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Driving Her Crazy(3)

By:Kira Archer

Cherice laughed. “I’ll do my best.”

“Don’t worry. As soon as it’s over they’ll be back to normal.”

“Ah, I was feeling better until you said that. Normal isn’t really an improvement.”

He tipped his hat to her. “Good luck, ma’am.”


She grabbed her things, gave Tim one last grateful smile, and ran. Well, she walked. Briskly. Running in public would create a scene and that wasn’t something Debussheres did. Besides, she didn’t want to find out how well her Jimmy Choos fared at high speeds on pockmarked sidewalks.

Cherice barreled into the building and headed straight for security, cell phone in hand and her ID ready, but pulled up short when she saw the winding line in front of her. Were there even enough people in her town, let alone flying out this morning, to create such a ridiculous line? She absolutely couldn’t miss her flight. But as long as nothing else went wrong, she should be fine. She hoped.

Cherice sent up a quick prayer that for once in her life she’d get lucky.

Nathaniel Oserkowski threw a few pairs of jeans, a couple T-shirts, and the other basics into a suitcase. The only items he bothered folding were a pair of slacks and a nice, white polo shirt.

“Oz, you can’t pack your stuff like that. Everything will get wrinkled.”

His sister, Lena, took everything out and started to neatly fold and repack.

“The only things I care about getting wrinkled are my interview clothes and I folded those.”

She rolled her eyes and kept packing, pausing only to tell her five-year-old son, Tyler, to quit jumping on the bed.

The little boy bounced onto his butt and propped his chin in his hands, his elbows resting on his knees.

“You going away, Uncle Oz?”

“Yep, but just for a few days. I’ll be back before you even miss me.”


Oz’s heartstrings tugged and he scooped his nephew up. “I promise.” He kissed the top of his head and dropped him back to the bed.

“All right, you two,” Lena said. “We’ve got to get Uncle Oz to the airport. You have everything?” she asked him.


“You sure?”

He sighed. He loved his sister but sometimes she acted way too much like his mother. “Yes, Lenny.”

She chucked a pair of balled up socks at his head. “You’re such an ass.”

He grinned at her and zipped up his suitcase.

“You got someone to cover your paper route, right?” she asked.

“Yes. And before you ask, I’m using my vacation days for the garage and one of the other janitors at the university is going to cover for me this weekend.”

Lena frowned. “Well, hopefully you’ll be coming home with a brand new job and you can quit all the rest of them.”

Ah man. From her lips to God’s ears. When his sister had kicked her good-for-nothing boyfriend out, opting to raise their baby on her own rather than let the jerk stay in their lives, there hadn’t been a question of what Oz would do. He’d found a small house, quit school, and worked as many jobs as he needed to keep the bills paid.

Sure, he had moments where he missed the kind of life he might have had, but he didn’t regret his choice to take care of his family for a single second.

Lena chipped in when she could. When she’d moved in, they’d made the decision that she’d stay home with Tyler until he was in school full-time. She’d been trying for years to start some sort of business. Some with more success than others. A lot of her ideas tended to be too big in scale for her to pull off. Or just plain crazy to work. But, she did usually manage to bring in a couple hundred every month between her Etsy store and reselling things she found around town on eBay.

With Tyler getting ready to start kindergarten, Lena had been looking for a “real” job. Tyler’s school was looking for teacher aides, which would be perfect, since she’d be working the same hours he was in school. It didn’t pay great, but it’d be enough that Oz could probably quit his weekend janitor job.

If he could land the desk editor job, though… He’d be able to quit everything else and give Lena and Tyler the life they deserved. It was something he’d be able to do from home, to boot. He wasn’t sure what he’d do with all the spare time. All he knew was that it would be really, really nice not to have to spend every moment of every day working. He needed a break.

“Keep your fingers crossed,” he said.

“And my toes.”

“And my eyeballs!” Tyler chimed in.

“Thanks, buddy. I’m sure that will help.”

Lena grabbed her purse. “All right, boys! Load up!”