Town of Chance:Believing in Love(7)

By: Dixie Lynn Dwyer



“Eliza Grace.” He said her name and looked at her lips.

She wondered if he were going to reprimand her for talking to Jacob and Ryan, or maybe ask what they wanted. Would he act like a bodyguard?

“Hi, Tazer. I was actually going to get the salad to go.”

“Well, now it’s to stay. Join me for lunch.” He didn’t give her a chance to say no. Not that she would. He looked kind of upset, but maybe that was just Tazer’s normal expression. He was hard, serious all the time.

As he took her hand, she froze but somehow got her feet to work as he led her to a table in the back. They passed several empty tables now that it was way past lunch, but apparently none of them were what he wanted.

She went to take a seat but he guided her to the one right across from him. The one he could watch the door from and see behind her.

“What did Jacob and Ryan want?” he asked immediately.

“Excuse me?” she asked, looking up at him. God, he’s so big. His chest looks huge in the tight shirt, and his arm muscles are ginormous.

He squinted at her. “I want to know what they wanted. You were laughing and flirting.”

“I wasn’t flirting. I’ve known Jacob for years. We went to high school together.”

“They like you. They weren’t just being friendly.”

She sealed her lips and then clasped her hands on her lap and exhaled. She didn’t understand Tazer at all. He acted like he didn’t care and then he did stuff like this.

“Forget it. What was that text all about that you sent to Parker yesterday?”

So this was what this was about. A control thing? Okay, I can do this. I can tell him I don’t need them texting me, and checking up on me.

“It was nothing. I’m fine now and have been for over a month.”

“Parker cares about you and worries. He was just trying to be there for you,” he said. Not that “we” care about you, but Parker does. Was he saying that he didn’t care about her and only Parker did? Men were so confusing.

“I know that. I know he’s there for me if I need anything, but I can take care of myself and I’m doing fine. I’m busy with work and have a lot on my plate right now.”

He exhaled and looked away from her then back at her.

“You’re still doing some modeling at that boutique?”

She swallowed hard. She was doing more than some. God, he was going to maybe be angry when he saw the calendar.

“Yes, and sometimes I work at the boutique in Cambridge and other times in Charlesburgh.”

“You like it then?”

“Yes.”

One of the waitresses brought over their salads. She was surprised that Tazer was eating a salad but it did have sliced steak on it.

She took a sip from her tea and then reached for a piece of chicken off of her salad.

“God, I’m starving,” she said without thinking and began to eat.

“Why is that?”

“I totally skipped lunch. It was crazy at work and Ken was so demanding at the photo shoot,” she said and then took a bite of her salad.

“Ken? Who is that?” he asked. She felt her chest tighten. Damn, she was rambling. Oh well, they were going to find out soon enough how much more modeling she was doing now.

“He’s the photographer for the catalogue my boss has been working on. He basically decides what position I’m in and where the photos take place. It’s a lot of stress sometimes but it’s fun. I like it,” she said and took another sip of tea.

“Sounds like you’re doing a lot more modeling than you told any of us.”

“So?” she said to him.

“So, does your dad know about it? What are you modeling in?” His eyes roamed over her top and then to her eyes. “Things like that?” he asked.

“Sometimes,” she said and looked away as she took another bite.

“We need to know about these things. You never gave Parker any work schedule or anything.”

“I don’t need to, Tazer,” she replied.

“How can we watch over you and ensure that you’re safe if we don’t know where you are and who you’re with?”

He was being paranoid and she wondered if it had something to do with his line of work or maybe recent cases he helped with. She heard that Lynch and he had headed out to Texas to help with something.

“I don’t need watching over.”

She saw him open his mouth and then it appeared like he bit his cheek to stop himself from saying what he wanted to. She put down her fork.

“You’re paranoid. This isn’t some foreign country. I’m not in any danger. I’m just working and trying to pay my rent, make a living and be happy. I don’t need bodyguards. You guys don’t need to waste your time,” she said and he started to speak when his cell phone rang. He glanced at it, holding her gaze with a firm expression.

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