The House Husband

Kim Gahee heard the crash and knew that the beautiful stained-glass doors she'd taken months to create had just met a tragic end. She rushed out of the bakery, not expecting to see a handsome man turn off his motorcycle and survey the damage he'd created.

"Are you all right?" Gahee quickly asked the stranger.

"I am. These doors aren't." His gaze met hers. "Someone's going to be very angry."

Trembling hit her knees. "I can't say angry is exactly how I feel, but it's close." She pushed back the tears as she realized there was nothing left of the doors that could be salvaged. In her eagerness to get the project done before the birth of her baby, whose due date was in a few days, she'd put everything into her creation.

Hired by Mrs Jung and Mrs Park to design a door worthy of the love they felt for their small town and the saloon they owned, Gahee had identified with their vision. The beautiful doors were to have been delivered and installed that afternoon.

"I'm glad you're not hurt, though."

"I don't suppose I can replace them."

She could barely take her gaze off of the fragments twinkling on the street in the late August sun. "No. But thank you for offering."

Lee Sungyeol, wealthy daredevil, entrepreneur and philanthropist, realized for the first time in his life he'd come across something money couldn't buy. From the heartbroken slump in the very pregnant woman's shoulders, he knew he'd destroyed something that mattered more to her than money. He wished he'd seen the artwork and stopped in time.

He hadn't been going fast, but the delicate glass was nearly translucent, with gentle touches of pink and red. He hadn't seen it as he'd turned his large Harley into the street. Now not a piece of glass remained in the door frames that had been leaning against an old-fashioned wooden sawhorse.

A truck pulled up in front of the bakery, and a tall, handsome man jumped out. "What happened?"

"Jongin," Gahee said, "I won't need you to drive me to town today after all."

Sungyeol looked at Jongin evenly. "I'm afraid I've done some damage here."

"I'll get a shovel from the girls." Jongin directed a frown at Sungyeol. "And a broom and trash can," he said, striding toward the hair salon.

Sungyeol wasn't sure why the man thought a shovel would be found in a hair salon, but he was from the city, not a small town. He supposed things were different here. On a cross-country trip across the country by his Harley, he'd seen a lot of things he'd call stranger.

He looked back at the beautiful woman, wanting more than anything to put a smile on her face and take the sadness from her eyes.

He noted a lack of a ring on her finger, but that could mean anything. But if she was a single mom… "I take it you're an artist, and this was your work." Lying in the street in shards…

She nodded, sending a light brown wave of hair across her cheek. So this was also a financial blow he'd dealt, and Sungyeol decided to see if he could at least make that part of it up to her. "If you could tell me the cost of the doors, I'm happy to replace your supplies, though I know I can't replace your time and effort."

Her gaze settled on him. "Thank you."

She turned away. Sungyeol realized she was holding back tears she didn't want him to see. He didn't even know her name, and he'd made her cry. Sungyeol put his hands on her shoulders to comfort her, regretting his impulse when her shoulders stiffened. "Tell me how I can make this up to you."

Gahee wasn't sure what this man might be offering, but it was obvious that he wanted to take some responsibility for his actions. Having had a fiancé who'd decided that married life wasn't what he really wanted, she no longer expected that from any man. Gahee didn't know if her surprise at the stranger's offer was due to the fact that he was extraordinarily handsome and she'd expected him to be shallow. Or maybe it was his motorcycle, which made her think he was one of those men who just liked to pass through life without commitments. She was prejudging him.

Jongin returned with two shovels, handing one to the broad-shouldered newcomer. "What's your name, stranger?"

"Lee Sungyeol. From Seoul."

Jongin nodded. "I'm Kim Jongin. This is Kim Gahee," he said, finishing up the introduction curtly. "Start shoveling, Sungyeol. Gahee, go inside and have Nami fix you a cup of something and sit down. You're making me antsy that you'll go into labour or something."

Gahee's gaze settled on Sungyeol. He stared at her with deep apology in his dark eyes. But she didn't need apologies from a man. She'd heard a lot of those. She went inside the bakery.

"Gahee's a single mom," Jongin explained to Sungyeol. "With a baby on the way, she won't be able to do another set of these doors. She's going to have her hands full."

Sungyeol handed the shovel back to Jongin. "Thanks for the tip. Hang on a sec, would you? I'll be back to clean up my mess."

Sungyeol followed the tiny brunette into the bakery.

"I'm not just talk," he said. "I intend to stay here and help you."

"You're an artist?" she asked, surprised. He didn't seem the type to sit still long enough to even draw a stick figure.

"No. But I can watch that baby you'll be delivering soon while you work on another set of doors."

Gahee stared at the man who'd destroyed her dreams, her heart nervously thundering, her attention caught.

Sensing her resistance, he smiled a slow, y smile. "Come on," he said, his voice a sinful lure. "I'd make a great house husband while you work. I promise the service is delivered with a smile, satisfaction guaranteed."

Hi and thanks for reading and subscribing! Also,thank you so much for being patient and waiting for so long~ This is a rather short fic, but I hope you'll enjoy it! Looking forward to what you all think and have a nice day! xoxo

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