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"Can there really be this many kinds of mac 'n cheese?" Lt. Sam Holland asked U.S. Senator Nick Cappuano.
Sam's normally unflappable husband looked somewhat flapped as he contemplated the wide array of choices. "How do we know which one to get?"
There were spirals and shapes and something called "Easy," but Sam was certain it would be easy for everyone but her. "Maybe we should wait until Scotty gets here and let him pick out his favorite kind."
"I want him to have what he likes in the house. How hard can it be?"
Sam scanned the shelves once again and decided it could be quite hard. "You don't suppose there's this many choices for chicken nuggets too, do you?"
The question seemed to suck the life out of Nick.
Sam pushed the grocery cart aside and reached for him.
Surprised by her rare public display of affection, Nick returned the embrace. "How am I going to convince him to come live with us permanently if I can't even handle mac 'n cheese for a three-week visit?"
"He's not going to care about the food, Nick. He cares about being with you."
Sam took in the busy grocery store, overwhelmed by the task. Hunting down murderers was simple compared to this. "What're we even doing here?"
Chuckling, Nick kissed her cheek and stepped back from her. "We're doing what regular people do when they have a guest coming to stay with them."
"So we're regular people now, huh?"
"For a few more minutes anyway." Nick took the box that proclaimed to be easy off the shelf and put it in the carriage. "Let's hope for the best."
"If he doesn't like it, I'll tell him it was your call."
"That's good of you, babe," he said as he steered the cart toward the chicken nugget aisle. "So I've been thinking."
Sam was busy enjoying the view of his denim-clad ass as she followed him through the store. He had rich brown hair that curled at the ends, hazel eyes and a mouth that was made for sin. And he regularly made sinfully good use of it. "About?"
"We need some help."
"Let me rephrasewe need someone to run our lives, especially with Scotty coming to stay with us. What if we get caught at work or something comes up that we can't get out of?"
Sam thought about that. "He could go to my dad's."
"True, but your dad and Celia have lives too. If Scotty lives with us, he's our responsibility."
"What do you think we need?"
"Someone to keep tabs on him when we're not home. To drive him to practice if we can't do it. To make sure the house isn't a wreck, the dry cleaning gets picked up, the bills get paid, there's dinner at night and some sort of schedule."
Sam rolled her shoulders, already chafing at the thought of paying someone to boss her around. "I don't know about this..."
"Someone to buy the mac 'n cheese and chicken nuggets," he added with the charming smile that made her knees go weak. "You'd never have to step foot in a grocery store again."
"That's playing dirty, Senator."
"We need someone like Shelby." The tiny dynamo had put together their fairy-tale wedding in six short weeks. "Someone who can hold her own with you," he added, ducking as she took a playful swing at him.
"Why does it have to be a her? I'm picturing a studly dude named Sven with muscles on top of his muscles."
Over his shoulder, Nick rolled his eyes at her. "It doesn't have to be a her. It has to be someone who can put up with you."