* * *
HOW DID THE man have any hearing left? Tara wondered as she approached the truck. The metal frame vibrated with the pulsing beat. Three customers had commented on the volume of the music and she’d told them she’d have a chat with him. If she knocked, he wasn’t even going to hear her. But she wasn’t standing out here waiting for him to notice.
He’d said later. Did that mean he’d come to the diner for dinner? Her place? What? It had driven her so crazy, she’d messed up two orders already. Robbie had banned her from the kitchen.
So she was out here cleaning up after that stupid raccoon again. The new Dumpsters helped, if she could get her staff to put everything in them.
Before she could change her mind, she put her foot on the running board and reached for the door handle. The door easily swung open. Letting out a blast of sound.
Tara had never really been inside one of these big semitrucks before. Climbing into the passenger seat in the dark the other night barely counted. She’d driven a delivery truck a couple times for the restaurant supply she’d worked for in Dallas during college. Yeah. It didn’t compare.
She’d expected the extended cab to look like the back seat of something. She hadn’t expected a miniature RV. She could only stare. Granted, the small space was dominated by a bed—she swallowed—but there was so much more.
A mini-fridge nestled behind the back of the driver’s seat. Up on the wall, above the small window in one side of the cab, was a TV screen. A large TV screen.
Glancing at the wide mattress again, she pictured him there, remote in one hand, staring up at the screen, stretching out…
She tore her mind off her overly active imagination’s wayward path. She swallowed and took a step between the two large seats. “Morgan?” There wasn’t anyplace for him to be hidden. Where was he?
Cupboards lined the wall over her head, and she wished she had the nerve to open them. Curiosity teased her to look inside and learn more about the man.
A bright green, plastic folder on a small drop table over the bunk’s edge caught her eye. Bold lettering on the tab of the folder said Sylvie Thane. Staring at the proof that Sylvie really was his wife twisted something—her heart?—in her chest. She shouldn’t be here. Tara turned to leave, or at least that’s what her brain thought she was doing. Her body didn’t budge.
The corner of a thin booklet stuck out of the file’s edge. Curious, she peered at it, only able to see it was some sort of government publication.
Divorce rules for Texas. Divorce papers. She leaned closer. Dated nearly six months ago. Why were they here? She nudged the pamphlet out, reading that in the state of Texas, a divorce could be handled in sixty days. So why had he told her he was still married?
The pamphlet fell open to a well-worn page. Notification. The word and its explanation was highlighted in bright yellow. As she read, it all came clear. For the divorce to proceed, Sylvie had to be notified. And Morgan had to prove it. Either by her answering the documents that were still here in the folder or by written proof she’d been served.
Otherwise, no finalization.
The driver’s door swung open, cool damp air washing in. Morgan climbed up, frowning at her. “Making yourself comfortable?” he yelled over the music. The sound of his voice made her jump. She nearly stumbled, grabbing the edge of the small fridge to catch herself.
She dropped the folder, and the form and pamphlet scattered across the bed. In the normal world, it would have hit the floor, but these close quarters didn’t allow for much floor space.
He stepped closer and she shrank back. There was not enough room in this vehicle for the two of them. No way. But she was held captive between the fridge and the wide expanse of the bed.
He reached past her and flipped a switch, muting the stereo.
“Yeah.” She swallowed the sudden dryness in her mouth. “I, uh, need to get back to work.”
“You just got here.”
“Yeah. Well.” Dear heaven, she nearly swung her arms like a little kid trying to distract a teacher from catching her in a lie, but feared if she moved that she’d bump into him…touch him. Touching him… Gulp.
That would be such a mistake.