Barley five minutes later he came back to the kitchen dressed in a lavender towel slung low on his hips, carrying his clothes. Still on the phone Sam simply raised her eyebrows as he walked through the kitchen to the garage. Clothes in the washer, he returned.
Sam was still wrangling on the phone, tense and frustrated. “I realize that, Mr. Sornen, however this is the same charity you’ve supported for the last four years. Father Diaz is simply not going this year for health reasons.” Sam listened a minute. “But your contribution is vital to health education.” Again silence as she listened to the response. “Yes, it has been a difficult year, however the need still exists. I don’t understand what has changed.”
The doorbell rang, Sam whipped around frowning in the direction of the front door as Charlie sauntered through the living room to answer it. She couldn’t afford to let go of the weasel on the phone trying to back out of his commitment, but her door being answered by a towel clad Charlie presented another huge problem. It was too late. Casual as you please, Charlie opened the door.
Remington Morgan grinned widely and gave Charlie the once over as he stood on the front step. “You’re not hard to find.”
Apollo barked softly and his tail waged in greeting to the familiar person entering the house.
“Wasn’t making an effort to hide,” Charlie commented as he stepped back and let Rem in. “Your cell fall in the john or something? Mine is working fine if you wanted to find me.”
“Wanted visual confirmation of intel. Lavender looks good on you buddy,” Rem’s grin seemed a permanent fixture on his face.
“Intel my ass. You’re nosy as hell. Any other reason you’re visiting my woman’s house in middle of the day?”
“I have a few cases of supplies she needed from one of Robert’s companies. Was going to ask her where to drop it? But mostly I’m here to see if all the chatter about you and her is true.”
“That intel being mostly none of your business never occurred to you?”
“Nope. New thought entirely,” Rem reached down and held his hand out to Apollo who didn’t bother sniffing it, just jammed his head under it in doggie demand for some scratching or petting.
Mr. Sornen launched into another polite diatribe on the reasons his company could not be held responsible for the economy and its impact on their ability to contribute at this time. Sam injected a forceful “But..” into the phone which the man ignored as she watched two men in front of her.
“So you needed to clean up already?” Rem wanted to know in poorly veiled amusement at Charlie’s state of undress.
“After manual labor a gentlemen makes an effort not to smell like a warthog. Something I’m sure Kat is working with you over,” Charlie and Rem moved to the kitchen, Sam followed them, the phone still clutched to her ear.
“Manual labor? You already break something in here?” Rem glanced around the kitchen with a brow raised. The kitchen table was strewn with lists of supplies, shipping manifests and various documents. The tangle of paper she was trying to tame.
“Building something. Have a look,” Charlie led the way to the back, and both men and the dog stepped out into the back yard to admire the new trash prison.
Apparently the thing had to be viewed from all angles. Charlie explained and Rem admired as they slowly moved around it. Sam stood at her back door with an idiot whining in her ear and watched the neighbors on both sides, who of course had to be in their back yards, gape at the toweled muscle man in her yard. What were the chances that both neighbors were in their back yards at one time? When did that ever happen? When the almost naked man was in her yard, that’s when.
Still clutching the phone and trying to make an intelligible argument, Sam went out onto her back step in the hope of getting Charlie’s attention to point out he was making a spectacle of himself. Nether looked at her as the manly power tool discussion broke out over Charlie’s tool pile.
Her frustration reached new levels as Apollo trotted to the chain link fence to investigate her neighbor’s five year old son on the other side. Both guys followed the dog to assure the kid’s father that Apollo was harmless to kids. Introductions were going on, the child was trying to reach through the fence to pet the dog and Bob, the neighbor, wasn’t missing a beat on extracting information under the guise of admiring the new trash shed.
Unaware stress had raised her voice, Sam watched in growing embarrassment, “No! I do not understand your argument. The children need those supplies. This is a small, private mission. Contributions are the way…”
Rem was taking the five year old from his father who had lifted him over the fence. Apollo and child were greeting each other like long lost buddies as Rem put the child down. Charlie was explaining the dog’s training and special affinity for children. Bob the neighbor leaned over the fence watching his son and the dog. It was all very manly and she could smell the neighborhood curiosity reaching a new high.
In frustration Sam took the phone away from her ear, “Charlie, could I have a word with you?” All the men immediately stopped and looked at her.