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“Oh, and she’s single,” the older woman said slyly.

Son of a bitch!

Chapter Eleven

AFTER THE PICNIC, Oliver walked Abigail and Daisy over to the adoption tent and shook Abigail’s hand. He had enjoyed the food and she was nice, but even if a certain raven-haired woman hadn’t already overhauled his heart, nothing was going to happen with her.

“Good luck with Daisy,” Oliver said. During their hour, Abigail had fallen in love with the gentle pit bull and decided to adopt her.

“Thank you so much,” Abigail said, patting Daisy’s head. “I think it’s going to be a good match. I appreciate your time. I know my grandmother can be a little nuts.”

“No, she is hilarious,” he said. “Reminds me of my abuela.”

“Well, good. It was nice meeting you,” she said.

“You, too.”

Oliver took off toward the gym where Best had said to meet him. Oliver’s duties were over for the day, and he was supposed to drive up to his parents’ for the weekend. They lived up in Mendocino, and it had been a while since he’d visited, so he figured he was due.

But before he left, he needed to get Eve alone and talk to her. Things were too confusing between them, made more so by her mixed signals and her father’s threats. He needed to know if what they had was worth fighting for or whether it was all in his head.

As if his mind had conjured her, Oliver saw her standing with Beast, feeding him treats and crooning to him.

“Did you steal him from Best?” Oliver asked.

“Actually, he had an errand to run and asked if I’d watch Beast,” she said.

“Well, that was nice of you.” Oliver knelt down, running his hand over Beast’s head as the dog wiggled and tried to lick him.

“I actually wanted to talk to you about something,” Eve said. She was twisting Beast’s leash up in her hands and seemed nervous about something.

“What’s that?” Oliver asked.

“I was wondering if I could ask you out on a proper date,” she said swiftly. “Maybe tonight?”

Oliver’s heart exploded, hitting his rib cage with a force that stole his breath. He had hoped and prayed but hadn’t really been sure she’d felt the same way. “What happened to your policy about guys like me?”

“I thought maybe I could make an exception for someone I like-like.” She offered him a small smile, but he kept his face neutral.

“I don’t know if I should get involved with a woman who doesn’t respect my career choice,” he said.

“A valid point. I could have said and explained my views better, but I can sometimes be a clod. But I was hoping you’d overlook my stupidity this once and give me one teeny tiny date.”

Suddenly, an idea struck him, and he grinned evilly. “Yeah, I’m not really a teeny tiny kind of guy. I like to go big in everything I do.”

“Okay, so what do you suggest?”

Oliver stood up and grabbed her free hand, sliding his fingers between hers. “I was thinking you could come with me now.”

“Where?” she asked.

“I’m going to visit my parents for the weekend,” he said, pulling her closer. “And I want you to come with me.”

It was the craziest idea he’d ever had, but if it meant an entire weekend with Eve, away from all the reasons they shouldn’t be together, he was willing to go a little insane.

Eve blinked at him, shock written all over her face. “Wait, no. To your parents’ place?”

“Why not? You could get someone to handle the rest of the fund-raiser, and I’ve got room,” he said.