Finding Us

By: Heather B. Moore

In Leo’s defense, he’d never agreed to get her a ring. He hadn’t even told her he wanted to get married. That was all Janna’s idea, and he believed it should be a joint decision. But the look in her eyes made everyone at the party make a quick exit. And that’s when they’d had their big fight.

But that was thankfully in the past, and here he was, driving to Felicity Miner’s house. Because he hadn’t been able to stop wondering about her since that morning at the bookshop.

As he pulled up to the brick house surrounded by a tidy yard, he wondered if he should have just met her in town. He dreaded telling her that the shoplifter was his own cousin. Leo popped a piece of gum into his mouth and climbed out of his car.

Walking up to the front door, he started to feel nervous. Well, not exactly nervous . . . something else. Anticipation? He knocked on the door, and a couple moments later, it cracked open. Felicity stood there, but the dimness from inside the house kept her face in shadow.

“Hi,” he said.

Slowly, she pulled the door open wider. Her hair was the same, her clothing the same, but no red glasses.

“You changed your clothes,” she said, her gaze moving over his body.

Leo glanced down at his jeans and T-shirt, then he looked back to Felicity. “I’m off duty. So, I changed.”

“At the police station?”

She asked a lot of questions, he thought. “We have lockers.”

Her cheeks flushed a pale pink, which only made her eyes look greener and her mouth . . . He cleared his throat.

“Lockers? That makes sense.”

He felt like laughing, but he wasn’t exactly sure why. “Thanks for being willing to let me cut into your Friday night.”

Felicity smiled, but it didn’t quite reach her eyes. “No problem. Were my questions out of line?”

“The ones about me changing my clothing, or about the shoplifter?”

Her cheeks were pink again. Had he embarrassed her? Or was he . . . flirting with her?

“Um, the shoplifter.” Her voice was faint.

Leo studied her. Was he making her nervous? Was this all a mistake? He rubbed the back of his neck. “Your questions are fine. I didn’t want you to get the wrong information if you googled the shoplifter’s name.”

She lifted her shoulders. “Fair enough.” She gazed at him for a moment longer, then said, “Come in and sit down. Are you thirsty or hungry?”

“I’m fine, thanks.” He walked into the front room as she held open the door. Passing by her, he smelled vanilla again. It was mild, mellow, and he liked it, even though he probably shouldn’t be thinking about how she smelled.

This time her smile seemed genuine. “I’m glad you’re not hungry, because I just went grocery shopping and discovered I still don’t have any ingredients to make a meal.”

“Sounds like something I’d do.” He sat on an overstuffed chair across from a couch. The pair was mismatched, and the room hadn’t been updated since the seventies—dark wood paneling. Stone fireplace. Macramé pictures on the walls. “Are those your art creations?”

Felicity settled on the couch across from him, and her shoulders seemed less tense. “No, I think they were my mom’s though—probably from sixth grade.”

“So this was your family’s home?” he asked. “I didn’t know you grew up here.”

“My mom did, not me,” she said. “We’d come for holidays, but home’s near San Francisco. I’ve been here about a year.”

Leo nodded. “Strange we haven’t run into each other in that time.” He would have certainly remembered her if he had.

“Well, I haven’t had to call the police before.” Her gaze scanned him, quite openly, in fact. “You look different when you’re not in uniform.”

He wasn’t sure what to make of her scrutiny, but he was curious. “How so?”

Her cheek dimpled. “Less intimidating, I guess. Although I thought you were very nice about everything when you showed up at the bookshop.”

“Nice?” he prompted, because it seemed like when he was around her, he couldn’t help bantering.

She blinked a couple of times, as if her comments were completely innocuous, which perhaps they were. “Nice, and patient, with a newbie like me.”

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