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Stretching the morning kinks out of his back, Gabe Hawkins stared out of the second-floor window of the Apple Valley Inn Bed and Breakfast. He groaned at the falling snow. What the hell had convinced him to ride his Harley from Malibu?
He’d arrived late the previous night nearly frozen to death. Thankfully, he’d already made arrangements at the B&B or else he would’ve been screwed. According to Addie, the sweet little proprietor of the Inn, the only other place to stay in Cattle Valley was the ski lodge.
Hawk put his hands on his hips and twisted his upper torso from side to side. Whether it was the long ride or the nerves crawling up his spine at the thought of meeting his son, he wasn’t sure, but his muscles were as tight as hell. After pulling on his last pair of clean jeans, Hawk grabbed a T-shirt and shoved his feet into his boots.
Before leaving the room he gave himself a quick once-over in the mirror. He’d taken a nice hot shower before he’d bedded down for the night, but he’d gone to bed with his hair still wet. Grabbing his brush out of his dop kit, Hawk tried to tame his shoulder-length hair. Giving up, he reached for the small black elastic band he’d worn the night before and pulled his hair into a low ponytail.
Walking down the steps, he heard singing coming from the kitchen. “Hello?” he called to announce his presence as he walked down the hall towards the back of the Inn.
“Mr. Hawkins?” Addie appeared in the doorway, drying her hands on a faded red dishtowel. “Good morning.”
“Can I make you something for breakfast?” Addie asked, her hand rubbing the side of her very pregnant stomach.
It was a simple gesture but one that reminded Hawk why he’d come to town. “No thanks. I was wondering if this town had somewhere I could work out?”
“Sure. There’s The Gym. It’s only about six blocks north of here. The first building when you get to the industrial park.”
“Thanks. That was easy enough. How about a laundromat?”
“No need. We’ve got two washers and dryers right through those doors. Feel free to use them.”
Hawk wasn’t used to such honest hospitality. He’d stayed in the most expensive hotels in the world and had still had to pay for laundry service. “I can pay,” he said out of guilt.
Addie laughed. “I do loads every day. I doubt another one is going to break the bank. As a matter-of-fact, if you bring your dirty clothes down I’ll get them done while you’re out.”
“Thank you, but that’s not necessary. I’ll do them later if that’s okay?” As pregnant as Addie appeared, Hawk hated the thought of her doing extra chores when he was perfectly capable of doing them himself.
Addie smiled. “I’ve seen underwear before, you know. Why are men so sensitive about that?”
It was Hawk’s turn to chuckle. “Didn’t bring any with me, so that’s not the problem. I could be here a while if things work out, and overstaying my welcome isn’t on the agenda.”
The blush that began to work up Addie’s face caught Hawk’s attention. “Forgive me if I embarrassed you. I guess that’s probably too much information, huh?”
Addie waved away Hawk’s apology. “You didn’t. It’s these damn hormones. It’s nice to talk to a straight-shooter. I think we’ll get along fine.”
“Well, I’d better find that gym before my muscles start seizing up on me again. Thanks again.” He’d started out of the kitchen when Addie called after him.
“Supper’s on the table at six if you’re interested. Right now you’re our only guest so it’ll be something simple. Mel asked for meatloaf if that’s okay with you?”
Hawk stopped in the doorway and glanced over his shoulder. “Meatloaf sounds good. I appreciate the invitation.”
He stopped just inside the front door and put on his heavy, black leather coat before picking up his helmet from the nearby table. He really could kick himself for riding the bike instead of driving one of his cars. Maybe he could find something used in Sheridan that would get him around while he was in Cattle Valley.
As he opened the door, a blast of wind hit Hawk in the face. Yeah, he definitely needed something else to drive.