“Another person might consider it cozy.” He figured the “cozy” angle was worth a try. Maybe she’d give it a second look and view it, not for its deficiencies, but as a valuable piece of real estate.
She leaned closer. “A child would find it minuscule. You couldn’t even cram a double in there, not if you wanted to add a nightstand and a chest of drawers.”
His gaze cut sideways to her eyes. Such serious eyes. Maybe he should try to lighten her up a little. Otherwise, how could he ever elevate this hellhole into practically move-in condition?
“When you say ‘double,’ I suppose you mean a bed?”
She tilted her head back and scrunched her eyebrows in a way that said she couldn’t believe he was so dense. “What else?”
“A lot of people who live alone don’t require anything bigger than a single.” He wondered about his tenants’ sleeping accommodations. Only six out of the thirteen were married.
“Get serious. Only kids sleep in singles.”
“Some grownups do, too.”
She shook her head in denial. “No.”
He nodded in assent. “Yes.”
“What makes you so certain?”
He shrugged. “I’m as certain as a thinking man can be. Lots of people live in studios, share apartments. It’s a space issue.”
She rested her hand on his shoulder. “Do you?”
“Do I what?”
“Sleep in a single.”
That brought him around so fast he almost fell over her. She lowered her heels and gazed up at him. He tried to find something suggestive in her eyes. Instead, they were wide open and clear, without any hint of guile.
What the hell? She started it. “No, I don’t sleep in a single.”
“That’s what I imagined.”
He backed her up a couple of steps. Had she thought about him? Or more to the point, had she thought about his bed and imagined him in it? Could such a thought have credibility? Maybe she wondered if he slept in pajamas or au natural.
“Why do you want to know?”
“Why do you think I want to know?” She barely mouthed the words.
He could maybe detect a little seduction in her tone. If he wanted to stretch it. If circumstances were different, if she weren’t the woman he couldn’t risk offending, he’d ask her if she’d like to come home with him and see firsthand what his sleeping accommodations were. Maybe even try them out.
He opted for caution. “I haven’t a clue. Would you like to tell me?”
She gave him a wilted smile. “Sure. I just believe whatever is good enough for you should serve as the norm for your tenants.”
“Hey, folks, why don’t you talk it over while I go next door for a couple of minutes? Woman needs a new washer in the kitchen faucet.” The landlord headed for the front door. “Take your time. I’m not in any rush.”
As soon as he vacated the apartment, Molly planted her hands on her hips. “Ha, I’ll just bet he isn’t. Wouldn’t that guy love to rent this dump? I wouldn’t offer him more than five hundred a month. I’d make him toss in a new stove, as well.”
Nick supposed that signaled the end of bedroom talk. It was back to stoves and carpet and the kind of serious money required to rent an adequate apartment.
“I think it has potential. At least now you know something is available in the low seven hundreds.”
“There’s an ode to her in the elevator. The cretin who wrote it must live here. That’s the kind of person who inhabits a dump like this.”
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