The Obsession Page 45

“Shoot. All this way and we forgot. No, ma’am, you didn’t order it. It’s a gift, sent by Seth Carson and Harry Dobbs. We’re to get it here, put it where you want it, and set it up. They paid for the full white-glove delivery.”


“A little more than fifty-five hours and twenty-six minutes ago, I guess you could say.” He grinned again. “There’s a couple packages in the back, too. Wrapped. It’s a hell of a bed, ma’am.”

The one called Chuck handed her a clipboard with the order sheet. She recognized the name of the furniture store her uncles patronized.

“I guess we’ll find out.”

“Want some help with it?” Xander asked.

The driver gave his shoulders a roll, and Xander a look of pure gratitude. “It’s one big mama, so we could use it.”

As it was heavily wrapped for shipping, Naomi couldn’t say if it was a hell of a bed, except in size. She carted the packages, one at a time, as the men began the more laborious effort of getting the bed inside and up the stairs.

Since the dog stayed with the men, she got a box cutter and opened the first box. Four king-size pillows—down. In the second, more pillows, a gorgeously simple duvet several perfect shades deeper blue than her walls, with matching shams. In the third, two sets of lovely white-on-white Egyptian cotton sheets, and the handwritten note.

Our girl needs a bed, and one that gives her sweet dreams. We knew it was for you the minute we saw it. We love you, Seth and Harry.

“My men,” she said with a sigh, and carted the first box upstairs.

Since her bedroom was currently chaos and full of other men, and dog, she went back down, got soft drinks out of the fridge, and took them back up.

“’Preciate it. We’ll haul all the wrapping and padding away with it. We’ve got specific instructions. It’s going to take a while to get it put together.”


“You want it where you got the mattresses, right?”

“I . . . Yes. That’s fine. I need to make a call.”

She left them to it, called home, and spent the next twenty minutes with Seth as Harry was at the restaurant. His pleasure zipped over every mile.

She didn’t tell him she’d narrowed down her choices and styles of bed, had even planned a day trip to Seattle to look some over. Whatever they’d bought her would be treasured just for that.

When she went back into the bedroom she stopped short. They had her mattresses on the frame, had the headboard and footboard on—or heading that way.

“Oh my God.”

“Pretty, isn’t it?”

She looked at the driver—she didn’t know his name—then back at the bed. “It’s gorgeous. It’s wonderful. It’s perfect.”

“Wait till we get the posts up.”

Mahogany, she thought, with satinwood crossbanding. Chippendale-style—she hadn’t been raised by Seth and Harry for nothing. The wood tones, rich and lovely, set off the soft colors of the walls. Fretwork legs, and posts high and turned.

If a woman didn’t have sweet dreams in a bed like that, she needed therapy.

“You okay, ma’am?”

She managed to nod. “I’m sorry, I didn’t get your name.”

“Josh. Josh and Chuck.”

“Josh. I’m fine. You were right. It’s a hell of a bed.”

When they were done, she tipped them generously—the least she could do—and gave them more soft drinks for the road.

When they left, she stood staring at the bed, at the way the early-evening light gleamed on the wood, on the details.

“Some uncles you’ve got,” Xander commented.

“Best ever.”

“Need to cry it out?”

She shook her head, pressed fingers to her eyes. “No. I hate to cry. So useless. I talked to them Sunday. They went right out and found this, then had it shipped all the way out here this way—along with sheets and pillows and bedding. And it’s just right, just exactly right. For me, for the room, for the house.”

She pushed the threat of tears away. “I’m not going to cry. I’m going to cook. I still don’t have dishes or a table. But you can eat what I fix on paper plates outside on the deck. That’s your tip for helping set up the bed.”

“I’ll take it. What’s for dinner?”

“I don’t know yet. But I’m having wine. I’m feeling sentimental and a little homesick.”

“Got beer?”

“Pretty sure.”

“If you do, I’ll go for that.”

“Okay.” She started out, glanced back at him. “I’m still not sleeping with you.”

“Yet.” His smile was easy. And dangerous. “Beer and a dinner’s a start.”

A finish, she thought as the dog trooped down with them.

He watched her cook. He’d never seen anybody cook by grabbing things, throwing this thing in a pan, that thing in a skillet. Chopping this up, stirring that in.

The dog watched her, too, and wasn’t subtle about licking his muzzle when the scents started rising.

“What are you making there?”

“We’ll call it Pasta on the Fly.”

She laid olives—fat ones—on a cutting board, smacked them with a flat of the knife she’d been wielding, and popped out the pits. Something else he’d never seen anyone do.

Prev Next