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“What brings you by?” Wes asked.

“Well, I found a new location along the coast for the new bar. Right now it’s a country saloon that’s for sale because the owners have retired. Great bones, but it definitely could use a major remodel.”

Wes nodded, immediately grabbing a Day-Timer and pen. Old-school almost to a fault. Trent would bet the guy didn’t even know he had a calendar on his phone. “What’s the address? I can drive out there in the next few days and take a look.”

“There’s no real rush…” Except he’d like to get the new location up and running as quickly as possible. With the two local locations, he was doing well. He’d paid off a lot of old debt and he had savings, but he hoped the third location would help springboard the income to a new level. But the first few months were always the slowest while the advertising and marketing took time to do its thing and people realized there was a new place.

“Don’t worry, man. I got you,” Wes said. His cell chimed, and he quickly glanced at it. “Unfortunately, I gotta jet. The baby’s doctor appointment is in ten minutes.”

The tug in Trent’s chest was a familiar one at the mention of the baby. “Is Mitch his doctor?”

Wes nodded. “He’s so great with babies. I swear him and Jess will have a dozen.”

His cousin was so blissfully in love with the former Doctors Without Borders doc, who’d taken over his father’s medical practice the year before, that Trent suspected Wes was right.

“Hey, can I tag along?” he asked. “Not to the appointment obviously, but I’d love to see the little rascal.”

“Absolutely,” Wes said, grabbing his keys. “Be back in an hour,” he told Miley.

Trent followed Wes outside, and they headed toward the medical clinic down the street. “Heard you and Sarah set a wedding date.”

“Yeah. January first seemed like a great date. Start the year off right, and it’ll be an easy anniversary to remember,” Wes said with a laugh.

Trent nodded.

Wes glanced at him. “Still no luck nailing down a date yourself?”

“No…but we’re getting there. I’m not worried,” he said, struggling to hide his disappointment. His future plans were at a standstill, while everyone else had exactly what he wanted.

Chapter Twelve


The following week, the B&B haunted house officially opened, and as Whitney stood on the front steps, she was relieved to see the line of cars pulling into the parking lot and finding available spots along the street.

Families and groups of friends, some dressed in their own Halloween attire, started to form a line by the entrance where Wes stood dressed like a zombie to greet them.

“If I didn’t know better, I’d say this house was actually haunted,” Trent said, standing back to admire Wes’s amazing handiwork on the faux exterior of the B&B. The wooden facade he’d created to look like a decrepit house with loose wood planks and broken windows, dark shadows behind torn curtains, and smoke that resembled a ghost rising from a crumbling brick chimney was truly amazing.

“You haven’t even seen the inside yet,” Sarah said, appearing next to them outside. She was dressed as a broken printer that was smashed in a fit of rage, and next to her, Marissa was dressed in a shirt and tie, holding the baseball bat.

Trent laughed when he saw them dressed in reference toOffice Space. “You two look great.”

Marissa giggled. “Dad is totally confused. He thinks I’m a baseball player but can’t figure out why I’m dressed in a shirt and tie,” she said.

Poor Wes. Technology really wasn’t his thing, and he was living with two techies. Sarah and Marissa had bonded the year before over their passion for coding, and the two were incredibly close now.

“And the best part…” Marissa said, turning Sarah around. Baby Henry was sleeping in a sling on her back, dressed as a black toner cartridge.

Trent immediately was enamored. “I’m totally going to wake him up.”

Sarah laughed. “Doubt he’ll stay asleep much longer anyway with these crowds coming through,” she said, nodding her approval for Trent to take the baby.

Whitney swallowed hard as he carefully unwrapped Sarah’s sling and took the still-sleeping baby into his arms. The tiny thing appeared even tinier in Trent’s huge, muscular arms.

He looked so incredibly sexy holding the baby, Whitney had to look away.

Trent sniffed Henry’s forehead and grinned. “Baby smell should be bottled so that when they are older and stinky, we can be reminded that at one time, they didn’t smell so bad.”

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