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I sat back, shaking my head.

“It’s the resemblance. Not to mention the way you’ve been talking with Georgia. And you certainly didn’t help matters when you held her hand yesterday in front of the postnatal room where anyone could’ve seen you two.”

“I suppose I asked for this, didn’t I?”

I ran my hand through my hair. It wasn’t that I was sensitive about the topic, but more that I liked to keep my work life and personal life as far apart as possible. The last thing I wanted was for my staff to be gossiping about matters like that behind my back.

“Not to mention it’s a small town,” she added. “I know you’re used to New York, but peoplelovetheir gossip around here. But I get it. You’re the man in charge, and I’m right underneath you. It’s unprofessional of me to have let this go on.”

“All the same, it’s the truth—those girls are mine. I’m not planning on keeping that information hidden from my staff.”

“Right, especially since we’re definitely going to want to throw a party for you.”

I let out a dry laugh. “Let’s not go crazy now. Do what you can to keep the gossip to a minimum and give Georgia and me a few days to get settled and discuss matters. After that, I’ll share the news with the rest of the staff.”

She grinned. “Perfect. God, this is so cute—you’re reunited with the love of your life just in time to become parents together. The Hallmark channel couldn’t come up with something like this in a million years.”

“Love of my life?”

Her eyes flashed, as if Melanie had realized that she’d gone just a bit too far.

“I mean, maybe? We’ll see, right?”

“Yeah, we’ll see.” Truth be told, the mere mention of “love” was enough to make me uncomfortable.

“And congrats, boss. I can’t wait to see you be a dad.”


She flashed me one more smile before stepping out of the office.

Melanie might’ve been right when she’d said the situation with Georgia was like a romantic comedy. What she didn’t know about, however, was the other issue in my life—the one that was shaping up to be more like a suspense thriller.


I took my phone out of my desk, checked the screen and viewed the last barrage of texts from my old boss. I’d unblocked his number after the first set of messages, figuring it was better if I knew he was coming rather than walking around blind.

Where the hell are you, kid? I’m not liking this one bit.

Get your ass back to NYCnow. Whatever the hell is going on, talk about it with me face to face—like a damn man.

If you did something that you don’t want me to know about, you’d be better off telling me in person. Trust me.

Don’t make me come find you. You’re not going to like what happens if it comes to that.

I opened my drawer once more and laid eyes on the burner phone I’d picked up in town. I’d been debating for the last day whether or not to use it, whether or not to get in touch with my people back in New York.

As I re-read the texts from Nico, however, the answer became clear. I needed to learn all I could about what was going on in the city.

I picked up the burner and dialed the number for a heavy hitter named Bolter I knew from my first years in the underground life. He and I had run some low-level jobs for Nico back before I was pulled out of that to go to college then med school. All the same, Bolter and I had an agreement that we’d always watch one another’s backs, be there for each other if we ever needed anything—no matter what.

I held the burner phone in my hand for a long moment, knowing that by calling New York there was a damn good chance I’d upset the delicate balance I’d established since coming to Colorado.

It had to be done. I knew Bolter’s number by heart and dialed it.

The phone rang and rang, and I worried that he might not pick up an unrecognized number.

“Yo, this is Bolter. Who the hell is this?” Bolter’s voice was low and gruff, his words coming out in a rough, Brooklyn accent.

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