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Book of Romance

Driving Miss Crazy (Episode 42)

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Caleb watched Chief Hanson Briggs and Benson Adewale warily. The Chief’s arm was still wrapped possessively around Preye’s shoulders and Benson had the usual intense stare on his face. Caleb was concerned that he was being paranoid, but figured that there was no harm in being wary. If they were both about to spring some kind of trap in him, he had to be ready to run like his life depended on it, because it literally did—the guards at the Briggs home had real guns and ammunition.

“I just think you shouldn’t stay out too late, Miss Briggs.” Benson Adewale said, coming to a stop beside Chief Hanson Briggs. His eyes ran over Caleb’s clothes, then twitched over to where Preye was standing. “These are dangerous times, you know. You always have to be alert, keep track of what’s going on around you or if anyone is following you.”

Preye glanced at Caleb and he could see some indecision in her eyes. A drop of sweat rolled down the side of his face. If she mentioned the red Nissan which had been following them earlier in the day, the security head might counsel them not to go out. And he needed to get her out and pliable. He needed to get in that room.

He heaved a sigh of relief when Preye turned to Benson and smiled reassuringly. “We’re being careful, I promise. And the moment I or Caleb see something suspicious, I’ll let you know.”

Benson Adewale nodded and smiled, a curve that barely moved his lips. “That would be the wise thing to do, Miss Briggs.” He turned to Chief Hanson Briggs. “You asked me to see you, sir?”

Preye’s father hugged her one more time, then he stepped away with a smile. “Yes, I did, Benson. We have to talk. Something’s come up and I want us to review our options. Meanwhile, let’s give my baby some space. She has somewhere to go.”

It was just what Caleb wanted to hear. He hurried to the driver’s side of the jeep and unlocked the car, twisting the key in the ignition before pulling on his seatbelt. He worried over what Chief Hanson had just said to his security head. What had come up? And what options were they reviewing? Would it affect his plans?

Preye rolled her eyes at her father in mock exasperation. “I’m not a baby anymore, dad.”

Chief Hanson Briggs smiled proudly. “No, you’re not. You’re a beautiful, smart woman who makes me proud every day.” He switched his gaze to Caleb, who was waiting patiently in the driver’s seat of the jeep. “And since I hired this young man, your temperament seems to have improved. I’m proud of how well you’re getting along with him and other members of the staff. Seems he’s had a good effect on you.”

“Thank you, sir.” Caleb murmured, hoping his voice did not betray his nervousness. All he wanted was to put some distance between him and the two men looking at him. “But I can’t take any credit for Miss Briggs’ behaviour. It’s all her.”

Chief Hanson Brigg shook his head as he remembered how snappy and irritable Prey had been before she was forced to stop driving. The change in her had definitely started with Caleb’s arrival, and he guessed that being forced to relinquish control to another person and having to relate with the new driver every day had softened his daughter’s hard edges. The young man seemed urbane and smart, almost over-qualified for the job of a driver, and had certainly rubbed off on Preye in a good way. But the Chief understood why the young man was being humble. However, he could not resist making a dig at his daughter. “If you say so.”

Preye playfully swatted her father’s arm and then clambered into the back seat of the idling jeep. “See you later, dad.”

Caleb pulled out of the car park, all the while aware of chief Hanson Briggs’ and Benson Adewale’s eyes boring into him.

“Well, that was close.” Preye giggled from the back seat as the jeep slid smoothly over the gravel on the driveway. “Of all days for the both of them to just pop up like that…”

“Yeah, that was something.” Caleb said limply. He winced at his tone; he had to get back into his charmer mode or he would never be able to wrap Preye around his finger as he wanted to that night.

“And dad noticed you were all dressed up. Osheyy Detective Briggs! Phew! Imagine if i had told him we were going out together. Dude would have blown a gasket. A big no-no.” Preye met Caleb’s gaze in the rear-view mirror and mistook his look for pique. “Not that I’m saying you’re not good enough to take me out. It’s just that…well, you understand…”

“I do.” Caleb cut in with a smile. Even though he felt a bit annoyed by the idea that Preye was too good for him, he was realistic enough to understand the unstated taboo in their growing closeness. Such sentiments were unimportant at that moment, however. What he had to do was turn on his charm and soldier on. Nothing could get in the way of his plans for the night.

As the vehicle picked up speed and left the car park behind, Caleb glanced into the jeep’s side mirror and saw Chief Hanson Briggs and Benson Adewale in quiet conversation, still watching the jeep go, their faces grim.

His heart thudded in his chest. What were they talking about? Should he be worried that they were on to him?


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