Page 75 of Unexpectedly Yours

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“Jason,” Josh said, “Don’t jerk her around.” He looked down at her. “He knows and Meg suspects.”

“I figured,” Caroline said. “I really wanted to go to dinner with Mom tonight, but now I just want to get out of the city.”

“Look,” Jason said, leaning forward and resting his elbows on his knees. “Why don’t you take a few days off from work? I’m sure you have vacation days to burn before you quit, right? Go up to the cottage and decompress.”

The Cottage. That was a lovely code name for the five-bedroom house on Martha’s Vineyard that Jason bought for Meg when they were on their honeymoon. It was a beautiful and peaceful waterfront escape. Caroline was tempted, but not convinced. “What would I do there?”

“Sleep? Sightsee?Write?”

Caroline sprang to her feet. “On my laptop? Hell, no! He might find me.” She sucked in a breath.Crap. Reality struck like thunder. She was scared. Honestly scared. Tears welled up in Caroline’s eyes and she faced Josh. “Oh, my God.”

Caroline collapsed into his outstretched arms and felt a shiver go right through her. “What if he finds me? He was tracking me.”

“I agree with Jason that you need to get away, but maybe alone isn’t the best idea. I hate that I can’t leave for a few days until I get some projects wrapped up.” He settled her back into the armchair and crouched in front of her, but his eyes went to Jason. “Maybe Meg can go with her?”

“I’ll call her.” Then Jason turned to Caroline with his plan. “Here’s what we’ll do. We’ll get you a new laptop and I’ll have my IT department set it up for you. We’ll transfer all your files and lock down the access. Good?”

“Okay,” she whispered, nodding. “Okay.”

“Good. Let me make some calls and we’ll take care of it. Now, can you go home? Will you be okay?”

Caroline looked between Josh and Jason and wondered how they ended up so different from their parents. These guys were amazing, and she and her sister were very lucky women. “I’ll be okay.”

As she readied to leave, Caroline gave her brother-in-law a hug. “Thank you, Jason. Thank you so much.”

As she stepped back, Jason put his hand on her arm. “Caroline, you can tell your sister anything. I know she seems overpowering, but Meg loves you and even if you tell her to back off, she’s still going to love you.”

“It’s hard sometimes.”

“She wants you to be happy. Everyone does. I know she wants to be at dinner tonight. We both do. Would that be okay?”

Thinking for a second, she nodded. “Yes. It’s okay.” Caroline still wasn’t sure how her mom and sister were going to react to anything. She could only hope they were as open-minded as Jason and Josh.

“I’ll call you with details about the trip. Plan to leave tomorrow. We will see you later..”

Caroline nodded and watched as the brothers shook hands and then moved into an embrace. “Thanks, man,” Josh said.

Feeling Josh’s hand settle at the small of her back, Caroline felt herself calming down. If she knew nothing else, she was confident that Josh would stand by her. Her career might falter, her relationship with her family might be shaky, but he was her constant. Even if she had nothing else, she had that.

* * *

Caroline fidgetedin her seat at the very pretty Italian restaurant near Times Square. It looked like a Venetian garden, but the only thing keeping her from jumping out of her skin was the glass of pinot grigio she was gulping down. Josh tried to settle her, but he wasn’t having any luck. It wasn’t a good day for keeping Caroline calm.

“It’s going to be fine, you know?”

“I know. But I can’t help feeling nervous.”

He saw a black car pull up and stop in front of the restaurant and Mrs. Rossi and Meg emerged from the back, followed by Jason. He didn’t know how this was going to go, but over the past few days Josh was more sure than ever that he was in love with Caroline and he wanted to be with her. Forever.

A few seconds after they entered the restaurant Meg and her mother spotted Josh and Caroline. Meg grinned and shook her head. Mrs. Rossi looked shocked at first and then a smile bloomed.

It was good to see, but what made Josh’s heart warm was seeing his girl look at him with all the love in the world in her eyes. She’d seen her family’s reaction, and she knew it would be okay.

Meg stopped in front of her sister and shook her head once again. “I knew it. You kept trying to throw me off, but I knew it.”

“I’m sorry I didn’t tell you both. I didn’t know how you’d feel about him and me.”

Her mother drew her into a hug and kissed her temple. “Honey, I just want you to be happy. But I’ll tell you, if I could have picked a man for you, it would have been Josh. I’m very happy to see you two found each other.”