I’m usually a go with the flow type of girl. I don’t get in anyone’s way. I consider myself a considerate and kind person. But there is something about this man that ruffles my feathers. Maybe it’s the smug look on his face or his lack of respect for my personal space. I’m not putting up with anyone pushing me around anymore. New life, new me.
“Hey!” I try to snatch my phone back. “Don’t you have to have a warrant or something?” My attempts to get the phone back are pointless. The man is more than a foot taller than me. If he weren’t wearing a police uniform I might be scared. He towers over me. It’s not only his height. He’s big all over. What do they eat around here? Not that I am a tiny thing myself, except my height. But where I’m soft he’s solid.
“No” is all he says before he starts fiddling with my phone.
“What are you doing?” I hold my hand out in a silent demand for him to give it back. He continues doing whatever it is that he’s doing before he finally hands it back to me.
“I’m going to have to ask you to leave. Plea—“ I cut myself off. “I mean leave now. No please. You don’t get one.” His lips twitch before he actually turns to leave. I’m shocked. I might be weirdly disappointed too, but I ignore that. He stops at the front door, bending down to pick up my purse. He reaches inside, pulling my wallet out and flipping it over. “Hey.” I run over to snatch it from his hand. He lets me.
“Khloe Martins.” He emphasizes my last name. “Funeral was three months ago.”
I fight back the wave of sadness I feel for a great aunt I never knew. She is a key into a family I wish I knew more about.
I never knew my father. He died when I was still too young to even have any memory of him. I’m not sure if that’s for the better or not. It was only my mom and me after that. I didn’t get anything from her as far as information. She never talked kindly about any of Dad’s family. Not that she talks very kindly about anyone.
“Now that you know I belong”—I walk over toward the front door, opening it—“I’d like you to leave.” I don’t have to explain to him why I hadn’t been at the funeral. Nor did I need him trying to throw it in my face. I had no clue that I even had a great aunt until a few days ago. I should probably try to be nicer to him since I’m new in town. He is a cop here in the small town that I am looking to make my home. One that looks like everyone knows everyone.
“Where is your car?”
“In the garage where people put their cars believe it or not.” I guess I am going with the not being nicer route.
“Do you have more stuff to bring in?”
“I can handle it.” He nods before stepping outside where I see a black SUV with lights on the top parked out on the street. He doesn’t head toward his car. He walks down the sidewalk, distracting me momentarily as I watch his every move. Until I notice him turning toward the garage.
“Hey!” I chase after him. He opens the box on the side, entering in the code, and the garage opens. He obviously knew my aunt a whole lot more than me. “I already brought everything in.” I finally give because he doesn’t look as though he’s going to let this go.
“See?” He turns around to look at me. “Was that so hard?”
“Not as hard as your head,” I mumble under my breath. Or the rest of him for that matter.
“Dane, is that you?” I turn to see a tall blond woman coming our way with a smile on her face. “Someone bought Mae’s place? I didn’t know it was on the market yet.” She flips her gaze towards me. “Anyway, who is this?”
“I’m Khloe.” I give a small wave, wanting to make a good impression on my neighbor.
“Connie. I own the bakery.” She points toward it. I’d eyed it when I rolled into town. The most wonderful smells have been coming from it all day.
“It’s nice to meet you.” She looks back to Dane. “Told you I seen something.” She winks at him. “Come over for some pie.” She walks over to him, wrapping her hand around his forearm. I fight the weird feeling in my stomach because this is my chance to escape and I should be taking advantage of it.
“Since you know how to open it, I’m guessing you know how to close it.” I take a step back. “Nice to meet you, Connie.” I give her a smile before darting back toward my front door. I hear Dane shout my name, but I keep on moving until I’m inside. This time I remember to lock the door.