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.You took off with Quinn that first night, went with her, a woman“you d never met.”’She was a sane alternative to a big, evil slug, Layla said dryly.”“You didn t just run, didn t haul ass to your room and lock the door.You got in her car with her,’’“came with her out herewhere you d also never been, and walked into a house with two strange men in’—it.”Strange might be the operative word.I was scared, confused, and running on adrenaline.She”“looked away from him, toward where Lump was rolling in the snow as if it were a meadow of daisies.I“trusted my instincts.”Instincts is one word for it.I bet when you were working in that clothes shop you had really good“instincts about what your customers wanted, what they d buy.Bet you re damn good at that.”’’He went back to shoveling when she said nothing.Bet you ve always been good at that sort of’“thing.Quinn gets flashes from the past, like Cal.Apparently Cybil gets them of possible future events.I d say you re stuck with me, Layla, in the now.”’’I can t read minds, and I don t want anyone reading mine.”’’“file://C:\Documents and Settings\Administrator\Local Settings\Temp\Rar$EX03.813\Nora.3/3/2008BloodBrothersPage 221 of 257It s not like that, exactly.He was going to have to work with her, he decided.Help her figure out”’“what she had and how to use it.And he was going to have to give her some time and some space to get used to the idea.Anyway, we re probably going to be snowed in here for the weekend.I ve got stuff next week,’’“but when we can get back to town, you could come in when it suits you, let Mrs.H show you the ropes.We ll see how you feel about the job then.”’Look, I m grateful you d offer”—’’“No, you re not.Now he smiled and tossed another shovel of snow off the deck.Not so much.“”’“I ve got instincts, too.”’It wasn t just humor, but understanding.The stiffness went out of her as she kicked at the snow.’There s gratitude, it s just buried under the annoyance.”’’“Cocking his head, he held out the shovel.Want to dig it out?”“And she laughed.Let s try this.If I do come in, and do decide to take the job, it s with the’’“stipulation that if either of us decides it s not working, we just say so.No hard feelings.”’That s a deal.He held out a hand, took hers to seal it.Then just held it while the snow swirled”’“around them.She had to feel it, he thought, had to feel that immediate and tangible link.That recognition.Cybil cracked the door an inch.Breakfast is ready.”“Fox released Layla s hand, turned.He let out a quiet breath before calling the dog home.’P RACTICAL MATTERS HAD TO BE SEEN TO.SNOW needed to be shoveled, firewood hauled and stacked.Dishes had to be washed and food prepared.Cal might have felt like the house, which had always seemed roomy, grew increasingly tight with six people and one dog stuck inside it.But he knew they were safer together.Not just safer.Quinn took her turn plying the shovel.She considered digging out a path to Cal s’”“storage shed solid exercise in lieu of a formal workout.I think all this is meant.This enforced“community.It s giving us time to get used to each other, to learn how to function as a group.”’Here, let me take over there.Cal set aside the gas can he d used to top off the generator.’”“No, see, that s not working as a group.You guys have to learn to trust the females to carry their’“load.Gage being drafted to make breakfast today is an example of the basics in non-gender-specific teamwork.”Non-gender-specific teamwork, he thought.How could he not love a woman who d use a term like’file://C:\Documents and Settings\Administrator\Local Settings\Temp\Rar$EX03.813\Nora.3/3/2008BloodBrothersPage 222 of 257that?We can all cook, she went on.We can all shovel snow, haul firewood, make beds.We can all“”“do what we have to doplay to our strengths, okay, but so far it s pretty much been like a middle’—school dance.”How?”“Boys on one side, girls on the other, and nobody quite sure how to get everyone together.Now we“are.She stopped, rolled her shoulders.And we have to figure it out.Even with us, Cal, even with how“”we feel about each other, we re still figuring each other out, learning how to trust each other.”’If this is about the stone, I understand you might be annoyed I didn t tell you sooner.”’“No, I m really not.She shoveled a bit more, but it was mostly for form now.Her arms were”’“killing her.I started to be, even wanted to be, but I couldn t stir it up.Because I get that the three of you’“have been a unit all your lives.I don t imagine you remember a time when you weren t.Added to that’’you went through togetherI don t think it s an exaggeration to say an earth-shattering experience.The’’—three of you are like aa body with three heads isn t right, she said and passed off the shovel.”’…We re not the damn Borg.”’“No, but that s closer.You re a fist, tight, even closed off to a certain extent, but She wiggled”—’’“her gloved fingers.Individual.You work together, it s instinctive.And now.She held up her other”’“hand.This other part comes along.So we re figuring out how to make them mesh.She brought her”’“hands together, fingers linked.That actually makes sense.And brought on a slight twinge of guilt [ Pobierz całość w formacie PDF ]