By: LeAnn Asher

I take another out of the box and hand it to him. He winks and I jerk in shock. My mouth pops open a bit. Did he just wink at me? I smile at him, teeth and all. I probably look like a loon.

“Shaylin, I am going to start cleaning up!” Mary calls from the kitchen.

“Okay! I will be there in a second.” I hand the rest of the cupcakes to Butcher, who immediately grabs another. I smile. I love seeing someone savor my cupcakes or anything else I make.

For the next hour, Mary and I clean everything up, along with preparing for tomorrow. Tomorrow is my day off, so I want to make sure everything is perfect for her and the other worker who will be here.

“Bye, Mary!” I walk Mary to the door and watch as she gets inside her car safely and drives away. I turn around and run face first into something hard. I back up—I ran into Butcher. His hand is on my forearm, steadying me.

“I’ve just got to lock up and make sure everything is off.” I spin on my heel and go into the kitchen. I do a walk through to make sure all the refrigerators are closed and everything is turned off.

I turn off the light and walk back into the main room, and I see Butcher is already outside the door staring inside. By the time I’ve finished turning off the lights and locking up, Butcher is on his bike. Okay then. As I’m getting in my car, he is still staring at me. There is so much I want to say.

Swallowing, I sit in the driver’s seat and put the key in the ignition. I feel my mind going in a million different directions. I pull out of the parking lot, and my eyes flick to the rearview window. I stop at the stoplight, and my eyes follow Butcher as he comes up on the right. The light turns green, and I turn left toward my house. Butcher turns in the other direction.

Well, I guess that is that. What did I expect? I honestly didn’t know what to expect with him. One part of me had anticipated that he would follow me home, and the other side had thought he would part ways with me once I got off work.

Today has just been a weird day in general. I broke my tip jar over a man’s head, even though he asked for it. Then Butcher dropped him behind a dumpster.

We aren’t normal, but isn’t normal overrated?


The Next Day

Beep! Beep! Beep! I groan and roll over in bed to turn off the alarm. Once it’s turned off, I roll onto my back and yawn, my eyes watering. Then I reach onto the nightstand and grab my phone. I see a text

Lane: Your niece wants to have a girl’s day.

I grin at the prospect of spending the day with my niece. I love that little girl more than anything. She had a rough go of it before Lane got her. I want to kill her mother, and I would have if I thought I could get away with it. What kind of mother tries to put her kid up for ransom?

Me: Be there in an hour.

Lane: Perfect.

Thirty minutes later, I am ready. I will get breakfast with my niece. I grab my purse off the back of the chair and my keys off the table. I push my hair out of my face and behind my ear as I put on my shoes. All of my shoes are flats because I can barely walk on solid ground. I am clumsy. That was a huge thing for me while growing up. I have broken way too many bones because of it. I step onto the porch and lock the door behind me, slinging my purse higher up on my shoulder. That’s when I see something lying on my lawn chair.

What the actual fuck is going on? Is some crazed man or woman sleeping in my yard? I look around to see what I can knock some heads with, and all I see is a rock. Shrugging, I bend down and grab the rock. I raise my hand and chuck it at the person lying on the lawn chair.

It hits them in what looks like the chest area. This person stands up, knocking the chair over, with a gun pointed directly at me. My eyes take in this person and I sigh loudly.

It is Butcher. It’s official. This man is stalking me. I can’t believe he actually slept in a chair in my yard. Who does this?

“What are you doing, Butcher?” I ask him and take a couple of steps closer. He doesn’t say a word, but he does stare at me. “Butcher?” This time he looks me up and down before giving me that smile.

Okay then!

“I got to go…”

He nods and turns his back to me. He walks over to his bike and, for a few seconds, I blink in slight disbelief at what is happening. Okay. I am so confused. If this man wants to date me or something, he has it way backwards. But I must also admit he is totally different from every other man out there.