Home > Bounty (Colorado Mountain #7)(17)

Bounty (Colorado Mountain #7)(17)
Author: Kristen Ashley

Max moved his way, speaking. “On the plans, there’s an outside fire pit meant to be built in stone, up the middle of the deck. Got a gas line laid to it, but plan has it multi-functional, gas and wood burning. Stone’s under a tarp outside. So is the lumber, if a miracle happened and no one got to it while this house was sitting, waiting to be sold.”

That miracle happened. I’d seen those stacks outside.

Thank God.

“Got the plans?” Deke asked.

“In my truck,” Max answered.

“Right, won’t be a problem. Show me the rest?” Deke prompted.

“Let’s move,” Max replied.

I stood there feeling like I wasn’t there until Max caught my eyes and grinned at me when they were going to move by me.

Deke didn’t even look at me.

“Uh, can I just say…?” I called when they’d almost hit the doorframe to the hall.

Both men stopped and looked at me.

“I’m happy for anything getting done but when work starts inside the house, can I get my utility room first?” I requested.

Another grin from Max. “Women and laundry.”

I gave a slight shrug. “What can I say? We can’t recycle clothes like dudes can, turning them inside out and wearing them again.”

Max chuckled.

Deke stared at me, expressionless.

“Once the insulation is in and we got your furnace running, Deke’ll give you a utility room,” Max agreed.

“Awesome,” I said on a bright smile I hoped didn’t look too forced.

Max lifted his chin, turned away and disappeared through the doorframe.

Deke just looked away and disappeared through the doorframe.

As for me, I stood there and stared at the empty doorframe.

Right, this was happening.

I met a guy who asked me out and stood me up and now I’d met him again and he didn’t remember me.


It was not a big deal.

Sure, I’d written a song for him. I’d recorded it. I’d released an album with that song on it. It and the whole album had been critically acclaimed, sold relatively well and nominated for awards.

So what?

He didn’t know that.

He didn’t know me, the me he asked out or the me I turned out to be.

Now he was going to install my deck, inventory the stuff in my house, blow insulation in my walls, make my furnace work and give me a utility room.

No big deal.

I had bigger things happening in my life.

Deke Whoever-He-Was and the fact he was totally immune to me was not one of them.

I’d learned one thing in my life really well.

How to move on.

My dad was dead and I’d made the decision to move on.

So I was moving on.

* * * * *

Two hours later, I stood in one of the minimal open spaces left in my packed-full garage and watched Deke set a box on top of an alarmingly large stack of boxes he’d shifted aside as we’d gone through the stuff that was there.

Prior to putting in the offer on the house, I’d had a look, but not knowing what was what or where it would go, I obviously didn’t look closely.

Now that I’d lived in the house and we’d gone through things thoroughly, that large stack of boxes was fixtures and fittings I’d nixed.

This was because the stuff chosen for the Jack-and-Jill bathroom was dire. The guest suite bathroom stuff was uninspired. And I had an entirely different vision that was far more dramatic for what I wanted for backsplashes and countertops in the kitchen.

Deke turned to me.

“Didn’t use it. They’ll take it back, ’specially since you’ll be gettin’ more and buyin’ more,” he announced.

I would assuredly be getting more and buying more. The assertion that all that was needed was included with the property because it was housed within the property was not true.

This I knew beforehand as Max had already warned me more materials would be needed prior to me signing the papers not only with him to do the job, but to buy the house (one of the reasons I got the price I wanted on the house).

Just how much more I needed was a surprise, even though Max had called what was needed “significant.”

“You know Mindy?” Deke asked, taking me out of my thoughts.

“The lady that works in Max’s office?” I asked back, for I did know that Mindy since I’d met her when I’d gone in to talk to Max about finishing the job.

“Yeah, part-time and not normal. She’s got another job but Max’s regular woman is out on maternity. Instead of getting a temp who don’t know dick and messes everything up, since Mindy worked there before gettin’ her degree, she’s helpin’ out.”

His sharing this with me was surprising, considering for the last two hours since Max left his conversation was minimal as he studied plans, opened boxes, counted stuff, measured stuff, got a ladder from the garage, brought it in and wandered around upstairs, told me where the materials were meant to be used, this last being the extent of his conversation.

It hit me that this was his way of saying that it wasn’t normal operating procedure at Max’s office, so I could not assume someone would be at my beck and call and thus I’d need to deal.

He was looking out for his employer who was also, obviously with the way I’d noted they interacted, a friend.

This said good things about him.

“You call her, she’s got brochures,” he continued. “You can go in, look at ’em, decide what you want and she’ll do the orders. She also knows the places you can go to look at tile, stone, slabs, whatever. Make your choices, tell her, she’ll get it in. Yeah?”

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