“Daddy!” The girls cried in unison as they ran to greet the man behind the wheel. He stepped from the vehicle and Grace gasped, even from a distance she could tell that he was a good looking man, tall and lean, with the build of a working man. He was also filthy, covered with dirt from head to toe. He ran a hand through his dark hair as he crossed the yard to meet her. She stomped down the steps planning to give him hell for leaving his children unattended. She opened her mouth to begin her assault and then stopped when her heart leapt wildly out of control. He looked tired, really tired. He was focusing on something beyond her right shoulder with his hand slightly outstretched as if he were going to shake her hand. That brief glance at his tired eyes had affected her in a way that had her normally dormant sexuality shifting into overdrive. For a moment she was totally and completely awestruck. She turned and followed his gaze to the front door. Recovering she stood as tall as her five foot two inches would allow her and waved a menacing finger under his nose.
“What kind of a parent are you?”
“Huh?” He grunted, side passing her and following the walkway leading to the front porch steps of the Sutton house.
“Negligent!” She raised her voice, irritated that her nervousness radiated through her voice.
That comment caught his attention. He swung around to face her and for just a second Grace couldn’t breathe. His face was smudged with Virginia red clay and shadowed with a days growth of beard. His eyes were the most amazing shade of blue she had ever seen, she was captivated by the way they blended with a wash of green reminding her of the ocean depths. He was wearing a flannel shirt that was too thin for the recent cold weather, un-tucked and unbuttoned thrown over a filthy white T-shirt, his cheeks were rosy and chapped from the wind and although his dark hair was short, it was long enough to be unruly in the breeze. Grace shivered and crossed her arms knowing that the steady drop in temperature had nothing to do with her sudden chill.
“What?” Chance Morgan was confused. He stared at the angry women standing before him, fire-streaked hair dancing in the wind, full glossy lips pursed, evergreen colored eyes glowing with disapproval. He was sure he had never met her, yet he recognized her voice, or maybe it was the hint of old south lacing her words that seemed familiar. He silently cursed himself unable to keep his eyes from roaming. She was a small woman with petite curves and a tiny little waste. A thin gold charm bracelet dangled from a wrist that was attached to a hand that was waving an index finger with nails painted a pale shade of peach under his nose. She had a light smattering of freckles across the bridge of her nose that reminded him of... someone. He glared at the face of an angel. It had been a very long day, long week for that matter and it was only Tuesday. Between working six days a week, evening accounting classes, coaching T-ball, and caring for his two young daughters he’d had little time for relaxation, much less sleep so the last thing he wanted was to come home to accusations of poor parenting skills. Skills that he knew were lacking, but with their mother living overseas with her new husband, trying to make a go of a life she’d always dreamed of, there was nothing he could do about it.
“You heard me, I said you are a negligent parent.” She uttered an unsophisticated phrase that had his already rosy checks burning a darker shade of red. Those tired eyes brightened and widened for an instant but she was undaunted. “What kind of man would leave two little girls unattended in this kind of weather for so long?” She motioned to the ominous dark clouds filling the evening sky.
”Miss Sarah watches the girls.” He answered gruffly. He knew he didn’t owe this woman any explanations, yet he felt compelled to change her opinion of himself, which was obviously pretty low at this moment. He glared at her. She was no beauty queen, too short and not curvaceous enough to turn heads, but there was something special about her girl next door features that left him burning from within.
“Miss Sarah?” Grace was shocked. When her grandmother had asked her to tend to her responsibilities she’d never mentioned babysitting, of course if he were her neighbor and she regularly cared for his children, he would already know that she was in the hospital. Wouldn’t he? “Miss Sarah had a diabetic emergency yesterday. She passed out in the front yard, some kids called an ambulance. She’s in the hospital until they can get her blood sugars under control.” She informed him.
"Be a best friend, tell the truth, and overuse I love you
Go to work, do your best, don't outsmart your common sense
Never let your prayin knees get lazy
And love like crazy"