Troy didn’t look convinced.
“I also design wedding websites,” she said. “And granted, that’s a lot more fun but takes some IT knowledge.”
“I know a lot about computers,” he said.
“Then you’re ahead of the game. Do you play football like your dad did?”
“How do you know he played football?” Troy asked. “He never talks about it.”
“I went to school with him,” Callie said, and caught the sudden interest in Troy’s gaze. “He set a bunch of records that I think still stand to this day.”
“His jersey and two trophies are displayed in a glass case outside the athletic department,” Troy said. “They say he could’ve gone pro if he’d been able to go to college.”
Callie heard the change in Troy’s voice at that. Guilt. “There were more important things to your dad,” she said.
Troy looked at her, for a moment nothing more than a very young, vulnerable, hurting kid.
“It’s true,” she said softly.
“They talk about him at school sometimes. About his football record and some of the stuff he used to do. I guess he was pretty wild and crazy.” Now there was a note of awe in his voice, like he wanted to be that guy.
Only thing was, Callie was pretty sure Tanner didn’t want Troy living up to his legacy in that way. “I don’t think he’s as proud of that stuff as he is proud of you,” she said carefully.
“What?” she asked.
“I got dumped on him, you know. Here in Lucky Harbor.”
“He’s happy you’re here, however that came to be,” she said. “He’s happy he gets to be a real dad to you.”
Troy gave an indifferent shrug that didn’t match the unmistakable yearning in his eyes and went back to working the mop. “So you really know how to design a website and stuff?”
“I’d like to know how to do that,” he said. “But not for weddings.”
“I could show you sometime,” she said. “I recently did a wedding site for Sam and Becca, setting it up so people can RSVP for the wedding, see their registry, and chat about it on a message board, all in one place. In fact, the wedding is coming up. We’re having the bachelor/bachelorette party here on the boat.”
“I don’t know why anyone would choose to have a party here, much less live here,” he said. “There’s nothing to do.”
She laughed. “Are you kidding? You’ve got the mountains and the water. You can ski, hike, fish, scuba, or just relax in the beauty of it all.”
He didn’t look impressed by any of this.
“Trust me,” she said. “I grew up here. There’s a lot for you to do.”
“So you live here because it’s fun?”
“No, I live here because of my grandma.”
“Lucille.” He grinned. “She’s a little crazy.”
“Crazy nice?” Callie asked hopefully.
“Crazy crazy,” Troy said. “She put my dad and Sam and Cole up on Instagram this morning in a Who’s Hottest poll. They were pissed. There’s also a pic of you.”
Oh God. She hadn’t looked yet today. Just as she thought that, her phone buzzed with an incoming text from the woman herself.
I put this up on Instagram. Thought I should mention it before someone else did. People agree that you and Tanner make a hot couple, and I agree—although it wouldn’t kill you to put on mascara and blush when you go out.
The pic was from the other morning at the bakery. She looked flushed and rather…anticipatory, and the reason for that was clear. Tanner stood behind her, hand on her shoulder, leaning over her, his intent gaze on her face.
If Callie hadn’t actually been there that day, if she didn’t know firsthand that Tanner was in the middle of pounding her back as she choked on a doughnut, she’d have said that she looked like she was halfway to orgasm and that Tanner was about to give it to her.
“Oh my God,” she muttered, and Troy looked over her shoulder.
“I guess you’re close neighbors, huh?”
Callie gritted her teeth. “I was choking on a doughnut and your dad was literally pounding me on the back.” She shook her head. “I’m going to have to hack into her account and set up some perimeters and blocks.”
This caught Troy’s interest. “You can do that too?”
She looked over at him. “Uh, no. No, that would be entirely unethical. And bad. Very, very bad.”
That got a grin out of Troy, and she saw that he was going to be a lady-killer in no time at all, if he wasn’t already.
“My grandma doesn’t get online but she’s pretty nosy too,” Troy said.
“Yes, but she’s a nice crazy,” Callie said. “Mine’s just crazy crazy. And I’m the one who sent her out into the world with my technology knowledge in the first place. I’ve created a monster.”
“Did you see what she’s been doing on Tumblr?”
“Oh, God,” Callie said. “I’m afraid to ask.”
“She’s blogging daily naughty autocorrects.”
Callie stared at him. “Okay, she clearly has way too much time on her hands. Her art gallery’s slow on weekday afternoons. I think that’s where she gets bored because she goes to bed early.” She tactfully left off the part of Lucille’s day where she boinked Mr. Wykowski right after Jeopardy. “I guess she needs an afternoon babysitter.”