Even the Score(108)

By: Beth Ehemann


“I bet.” He sat back against his chair and crossed his arms over his chest. “So what else is new on your end?”

“Uh, well . . . I ran into Cole Woods last week.”

His mouth fell open. “What? Where? Did you talk to him?”

“Yeah. Andy and I were at the Vikings game, and we knew he would be there, but it’s a huge stadium, so I wasn’t worried about it. Well, after the game we were heading toward the locker room, and he came out, almost bumping right into us.”

Dad sat with his mouth still slightly open, waiting for me to say more.

“Before I could even say anything, he said that he’d heard about what happened to me and was sorry. He also apologized for acting like a slimeball in my office.”

“Wow! That’s not what I was expecting.”

“Me either.” I shook my head. “But I’m glad it happened, because now it’s over and I don’t have to worry about seeing him again.”

“Exactly. No more stress, now it’s over. Speaking of stress . . . what’s happening with the criminal cases?” he asked as he raised the coffee mug to his lips.

“We actually heard from the prosecutor the other day. Blaire went back and forth for a while once she got to prison and realized it wasn’t a country club, but she’s decided to take a plea. I don’t know the terms yet, but I know it’ll be for a really long time.”

Dad’s eyebrows shot up. “Good! She deserves it. I say lock her up and throw away the damn key.”

I pressed my lips together and gave my sweet, overprotective father a tight smile.

“And what about the jerk who helped her?” he asked.

“He’s decided to go to trial, I guess. The prosecutor says he has no chance, especially if they can talk Blaire into testifying against him, which he seems to think won’t be a problem.”

My dad’s lips twisted upward. “A trial? Wow. How do you feel about that?”

I shrugged, inhaling sharply through my nose. “Not great, but it is what it is. As long as he ends up in prison, I don’t care what we have to do to put him there.”

“Good point,” he said somberly, nodding his head.

“Okay, new topic,” I announced, not wanting to waste any more time on any of them. “What’s new with you? Are you liking my place?”

“I am! It’s in a great location. It’s a fantastic house . . .” He trailed off.

I frowned at him, sensing that he was holding something back. “But . . . ?”

“That June, though, Dani . . . tell me about her.”

“Awww, don’t you just love her? I miss June like crazy.”

“She’s very nice”—Dad raised his eyebrows, crinkling up his forehead—“but also a little bit nosy. She stops by . . . a lot.”

“She probably has a crush on you, just like all the others,” I teased.

“Yeah, well, I’m off the market,” he said proudly, puffing his chest out a little bit.

My eyes bulged. “What? Since when? Why didn’t you tell me?”

“I just did, didn’t I?” he joked.

“Details, old man.”

He shrugged as his eyes fell to his coffee cup. “There aren’t many details to tell. Her name is Sandy, and we met at the movies. We were both there during the day and decided rather than sitting alone, we sat next to each other. The rest is history . . . for now.”

“When do I get to meet this mystery woman who’s stolen the incurable bachelor’s heart?”

“Soon. I met her son the other day. He’s a little younger than you, but he’s married and has a young son. It got me thinking . . . I’m ready for grandkids.”

“What?” I exclaimed incredulously. The lady at the table next to us shot me a quick glare, and I sank back in my seat. “Grandkids? Do you remember a couple of years ago when you told me if I ever had kids, they had to call you by your first name so people wouldn’t know you were the grandfather?”

“Yeah, yeah. Well, times change. It wasn’t more than a few years ago that you told me you never wanted to get married. You were going to focus on your career instead.” He raised his eyebrows and looked at me pointedly.

“There’s no ring on my finger, is there?” I held my hand up.

“Not yet, but it seems it might be moving that way. Is it?”

I pressed my lips together in a small smile and shrugged. “Maybe.”

“Look at that.”

“What?”

“You. That smile. I didn’t even say his name and you’re already grinnin’. You like him a lot, don’t you?”

“I’m way past like, Dad. He’s the only man who I’ve ever pictured a future with. I can see us ten years from now with Logan, Becca, maybe a couple of our own kids, going to games and to farmers’ markets and sledding. The list goes on and on.”