All the Way (Romancing Manhattan #1)(10)

“You’ll be fine, just be gentle with her for a day or two.”

Dear God, his chest is hard.

And he smells so damn good.

I could stand here like this forever if my leg wasn’t screaming at me.

“Let me take you to dinner tomorrow night.”

“What about Gabby?”

“She’s going on a Girl Scout overnighter,” he says with a smile.

“You have to say yes!” Gabby yells from upstairs, clearly eavesdropping and making us both laugh.

“Well, sounds like I have to say yes. So, yes. I’d love that.”

“Excellent.” His dark eyes are still pinned on mine when he calls up to Gabby. “Go to bed, Gabs. We have some things to do down here.”

“Okay, good night.”

“Now I call the police,” he says, and pulls his phone out of his pocket. “If someone’s been squatting in that playhouse, you’re not going back over there alone.”

“Hi, I’m London Watson, an adult. I can make those decisions for myself.”

His eyes narrow again just before he speaks into the phone and explains the situation to dispatch. “Thank you. We’ll be waiting.”

“Are they coming?”

“On their way,” he replies. “You should stay here.”

“Hell no, I won’t stay here.” I stand my ground, my hands on my hips, glaring up at him. It seems Finn has a bit of a control-freak side. “It’s my house, Finn.”

He just shakes his head and leads me outside. Two squad cars pull into my driveway, and we meet them on my front porch.

“I’m London Watson, the homeowner,” I announce before Finn can say anything.

“Did you see anyone in your home?” one of the officers asks.

“I didn’t, no, but Finn’s niece says she saw a man living in the playhouse out back.”

The officer frowns and shares a look with his colleague. “So you didn’t actually see him?”

“No.” The officer nods.

“Okay, show us the way.”

I lead them around the house in the dark, thankful that I left several lights on inside to illuminate the way. Once we reach the playhouse, I stand back and gesture toward it. “This is it.”

“Does it have electricity?”

“Yes, the switch is just inside the door.”

They step in and turn on the lights and look around. “Would you know if anything was disturbed?”

“I haven’t been in here in years,” I reply, following them in. The mattress that Gabby was lying on is bare. The furniture is plastic and old, and things are messy, but that’s to be expected with years of neglect. “I should probably go through and clear it out, I just haven’t had time.”

“So, you don’t know if anything is missing, or if anyone has been here?”

I glance around again and hug my arms around my middle. “I don’t think it looks any different than it did the last time I saw it.”

“Gabby could have said it just to scare you,” Finn suggests. “We’ve been having behavioral issues with her lately.”

“Well, if you decide that anything is missing or disturbed, give us a call. Sounds like we’re done for tonight.”

They hand me a business card and then leave, and I’m left standing in my playhouse with Finn.

“It’s so odd.” I shake my head and look around. “It doesn’t look any different. But I don’t think Gabby was telling stories.”

“It’s been her thing lately,” Finn says, and pushes my hair over my shoulder. “I’m sorry that she scared you.”

“I’m just glad that it’s a false alarm.”

“Do you want me to stay?”

I smile and shake my head, ready to get off my aching leg. “I’m okay.”

“Okay, then, I’ll pick you up at seven,” he says, and steps forward to wrap me into a hug once again.

A girl could get used to this.

“Oh, quick question. Is this going to be a fancy dinner? Because I’m afraid I didn’t bring any fancy clothes with me from New York.”

His lips twitch in that way they do when he finds something amusing. Or, you know, when he finds me amusing.

“No, casual is great.”

“Okay, sounds like a plan. I’ll see you at seven.”

He nods and waits for me to open the back door before he starts the walk back to his house.

“See you soon, London.”

Chapter Three


“Hey Mom,” I say into the phone, and frown at Gabby when she tries to sneak another chocolate bar from the cabinet I shoved them into this morning.

She’s been stuffing chocolate in her mouth since last night, insisting that it’s her period medicine.

“What are you doing, dear?” Mom asks.

“I’m trying to keep Gabby from going into a sugar coma,” I reply, and shake my head at my niece, who just rolls her eyes and then drops her head in her hand dramatically. “How are you? How is Italy?”

“Oh, I’m just fine. Italy is always glorious, but I’m about to get on a plane home.”

“Why? You’re not supposed to come home for another month.”

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