“I’m here. Gotta go,” Maguire said to his sister Fallon as he steered down the long driveway up to a two-story brick house he was interested in buying. There was an actual white picket fence lining the front of the five-acre property, an empty pen for chickens, and an industrial-sized steel work shed about fifty yards from the house. The work space was the main reason he was looking at the property. He needed enough room for his private vehicle restorations.
“Liar. You’re just tired of talking about wedding stuff.”
Yeah, no shit. But he wasn’t going to say that to his sister. Because she could be mean when she wanted. When they’d been younger she’d shaved his head. Twice. And that was just the tip of the iceberg. Of course, he’d deserved the head shavings.
And he loved his only sister, so if she wanted his opinion on colors, he was going to give it. “I’m serious. I see the Realtor’s car in the driveway.” A black midsize BMW SUV. Nice, dependable vehicle.
“Fine. But if you get a chance will you call Mom and tell her if you’re going to be at our Monday dinner next week? She keeps asking me, like I have any knowledge of your schedule.”
He frowned at his sister’s words, but committed to phoning their mom before ending the call. He’d actually been trying to call their mom the last twenty-four hours, but she’d only been texting him. Which wasn’t like her. She said she’d found him a new Realtor—since his last one had been lazy—and told him where to be and at what time. The bossiness was vintage Mom, but the MIA act wasn’t. She usually called him a few times a week. Minimum. She was like that with all four of her kids. And now that two of them were engaged, she called their significant others the same amount.
There were worse things in the world than a mom who called too much. After spending years overseas without much contact with his family, he could admit he liked how much she doted on all of them.
Rolling his shoulders once, he shoved his phone in his pocket and got out of his car, a 1969 Ford Mustang Boss 429—also known as the Boss 9—he’d restored himself. The color was called Aspen Red, and for a man who had no problem making split-second decisions in the heat of battle, it had taken him a full month to decide on a color. He ran his hand over the hood as he strode up the driveway, admiring her as he always did. This was his baby, and all the work he’d put into her had been the best therapy after his last tour in Afghanistan.
He hadn’t been able to assimilate back into the civilian world easily. Having a task to work on in all his spare time had been the only thing keeping him focused. Now he had a “sexy muscle car,” as his sister put it. He didn’t know about the sexy part, but when he looked at it, he felt a sense of pride. He’d had so many offers on the car but he would never sell her.
As the front door opened, he started to smile on instinct, but it froze on his face as he came face to face with Samantha Murphy.
His mother had told him his Realtor’s name was Sam and he’d been so busy with work he hadn’t thought to ask for more details. Aw, hell. His mom had known exactly what she was doing and had set this up intentionally. Which explained the lack of communication. He shouldn’t be surprised.