Found at the Library
for the first few days Ryder was in the facility, but that couldn’t stop Tommy from worrying about him. This treatment had to work. Anything else wasn’t an option.
    After a quick rinse in the shower and a reassuring phone call to the mental health hospital, he heard another noise downstairs. Was Mac back?
    He rushed out of the loft and down the stairs to find a diminutive, gray-haired figure bustling behind the counter. “Mrs. O’Shay?”
    He always remembered her name because her husband had owned a traditional Irish Pub in downtown Denver before he died of a sudden heart attack. Now their three sons ran the bar, and Mrs. O’Shay spent her days reading books. She was a regular customer, but that didn’t explain what she was doing inside his store and behind the counter before he’d opened.
    “Tommy! You’re here.” She came around and wrapped him in a surprisingly huge hug for such a tiny woman.
    He wasn’t sure what to do, so he lightly patted her on the back.
    She drew away from him and tapped his cheek. “You still look tired and need more rest, but since you’re here, I’m guessing things must be better for your brother. I’m so sorry to hear he’s having troubles, but with you in his corner, he’s going to get better soon.”
    How did she know anything about what happened with Ryder? He didn’t understand any of this. He felt like he’d come back to some sort of alternative reality where his life wasn’t his own anymore.
    “Thank you, but Mrs. O’Shay, what are you doing here?”
    She pulled an apron out from below the counter, looped it over her neck, and tied it behind her. Her apron said Typecast , the name of his company. Wait a minute...his employees didn’t wear aprons...mainly because he didn’t have employees. What the fuck?
    “Call me Franny, dear. I work with your young gentlemen fellow, Mac. I run the register while he organizes and schmoozes with the customers. He’s very good at it, you know.”
    “I’m sure he is.” He was coming to believe that Mac could do pretty much anything he put his mind to.
    “So where is he then?” she asked. She’d been busy straightening the counter, but now she stilled as if she realized that all wasn’t quite the way she thought it was when she arrived. She examined him curiously.
    “He won’t be in today. He had other business that needed his attention. It’s a busy time of the year.”
    She tilted her head. “Do you still want me here?”
    Suddenly, it seemed very important to have her here, to have some sort of human interaction. “Yes, please. The last week has been trying, and I’m desperately behind. I could use the help if you don’t mind. I don’t know what Mac agreed to pay you, so let me know, and I’ll pay you at the end of the day.”
    She pursed her lips. “I don’t need your money, sweetheart. I’ve simply enjoyed working, having a purpose. But you and I need to make a deal if I’m to stay.”
    “What’s that?” he asked suddenly suspicious.
    “I’ll handle the register, but you have to take at least a three hour nap this afternoon, and whatever happened between you and Mac...you need to fix it. He’s a good man, and I think he’d be good for you.”
    He grinned at her. He’d always like Mrs. O’Shay, but now he found Franny even more endearing. “You have a deal, Franny, but I have my own request. I think I need one of those aprons. Think you can hook me up?”
    ***
    It wasn’t until almost closing time before Tommy noticed the journal filled with slips of paper and Post-its at the checkout counter. Franny had taken off earlier in the afternoon after he’d taken her required nap. She’d been right. The nap had helped his ability to function. So now he turned the closed sign on the door and locked up. He’d already closed out the register, so he grabbed the journal to take with him upstairs.
    He flipped through it, struggling to read enough of it to know these were Mac’s notes about the store, but the

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