Where We Meet Again (Arrow Creek 1)

Page 18

Law still holds one of my wrists, and he tugs it, forcing my hand back beneath the lukewarm water. Our eyes lock as he jostles me, and I can’t look away. Apparently, he can’t either.
I don’t know if he was smiling before, but he sure isn’t now. His eyes narrow and he drops them to my lips. “Keep it here. Ten minutes.”
His voice is too warm. Too close. It sends a quiver through me.
“I know that. Let go.”
His eyes drift back to mine. If I’m not mistaken, I swear heat resides in his gaze.
“Fine.” He bites out in a flip of emotion.
Kiersten rushes forward with a towel for him to dry off on. He thanks her, but returns his attention to me.
“I didn’t find a mouse. Not a sign of one, either. No bedding, food crumbs, or scat. Still put up a couple traps. One in your girl’s room behind her desk, two in the basement, and was going to drop one in here. Checked outside before I came in, and your house looks tight. I’ll come by in a day or two to check the traps.”
I suck a deep breath through my nose. “Thank you. How much do I owe you?” I turn in search of my purse, but
only make it as far as the kitchen entrance before his voice stops me.
It’s not so much what he says as the tone. The deep baritone gentles and softens, almost as if he’s crooning a lullaby. I glance over my shoulder and my jaw slackens.
He speaks to my Evelyn. The warm gaze, the way he bends toward her to speak to her and not at her, it all warms my heart, and sends it into a frenzy.
“Can you find your mom’s purse so she can keep her hand under that water?” That’s all he says, but it melts me all the same.
Evelyn scampers off, prompting Law to cut a glance at me and jerk his head toward the still running faucet.
I listen. Not because he told me too, but because my hand still hurts like crazy and I know he was right. I need to draw out the burn.
While he busies himself setting another trap in the pantry, Kiersten removes dinner from the oven. I, however, stare out the window and pretend they don’t exist. Evelyn returns and drops my purse on the counter next to the sink.
“Can I go back to my room now?”
I give her a smile with a turn of my head. “Go ahead, but dinner is in a few minutes.”
“Thanks, mom.”
She reaches up on her toes and kisses me on the cheek. Only a few inches separate our heights now. Sooner than later she’ll catch up, and most likely pass me.
Law approaches me then and turns off the faucet. I try to pull my hand away, but he won’t let it go. He tugs it closer and lowers his face to inspect the freshly burned skin.
Blisters form on the entire underside of my thumb and the side of my index finger. It hurts—bad. Not going to lie. Though, it hurt less while under Law’s scrutinizing gaze.
What am I saying? I need to get a grip. “What are you doing?”
He pulls out a kit from the bag he carried in and tapes a fresh piece of gauze over my injury.
“Keep this on. Change it if it gets wet or soiled. Don’t put any cream on it until at least Monday.”
I didn’t bother telling him I’m a paramedic and know how to care for a simple burn. His attention to taking care of me is unsettling. I don’t like it. It resurfaces up old memories of scrapes and skinned knees. Too many memories. “Okay. How much do I owe you?”
One side of his mouth tips up. I can’t quite call it a smile, but it’s one step up from the perpetual scowl. “For the doctor services? I give those out for free. Hundred bucks for the mouse problem.”
Ouch. For both his teasing and that cost.
I nod and dug out my wallet one-handed. “Okay. Thank you.” I tuck a hundred-dollar bill into his hand, trying not to touch his skin.
A muscle jumps in his jaw. “Be back in a couple days for those traps. Have a good evening, ladies.”