Liam's Lily:Heroes for Hire, Book 14(10)By: Dale Mayer
These men looked like protectors, like guardians. They were cut from the same cloth as Logan. They were men, as in real men, in all senses of the word. What she hadn’t expected was to feel her heart tug every time she looked at Liam. The last thing she wanted was to have her heart in danger. That wasn’t what they were here for; it wasn’t what she wanted them for.
But she wasn’t sure she would have a choice about this.
She watched as Liam’s eyebrows rose.
“Is the cabin big enough?” he asked cautiously.
“There’s a loft with two beds in it.”
“Then it’s big enough,” North said carelessly.
“We’re easy to please. As long as you have food,” Liam said, his gaze twinkling.
It had been a long time since she’d seen that level of humor and the mischievous teasing-little-boy look in his eyes. It was hard not to respond to Liam. She gave him a big wink and said, “There’s food. But you might have to cook it yourself.”
Both men’s faces fell.
She laughed. “I can cook, but it’s pretty simple fare. If you’re expecting fancy, that won’t happen.”
The men shook their heads. “We’re fine with plain fare,” Liam assured her. “If you’ll take us to the cabin first, so we can unpack, then we’ll head out for a walk around to get the lay of the land.”
“I have to come with you,” she said. “It’s the only way I could get Brianna to agree.”
“You think we’ll steal an elephant?” North asked in astonishment.
“No. I think Brianna just wants to make sure we’re not held responsible for any of the sabotage that’s occurred.”
“Yet she just said nothing was going on here. You definitely need to tell us what’s been happening here. So let’s get to the cabin. Maybe you’ve got coffee?” Liam asked hopefully. “We’ll need to take some notes. Levi had very little information for us.”
Lilianna nodded. “I know. I didn’t give him a whole lot. Gunner knows more of the story.”
“How long have you known Gunner?” North asked as they returned to the truck.
“Years,” she said with a smile. “Logan and I were friends way back when too.”
“Did you date?”
Surprised at the personal level of the question, she turned to study Liam’s face. But only an honest curiosity was there. She shook her head. “No. He was my brother’s friend first. I was the kid sister who hung around,” she said with a laugh. “Logan was fun to be around. He’s always been supersupportive of our sanctuary.”
“It’s not like most people get to see an elephant every day,” Liam said. “I’ll have to contact Logan to get his take on things.”
“I think Gunner deliberately didn’t tell you very much so you would get your own impressions,” she said, frowning.
“Of course,” Liam said. “But Logan’s one of us. And to have insider knowledge like he has would give us a leg up.”
She shrugged. “Whatever.” She pointed at their truck. “Bring the truck up and around the back.” She pointed to the driveway that curved ahead of them. “I’ll open the gate for you.”
At that point they split up. The men headed to the truck, and she walked back around the property to the gate.
The storefront and offices had been the original homestead house. But once they started the sanctuary, they needed a tourist center. And that was what the existing house became. Her father had built a new one to make the transition. She and her sister had grown up there. Along with Keith. Now that he was gone, things had changed. Not the least of which was her father. He’d had trouble dealing with Keith’s death.
Lilianna opened the gate, pulling it wide as they drove up and around the office. She waited until they passed, then closed the gate, making sure it clicked into place. She walked toward the truck.
As she approached, the door opened on the passenger side, and North got out. “Do you want a lift?”
She leaned through the driver’s window, pointed to the tracks heading over the rise. “We’re going up there. I’ll sit in the bed.” She walked to the back of the truck, hopped up into the bed and sat on one of the fender wells.