Bayou Baby (Butterfly Bayou 2) - Page 53

He looked at her and there was a weariness to him that made her ache. “I heard you talking to someone. Is everything all right?”

She nodded. “Yeah, I’ve got three bars now, so that makes me feel better. Though you should know my momma wants to steal your dog. According to her, Shep is a baby whisperer.” She stood up. “Come on. I’ll turn on the shower and help you get in.”

He glanced down. “I need a minute to get my leg back on.”

He would only have to take it off again. “Or you can lean on me. It’s not far.”

“Sera, I . . .”

She stared down at him because they needed to get a few things straight. Whatever happened between them wouldn’t be some fast and furious affair where they spent more time in bed than out of it. If they were going to be friends, be more than friends, then she had some firm beliefs in how that would work. “You said you wanted to get to know me. This is part of me. I want to help you. I want to be something more to you than a pretty face and a body in bed. If there’s one thing I’ve learned, it’s that life is rough, and you better be strong enough to help the people around you. You also better be strong enough to accept help from the people around you. You told me I’m the most beautiful woman in town. Well, I wonder if you’ll think that when you see my scars. I’ve got a nice one at my bikini line because Luc was a ten-pound baby, and I wasn’t built for that.”

The sweetest smile came over his face, lighting him up. There was something special about Harry, some inner goodness that shone through. “I’ll think that scar is beautiful because it’s a part of you.”

“Then don’t expect me to think less of you because you’re about to awkwardly hop to that barely functional bathroom and clean yourself up. I’ll think you’re brave because you went through all of it and there’s no bitterness in you.”

His hand came out, reaching for her own. “Oh, don’t think I woke up this way. It took a lot to get past my bitterness. After I came home to Dallas, I worked for a little while in a restaurant that gave jobs to injured vets. It’s where I learned how to make the best grilled cheese sandwich in the world. It’s also where I met a great therapist who guided me through those first rough months when I thought the world was over. I was angry and bitter and I hated everyone for a while. But I got through it with some help. I’m glad to take yours, sweetheart.”

She balanced him as he managed to stand. She glanced down at his foot. Even that foot was oddly sexy. It was big and solid, like the rest of the man. She eased her arm around his waist and his arm came out to close on her shoulders. She was the perfect height to balance him. It was funny because she’d always bemoaned how short she was, but now she was happy to be his crutch.

She’d been right. It was horrifically awkward, but Harry laughed as they wobbled and hopped and weaved their way to the bathroom.

“We are not going to be winning any three-leg races,” he said as they made it past the door.

“I bet we could if we practiced. They have one every year at the Founder’s Day picnic, and Herve and his brother always win. I think it’s because they’ve had so much practice helping each other out of bars when they’re drunk.” She turned on the hot water as he balanced against the sink.

“We’ll have to practice, then.” He was staring at her, his eyes steady as though he didn’t even want to think about looking away. “Sera . . .”

This was the moment when she had to make her choice. But then, she’d pretty much already made it. “You’re sure?”

“More sure than I’ve been of anything in my life.”

She went up on her toes and let her lips brush his. “Okay, then. Let’s get you cleaned up and we’ll deal with everything else.”

He grinned down at her. “And I can take you on a proper date?”

She nodded, a warmth flaring in her heart. She was going on a date with Harry Jefferys. “Yes.”

“And not to your family restaurant. Somewhere else.”

She nodded. “There are a couple of places we could go. I can show you around. I’ve heard you’ve turned down the other tour guides.”

“Yeah, I was waiting for the right one.”

He was so heartbreakingly gorgeous. And that was what would happen. He would break her heart and she was still going to try with him. She gently brushed her lips against his once more. “I promise to be diligent about showing you around town. Maybe you’ll like it there. Well, when we can actually get back into town. Now sit down and let me clean this up for you. I’ve got some bandages in my purse, and a tiny first aid kit. Luc gets scrapes all the time. I’ll be right back.”

Tags: Lexi Blake Butterfly Bayou Romance
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