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“Please text me your address and I’ll see you at two-thirty.”

“Perfect. Come hungry, because we always have pizza and beer after work,” she said.

So much for having her undivided attention.I nodded and left. I had six hours to kill. At least I knew how to fill that time. There was a set of blueprints in my motel room that needed one more review. I wanted to have it set for tomorrow so I could submit them alongside Trixi’s sales contract.

Before I even got back to the motel, I received a text from Trixi.


PREFERENCE? I asked. I like mine loaded with meat, but I wasn’t sure Trixi felt the same.


When left to decide, I always did what I like. Meat lovers’ pizza it is.

I didn’t want to open this line of communication up too much, as we wouldn’t ever get down to talking business if we did. She seemed to be a chatterbox, but I had no interest in getting to know her personally. Even having pizza and beer with her was more than I wanted. Yet after my many failed attempts with Carl, I was willing to bend if it meant making this damn deal.

Several hours later, I found myself pulling up a long tree-lined driveway with a small log cabin at the top. It fit the location, but it wasn’t the sort of place I imagined Trixi feeling at home. She was all glitz and glamour, and this was…country.

I parked and brought the pizza to the door. Trixi opened it up while I was climbing the steps.

She reached out and grabbed the pizza from me and said, “Oh, thank God. We’re starving.”

We?I still knew very little about her. But if she was married, that explained why she felt comfortable having me at her home.

Once inside, I looked around. The interior didn’t match the exterior at all. It looked like most women’s apartments I’ve been in. Bright, colorful, and flashy.

“Why don’t you sit, and I’ll get some plates?” She pointed to the couch and I did as she suggested.

“Aunt Trixi, you know I can’t hear you when I’m in the bathroom. What did you say?” I heard another woman’s voice call out from behind a closed door on the far side of the room.

Trixi had left the room and I was the one left to respond. “She’s in the kitchen.”

I heard the sound of flushing and then water running. The door opened and she came out with only a towel wrapped around her, and another twisted up on her head. My eyes could roam over that sweet half-naked body of hers forever, but it was her face that I couldn’t stop looking at. Those lips and the cute nose. I didn’t even need her eyes to meet mine to know. Anne? My jaw dropped. She is related to Trixi? My mind was trying to connect the dots but couldn’t. Why didn’t she tell me when we had coffee? My gut said that might have been intentional.

“Aunt Trixi, I have no idea why you always try talking to me when I am on the toilet. It’s even worse than when you barge in asking questions when I’m in the shower.” Anne bent over and pulled the towel off her head and began rubbing her long auburn hair vigorously. “It might be just me, but I enjoy my privacy.”

I cleared my throat. She stopped what she doing and turned her head in my direction. In a flash she was standing upright and holding the towel against her. “What the hell are you doing here!?” she snapped. “Are you…stalking me?”

I smiled and shook my head. “Actually, I had no idea you lived here.”

“Then why are you here?” Anne asked.

“Because I invited him,” Trixi said as she returned to the living room.

“You what? Is this some sad attempt at fixing us up? Because I don’t need your help, Aunt Trixi. And besides, Andrew isn’t in Bermoose on vacation. He’s here on business,” Anne snarled, as though it was a bad thing.

“I know. He came by the club the other night, but I lost his card. So when he returned to talk business, I thought it would be better if we had him over and did it in private,” Trixi said.

Anne huffed. “A little warning would’ve been nice,” she said.

“Oh, I guess I forgot to tell you. Sorry. I’m just not used to having a roommate,” Trixi said. “Maybe you want to put some clothes on before Mr. Heart here can’t breathe. He looks like he’s in shock.”

Anne turned back to me and her sweet honey brown eyes weren’t sweet any longer. I could almost feel daggers flying in my direction.

“If you want, we can discuss business while Anne gets dressed.” I needed to have my full attention on what I was offering, and Anne would only be a distraction.

Trixi asked, “You already know each other?”