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It wouldn&039;t be good forSeth out of bed early was a surprise, my heart almost stops when he reveals that he&039;s already taken the initiative to set up appointhout the city He insists we take his truck He&039;s cleaned it out since the last tio, but it smells damp and suspiciously like spiced rum and vomit

Gram notices it, too, because she sniffs a few ti

As we drive to the first location, I try to steer the conversation we&039;re having about Seth&039;s school schedule - it&039;s boring - away fro into what Graaze in the rearview e the subject yet again to the Tennessee Titans because he knows I&039;oing to be hard enough for Gra anyup Mom

But sooner or later, before I return to California, I&039;ll speak to her about it


The owner, a woman naawatt smile that&039;s locked into a wrinkle and emotion-free face She extends her French-manicured hand to Graets five ood one because the house is ahborhood, and is only one story - and then she asks about rental and ownership history

Ashamed, Gram looks down at a dark spot of tile "My home was recently foreclosed," she says in a shaky voice

Mrs Bernard&039;s se, but I can tell that the pleasant ath the rest of the showing, giving us barely enough time to look at each room At the end of the tour, I thank her and ask for a copy of the rental agreement Despite the owner&039;s frosty attitude, Gram really seems to like the house and if I have to, I can place the rental contract undercredit was a used &039;04 Mercury sedan that I paid off late last year

Mrs Bernard gives me her creepy Botox smile "It&039;s available on our website, dear," she says sweetly and I realize that it doesn&039;t overnor&039;s na to do with us

Gram thanks her and says we&039;ll be in touch On the way to the truck, I lag behind to ith Seth, hissing, "Did you find that house on a website?"

"Craigslist," he says in a gravelly house

The next two rental properties are just as disastrous One realtor co past her to shakeat her like a nuisance when I point out that I&039; for a place to live The final property is an overpriced townhouse that sht back out, shaking his head

My brother and I pool our resources - well, I offer souess he donates so he owes me - and take Gram to lunch at a fancy restaurant in Franklin, one of the suburbs a half an hour outside of the city Grarandfather passed ao years ago, but she doesn&039;t so hout the entire meal, there&039;s a heavy silence that bears down on all of us

"John built that house for " - she ss, as if it hurts her to say the name that follows - "Rebecca We had offers from country music stars and celebrities for that house because it was truly his best work, but it was our hoht sone, she&039;s gone, I&039;m not sure at all if it even matters anymore"

But it does It alill And I feel h this I feel like I should be doing everything I can to prevent her fro to suffer, just like she&039;s done so much to protect me

Upon our return to the cabin and after Seth leaves, Graain My eyes follow her as she disappears upstairs and the door to her bedroom creaks closed Almost as clear as day, I hear Kylie&039;s co in my head

The dealit has to be worth all this

Before I can chicken out and change avethe driveway, I back tone - one of Your Toxic Sequel&039;s dirtier songs - and I hope he doesn&039;t answer

Pray he refuses to acknowledge ave itand Lucas coentle voice

"Ten days?" I ask


"How soon do I start?"

He takes a long pause before he answers ht better of the whole offer and decided to take it off the table I&039;ether when he responds, "Kylie&039;s leaving first thing in the , so it would probably be best if you come tomorrow I&039;ll have my attorney fix up the contract"

"So you don&039;t try to fuck me on the house"

He chuckles, a ferociously sexy sound that caresses my body with heat I pace faster "Of course Bad for business to do it any other way"

"Right," I hear e Kylie your eht - I&039;ht now"

As if to prove his location to me or to taunt me because he remembers just hoas able to drive uitar and voice two years ago, he stru of - and I kid you not - a Britney Spears song

It&039;s the saed the radio in his car the night I went home with him He&039;d humoreda button on the steering wheel to switch the station back to rock

"You into pop?" he&039;d asked, giving ures Coum shit you could ever drearanite countertops in his spacious kitchen He only stopped playing every so often to pop a strawberry into hs

And then laterwell, shortly after he was through playing for me, I foundlike a fool

"You&039;re sendingthe memory of the near-sex experience with Lucas out of uitar abruptly,to sohts in the here and now that in to ask him if Kylie&039;s job is really that intense to need specific instructions, but then I recall all the events and traveling that he&039;s got to do over the next 10 days And how our deal is contingent upon oneexactly as he says for the duration of the week and a half

"I am," he confirms There&039;s a s back fear and pride and so else that causes my heart to beat erratically, I shiver and say, "Yes, I&039;m yours"