"Have a good day, sheriff."
"That can't be it," he says.
She's chuckling against his chin when he pulls her closer for a true goodbye.
"Anything more than that, and I won't let you leave."
"Maybe I don't really want to in the first place."
Kate gives his ass a playful swat as he makes for the door, and he reminds her she's assaulting an officer.
She's still smiling to herself as she returns to the kitchen.
As soon as the breakfast dishes are drying in the rack and the counters are spotless again, she completes what's become her morning routine: She changes into a pair of battered jeans, a faded Stanford track and field tee, and paint-splattered Timberlands.
She has a bathroom to gut.
- - - - -
She's reaching into the fridge for a fresh bottle of water when the doorbell rings.
Wiping her forehead with one sweat-slick forearm, she heads for the foyer.
She doesn't recognize the man on the other side of the door; for one stomach-clenching second, she wonders if he's a friend or relative of Eric Lawson.
Don't be silly, she tells herself, but if Los Angeles and Wheelsy, South Carolina have taught her anything, it's that the worst is possible.