“I’m so glad you approve.” She doesn’t sound happy at all. “You broke my microphone.”
I cock my head in question. I don’t remember breaking anything of hers.
“You made me drop a box and it had my microphone in it. I use that for work and now I’m going to have to replace it.
“Okay? That’s all you have to say?”
“Pretty much.” I give the rooms one last peek before descending the stairs. Khloe is hot on my heels. At the bottom of the stairs, I tell her, “If you plan to open up a shop here, you’ll need to close by five.”
“Why? Is that some kind of town rule?”
“No. It just applies to you.” I tilt my head toward the handle. “Don’t forget to lock up once I go and don’t let anyone in.”
“What do you mean, it just applies to me?”
“Khloe, honey, you can’t have men in here after the sun goes down.”
“What?” she shrieks.
I tip my hat. “You heard me. Now lock up.” And I shut the door behind me.
I sit in the kitchen happy with the progress I’ve made with unpacking and cleaning this place up. It helped that I couldn’t sleep. My mind kept wandering back to the bossy sheriff. What makes him think that he can tell me who I can or can’t have come over? Why would he even say that? It doesn’t make any sense at all. It doesn’t help one bit that he is crazy hot.
A knock sounds at my door. I glance at the clock on the wall to see it’s only a little after ten. Who would be here? I jump up, thinking it might be Dane. I don’t know why I’m excited. He’s probably only here to try to lay down some more ridiculous rules. Ones that I already know I’ll be breaking. I do have to admit it was fun sparring with him. It felt good to stand my ground for once. I’m the type that usually bends over to make others happy even if it’s not the best for me.
I open the front door to see Connie standing there. “Hi, neighbor.” She steps into my house without being invited. “I brought pie.” What is it with everyone around here inviting themselves in?
“Thanks.” She heads off to the kitchen, clearly knowing where it is.
“How come we never saw you before? Mae had been alone for years.” Well, I guess she doesn’t believe in beating around the bush. It seems to be a common theme with the people in this town.
“I didn’t know her, to be honest. She was on my dad’s side and he was never around. Then he passed.” I shrug, feeling guilty that Aunt Mae had been alone. I could have been here. My mom was the one that kept me away. She didn’t want me to have anything to do with my dad’s side of the family.
“And she left you her house?” Connie scrunches her nose, setting the pie down on the table.
“I was just as surprised. I wish I could have gotten to know her,” I admit.
“You have her nose and eyes.” That makes me smile.
“Did you know her well?”
“Of course. It’s a small town. Everyone knows everyone. It’s why I’m here.” She smiles at me.
“To get to know me?”
“That and to tell you I’m dating Dane.” A surge of jealousy and confusion hit me. I thought he was lightly hitting on me. Maybe I misread it. He might be protective over the whole town. But then again, why would he tell me I can’t have men over after five? He might have been close to my aunt I guess, and he’s trying to keep an eye on me for her. That’s the only thing I can think of.
“Okay,” I respond, not sure what else I can say to that.
“I’m not trying to be rude, it’s just that we’ve never gotten the chance to date and now we have it, so please don’t mess this up for me.”
“How can I mess it up?” I ask, confused.
“I saw the way you were looking at him.”
“I was pissed at him.” I laugh. I might think he’s hot, but all I tossed his way was anger. I am still a little shocked he said he’d replace my microphone.
“Great.” She gives me a bright smile. “I think we’ll be great neighbors then.”
I hate that my insides are all twisted up over this. Why do I care if Dane is dating someone? It’s none of my business. My cell phone starts to ring.
“I’ll let you get that. Enjoy your pie.” She gives me a wave, showing herself out. I still don’t know what to think of all of this. If I was dating someone and thought I could so easily lose them, I would let them go. I wouldn’t go asking another woman to keep away. I don’t know Dane well, but I don’t take him for a man that would step out anyway. I guess I could be wrong. That isn’t shocking with my dating history.