All He Ever Dreamed

All He Ever Dreamed by Shannon Stacey Read Free Book Online Page A

Book: All He Ever Dreamed by Shannon Stacey Read Free Book Online
Authors: Shannon Stacey
Katie?”
    “I had it for lunch and it lives up to the hype. I should be good, though. Maybe a grilled chicken salad.”
    Ava snorted. “Lettuce doesn’t go with hot chocolate. Beef stew.”
    “Beef stew sounds even better.”
    Once Ava walked away, Hailey focused all her attention on Katie. “Okay, spill.”
    “It’s not that big a deal. With the holidays coming and the first guests arriving at the lodge, there’s no doubt my mom’s going to fight taking it easy, so I’m going to stay at the lodge until she’s totally better. A third bout of pneumonia is not a charm.”
    “This is your best shot. Just imagine bumping into him in the dark with you wearing nothing but scraps of black lace.”
    She’d imagined it all too often, albeit with slightly different details. “I don’t own any scraps of black lace.”
    “You’re kidding.”
    “Why would I wear lace scraps?”
    “To feel sexy under your clothes.”
    That concept made no sense to Katie. “I like being comfortable under my clothes.”
    “Don’t tell me. White cotton, right?”
    “Don’t ask if you don’t want me to tell you. And there’s nothing wrong with that.”
    “Of course not.” Hailey rolled her eyes. “Just think, you can be a spinster like me.”
    Katie almost choked on a mouthful of hot chocolate. “Spinster? Seriously, does anybody even use that word anymore?”
    “Spinsters do.”
    “You are not a spinster, Hailey.”
    “Even better, I’m a spinster librarian.”
    Katie shook her head. “I’m pretty sure spinsters have to be virgins.”
    “Oh, maybe. That would disqualify me, I guess.”
    Ava stopped by with their mac-and-cheese and beef stew, which ended the spinster conversation, even if Katie suspected it was only a temporary reprieve. She hadn’t realized she was hungry until the smell of Gavin’s stew hit her. Not even bothering with salt and pepper because he seasoned everything to perfection, Katie dug in.
    “It’s best for me if Josh isn’t seduced by your comfy white cotton, you know,” Hailey said after a few bites.
    Katie frowned. Hailey knew Josh was off-limits to her, plus she’d never shown any interest in him, anyway. “What do you mean?”
    “Paige married Mitch. Lauren’s not only marrying Ryan, but she’s moving away. I need you to be whatever spinsters who’ve had sex are called with me.”
    “You’re forgetting something. Even if Josh temporarily succumbs to my irresistible white cotton, I’ll still be a spinster who’s had sex, because Josh is going to leave the second he can. I’ll just have had sex more recently than you.”
    “Maybe when he realizes he’s been a blind idiot all these years, he’ll stay.”
    Katie shook her head, some of her appetite for the stew gone. “He won’t. All he’s ever dreamed about is leaving Whitford.”
    “Fine. Seduce him, use the hell out of him and then send the oversexed, possibly dehydrated husk of him out into the world.”
    “That’s a little harsh,” Katie said, but she laughed anyway. “And if he hasn’t noticed me by now, he’s never going to.”
    “But—”
    “Let’s change the subject.” Katie was tired of thinking about Josh and sex and white cotton. “Does Max Crawford use the library?”
    Hailey blinked, obviously thrown off. “Uh, yeah. Sure.”
    “What kind of stuff does he read?”
    That earned Katie a wagging finger and a tsk - tsk sound. “Sorry, love. I never date-stamp and tell.”
    “Dammit. I need to know what he does for a living.”
    “I heard he’s a serial killer.”
    “You should go on a date with him.”
    Hailey stared at her for a few seconds, her eyes wide. “I’m just going to sit here while you replay that last bit of conversation in your head.”
    Katie did, and then she laughed. “You know Max isn’t a serial killer. I’m at his house all the time.”
    “Alone?”
    “No, but—”
    “Have you ever been in his basement?”
    “No, but—”
    Hailey jabbed a finger at her.

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