Four minutes to go.
Grabbing my jacket off the back of the chair, I shrugged it on. Striding from the office, I flicked off the coffee maker.
The front door swung open.
I clamped my mouth shut as my bear roared his frustration inside my head.
Catching sight of red hair, my breath caught in my throat. “Gina?” It came out on a croak.
“Sorry I’m late! I hope you all didn’t wait for me,” she blurted out, bursting into the room in a flurry of movement.
“You’re not late.”
A line formed between her eyes. “I am late.”
“It doesn’t matter.” You’re here, was what I wanted to say. But didn’t.
“Okay…” Her frown deepened as she glanced around. “We’re doing the training here?”
She’s here for the training! “You’re the Smithrock representative?”
“Uh huh.” Her eyes widened as she took in the empty room. “Where’s everyone else?”
A whole day. Alone with her. “Thank you,” I muttered under my breath.
“Nothing. There’s only us.”
“No one else?”
I detected a hint of panic in her voice, but she was keeping it under control. “Tarq put in a special request, and I only ran the last session a month ago.” I didn’t add that I had only planned on running it once a year, since first aid certification in Craggstone wasn’t in high demand.
“Oh.” She hovered by the door, looking like she’d bolt at any sudden movement.
She blinked at me, her brown eyes wide and unseeing.
I made a split decision. “Follow me.” Giving her as wide a berth as I could, I grabbed my doctor’s bag from the side of the door and headed out.
Two seconds later she stood next to me on the sidewalk, the color returning to her cheeks and pinking them back up. “I’m sorry. I—”
“Don’t apologize to me, you don’t need to. Ever,” I added gruffly. “Why don’t we go for a walk and talk. Get to know one another?” I swept an arm out in front of me, crossing my fingers that this would work.
When the glimmer of a smile tugged her lips at my old-fashioned manners, I released the breath I’d been holding.