“Everything to your liking?” she asked from her place near his feet.
Her words were sarcastic as ever, but her voice lacked heat. Her tone was more husky than usual, as though she was simply . . . tired.
Nick nudged the toe of his shoe against a piece of black lacquered wood as he took a sip of the wine. “Building Calloway’s coffin?”
She pleased him by laughing. “Not a bad idea. But no. I’ve been at this piece of crap for an hour, but I’m pretty sure the little pictures in the instruction manual aren’t even for the right piece of furniture. I mean, what is this one?” She pointed at the paper. “It looks like a penis.”
Taylor thrust up the directions at him. He accepted the rumpled booklet, but kept his gaze on her rather than looking at the illustration she referenced.
She was a bit paler than usual, but there was no puffy redness around her eyes to indicate tears. Good. Good. Calloway wasn’t worth them.
Nick gently nudged a board out of the way with his foot and lowered to the ground across from her, turning his attention to the instructions.
“For as much as you paid for your fussy couch out there, you couldn’t have bought an assembled piece of furniture? What’s with the Ikea flashback to college?” he asked.
She sighed tiredly. “That was the deal I made with myself. I could get the couch if I went thrifty on everything else.”
“What’s its furniture destiny?” he asked. “Bookshelf? Desk?”
“A large one, apparently,” he said, surveying the numerous pieces.
Taylor’s slim shoulders lifted in a shrug. “I have lots of books.”
“Yeah?” he asked, flipping through the manual, getting the gist of which piece went where. “Never pegged you as a reader.”
“What did you think I did in my spare time, killed cats?”
“I’ve thought about it,” she muttered, taking a sip of wine.