“Faith? Is everything okay?”
“Hey, Brandon. I’m fine.” She cleared her throat and realized from all the crying she’d done, she probably sounded like she had a cold.
“Are you sure? You don’t sound okay.”
“Is your friend still there?”
“No. She left a few hours ago.”
“Would it be okay if I came by after I leave work?”
“Of course.” The words shot out of her mouth before she could stop them. What am I doing? You agreed to one dinner, Faith…one. So why is it you have a sign that says “always open” whenever he calls? She closed her eyes to shut out the annoying but logical voice inside her head. She knew she shouldn’t be encouraging his visits, yet he made it so hard to resist. How often does a woman meet a guy like Brandon? Not often, so she planned to enjoy his company until she returned home.
The sound of Brandon calling her name pulled her back into the conversation. “Huh? What? I’m sorry, what did you say?”
“Are you sure you’re okay? I called your name three times.”
“Fine, fine. My mind just drifted off for a minute. What time will you be here?”
“Great. I’ll see you then.” Faith ended the call and tapped the phone lightly against her forehead. “The man probably thinks you’ve lost your mind,” she muttered. She stuffed the letter she’d read back into its envelope and placed it and the other one into the box, then took the box to her bedroom.
It dawned on her that Brandon was most likely coming from work and she didn’t have anything to prepare for dinner. She had purchased some ready-to-eat meals, fruits and raw vegetables to compensate for her lack of function, but didn’t think any of them would be suitable for entertaining. She took a quick peek at her watch. He wouldn’t be there for another hour and she toyed with going out to buy something. But she nixed the idea because she didn’t know the area well enough to go out searching. Instead of worrying about it, she sat at the table and powered up her laptop.
Faith was so engrossed in her work that the sharp knock on the door startled her. When she opened the door, the sight of Brandon’s smiling handsome face made her pulse skip.
“Hey, yourself.” They stood there for several seconds just staring at each other. “Come in.” She moved back so he could enter.
“Thanks.” Instead of going over to the sofa like he usually did, Brandon closed the door behind him, tilted her chin and studied her for a long moment. “You’ve been crying. Why?”
How in the world hand he known? “It’s nothing.” Faith took a step and he placed a staying hand on her uninjured arm.
“Talk to me, Faith. Did something happen? Is it the pain? I can take you to the hospital.” Evidently she didn’t answer fast enough because he opened the door again. “Let’s go.”
“Brandon, wait. I’m not in pain.”
He viewed her skeptically.
“Really.” She closed the door and led him over to the sofa. “Yes, I was crying earlier when you called, but not from the pain. It’s still stiff and sore, but nothing I can’t handle. I can even move it a little. See?” She slowly lifted her arm midway and put it back down. “I told you I was in town for business.”
Brandon nodded. “I remember.”
“That’s not exactly true. I recently found out that the father I believed dead is very much alive and has been looking for me for twenty-eight years. I came to LA to meet him. I was halfway to his house before I chickened out and was on my way back here the night of the accident.”
“Wow. I mean…wow. I wasn’t expecting that. But I don’t understand how you thought he was dead, especially since he was looking for you all this time.”
She gave him a sad smile. “You would if that’s what your mother told you.”
His stunned gaze met hers. “Your mother?” When she nodded, he asked, “Why would she do that?”