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A Fresh Restart
He’d just finished taking a sledgehammer to one corner of the house, stepping back as the structure creaked and pieces of old rotten wood tumbled, leaving a gaping hole to the inside.
“You being destructive or productive, Walker?” The feminine voice reached his ears as it had been doing all night… much to his horror this morning.
Walker turned and smiled at Josette, who carried a small picnic basket on one arm. Her long hair was pulled back as usual, and she wore a pair of denim cutoff shorts that reached halfway down her thighs below a plain black sleeveless tank. “Can’t it be both?”
Josette shook her head and laughed softly. “You’ve gotten a lot done, Wild Man. When I came into town, I didn’t recognize the place at all.” She paused. “But why not hiring someone to demolish it for you? That could be dangerous, you know.”
“Oh, I’ve done plenty of small-scale demolitions. Not worried about it. Plus, this’ll save me money and keep me busy, so it’s a winning solution.” Walker directed a grin her way and she rolled her eyes but smiled.
“Well, I just wanted to stop by and see how it was coming… oh, and I brought you a few things. It’s hot today, so I thought you might want something.”
“Isn’t it hot here everyday?” Walker pulled out a rag from his back pocket and wiped a fresh line of glistening sweat from his brow. Josette nodded and continued to stand in the same spot, looking awkward. Why was that? Walker couldn’t remember the girl he’d grown up with ever looking awkward. “What’d you bring me, girl?”
Josette shook her head. She’d been lost in thought. “Oh, it’s not much. We cut up a watermelon yesterday, so I brought you some of that. There’s also two water bottles and some sweet tea, plus some biscuits if you get hungry later.”
Walker strode over to her in long, slightly bowlegged strides. Her bright green eyes looked into his blue ones as he took the basket from her. Josette seemed out of it, and… could she be awkward because, after all these years, she’d finally decided she liked him? Maybe it was the muscles. He’d had more than one woman tell him his muscles were attractive.
Instead of making a joke, which was tempting, he asked “You alright Josie Posey? You seem upset.”
Josette nodded. “Yes, I’m fine.”
Josette looked around at the property with a little too much interest, and Walker walked his picnic basket to his truck where it would stay out of the sun a few more moments while he finished the side of the house he was working on bringing down. When he turned back around, Josette stood with her arms crossed on her chest. Uh oh, he thought. She only did that when she was really upset. Stubborn woman that she was, she’d have to have the reason dragged out of her.
Walker walked back over to Josette and, standing close, he bent his head down a bit so he could look her in the eyes with one eyebrow arched high. “You gonna tell me what’s wrong? Or do you want me to whoop it out of you like old times?”
Josette’s eyes grew wide. “You wouldn’t dare.” Her voice held a threat over the disbelief, and he knew if he tried to throw her over his shoulder like he used to, she’d come close to killing him.
Walker shrugged and sat down directly on the sandy dirt where a thick carpet of grass had once grown. He bent one knee up and crossed the other in front of him. Josette didn’t need an invitation before sitting on the dirt in front of him. She pulled her knees up to her chest, and looked at the ground between them instead of directly at him.
“Well?” Walker kept his voice low and looked at her.