Second Chance Romance (Chapter 7, page 1 of 11)

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Chapter 7

Mandy was up early in the morning. She sat alone at the kitchen table with her hands wrapped around a hot mug of tea. In front of her was the work she had abandoned the night before. A knock at the door, scared her so much she knocked her tea over. "Fuck," she muttered, grabbing a towel and mopping up the spill before it got to her papers.

The second knock was impatient. "What the hell?" she wondered, heading for the door. She peered out the window onto the front porch of her town house. She blinked twice and looked closer. Then she opened the door. "What the hell are you doing here?" she demanded.

"Good morning to you, too," Kip said, with a boyish grin. "Told you I'd see you again. Hope I'm not too early." He leaned in and kissed her cheek.

She shook her head dumbly. "Come in," she said, holding in a sigh, stepping back and holding the door open. She wasn't ready, she didn't have her defenses up yet. He couldn't be here. She had to be in bed still dreaming.

He stepped in and took off his shoes. He held out a box of doughnuts, like it was a peace offering. Tim Horton's, she shook her head. He held a four-pack tray of coffee cups, all steaming. "I wasn't sure what you drank these days, so I got something of everything with hope."

She smiled, her heart melting, despite everything. "You are very sweet."

"I hoped you'd think so." They went into the kitchen and the packages were put on the table.

Colton came out, rubbing his eyes. "Who are you talking to?"

"Sh-Darn. Sorry didn't mean to wake you," Kip said, catching his foul word before it left his mouth.

Mandy caught the panic before it showed on her face. She didn't even glance at Kip. She stepped between him and Colton. "Morning sweetie." She reached out for her son. "Cole, this is my friend Mr. Turner. This is my son, Colton." She stepped to the side so the two could see each other. Colton was still half asleep and not totally aware of what was going on.

Kip looked frozen in place. Worry on his face.

Colton merely raised his hand and stopped to lean on her. "Is it time to get up?" he asked.

"Not yet. About half an hour. You want to lay on the sofa, go to bed or stay up?"

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