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“You two seem close.”

“I trust her to run the bar, and her boys needed some help.” He turned in the seat and reached for her hand. “But she’s no more to me than that.”

Whitney looked down at their hands.

“Hey, look at me,” he said.

She glanced up.

“Do you have a thing for Scott?” She could hear in his voice that he knew the answer to that. He wasn’t jealous or asking out of any sense of insecurity. He was trying to prove a point.

“You know I don’t.”

“So we both have coworkers who sometimes are there at the right moment to catch some private info…or catch a laugh… It’s natural. We’re not the only people in each other’s lives.”

She swallowed and nodded. They were both their own people, and while they made a great team together, they were also strong individuals apart.

That was good, but it was also a little terrifying, the knowledge that they would both be okay without the other person.

He lifted her chin and moved closer. “I love you.”

“I love you, too,” she said.

“I’m sorry I didn’t tell you about the bar sooner or discuss it with you. I should have.”

She nodded, and he kissed her gently.

“So? We good?” he asked.

“We’re good,” she said.

How could she possibly stay mad at him when she was still keeping secrets of her own?

Chapter Sixteen


A week later, Whitney grabbed the biggest wineglass she could find, poured half the bottle of Merlot into it, and carried her laptop into the living room, where Trent was watching a soccer game. Her inbox boasted sixty-two unanswered emails, and if she waited until the next day to reply to them, there would only be more and she’d never get her workload under control.

The executives fromRace Across Americawere super high-maintenance, and the contracts and documents they required signed and completed immediately to move forward were weighing on her. Their legal department had had several concerns, and she needed to finalize these negotiations soon. The mayor was on vacation for three weeks with her husband in Greece, and Scott had admitted that legal documents weren’t his area of expertise.

Whitney sat on the opposite end of the couch and opened the laptop. Logging into her remote access, she clicked on the link to her email just as Trent lay down on the couch. He stretched out and placed his head against her leg.

She glanced at him and shifted more to the right, but he just repositioned himself. “Trent? I’m trying to work.”

“Oh, sorry…” He sat up and shifted closer, propping his feet up on the coffee table instead. A habit of his that drove her crazy.

On the television, the game was blaring, and blocking out the noise was challenging. She read and reread the first email three times before realizing it didn’t even need a reply.

Shutting the laptop, she stood. “I’m going to go work in the bedroom.”

“Is the TV too loud? I can turn it down,” he said.

“It’s fine. Enjoy the game.”

Inside the bedroom, she sat cross-legged on the bed and opened the latest draft of the contract fromRace Across America. Scanning it, the font swam together on the screen, and her temples throbbed.

Not now.

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