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There was so much going through my mind already, and now I must keep my emotions, feelings, in check when it comes to Andrew too. “Oh, yes. I was just…sorry, Aunt Trixi, I’ve got to go. I’m late,” I said.

She laughed. “Yup. Been years. Tell Andrew I said hi and I’ll be happy to extend my vacation if he needs me to.”

“That’s not necessary. Love you, gotta go.” I ended the call and turned to Andrew. He was already getting dressed.

“I figured we didn’t have time for another shower,” he said.

“You heard?” I asked.

“Let’s just say your aunt is not a quiet person.”

Oh, God. What does he think? She made it sound like I…can’t find my own…happily-ever-after. I can…could…if I was allowed to live my own life, way.If I wasn’t tied to The Treasured Chest, things might be different with me and Andrew. Maybe we could explore this…connection that is growing. Instead, all we can do is enjoy every second knowing the clock is ticking and it about to abruptly come to an end. You know that Aunt Trixi. Why did she talk like it can be any different than what it is?

At least Andrew didn’t seem to take anything he may have overheard too seriously. From the look on his face, it hadn’t fazed him at all. Wish that was the case with me.

“Then you know I don’t have time to talk, and have to rush out,” I said.

“We can talk on the way. That is, if you want to. But don’t worry. I am familiar with family being…outspoken.”

“That’s an understatement. And for the record, my aunt is nothing compared to my mother,” I said, as I bent over to pull on my sneakers. I was dressed more casually than usual, but all that mattered was getting to the club. My clothes were the least of my worries.

“You should meet my mother,” Andrew said. “She has a knack for making you think you asked for her opinion when you never even opened your mouth,” he chuckled.

“Sounds like they read the same parenting manual. Let me brush my teeth and I’m ready.”

“You might want to put a comb through your hair as well. It looks like…” he walked over and whispered, “Tumbling around in bed all day.”

I gave him a playful slap on the arm when I brushed past him. But when I got into the bathroom, I found Andrew was right. I had so many snarls and knots in my hair that I wasn’t sure I was going to get them all out. Each well earned. I did the best I could, then opted to pull my hair into a bun on the top of my head. I’d need to deal with it later.

I headed out and found Andrew sitting in the driver’s seat. “No moose during the day, so I figured it would be safe for me to drive.”

I chuckled. “You win this one, but only because I’m too tired to argue with you.”

“Sleep is so overrated,” he said.

“I agree. But just as a warning, I might take a nap in my office later,” I smiled.

“Your secret is safe with me.”

We could’ve talked on the way, but instead, I sent out a few text messages letting everyone know I was okay and on my way. My employees were all locals, so even if they had gone home, it wouldn’t take them long to return.

Once we arrived at the club, I turned to Andrew and said, “I don’t know if I said this before, but thank you for helping out.”

“You’re welcome. Not that I’m not happy to help, but you need someone permanent.”

It was a reminder that he would be leaving soon. I didn’t want to think about that. It was so nice having him here with me. Don’t think about it. Just enjoy the here and now. Deal with the…pain later.

“Yes. We can talk about that tomorrow. Right now, we’ve got a club to run,” I said.

Talking about hiring someone wasn’t the conversation I was dreading. It was the fact that tomorrow would be his last night in Bermoose.

Oh, how I wish I was going with you back to Boston. The problem was that I didn’t fit in his world any more than he fits here in mine.

At least I have the club to keep me so busy I don’t have time to pee, never mind miss what I never had.

“Are you okay?” Andrew asked.

I looked at him and saw genuine concern in his eyes. I nodded and he leaned over and gave me a brief kiss. “Go rest. I’ll handle things tonight. And if I need you, I’ll come knock.”

“Andrew, I can’t let you do that. You’re actually a guest,” I reminded him.

“I hope I’m more than that,” he said.

I couldn’t meet his eyes, for fear my feelings would betray me. Yes, you are.

I headed into my office and closed the door. I might have wanted to stay awake, but my body had other plans. Thankfully, I had someone I could trust. Damn it. I’m going to miss you when you leave, more than I ever thought I would.