The Unexpected Wedding (Comfort Crossing Book 5)(6)

By: Kay Correll

“We can keep an eye on them out the window.” Steve nodded towards the back window. “Now, Larry says you have construction experience. What have you done?”

“I’m great with drywall, done a lot of the framing, too. I’ve done tiling and wood floors. I’ve also done quite a bit of painting and I’m a bit of a perfectionist with it.”

“That sounds great. I’m so shorthanded these days. I do run background checks on all the people I hire.”

Cal froze. Of course, he’d do that. There would be paperwork to fill out, a social security card to show.

Steve looked at him, one eyebrow arched in a question. “Is there a problem? Something a background check will turn up?”

“No. Well, yes. I mean.” Cal raked his hands through his hair. “I go by Cal Gray. But you’ll see when I do the paperwork, it’s not my given name. I’d prefer to still be known here in town as Cal Gray, though.”

“Are you in some kind of trouble? I can’t have trouble around my son or my company.”

“It’s… a family thing.”


“No, nothing like that. I just need time to sort it out. You can do a web search on my real name and you’ll find out… things. I’d prefer to stay under the radar right now.”

“As long as the background check goes well, I’m fine with calling you whatever name you want.”

“And if you can keep what you find out private, I’d appreciate that.”

“I can do that. If it all checks out, when can you start?”

“Whenever you want. I need to find a place for Scotty and me to live. We’re staying at the Sweet Tea in the meantime. And I need to find childcare for Scotty.”

“Tell you what. If you want to go in the back with the boys and help with that fort they’re building, I’ll run my checks. I’m badly in need of help, so we’ll get you started as soon as you can sort all that out.”

“Here is my driver’s license with my given name.”

Steve took the license. “I’ll run the check.”

“That sounds great.” Cal headed toward the backdoor. “You’ll see I check out. It’s just… complicated right now.”

~ * ~

Steve’s eyes widened when he ran a quick check on Cal’s given name and found out who he really was. It seemed strange a man from that background would take a construction job, but it sounded like he’d done it before. Steve glanced out the window and saw Cal nailing a board on Josh’s ever-growing ragtag fort he was building behind the office.

Steve usually had good instincts when it came to people, and his gut was telling him to hire Cal. He didn’t know why Cal was keeping his real identity a secret, but the man must have his reasons. There wasn’t any legal problem that came up, so his inclination was to hire the man.

He made one quick phone call before talking to Cal.

Cal came back in the office when Steve called out the window.

“You checked out like you said. I’m sure you have your reasons for lying low. That’s fine with me. None of my business as long as it doesn’t affect your job.” Steve handed Cal a slip of paper. “Here’s my cell phone number, and the pay rate. I think it’s a fair wage for the area.”

Cal glanced and the paper and nodded. “Thank you. I appreciate you giving me a chance.”

“Another thing. My neighbor, Mrs. Baker, watches Josh for me most days during the week. I called her cell, and she’s willing to watch Scotty, too. She’s a very reasonably priced sitter, and said it would be nice for Josh to have a friend to play with.”

Steve could see the relief in Cal’s eyes.

“I can’t thank you enough for the job and the help with finding someone to watch Scotty.” Cal crossed the room and shook Steve’s hand. “You’ve done so much for me, for us. I won’t let you down.”

“I hope not because it looks like our sons have become fast friends.”

A look of… something… flashed through Cal’s eyes. The man was probably overwhelmed with things falling into place. Steve knew how hard it was to raise a boy by yourself. If he could make things a bit easier on Cal and Scotty, then it was the right thing to do.

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