Mia looked at her reflection in the kitchen window, setting her frustration and nerves aside. She quietly headed into the living room, stopping at the door and taking in the sight of Zander tying his hoodie string sitting on the floor with his back to the couch.
Nolan was in the same position next to him with a short length of rope in his hand.
“Mr. Nolan, can you show me that again?”
“Of course. Okay, you take the two ends, loop them. Yes, like that. Then, you twist the two and pull that through the neck.” Nolan’s hands moved slowly, demonstrating his words.
“That’s perfect. You’d make a fine anchor knot.” Nolan looked up from Zander and caught Mia’s eyes as she leaned against the door frame to the living room. “Hey.”
The way his face softened when he looked at her, made her warm inside. “You’re early.” She beamed at him, coming to sit on the couch next to them. Her leg brushed against his shoulder.
Nolan’s expression was amused. “I was given additional instructions by a well meaning friend.”
“Mamma! Look!” Zander hopped up, displaying the messily done knot as he beamed proudly at her. “Noah said he’s bringing a tent and Mr. Nolan showed me how to help!”
“Oh, that’s wonderful, baby. Did you put your stuff away from school before you got distracted?”
“No.” That pouty bottom lip would normally get him out of trouble.
“Well go take care of your things while I say hello to my friend.”
“So, Nolan, can you do any, um, restraining knots?” Lexi came into the room with drinks in her hands, the handle to Zanders no spill cup linked through her pinky.
“What’s resteraining?” Zander looked up at the adults.
“Don’t get any ideas, Lex,” Mia teasingly warned. “To the room peanut!”
“Okay, okay!” He ran off, tossing his rope ball at Lexi before rounding the corner, heading upstairs to his room.
Lexi plucked the cherry from her drink, popped it in her mouth, and shrugged her shoulders. “What? It’s not like I told him about the fake smoke alarm in your bedroom!”
Mia sputtered in her drink, her face flushed red. She could feel Nolan’s eyes on her. “Lexi!” she whispered harshly, shaking her head. “You only know it’s there because that’s what we used for the baby swing.” She stuck her tongue out at her friend and lowered her voice. “Are you trying to get me in trouble?”
Nolan made his way over to her, took her glass and pinned her with his stare. “Are you keeping secrets from me, butterfly?” He smirked, his voice low, only for the two of them.
“So what is this ‘smoke alarm’?”
“It’s not a real one. It’s an eye bolt, Sir.” Mia licked her lips and bit her bottom lip, her eyes stayed steady on his to convey the deeper meaning. “It’s load bearing.”
Nolan’s blue-gray eyes darkened and he leaned in, brushing his lips over Mia’s ear. “I can string you up like a Christmas tree and have my way with you…Do you want my ropes again?”
“Yes, please.”Live November 15thStalker links: linktr.ee/lenoredanvers