Saving Sophie: Book Seven In The Bodyguards Of L.A. County Series

Saving Sophie: Book Seven In The Bodyguards Of L.A. County Series by Cate Beauman

Book: Saving Sophie: Book Seven In The Bodyguards Of L.A. County Series by Cate Beauman Read Free Book Online
Authors: Cate Beauman
this place clean and we’ll call it even. There’s a bus stop across the street. It’ll take you an hour, maybe more to get downtown. You’ll have to head into work earlier if you plan to get back here every night.”
    “This is nice, but—”
    “Do you have a place to stay or not?”
    She shook her head, not quite able to meet his eyes.
    “This sounds like a pretty good deal to me. If you’re smart you’ll take it.”
    “I have to pay you.”
    She couldn’t be making much. “I don’t want your money.”
    “I need to give it to you.”
    He recognized pride and admired her for it. “Okay. What were you paying at the joint downtown?”
    “Twenty-five a night.”
    “You’ll need more money for bus fare, so we’ll make it fifteen a day. You can use your rent to feed us and keep this place picked up.”
    She nibbled her lip as she looked toward the water. “Okay.”
    His shoulders relaxed when she accepted. He was still trying to figure out why he gave a damn one way or the other. Maybe it was her whole sweet, wounded deal. Damsels in distress weren’t really his thing, but there was a first time for everything. Keeping an eye on her wouldn’t be so bad if she fed him and did his laundry. He held out his hand.
    Her brows furrowed.
    “Do we have a deal or what? Last time I checked, good business ends with a handshake.”
    She took the hand he offered and smiled. “I guess it does.”

    Chapter Six

    Sophie coated the jumbo shrimp, pasta, and tomatoes with the fresh pesto she’d prepared. Humming, she gently tossed the ingredients with a large serving spoon and pulled Cling Wrap from the drawer, securing the plastic in place. She set the container in the fridge and shut the door with a small bump of her hip. With half of the meal ready and an hour until the steaks had to go on the grill, she had plenty of time to get to the pair of earrings she’d been envisioning since she wandered back from the farmer’s market down the road.
    She glanced at the small pile of dishes soaking in the sink, took a step toward them, and turned away, walking to the card table where she and Stone ate and she created her jewelry in between meals. Eric always insisted that dishes be cleaned immediately. Messes of any kind were not permitted, but Stone didn’t care one way or the other. She would get to the dishes after dinner, when she was ready to tidy the kitchen. To most, such a small rebellion was no big deal, but for her it was a huge step in the right direction. No one was in charge of her life anymore except for her. For the last several weeks she’d drilled the idea into her brain. Now she was starting to believe it.
    She glanced toward the living room as Stone turned the buffing machine back on, listening to the quiet hum that had filled the house for much of the afternoon while he worked on the floor. Today was the second full day they’d had off together during the week and a half she’d been staying with him. It was nice having him here, watching him make progress on his home. He was definitely a busy man.
    Living with Stone was far less complicated than she’d feared it might be. For the first couple of days she’d kept to her room or the kitchen, careful to stay out of his way, fearful she might upset him and be told to leave. But then he’d asked her what her problem was and that had been the end of that. Hiding and tiptoeing around the house wasn’t something a young, confident woman in charge of her life would do. She so desperately wanted to be confident and in charge.
    Baby steps, she reminded herself as she slid the pale blue Swarovski crystal on the headpin. Eventually she would feel like the Sophie she’d been before Mom got sick and she met Eric. She was making jewelry again, wasn’t she? And she was following a routine that allowed her to be creative and productive without anyone else’s directives.
    Now she just needed to keep making her pieces and put her money away. She definitely couldn’t

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