“Aunt Lacy!” Andy shouted.
She jumped. Not because he scared her, but because he never called her that unless something had him spooked. “Andy?” she questioned, pushing back the screen with her hand. “Are you okay?”
He barreled through the door with a huge smile on his face. His feet never stopped moving as he hopped from one foot to the other in excitement. “Can I go for a ride in Frank’s car? Please?” His eyes sparkled with joy, not something she’d seen from him since she’d moved back.
Frank stood inches behind Andy, under the tarp. She secretly hoped a huge gust of wind would roar through the park, whipping the tarp right off the trailer and taking Frank with it. Damn him, his good looks, and stupid ideas. “In his Trooper car?” she questioned trying to collect herself. It wasn’t really Frank she was mad at, but the situation. And the fact that she even considered taking him up on his dating offer. She needed to find a decent job, not suck face with the local authorities.
“No, the boring pickup.” Andy rolled his eyes.
“Don’t get fresh with your aunt.”
“I can discipline my own nephew, thank you.” She glared at Frank.
“Sorry, Aunt Lacy, but please, can I go? I mean, it could be a good lesson for me of some kind, right?” Andy batted his eyes, a trick he used to do when he was about five.
“What if something happens? Or you get called in?” she asked Frank. She’d never forgive herself if something happened to Andy. Or anyone else for that matter.
“It will just be around the park.” Frank removed his hat. He stood at attention, legs slightly spread, hands clasped on his hat. His eyes focused straight ahead and his jaw set.
Mentally, she kicked herself for thinking him sexy like that. “All right, but don’t touch anything in the car,” she said with her fingers in her hair. One of these days, she’d be in an uncomfortable situation and not twirl her hair. Maybe.
Andy nearly knocked Frank over as he bolted past him, yelling thanks over his shoulder.
Frank regained his composure and a huge smile broadened his face. “My little brother still gets like that.” He tipped his hat and slid it over his soft-looking buzz. “We’ll be back in a few, ma’am.”
She let a soft laugh slip through her lips as she watched Andy run to the car and circle it like a lion waiting to pounce on his prey. He jumped up and down as Frank approached. They exchanged a few words and Frank pointed a few times before he opened the side door for Andy.
It was then that Lacy realized Ms. Lazzery hadn’t left yet. Her car was parked in the dirt road, just a few trailers down.
“Damn it.” Lacy rinsed the rest of her beer down the drain, tossed the bottle, before rummaging for a mint and heading to her makeshift lawn. She hooked her fingers in her belt loops to keep them from her hair.
Ms. Lazzery pulled her car back into the spot it had occupied just a few minutes before. “Ms. DeGeorgio,” Ms. Lazzery started as she stepped from her vehicle. “I’d forgotten to ask about Andy’s next doctor’s appointment. I need to follow up with her and find out how Andy felt about his visit with his father from her perspective.”
“It’s Tuesday at three,” Lacy said. Her heart raced as if she just got caught cheating on a test. She hated feeling as if everyone was scrutinizing her every move. Hated that Frank could reduce her to a pile of hormones in a matter of seconds.
“Is there a reason the State Police are visiting you?”
Lacy took a deep breath before speaking, “Sergeant Harmon is a friend. He offered to give Andy a ride in his patrol car.” She wondered how Ms. Lazzery might interpret the word friend.
“I see. Well, I guess that’s okay. Mind if I have a word with the officer?”
Lacy shook her head. What choice did she have? Besides, she hadn’t done anything wrong. Andy, on the other hand, had been a little stupid lately. She closed her eyes and mentally spoke a little prayer to the man upstairs that Frank would keep his mouth closed about the Jet Ski, the money, and anything else Andy might have told him.
Lacy offered Ms. Lazzery a seat, but she chose to stand. Lacy needed to sit down before her legs completely buckled. She glanced down the road, waiting to hear the gravel being kicked up by the police tires. Moments passed, but it seemed like forever before the patrol, with a beaming Andy in the front seat, pulled into the drive.
“Afternoon, ma’am.” Frank strolled from his car, tipping his hat.
Ms. Lazzery glanced at Andy, who went from happy to terrified in a matter of seconds. “I’d like a word with you, Officer…”
“It’s Sergeant Harmon,” Frank corrected in a deep monotone voice. He assumed his standard position, darting his eyes toward Andy. Lacy noticed he gave Andy a slight smile before giving his attention back to Ms. Lazzery. “Is there a problem of some kind?”
“No problem. Just curious as to what brings you by, Sergeant.”
Andy scurried over to Lacy. She rose from her chair, looping her arm around him. She could only hope Frank didn’t blow it. If he said anything other than what Lacy implied, she’d be a goner.
Frank didn’t move a muscle. Amazing how he could do that. “I’m just checking on some friends, ma’am.”
“He’s dating my aunt,” Andy added.
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