© Nancy Fraser, 2016
Eric shifted from one foot to the other, balancing the box of office supplies he’d purchased on his hip while lifting the grocery bag from the trunk with his opposite hand.
He’d spent the morning touring office space in midtown Chicago and still not found anything within their price range. It looked as if the Thomas-Watson Agency would have to flourish a bit longer in its makeshift digs.
Thank heaven courting clients could be done in a restaurant, or the client’s office, rather than in the cramped confines of his back room.
A noise drew his attention from his office-hunting dilemma and toward the daycare across the street. The petite blonde was leading a line of small children through a maze of toys.
Her long hair blew across her cheeks with each gust of wind, and she reached up to brush the errant strands off her face. His body tightened when he imagined her fingertips stroking his cheek in the same way.
He shook his head, dislodging the thought. The last thing he needed was the complication of a woman. Especially one who came saddled with a bunch of noisy kids.
Yeah, but they do eventually go home, you know.
Rather than acknowledge his inner voice of reason, he shifted his gaze and scanned the rest of the daycare’s large yard. Another woman, taller, thinner, with jet black hair was organizing a game of tag among a few of the older children.
And despite the noisy diversion of their laughter, his attention was drawn back to the blonde. All around her, activity had stopped. Three little girls sat in silence at her feet.
She’d taken a seat on the front steps and lifted one of the smallest of the bunch onto her lap. Even surrounded by a handful of children, her tapered slacks and t-shirt covered in bright splashes of primary colors, she exuded an allure that set his nerves on edge.
She bent to listen to something the child was saying, and he found himself straining to hear as well. The faint sound of the child’s cries drew her obvious compassion, and she gathered the little boy to her chest.
He stomped up the porch stairs, cursing the fact he could be so easily distracted. Mental note number three: stop ogling your sexy neighbor.
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