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Kept (Castile Family 2) - Page 28

I get out of the car and lean against it and wait.

Chapter 19

Mj

“Are you quitting?” I look up from the food order papers I’m going through at the owner Jeremy’s question. Normally he’s gone by now, leaving after the dinner rush. He comes in bright and early every day. It wasn’t until recently that he’d finally started to slide out earlier. His wife was saying he worked too much. A week ago I would’ve said that’s crazy. You could never work too much. Now I get it. I am itching to get out of here myself. I’ve been counting down the minutes until I could get back home to Cullen.

“No plans of that at the moment.” I drop my pen, done with the order. I was only giving it one last look over before I gave it an okay to be placed. I enjoy working at Golden Spoon. It has been a good fit. “Why?”

“You haven’t posted on social media today.” Jeremy slides his hands into the pockets of his slacks. I haven’t. I’ve kind of forgotten about it after I went through my Instagram feed and deleted some old pictures.

“I forgot.” I shrug, not wanting to tell Jeremy why I forgot. My mind has been other places today. The wedding mixed with the Castile family has thrown me off. “I do want to cut back my hours though. Maybe even take a little time off.”

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Jeremy’s eyebrows lift. “Castile?” he asks. I shouldn’t be surprised he knows about that. Restaurants are filled with gossip. Something that often entertained me. I nod. It is because of Cullen. I don’t know how long whatever this is we’re doing is going to last but I’m going to enjoy every second of it. He hasn’t told me how long he plans on staying but I’m guessing it’s until his place is done with the contractor. For all I know it could be any minute now.

“You sure you’re not quitting? Opening your own place?” Jeremy pushes. The thought of having my own place has entered my mind a few times in the past. Seeing what it takes to really run a restaurant had me scrapping that idea a long time ago. The time and energy to keep it afloat would take every bit of my attention. I don’t want to be the first person in the door and the last person out. Cooking still needs to be fun for me and the financial stress of owning my own place would take that away. For so many years I’ve done nothing but work and now it is my turn to finally enjoy something for myself. Cullen is what I want to enjoy and working a little less is going to let me maximize whatever time we have left together.

“No, in fact, like I said, I’d like more time off.”

Jeremy shakes his head, fighting a smile. “You’re in love,” he says simply. It’s not a question. Doesn’t matter. I wouldn’t answer it anyway. He is right. I am head over heels in love with Cullen Castile. I haven’t told anyone that and the first time I do admit something like that it will be to Cullen. If I can finally get the balls to throw my feelings out on the table he’ll be the first to hear them.

Seeing Luna get married yesterday brought everything to a head for me. The whole wedding was filled with so much love. I want that for myself. I don’t want it with just anyone either. I want it with Cullen. That man gets me in a way that I don’t even get myself.

He knows how to push all these hidden buttons inside of me that I didn’t know were there. Such as loving his jealousy over me but doing it in a way that is sweet and loving. The man is perfect. I’d be stupid not to try and take what he’s offering. I just need to know how long he’s offering it for. I’m always prepared but with Cullen I’m off kilter. For once I can’t control what is going to happen. The feeling is both terrifying and exciting all at once. I am afraid. It has taken me awhile to come to grips with that thought. I never had time to be afraid growing up and Cullen has spooked me. I wouldn’t know how to handle him leaving and that’s what frightens me the most.

“I’ll post something,” I tell Jeremy. He’s still smiling at me like a goof. I can’t help but return it.

“And I’ll give you any time off you want. Hire whoever you need,” he adds with a wave of his hand around the kitchen. “I’m not just saying this because I want you to stay but you’re making the right choice. I love this place but owning it can take a toll on you.”

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