The Path to Sunshine Cove (Cape Sanctuary #2) - RaeAnne Thayne Page 0,1

didn’t. The seven years she had spent as a driver in the military still served her well.

When the Airstream was in a good spot, she hopped out and was reaching in the back of the pickup for the chocks when an angry male voice drifted across the manicured lawn to her.

“Hey. This is private property. You can’t park that here!”

She instinctively wrapped her hand around the chock. Angry male voices always brought out the warrior princess in her. She could blame both her childhood and those years in the army when she had to go toe to toe with people twice her weight and a foot taller.

The chock was heavy and could do real damage in the right hands.

Hers.

“I have permission to be here,” she said, her voice cool but polite.

He frowned. “Permission? That’s impossible.”

“I assure you, it’s not.”

“This is my mother’s property. She would have told me if she had given somebody permission to camp here.”

Ah. This must be Nathaniel Whitaker, Eleanor’s son. Her client had mentioned that he lived in another house on the property and would probably be in and out as Jess went about her work.

Hadn’t Eleanor told him Jess was coming?

She relaxed her grip on the chock but didn’t release it. “You must be Nathaniel. Eleanor has told me about you.”

Her words didn’t have an impact on his expression. If anything, his glower intensified, his frown now edged with confusion that she knew his name.

Despite his sour expression, she couldn’t help noticing he was an extraordinarily good-looking man. Eleanor hadn’t mentioned that her son had dark hair, stormy blue eyes, a square jawline. Or that his green T-shirt with a logo over the right breast pocket that read Whitaker Construction clung to his muscles.

Jess found it extremely inconvenient that Nathaniel Whitaker happened to hit every single one of her personal yum buttons.

“Who are you?” he demanded. “And how do you know my mother?”

Ah. This was tricky. Eleanor was her client. She must have had her own reasons for not telling her son Jess was showing up. Jess felt compelled to honor those reasons. Until she could talk to the woman, Jess didn’t feel right about giving more information to Nate than his own mother had.

“My name is Jess Clayton. Your mother knows I planned to arrive today. I have her permission to set up anywhere. I thought this would work well.”

Beautifully, actually. The more time she looked around, the better she liked it. A twisting path down to the ocean started just a few yards away, leading down to what looked like a protected cove.

“Set up for what? Why are you here?”

“You really should ask your mother,” she said. It would be so much better if he could hear the explanation from Eleanor.

“I just tried to call her when I saw you pulling in. She’s not answering.”

“Probably in the middle of the movie. She told me she and Sophie were going to a matinee after the orthodontist.”

If she thought this further knowledge about his family would set Nate’s mind at ease, she was sadly mistaken. His gaze narrowed further. “How the hell do you know my daughter had an orthodontist appointment?”

“Your mom happened to mention it.”

“Funny, the things my mother told you. I talk to her several times a day, every day, and she hasn’t said a word to me about a strange woman setting up a trailer in the side yard. Tell me again what you’re doing here?”

She wanted to be finishing her trailer setup so she could unhitch and go into town for groceries. She would rather not be engaged in a confrontation with a strange man, no matter how hot, who didn’t need to know every detail of his mother’s life.

Why hadn’t Eleanor told him already? It’s not as if the woman could keep their efforts a secret for long.

Still, it was not up to Jess to spill the dirt.

“I’m afraid that’s between me and your mother. You really need to get the answer to that question from her.”

“Sorry, ma’am, but that’s not good enough. Right now, you’re trespassing. If you don’t move this out of here, I’m calling the police. The chief happens to be a good friend of mine.”

“Yes, I know.” Done with this discussion, Jess reached down to wedge the chock behind the passenger-side wheel. “You play poker with him every other Friday night. Your mother told me.”

“What else did she tell you?” He had moved beyond suspicion to outright hostility. She probably shouldn’t have said anything about the

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