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|Moonlight on Nightingale Way(On Dublin Street #6)(79) by Samantha Young|
It was the day after planning Maia’s sweet sixteenth with the girls and things felt like they were moving very fast. I felt like I was trying to swim out of this crashing, joyous wave, while Logan and Maia were content to keep me there… seeing as they were the wave. Apparently, after all my protestations, there would be no taking things slowly for my sake or Maia’s. Maia didn’t want to go slowly, and Logan certainly didn’t.
Already the pair of them were in my kitchen eating the pasta I’d put in front of them. It was as if we’d traveled back in time to a few weeks ago, only now, every time I looked over at Logan, he stared back at me with undisguised heat in his eyes.
I swear I’d blushed more around that man in the last seventy-two hours than I had in the many combined embarrassing moments of my childhood.
“Swimming?” Logan said.
Maia nodded. “I used to like swimming when I was wee, and I need some kind of exercise.”
“Good idea, then.”
“And the library?” I said, smiling.
She grinned at me. “They have a great YA program.” She shrugged, seeming a little shy. “I thought I might meet some friends there. You know… better ones.”
“Best news I’ve heard all day,” Logan said.
Maia looked down at her plate, a small smile of pleasure on her lips. It appeared she’d caught my disease – a state of overwhelming happiness whenever Logan MacLeod was pleased with us. She shrugged. “I thought it would keep me busy this summer.”
“Speaking of busy, Joss has sent me another manuscript. I just sent her the last one back.” I shook my head, still spinning in amazement at her. “How does that woman write so fast when she has three small children?”
Logan smiled over at me. “Don’t start the hero-worshiping just yet. I’ve been over there when she’s writing and it’s all Braden. He gives her a few hours a day, finds some way to distract the kids.”
I sighed at the thought of Braden Carmichael. “I’ve never seen a man so in love.”
Logan cleared his throat, and I looked over at him. He glowered at me. “No need to be hero-worshiping him either.”
I struggled to contain my laughter, my fight only made worse when I looked over at Maia and found her grinning mischievously at her dad. “I can see why Grace likes him, Dad. I mean, he’s a wee bit old and all that, but the man has presence.”
I snorted, losing my struggle. “A wee bit old and all that. Maia, the man is only in his forties.”
“That’s old to me.”
“Oh, how you will change your tune when you’re my age and approaching your forties.”
“You’re only twenty-eight, Grace.”
“A few weeks ago you said that was old.”
“It is. But there are levels of old. I’m pretty sure Dad wouldn’t want you if you were Braden’s age.”
“Wrong,” Logan said, scooping up some pasta. “I’d want her any way I could get her.” He said it with such casualness before popping food into his mouth.
There was nothing casual about the words, however, or the intent behind them. I stared at him, my lips parted in surprise as I struggled to draw breath in quite so easily as before.
Sensing my gaze, Logan looked over at me and then at Maia. “What?”
Maia pressed her lips together at his obliviousness to the significance of what he’d said. She cocked her head and gave him a condescending smile. “You’re adorable, Dad.”
I burst out laughing.
Logan stared at his daughter and me in puzzlement. “What just happened?”
“You know what just happened?” Maia sat back on her stool to look from me to him. “This.” She shook her head in amazement, a gesture that conveyed maturity beyond her years.
“What’s this?” I said.
She shrugged and started to eat again. “I’m just happy.”
Something like panic clutched my chest.
Logan stared at Maia, arrested. Slowly his gaze drifted over to me, and I saw gratitude, thankfulness, and something much more alarming in his eyes. Determination.
His determination met the worry in mine and battled with it.
But I’d been worrying my whole life, and now I had something so important to worry about not even Logan’s strength and persistence could defeat it.
I worried for Maia.
I worried that somehow Logan and I would mess this up and Maia would get her heart broken all over again.
People walked past us in a massive blur, laughing, talking, bumping into us every now and then. Princes Street was always busy, and on a warm summer day like today, it was even more so as residents and tourists and visitors shopped. Afterward they wandered down into the gardens to sit and soak up the sun, or hide in the shade of the towering Edinburgh Castle.
I felt comfortable on the streets of Edinburgh. Unlike London, Edinburgh fit me like the perfect pair of shoes. I felt all at once anonymous and well-known to the city. No one looked my way because I fit the streets like I’d been born to them.
As I walked down Princes Street with my hand clasped tightly in Logan’s, I lacked my usual comfort, my usual perfect fit.
Logan wasn’t anonymous. Logan was Logan. He demanded you notice him, even if it wasn’t deliberate on his part. And so walking down the street, claimed by this man as his, I was aware of the looks he drew, mostly from young women, and sometimes their eyes would glance from him to me and I had to wonder if that was a question in their eyes.