Meg’s heart gave an extra thud. She met Sam’s gaze as his question hung on the air, heavy with expectation. She wanted to say yes, she realized, dismayed. Yes, to the building supplies. Yes, to going with him. Yes, to pretty much anything he proposed that would get her out of this kitchen and away from the career coach’s stupid questions.
So take a break. You need a little fun.
No. The sooner she finished the assignment, the sooner she could begin the real work of finding a job. She wasn’t abandoning her schedule to go joyriding around the island with the Boy Who Had Everything.
She dug in her heels, resisting the tug of temptation. “I’m not scavenging materials off a construction site. I’m perfectly capable of buying what we need.”
“Think of it as close proximity sourcing. This isn’t about money, Meggie. It’s about time and energy. A trip to the mainland and back would cost me a couple of hours and half a tank of gas. This is quicker. Get in, get out. No problem.”
Okay, she could accept his reasoning. To a point. Time is money, Derek was fond of saying. In their relationship, household chores and errands were calculated and divided as neatly as the monthly utilities. So many minutes to unload the dishwasher or carry the trash to the garbage chute, so many hours to pay the bills or wait for the super or pick up the dry cleaning . . .
Sam wasn’t anything like Derek. Maybe, in this one instance, that was a good thing. “At least let me reimburse you for the cost of the materials.”
She was forced to be blunt. “Look, I don’t want to owe you any favors.”
“Consider it payback.”
“For what?” The instant the words escaped her mouth, she wished she could snatch them back. What did she want him to say? For being drunk? For taking everything you offered? For not calling you the next day or for weeks afterward? They were too old for any of that to matter now.
And if he apologized again, after all these years, she would hit him.