It reminded him of himself and Katie. Even when he went home and they ate dinner at the table, Katie would talk but he’d only half listen. Seeing what he was doing in plain sight, he knew he had to make a change.
This was the change he made.
He still ran his company but he’d employed a manager to do the main running of the place, while he oversaw everything else, from his computer at home.
It was taking some adjustment, but he was determined to make it work.
“Then it’s a date,” Ann said.
He watched and listened as Ann made arrangements with Katie. They were really getting along. After their meal, Katie ran into the living room, curling up on the sofa while Ann did the dishes.
“You don’t have to do that,” she said as he started to dry.
“You cooked. You should put your feet up, and relax. Dinner was lovely.”
“Thank you.” She washed a couple more plates. “I want to apologize. I don’t mean to overstep any kind of boundary. I’m sure your wife—”
“I’m not married.”
“Oh, well, Katie’s mother—”
“Is dead. We never married. In truth, we couldn’t stand each other. It was a one-night stand out of anger that turned into a pregnancy. Katie’s mother died in childbirth.”
“I’m so sorry.”
Katie’s mother wasn’t a nice woman. They often ended up fucking after a long, drawn-out battle, and he’d hated himself afterward.
He’d never wanted her to die, but she asked for him to take care of their little girl, no matter what. She even got a contract for him to sign, not that he needed any kind of legal requirement to take care of his flesh and blood.
“Ann, I’m not a man who will be forced to do things he doesn’t want to do. You hanging out with my daughter is fine, but heed this warning, when you move on, there will be no chance of you coming back. My daughter is my first, only, and main priority, and that is how it will stay.”
Ann hated her job and as she collapsed onto her sofa at nine o’clock on a Friday night, all she wanted to do was curl up, cry, and go to sleep. She’d taken a couple of classes in law during her time in college. She didn’t want to be a lawyer or even an accountant. Her real passion was in writing, as it should be.
Only, writing didn’t pay the bills. Nor did her love of dogs either. Her two biggest passions were not money-making in any way.
Only amazing, stunning authors paid their bills. So rather than study literature and art, she took accounting, business, and law.
Now, she worked for a bunch of lawyers she couldn’t stand, and worse, they treated her like a tea lady and slave.
Kicking off her heels, she rubbed her feet.
It was too late for Katie to come around and visit. It had been a week now of her getting used to kindergarten. The first day had been stressful. She’d watched the clock the entire time, leaving her job at five and starting muffins. Katie arrived within minutes of her pre-heating the oven. Her first day had been amazing, which was really something. She was so happy for her.
The second day even more so.
She wondered how Katie got on today but it was way too late.
Her stomach grumbled and she got to her feet, heading to the fridge to make herself something to eat, only to find some moldy cheese waiting for her. Closing the door, she pouted. She had to go shopping.
Dragging her feet to the front door, she slid into some pumps, not caring how she wasn’t wearing socks. She’d have to walk as her car was on fumes. She needed gas, and well, that was for emergencies. She really needed her paycheck right now.
Opening the door, she came to a stop as Eli was about to knock.
“Hi,” she said, shocked to see him at her door.
He held a brown paper bag. “So, I know my daughter. She eats a lot and well, I’ve been meaning to pick you up some groceries, and I figure I’d bring them around.”
“You bought me groceries?” she asked.
“My kid is probably eating you out of house and home, why not?”
She was close to tears. “I was just about to go grocery shopping. How is Katie? Where is Katie?”
“She’s at her grandmother’s for the weekend. After the long week at school, my parents decided they wanted to hear all about it and give me the weekend to prepare for the next.”
“Come in. Come in.”
“You’re back late.”
“Rough day at the office.” Her body wasn’t going to betray her with how much she liked that this guy was in her home. Not going to happen. She would have some restraint. They were alone for the first time since they’d moved in.