A fist slammed against the front door, startling Terri out of her zone.
She glanced at the watch on her left wrist. An eyebrow shot up. Why would anyone knock on her door at eleven ten at night? She wasn’t the type of person who entertained visitors all hours of the night. Hell, except for her grandfather, cousin and Wayne, no one dropped by during the day.
“I’m coming,” Terri called over the pounding on the door. The person had a lot of nerve rushing her. In fact, she didn’t know what was more irritating – his impatience, the late hour, or the fact that he interrupted her work.
She slid off her stool and shuffled towards the door as fast as her stiff joints would let her. The visitor ceased the racket. The silence, however, did not pacify her.
“What?” Terri yelled as she snatched opened the door.
The worried line on Shane’s forward quickly faded. His eyes narrowed in exasperation and she immediately knew what he was going to say.
“We’re going to have to work on your safety skills.”
Terri sighed. “You don’t have to lecture me. I realize it was wrong to open the door without checking to see who was there first.”
“Yes, it was wrong, irresponsible and dangerous. That’s something I’d expect from a five year old, but not a grown woman.”
Terri’s face grew warm. Though she realized her mistake, she did not appreciate being chastised like a child. “Are you finished scolding me, Detective Reynolds?”
“Not by a long shot. But I’ll finish after you invite me in.”
She stepped aside and he strolled in, carrying a bag from The Swig, the bar and grill owned by his oldest brother.
“Lesson number one,” he said. “Lock your door.”
Rolling her eyes, Terri closed the door and secured the bolt.
“That’s an impressive lock.” He examined the deadbolt. “But it won’t do you any good if you don’t use it.”
“I can’t believe your life’s so boring you’ve nothing better to do than come over here and lecture me, Detective Reynolds?”
“In the twenty-four years I’ve known you’ve never called me by my name. It’s always been sir, Mr. Reynolds and Detective Reynolds, but never Shane.”
Terri’s mouth dropped open. Was he seriously lecturing her about what she calls him?
“It’s not that hard. It’s one syllable. The a is long, the e is silent and since I heard you call Vince a lying piece of shit, I know you don’t have a problem with the sh.”
“You heard that?”
Shane nodded and Terri’s cheeks grew warmer.
“Now, try repeating after me. Shane.”
She opened her mouth. As if he realized she was not going to following his direction, he held a finger.
“No, Shane,” he repeated slowly.
She shook her head. The man was impossible.
He cocked an eyebrow. His eyes danced as the corners of his mouth turned up into an impish grin.
Despite the stress from the past thirty-six hours, she slowly returned his smile.
“Fine,” she sighed. “Shane.”
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