AFD Excerpts

“What is wrong with you?” Courtney faced Dustin, who blocked the entry. “Let me go back to work.”

“I fail to see why eight chicken breasts aren’t enough for five,” Dustin crossed his arms over his chest. “Or why you seem to think it’s your responsibility to leave leftovers in the refrigerator. You’re the only caterer we’ve ever had that does this.”

Courtney drew in her breath. “Because I know kids. They like to eat more than just what is put in front of them, and a lot of things taste better the next day, when all the flavors have married. And I’ve waited on yours enough to know that…” She broke off and spun around.

“What about my children?” His voice lowered.

Courtney shook her head. “Sorry. I-I shouldn’t have said anything.”

She felt his hands on her shoulders, turning her around to face him. “I’m their father. I have a right to know.”
Scared by his fierce tone, she looked into his brown eyes and lowered hers with a sigh. “I…I’ve worked several parties where I’ve overheard Derek say he couldn’t believe the amount of food offered, and he always inhales any leftover rolls. I’ve, uh, started slipping him the larger amounts, because he always seems so hungry. I’ve only seen Olivia once, and she was thrilled when I let her stir the sauce last week.”

A muscle twitched in Derek’s cheek, and his face darkened. He fisted his hands and put them on his hips, pivoting away from her. “Son of a bitch,” he muttered. “I don’t believe it.”

Courtney dared to ask, “Believe what?”

“Nothing. Just something I have to take care of.”