Once back in his truck, Keagan thought about the look she’d given him. He must have been mistaken. Why would she look smug? Maybe because he was going to scrub Axel, and she wouldn’t have to smell him anymore. A bowl of soup would be worth that.
AUTHOR Bio and Links:
I taught elementary education for six years before I had my two daughters. I have a fondness for kids, so lots of them have been in and out of our house. I have a fondness for cooking, too, which means I fed a lot of them. As much as I love hamburgers and hot dogs, the kids had eclectic tastes, so I collected more and more recipes and cookbooks. Today, food sneaks into my stories, and if I'm lucky, so do children...and strays. I invite most of them in and now have a stray cat who walked through our doors to rule our house, a stray chihuahua who barks at everything, and an adopted parakeet and rat terrier. I also have a very patient husband, or he'd have probably left before now.
My blog: https://writingmusings.com/
My webpage: http://www.judithpostswritingmusings.com/
My author Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/JudiLynnwrites/
On twitter: @judypost
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