Loving Colt(5)

By: C.A. Harms


“It’s actually pretty sweet. I didn’t have anyone to fuss over me when I was pregnant with Maddison. I think it would have been nice to feel that.” I shrugged my shoulders and looked over to find my little girl asleep. She was hunched over in the cart at an awkward angle, and it broke my heart. What was I doing dragging her around?

“Hey, you okay?” she asked.

I nodded my head. “I’m okay. Thanks for the help.”

“Not a problem.” Her smile was genuine. It was almost as if I was a longtime friend, someone she had known for years. It was comforting, and for the first time in a long time, I felt safe and welcomed. In the whole realm of things, it was odd that a complete stranger had given me that sense of peace.



***



At the rumble of an engine, I watched a big black Ford truck pull into the space next to my car. I did everything I could not to drool at the sight of the man who climbed out of the cab. His leering smile was distracting, not to mention he filled out those jeans of his quite nicely.

The girl who had earlier introduced herself as Maria lit up like a Christmas tree. This was definitely her husband, and I found myself feeling just a little jealous.

He stepped up to her and pulled her close. Kissing her softly, he whispered something that only they could share before smiling lovingly at her. It almost felt as if I was intruding. The two of them were adorable together, and the love they shared was obvious. He adored her.

A young boy bounced up next to them and wrapped his arms around her waist in a hug.

A few seconds passed as they shared a moment, before the man turned to face me. He held his hand out in a kind introduction. “Hello ma’am. I’m Gavin.” He smiled and god damn it if his eyes weren’t that crazy alluring shade of blue. What was it with men and those bedroom blues?

“Nice to meet you. My name’s Alexis, and this is my daughter, Maddison.” His gaze wandered to Maddi hunched over in the cart. Her head was resting upon her rolled up blanket, and he smiled gently.

“Let’s take a look at what you got here,” he said as he knelt down next to my tire.

I watched as he walked over to his truck and grabbed a jack and crowbar from the back.

After he got my car jacked up into the air, he began working the tire free. The look on his face only made me feel nauseous. I knew it was going to take money that I didn’t have to spare.

It looked like my plans to leave were being placed on hold for a day or two.

When Gavin said he would take my tire to a friend in an attempt to plug it, I was grateful, hoping it would fix the problem and I could be on my way.

I lifted Maddi from the cart and laid her in the backseat of my car, allowing her to stretch out. Camping out in the local market wasn’t my plan for the day, but it looked like I would be forced to do it.

“Hey, where you staying?” Maria asked, causing me to spin around and face her.

“Oh, I uh…” I nervously popped my knuckles. Yeah, a nasty habit I know, but one I found myself doing more often than not lately. “I was staying at the motel, but I checked out today. I was planning on heading out this afternoon.” I paused for a second. “Looks like I’ll be checking back in.”

“Oh, that’s crazy. My momma has a room at her place. She lives alone and would love the company.” She lifted the small bag I had in the cart, with cookies and juice, and turned back to face me with that welcoming smile of hers. “Come on, I’ll take ya.”

“Oh no, I couldn’t, really. I appreciate it greatly, but the motel’s fine.” This small town was so different, compared to the big city. Everyone was so polite and helpful.

“Honestly, hon, you would be doing me a favor. She calls me constantly. I thought about getting her a dog or something to occupy her time. Just last night she called me to talk about her couch pillows.” Maria rolled her eyes. “She can’t decide if she should recover them with a new material or just buy new ones.” She laughed and hung her head. “It took me almost forty-five minutes to convince her that getting new ones would be cheaper.”

I couldn’t help but laugh as I envisioned that conversation in my mind. “My mom has a full house, so she has little time to hassle me about those kinds of things.”

“Honestly, my momma would love to have you and Maddi, even if it’s just for tonight.” There was something about her that made me feel so safe. I couldn’t explain it. I had no idea who she was until about an hour ago, yet I felt like I had known her for a lifetime.

Over the last six months, I had managed to slowly lose the friends I did have. I know now that it was Seth who ran them off, but then again they didn’t put up much of a fight. It was nice to feel like I had a friend, one who appeared to care more about me than those I had known for years.

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