“Not in polite society in a small town.” Cal picked up his fork. “Don’t get me wrong. There are parts of this town where no one cares, but the Guidrys are odd. They’re not poor and they’re not rich. They’re mainstays of the town, but you won’t see them at Mother’s parties. She considers them beneath her.”
“Do you?” He wanted to know if the snobbery went all the way through this family he found himself in.
“I hang out with Zep all the time because he’s a good guy and he’s fun as hell. You’ll find that walking on that side of town is way more amusing than this one,” Cal admitted. “Sera’s problem is she wouldn’t tell anyone who the father of the kid was, and that means one thing. He’s married. Every married woman in town is watching that kid to see if it was her husband who cheated. So far he looks more like his uncle than anyone else. If Sera’s serious about taking that secret to her grave, it’ll be best for everyone if Luc continues to look like a Guidry.”
“How old is he?” So that was what she’d meant by baggage.
“I don’t know,” Cal replied with a shrug. “Two or three. I only know that I don’t play around with single moms, so she’s off the table and that’s a shame because she’s fine. Even after she gained that baby weight. I’m pretty sure it went to all the right places, if you know what I mean.”
Something about the words made him sit up taller. “I do not. She seemed like a nice young lady, and honestly, even if she hadn’t been, you shouldn’t say things like that.”
Cal rolled his eyes. “Yep, Captain America is in the house. You’re going to be fun to hang out with, cos. We’ll get some beer in you and see if we can get that stick out of your ass.”
If being polite meant he had a stick up his butt, he was all right with that.
“I don’t know. I like how Harry acts,” Angie said with a smile. “I actually think he and Sera would get along. She needs someone nice in her life. She was dating that Jackson fellow from two towns over. I heard he dumped her when she wanted to introduce him to Luc. Said he was only having fun and didn’t want to raise some other man’s kid.”
Jackson sounded like a moron. Not that he was interested in anything serious. But Seraphina Guidry was intriguing. If there was a spark, he wouldn’t mind seeing if it grew into something that could be good for both of them. He certainly wouldn’t rule out a relationship because she came with a kid. “Well, she made it clear she wasn’t interested in me.”
Except there had been a definite chemistry between them. He’d been around long enough to know there was attraction and then there was heat. He and Sera had heat. Whether or not that was enough to build a fire, he couldn’t know if he didn’t spend more time with her.
It would be a mistake because he wasn’t staying here in Papillon. He only had a couple of weeks here. Six at the most. Maybe two months. Then he would be on the road again, seeing the country, doing odd jobs. What did he have to offer a single mom who should be looking for someone to take care of her?
Of course, care didn’t mean cash. It didn’t necessarily mean a life of ease. No one really got it easy. Life was about how a person handled the tough times. For his family, taking care meant being around when times were tough. His father hadn’t had money most of the time, but he’d had a hand his mother could hold.
“That’s a good thing because my mom would throw a fit if she even thought you were interested in her,” Cal said, seeming to get his appetite back. “Besides, she’s going to have her hands full. They read the will earlier today and it turns out Old Irene didn’t leave that decaying mansion of hers to the cat sanctuary like she said she would.”
“Mom’s been trying to get that place condemned for years,” Angie explained. “I think it’s beautiful, but Mom thinks it’s an eyesore. Personally, I think Mom just wants the land. It backs up to our property and has way better water access. The rumor is back during Prohibition, the Guidrys were bootleggers and there’s secret rooms all over the place. No one’s been in it for years except Irene and her family, and from what Sera’s told me, a whole lot of the place is boarded up. Who did she give it to? Tell me she left it to the historical society. Mom’s the head and she’ll find a way to snap it up. She might be able to get it for cheap.”