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Eve swallowed. “Why? What are you going to say to him?”

“That’s between me and him,” her dad said. “Now, who’s hungry?”

THAT AFTERNOON, OLIVER was getting ready for work when someone knocked on his front door. Figuring it was Eve to pick up Beast, he called, “Come in.”

Oliver came down the hallway, ready to give her a hello kiss, and stopped in his tracks when he found the general standing in his living room. He was stroking Beast’s head slowly, but his steely gaze was locked on Oliver.

“Sir, I wasn’t expecting you. How did you know where I lived?”

“I looked in your file,” the general said. “I imagine you were expecting my daughter, though, am I right?”

Oliver was surprised Eve had told her dad about them without giving him a heads-up. “Actually, yes. She’s going to watch Beast for me while I’m on shift.”

“There’s no need for that. I’ve already contacted Sergeant Tate and informed him you wouldn’t be back,” the general said.

Oliver’s heart squeezed as he waited for the blow the general was about to deliver. Where would he be transferred to?

“I’ve reconsidered your request and decided to approve your transfer to Alpha Dog Training Program,” the general said.

“You have?” Oliver felt like an idiot even saying it, but he was dumfounded. “But I thought you didn’t want me anywhere near Eve.”

“As it turns out, I might have been wrong about my daughter’s feelings.” General Reynolds didn’t sound too happy about it, either. “I do want you to understand that although I am doing this for her, I don’t appreciate you using her to get your way.”

Before he could keep his temper in check, he exploded. “I didn’t tell her about our conversation. She overheard me talking about it with someone else. You don’t know me, so I can excuse your assumption, but I don’t need your daughter to fight my battles for me. Sir.”

The general stroked a hand over his chin and seemed to be considering him.

“Do you like to fish?” General Reynolds asked.

The question threw Oliver off, it was so out of the blue. “Yes, sir.”

“Next Saturday I’d like for us to take a road trip up to Loon Lake. Just the two of us,” General Reynolds said. “I never trust a man who doesn’t fish.”

“I’ll be ready, sir.” It wasn’t a gold stamp of approval, but it would please Eve.

“I have one more question for you. It’s about Eve,” the general said.

“Okay . . . ”

“You’ve seen her apartment?” General Reynolds asked.

Oliver laughed. “Yes, sir.”

“Huh. I guess I was wrong,” the general said.

Before he could ask the general what he was wrong about, his front door opened without even a knock and Eve stepped inside. Beast bounded over to greet her, nuzzling her hands and stomach. When she caught sight of her dad, she froze mid-pet, her expression darkening.

“Dad, what are you doing here?”

“Didn’t you say I should get to know Sergeant Martinez?” the general said.

“Yes, but I thought we were doing that on Sunday,” she said.

“Wait, Sunday?” Oliver asked.

Eve’s cheeks turned bright red, and the general answered his question. “Oh, yes, Evie volunteered you for dinner Sunday night at our home in Carmichael. I hope that works out for you? We eat at six thirty.”

“I was coming over to talk to him about it,” Eve said testily.

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