Mission: Cavanaugh Baby

Free Mission: Cavanaugh Baby by Marie Ferrarella

Book: Mission: Cavanaugh Baby by Marie Ferrarella Read Free Book Online
Authors: Marie Ferrarella
or getting any answers. Why?
    “I was being serious,” he told her.
    “So was I,” she told him glibly.
    Rising, Ashley crossed over to where Destiny was presently running a comb through the animal’s fur. “Are you almost finished?” she asked.
    Destiny smiled placidly. “Almost.” Glancing in her direction, Destiny’s smile widened just a tad. “You’re even more impatient than your furry friend here,” she observed. “It’ll take me another twenty minutes or so. Trust me,” Destiny told her. “In the meantime, there’s a pot of fresh coffee in the break room. I just made it,” she added, then asked, “Why don’t you help yourself to some?”
    Ashley shook her head. “Thanks for the offer, but I don’t drink coffee.”
    “‘Don’t drink coffee’?” Shane echoed. She turned to see that rather than remain seated, the detective had come up behind her.
    Was this man going to shadow her every move all day long?
    “That’s almost un-American,” he told her.
    Since when was ingesting caffeine strictly the purview of the Americans?
    “Be that as it may,” she said, dismissing the detective’s flippant observation. “I was forced to drink black coffee when I was a kid, and I developed a real distaste for it, so now that I don’t have to drink coffee, I don’t.”
    “‘Forced’?” he repeated. “Who forced you to drink coffee?” He couldn’t begin to imagine what sort of a parent would make their child drink something as strong as black coffee. What was wrong with them? Or did she have older siblings who’d thought it was fun to bully her any way they could find?
    That was a poor choice of words on her part. She’d let it slip.
    “That’s not the point. The point is that I don’t have to drink coffee, so I don’t. But thank you for the thought,” she said, addressing the lab technician.
    Destiny nodded. “Almost done,” she promised.
    Shane said nothing as he studied the woman he’d thought of until just now as a glorified dog catcher. He’d promised himself that all he was going to do for the next year or so was just coast, enjoy himself and not take any of the fair sex seriously—no matter how attractive they turned out to be.
    But despite his self-made promise, this woman he found himself temporarily allied with raised questions in his mind, questions that managed to intrigue him and draw him in at the same time.
    She obviously didn’t seem to want to volunteer anything personal about herself, at least not knowingly, but that only served to make him more curious and determined to find the answers.
    Maybe what she needed was a more congenial atmosphere that was more conducive to sharing things.
    “How about a drink?” he suggested.
    Her eyes remained on the dog, as if she had a way of knowing the animal would sense if she was either preoccupied with something other than his well-being, or not here altogether.
    “Excuse me?”
    “Do you also not drink?” he asked. “I’m talking about stopping by Malone’s after work and taking a social drink or two. Is that something you don’t do, either?”
    “Why, are you asking me out after work?” she asked.
    Not in the sense that she meant—or at least, he didn’t think he was—but who knew? Out loud he said, “Nothing wrong with grabbing a beer or something else if beer doesn’t appeal to you.”
    “No,” she agreed. “There’s nothing wrong with it.”
    But she wasn’t all that keen on it, either. She was waltzing around the elephant in the room, he thought. “So will you?”
    She looked at him, leery. “With you?”
    “And a room full of fellow officers,” he added, in case she didn’t trust him enough to be close to him without certain precautions. A crowd scene could afford her that kind of emotional protection.
    “When was I promoted?” she asked him.
    He didn’t understand what she was getting at. “What?”
    “Well, just a few minutes ago, I was a ‘glorified dog catcher,’” she reminded him.

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