Page 27

Dr. Daddy's Perfect Christmas Jules Bennett 2022/8/5 16:55:33

“What did Nora have?” Drake asked.

“Syringes,” Eli told him. “Anything to assist in getting high or to sell. They targeted her clinic because of the lack of alarm and no one would think of that.”

Drake nodded. “What else does Cam think?”

“Cameron has been working on some undercover case,” their mother chimed in, sliding her silvery hair across her forehead and behind her ear. “He’s been so busy and secretive. Was he on the scene today?”

Eli nodded. “He left just after I got there. He must be busy because he hasn’t been around here lately and he rarely answers my texts.”

Bev hugged her arms over her abdomen. “I worry for him. For all my boys, but whatever he’s working on really has him tied off from us. It’s never been like that with him before.”

Eli threw Drake a glance, but his brother just shrugged. Obviously Drake didn’t know what Cam was working on, either. Eli added that to his list of things to do. He would talk to Cam, if nothing else, to give their mother peace of mind.

“I’m sure he’s fine, Mom.” Eli kissed his mother on the forehead. “There are some things he just can’t discuss. We know he’s careful. He’s the chief of police, for crying out loud. His officers won’t let anything happen to him.”

Bev smiled, but he knew she wasn’t convinced. “You going to be here awhile?” Eli asked Drake.

Eli grabbed his coat from beneath Drake’s on the kitchen chair. “I need to run out and do some things. I’ll be back later.”

“Tell Nora I said hi.” Drake laughed.

Eli threw him the bird as he opened the door.

“Eli Ryan,” his mother shouted as he closed the door behind him.

So what if he was going to see Nora? He had some things he wanted to discuss with her and, well, he just wanted to see her.

There, he could admit that he had a problem. And the problem was the tall, curvy woman who had worked her way back into his life without even trying.

“Do you always make home visits to victims?” Nora joked.

Cameron laughed as he wrapped his arms around her. “Only the pretty ones.”

Stepping back and gesturing for him to have a seat, Nora hung his coat by the door. “Eli and I installed new locks today.”

“That’s good.” Cameron crossed his ankle over his knee. “What about an alarm system?”

Nora crossed her arms, shaking her head. “I’ve thought of that, but the expense is pretty steep. Even if I could do the installation and setup, there’s the monthly fee. Besides, I’m sure this isn’t going to be a recurring thing.”

Cameron nodded. “Most often criminals don’t come back to the exact scene, but you’re an easy target. With no alarm system, they aren’t going to think twice about getting back in.”

Nora sighed and sank down onto the sofa beside Cameron. “I’ll think about it, but it’s just not in the budget right now.”

“You know me, Eli, Mom and Dad—”

Nora shook her head. “I’m not asking for money. It will be fine. Besides, I’ve been talking to a real estate agent about selling this house. If I can downsize, I’ll have a little extra to put toward the clinic.”

“Why are you selling?” he asked, brows drawn down.

Settling a hand over her belly where the baby was moving slightly, Nora shrugged. “It’s too big for me and the baby. Too much to worry about, try to keep up with. I know Todd was gone a lot, but when he was here he managed to keep it in good shape. I just don’t have the time or money for all of that now.”

Cameron eased forward on the sofa and turned to fully face her. “Anytime you need anything done here all you have to do is ask. Drake and I will be here in a second.”

Nora patted his leg. “You guys have your own lives. I can’t call every time the faucet leaks or my grass needs to be cut.”

A knock on her front door cut into their conversation and Kerfluffle perked up from her favorite resting spot beneath the Christmas tree.

When Nora skirted around the coffee table and went to look out the sidelight, she smiled. Eli on her porch wrapped in his coat was a sight she’d never tire of seeing.