Welcome to the beach Connor. Have a seat under my umbrella. Can I offer you a cold drink?
A glass of sweet tea would be great. Thanks for inviting me. *Tips his cowboy hat lower to shadow his face. Pulls his long braid out of the way and lowers his tall frame into a lounge chair.*
I was just opening your story, COMMON ENEMY. You’re quite an unusual character.
Yeah, I guess most people would think so. I travel around doing handyman work from my van. I live sparsely and I’m not good to look at. I had some trouble a while back and that’s how I got these scars. *Points to his cheek where deep knife wounds run all the way under his collar.*
Don’t think a thing about it. I have a feeling there’s one woman who doesn’t mind at all.
You must be talking about my boss, Jordan Holbrook. She is something special, but don’t tell her I said so. She’s way out of my league. *Shy smile.* And, I guess you could also count her daughter, Lizzy, in on that. She’s a little firecracker at five years old. We became fast friends right from the beginning.
Jordan and Lizzy are lucky to have a man like you around. I hear they have a lot of trouble coming their way.
That’s true. Jordan’s ex-husband, Bobby Ray Butler, is getting out of prison much earlier than I believe he should. Jordan thinks she’s well hidden, but I have a feeling she’s underestimating how cunning and evil Butler can be. I’ll do anything it takes to protect those two beautiful redheads. *A somber scowl darkens his eyes.* Even if it means returning to a life I thought was behind me.
It seems you feel Jordan and Lizzy are worth any sacrifice.
They are. Let me tell you how we met…
“If you’re checking for a low-jack, I have to warn you…that car is not worth the trouble of stealing.” Sarcasm was her first shield of defense.
He looked over his shoulder with a smile that revealed even white teeth and light blue eyes in contrast to his darkly tanned skin. “I was trying to see what’s leaking under there. I think you may have a problem.”
“Oh great!” Jordan stomped down the steps. “That’s just what I need right now!” She stopped beside him and contemplated the puddle under the front half of her car.
“Well, don’t worry.” He kept his head down and his hat low. “I do cars as well as houses and lawn work. Looks like you could use all my services. This place is a mess.”
“You must be the man that Mr. Coleman told me about. If you’re trying to charm me into hiring you, you’ve gotten off to a damn good start.”
“Sorry, but I call ’em as I see ’em. I heard that the place had been empty for a few years and it shows.”
“I didn’t expect you so early. We haven’t even had breakfast yet.”
“Hey, mister, you want some tea?” Lizzy bounded down the steps in her nightgown. She lost her footing on the bottom step and pitched forward onto the dirt path. The man’s reflexes were faster than Jordan’s. As he picked Lizzy up his hat fell behind him. He stood her in front of him to dust away the dirt and inspect the scrape on her knee.
“How’d you get that big scar on your face?” Lizzy blurted.
“I got cut with a knife, but it wasn’t nearly as bad as falling from the porch steps. You must be a very brave girl.”
“I am. How did you get cut with a knife? Mom doesn’t let me touch knives.”
“Lizzy, don’t be so nosy.” By this time Jordan had recovered from the shock of seeing the deep scar. It ran down the man’s left cheek, into his short beard, and under the collar of his shirt.
“It’s okay. Kids are always curious. It’s best to let them ask.” He picked up his hat and hit it against his leg to knock off the dirt before he put it back on. He turned back to her daughter. “You know Lizzy, it doesn’t really matter how it happened. It just shows you how dangerous knives can be. I guess it’ll be a good idea to listen to your mom about that kind of stuff.”
“I do,” Lizzy replied. “What’s your name?”
“I’m Connor McCrae. I came by to talk to your mom. But first she needs to make you some breakfast while I look at her car.”
“Okay!” Lizzy ran back up the steps.
“Hey! Slow down before you scuff your other knee.” He watched her with a smile. To Jordan he said, “That little girl must be a handful.”
“I’m Jordan Holbrook.” As she shook his hand she sized him up and figured him to be about six-feet-five. Up close he didn’t look too much older than her. “Thanks for being so nice to Lizzy. She can be a bit forward sometimes. I hope she didn’t say anything to embarrass you.”
“Of course not. She’s a great kid.” He held his hand out. “Give me your keys and I’ll look at the car while you eat. I should have an idea about the rest of the work to be done around here soon, too.”
It does seem like you and Lizzy hit it off right away. Was it love at first sight for you and Jordan?
Now that’s a little tougher. We both have good reason to be cautious and plenty of obstacles to overcome. If our visitors would like to find out what happens, they can find COMMON ENEMY at:
Thanks for hanging out today, Connor. It’s a pleasure to have you at my beach.
No problem. *sexy wink* I’d be glad to answer questions or reply to comments while I’m here.
That’s great, and if any visitors would like a guest spot on my blog they can visit the ‘Be My Guest’ page in the tabs above.