Paradise Found

Paradise Found by Mary Campisi Read Free Book Online

Book: Paradise Found by Mary Campisi Read Free Book Online
Authors: Mary Campisi
Tags: Romance
sick mother, or twelve kids, or is going to night school. You fill in the blank. Anyway, they come to Rex because word gets around that he's a sucker for a sob story.”
    “That is absolutely not true,” Rex insisted, honking his horn at a car cutting in front of him. “They come to me because I'm honest.” He jabbed his index finger at his chest. “Because they know I'll do right by them.”
    Adam rolled his eyes. “You do right by them all right. And Matt's too much of a softy to say no.”
    Matthew Brandon? Softy?
    “I think we're pretty well staffed for the time being,” Rex said. “Though there is that little Mexican lady who—”
    “No.”
    “All right, all right.” Rex shrugged. “So we'll talk to her again in the fall.”
    “Rex—”
    “Winter then. Or next spring,” he amended in the same breath.
    Sara enjoyed the playful antagonism volleying between the two men. They were much easier to relax around than Matthew Brandon. He made her too jumpy. The easy camaraderie of the night continued and when they reached Dana Point, Rex pulled a large plaid blanket out of the trunk and went in search of the perfect spot to watch the water lovers. Adam and Sara kicked off their shoes and followed him to a sandy slope where he staked his claim and for the next few hours they enjoyed the surfers. When the sun rode low in the skyline, Adam leaned over and said, “There’s nothing quite like a California sunset. Matt loved to come here.”
    “Adam?” Now was the time to ask the question that had been plaguing her since Matt left the dinner table. “When Matt got up from dinner tonight, he walked right out of the room. How did he do that without falling flat on his face?”
    He shot her a sideways glance. “Practice. Lots and lots of practice. When he first came home, it was a nightmare. He refused to use a cane and had more bumps and nasty bruises than you can imagine.” He raked a hand through his hair and stared at the water in front of him, as if remembering those early days. “It went on for weeks. He refused to let anybody help him.” He gave her a wry smile. “If you haven't guessed, Matt's very proud. Too proud, sometimes.”
    “I've already figured that out.”
    “Yeah, that's Matt. Thinks he has to have all the answers. Can't ever depend on anybody else.” He frowned. “Not even me.”
    “Some people are just like that. They prefer to be self-sufficient.” She should know.
    “Well, it's damn hard on the rest of us.”
    Sara sensed the underlying anger in his words. She knew he cared about his brother and wanted only what was best for him. “Maybe tomorrow we'll go for another ride. Rex can take us to that fishing place you were telling me about and we'll talk Matt into going with us. What do you think?”
    If she'd sprouted three heads and an elephant nose, Adam wouldn't have looked at her any more strangely than he was now.
    “Sara,” he said, narrowing his gray eyes on her. “Matt would never come with us. He hasn't left the house in months.”

Chapter 4
    Sara padded into the kitchen dressed in shorts and a sleeveless top at a little past ten the next morning. She never slept past eight o'clock, and usually was up and showered by seven. But then again, the last time she'd seen midnight was New Year's Eve four years ago. When Rex and Adam dropped her off last night, the clock on the microwave display read one-fifteen. If she factored Pittsburgh time into that, it was really four-fifteen. Four-fifteen! The only time she'd ever seen that hour in the morning was when she'd glanced at the clock on her nightstand after an occasional bathroom trip.
    “Hi, Rosa,” Sara said, picking up a black mug from the counter and heading for the coffee pot. “Where is everybody?”
    “Up,” the older woman mumbled from her place at the stove. She was stirring something with a long wooden spoon. “Out.” The smell of peppers and onions permeated the room.
    Sara poured her coffee, splashed a little

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