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Cal stopped at the front window to check out Giselle’s place. She inched her way down the slippery walk toward her mailbox. He shook his head. Where the hell are her boots? He wanted to turn away but couldn’t. Finally, he threw open the door and strode across the street. Opening her postbox, he snatched the mail inside and then joined her.
“Here. Where are your boots?”
“I didn’t realize it was this slippery.”
“Didn’t you look?” he asked, anger tinging his tone.
“I-I-I didn’t see the ice.”
“Well, it’s there. Next time, look. Or just put on boots. This is Pine Grove, remember? You grew up here. I wear out a pair of boots every year. You’re going to get hurt if you don’t dress for the weather.”
“Thank you.” She took the mail from his hand, ignoring his admonishment.
“Suit yourself. But when you fall and break something, don’t cry for me.”
She stiffened. “Don’t worry, Cal, I won’t. I could be dying on the ground and I wouldn’t call for you,” she said, her tone colder than a glacier.
He stepped back, as if he’d been slapped. “Pardon me for trying to help.”
“Is that what you were trying to do? Help? Seemed more like seizing an opportunity to yell at me. What’s eating you, Cal? It’s been a million years. You got over me in thirty seconds. You married someone else. What gives you the right to be so hostile to me?”
“Got over you in thirty seconds? I’m not the one who walked out, who took off for Europe. I’m not the one who left me high and dry. Who agreed, in five seconds, to date other people? That wasn’t me, lady. You practically told me to find someone else. I can’t help it if you didn’t.”
Her jaw tightened, and her lips compressed into a thin line. “Whether I found someone else or not is none of your business.”
“Damn right it isn’t. And my marriage isn’t any of yours.”
“Leave me alone, Cal.” Straightening her shoulders, she pushed by him.
“My pleasure,” he said, making an exaggerated bow to her back.
She stopped and called over her shoulder. “And it was you who said we should see other people. Don’t hang that on me.” She tossed her hair and continued on her way.
Gripping the handrail, Giselle went up her steps slowly but without incident. Cal stood, watching. There was something about her, something different. He couldn’t put his finger on it, but Giselle had never been wobbly before. Of course, it had been six years, but she was still young. What had happened to make her so unsure on the path and the steps?
She must be hiding whatever it was. Just like Giselle, never wanting to admit she was less than perfect. Well, hell, she’d sure told him off. Why should he even be curious? She’d ordered him to leave her alone, and that’s exactly what he’d do.
Cal brushed the snow off his sleeves and trudged home. Giselle Davenport made it completely clear she wasn’t his concern. Didn’t he have enough to worry about without adding her to the list? He’d take her advice and bug off. Time to face the fact she didn’t belong to him anymore, and probably never had.
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