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.Leif was the older brother of one of the women who had gone out with Olivia.Caleb was Leif’s best friend since childhood.“The girls just think they went as their drivers, but we sent them as protection, and they’re armed.”“Shit, I can’t believe I just thought of that now,” Ian said, with a tone of self-disgust.“Ian, would you please calm down? There are two of us, that’s the beauty of this relationship,” Joshua said soothingly.“He’s right,” Sam said.Sam had been mostly quiet, watching the byplay between everyone at the table.“Ian, you have to remember that Olivia is one of the most capable women you’re ever going to meet.She was literally raised on the streets of Los Angeles until she was almost five years old, and she remembers that.That’s the reason she’s so fierce and holds a brown belt in Tae Kwon Do.She won’t be put into a safe little box.If you try to do that, you’ll lose her.And as for not thinking about her safety today, I think subconsciously you knew that Joshua planned it, and that you could trust your partner.That’s what being in a triad is all about.I trust Chance implicitly, and he trusts me.”“Except in the kitchen and to pick out clothes for Josie.I don’t trust Sam in either of those arenas.But I thank God every day that if anything ever happened to me, Sam will be here for Lissa and Josie,” Chance said fervently.Ian looked at the men who were raised as brothers to Olivia, realizing that they were right.“Okay, Joshua, let’s get back to your plan to keep Olivia occupied and happy until the board meeting, while I’m working in Boston—spill!” Ian resumed.“First, Leif and Caleb have volunteered their services to stay close.” Ian visibly relaxed as Joshua continued.“I’m going to take Olivia to the different shelters in and around Snoqualt to do some volunteer work.I’m not taking her into the Seattle area, which would be too big of an area to cover.If we stay on the Olympic Peninsula, however, that will be manageable.There is also a school for homeless kids in Snoqualt that is going to be short a teacher Wednesday through Friday of next week.”“That’s perfect.”“Holy hell, I didn’t know about a school for homeless children right there in Snoqualt!” Chance exclaimed.“Down, boy,” Sam said, putting his hand on his partner’s arm.“Now you do, and Olivia will give you the 4-1-1 on it after she’s done substitute teaching.” Sam looked down at the conference room table and shook his head.“What?” Chance asked.“Now, you know why I don’t tell you everything I see during my day,” he said, referring to his job as a social worker.“What do you mean?” Chance asked.“I mean, you can’t fix everything, Chance.That’s a large part of what I’ve learned at my job, and your nature is to want to fix everything.Sometimes the best you can do is just to listen and offer a shoulder to cry on.”“Your job is to fix things!” Chance protested.“Nope, my job is to try to keep kids physically safe, and keep families together.Sometimes, I know that it’s not the best psychological or emotional place for a kid, but my job is to keep the child with the family.I’ll try to get the family into counseling but that doesn’t always happen, and I have to focus on those situations where I know I can make a difference.” They all watched as Chance absorbed what Sam had said.“I really don’t like the fact that you feel like you can’t tell me about your work life.I understand there are things you can’t change, and I want you to be able to share that with me.You tell Josie, don’t you?”Sam nodded.“From now on then, I want you to be able to tell me, too,” Chance said.“Sure, brother—you got it.” Sam smiled at his partner.“But I am going to see about helping to fund that school in Snoqualt,” Chance said, turning to Joshua.They all laughed.Chapter 14“Do you really think Ian is going to be all right?” Olivia asked for the third time that morning.She turned to look at both Joshua in the driver’s seat, and Caleb who was sitting in the back seat of Ian’s super-cab truck.Even though Olivia was totally in love and lust with her men, she couldn’t help but admire the sleek good looks of Caleb Samuels.He was a tall African-American, with a shaved head, who was at least six foot three.His broad shoulders matched Ian’s.She and all of the ladies that she had gone to lunch with had discussed his physical attributes while they had been in the steam room at the spa.It was Kara who had been the most eloquent, as she explained she had known him the longest, since he was her brother’s best friend.“He is ‘chocolate sex on a stick,’ and if I didn’t know that he and my brother came as a pair, I’d be all over him.”Olivia remembered questioning Kara about the two of them coming as a pair.“Since they were teenagers, they’ve always shared their women.I know that they totally want what my parents have.They want a ménage relationship.I think that’s why they retired from the army together, and they’re buying the property to build an auto restoration shop here.They know that Fate Harbor is the perfect place to have a committed triad relationship.”“Ian’s going to be fine, Olivia,” Caleb answered with a small smile on his face.Olivia blushed, realizing that she had been staring at the man as she replayed Kara’s words.“How can you be sure of that, Caleb?”“I’ve played poker with the man, and he’s setting up a computer system for Leif and me.He’s brilliant, and he can bluff like a motherfucker.He’ll be fine.They have no clue that he’s anything but Ian Ransom, firefighter, looking for a good-paying job.”“But, he was in Boston with me,” she almost wailed.“Won’t make a difference.Even if he’s confronted about being there, he’ll be able to play that off as a coincidental favor due to his friendship with Chance.You’re not giving your man enough credit, Olivia [ Pobierz całość w formacie PDF ]