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Finding Our Forever(83)

By:Brenda Novak

“Yes, but—you really shouldn’t take my word for it.”

“Beggars can’t be choosers, Sadie. How many people from Silver Springs are there who’d be willing to work for me?”

He had a point. The whole town was embittered. The Reeds had been well-loved. Those who knew them wanted someone to pay for their deaths. And most were convinced it should be him. “Have you received any other calls on the ad?” she asked.

“I’ve had several. They all hang up as soon as they realize I’m the one who’s looking for help.” He shoved his hands into the pockets of a pair of faded jeans, which fit him so well she couldn’t help noticing. “So what do you say? Will you give it a shot? I promise you’ll get paid, at least for the next six months. Although I don’t have a lot, it’s enough to carry us through August.”

What then? She had a kid to take care of. If he couldn’t pay her, she’d have no choice except to go back to Sly. But she’d only have to go back to him sooner if she didn’t take this chance. “When would you like me to start?”

His lean, spare features softened with relief. “Is tomorrow too soon?”

She was so wet and cold now that she was beginning to shiver. “I’m a waitress over at Lolita’s Country Kitchen. I had no idea I’d get this job, still have to give two weeks’ notice.”

“Okay, but...can you come here when you don’t have to be there? I was hoping you’d be able to help me get the house ready, so that I can prove I have a safe and clean environment for Angela. They’ll check before they let me take her.”

This was happening much quicker than Sadie had expected. “Sure. Okay. I get off at noon tomorrow. I’ll come over right after.”

“Thank you.”

With a nod and a wave, she trudged the rest of the way to her car. She had a new job. She’d be earning $3000 a month—almost twice what she was earning now, which would allow her to make ends meet, stand on her own.

The prospect of maintaining her freedom brought such relief, such exhilaration. Finally, she had something to be happy about. She’d struck a deal with Dawson in spite of Sly. That single act of defiance felt good, as if she was taking another leap forward in regaining control of her life.

At the same time, she knew her ex wouldn’t be pleased. She had no idea how badly Sly might react. And, even more to the point, she’d be working in almost total isolation for a man who’d just been acquitted of a brutal double homicide.

She prayed she wasn’t letting desperation goad her into making a terrible mistake.