Must Like Kids

Must Like Kids by Jackie Braun Read Free Book Online

Book: Must Like Kids by Jackie Braun Read Free Book Online
Authors: Jackie Braun
Tags: Romance, Contemporary, kiss
the tug of excitement his words elicited. Still, she asked, “You were?”
    “Yeah. I ordered a bagel and coffee from the deli up the block more than an hour ago and the deliveryman just showed up ten minutes ago, despite the promise I’d have my order in less than thirty minutes. Clearly, he could benefit from a lecture on the importance of punctuality.”
    She gritted her teeth at the amusement in Alec’s tone since it came her expense. But his response was just what she needed to banish that dream. “I hope you didn’t tip him well.”
    “Actually, I did. He said his bike had a flat tire and he was apologetic.”
    “Well, if he was apologetic...” She left it at that, figuring she’d made her point.
    “Sorry goes a long way, doesn’t it?” Alec replied amiably.
    “Only when it’s offered immediately and is sincere.”
    Deep laughter rumbled. “And if I told you I had a flat tire on the way to our first meeting and that was why I was late, would you still hold it against me?”
    “Did you?”
    In spite of herself, she chuckled at his candid response. “You were late because you didn’t want to be there, Alec. And the apology you offered was offhanded at best.”
    “I didn’t want to be there,” he agreed. “But that’s not why I was late.”
    “Then what’s your excuse?”
    Several beats of silence followed. “I had to take a call from my mother.”
    Julia snorted. “Right.”
    “So cynical.” He made a tsking noise. “So, what are you doing working on a Saturday? I recall someone telling me something about how work wasn’t her main priority. ‘It’s what I do, not who I am,’ or some such rebuke. But maybe I misunderstood.”
    She ignored the barb. “I came across a few articles that I thought you might find enlightening.”
    They were about child-rearing and what new parents could expect. She figured Alec could use the insight, both into what made children act the way they did and what parents went through as a result. Of course, no one really understood parenthood until they were in the trenches, living it day to day. At that point, all of the diatribes from a childless person were relegated to the trash heap.
    “Are you at your office?” he asked as if she hadn’t spoken.
    “On a Saturday? No way.” Then she couldn’t resist needling him. “I may decide to slip in a little work here and there on a weekend, but, unlike you, I do it from home. While I’ve been surfing the internet for information, my kids have been occupied finishing up their homework.”
    “Homework! On a Saturday? That’s worse than making a high-paid corporate executive stay late for a meeting,” he told her, alluding to the remark she’d made about Alec scheduling after-hours meetings with his staff. “And you called me unpopular.”
    Through the beveled glass door of the closet-sized room that served as her home office, Julia could see into the kitchen. At the table, Colin was copying down his spelling words and Danielle was working on math problems. Their sour expressions made it clear that neither one of them was happy with her at the moment.
    “I’ll give you that, but it’s now or never. We have a busy weekend in store.”
    ‘’Right. Danielle has a soccer game today.” Julia was surprised that he remembered. She was even more surprised when he asked, “What position does she play?”
    “Goalie.” Then she said, “Hey, this is good, Alec.”
    “What’s good?”
    “The polite interest you’re showing in my kids. This is exactly how you need to come off when you’re out at the events I have planned.”
    “I’ll keep that in mind.” But he didn’t sound happy about the suggestion. “For the record, I asked because I was interested. I’m not a completely lost cause.”
    She felt embarrassed, small. “I didn’t mean—”
    “You’re just doing your job,” he interrupted.
    “I, um, yes. Still, if I hurt your feelings...”
    “You didn’t.” But she wasn’t so

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