Because my awesome friend Angela Blount likes to torture her readers with snippets from her new book in progress.
Laura tried to give him a grateful smile, but felt her lips quiver and twitch instead. “Thank you,” she managed at last, looking down at her hands. Another kind of regret had begun to settle down over her, like the weight of wet clothing. It was the guilt of wondering how much backlash her friend was going to suffer for intervening on her behalf. “I’m so sorry if I got you in trouble with your grand—your meemaw.”
“Naw.” Louis gave a not-quite-authentic chuckle. “I got a good talkin’ to about how to treat a lady, but I don’t think she was mad. She even insisted on fussing over you herself when I brought you in.” He gave Laura’s shoulders one last squeeze and released them. The slight withdraw left her feeling so bereft, she almost leaned in after them.
“She must be sleepin’ late—I haven’t heard a peep out of her yet,” he went on motioning toward his dresser at a speaker-faced device with a steady red light glowing in the bottom corner.
“Is that… a baby monitor?” Laura asked, in dim bewilderment.
“I prefer to call it a redneck elder-care intercom system. RECIS for short.” He formed his first side-skewed grin of the morning with a slow air of caution, as though gauging her tolerance to humor. “It only works one way, so I spose’ it’s more like a broken walkie-talkie. But R-E-C-B-W-T-S doesn’t flow quite as nice.”