Page 21 of Suited for Love

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She opens her purse and hands me a card. "There is going to be a political fundraiser next week."

"A what?" I look at the invitation, bewildered. Then my eyes snap up to hers. "No way."

She nods. "Clever girl, your neighbor."

Chapter 12


Iclimbtotheroof a bit earlier than usual. I'm a little nervous to see Tuck tonight, but my anxiety will just grow the longer I wait. News travels fast in a small town, and I have no doubt he's heard it all by now. May as well face the music.

Now that my plan to win over Mayor Tuck is in motion, and through her, the town, I'm worried about how Tuck will respond. We've become friends over the past weeks—maybe even more than friends. Our rooftop meetings have become my favorite part of the day. But no one else even knows about our friendship. It doesn't exist outside of our little Switzerland.

So, I can't help but wonder…is it even real?

When I step onto the roof, I freeze in surprise. Tuck is spreading out a blanket. Instead of the usual cooler of beer, there's a bottle of wine in an ice bucket, and next to that, a giant picnic basket.

"What's all this?"

He pats a spot on the blanket. "I hope you came hungry?"

I take a seat and attempt to peek into the basket.

He pulls it out of my reach. "Not yet. First, the wine."

I wait patiently as he uncorks the bottle and pours it into two glasses. "What's the special occasion?"

He holds up his glass to make a toast. "To your diabolical plan to win over the town." He taps his glass against mine. "Cheers."

An uneasy feeling grows in my stomach. "It's not diabolical. It's just…"

"Clever? That's the word my mother used." He shakes his head. "A campaign fundraiser for the mayor of Friendly? Really?"

His tone is friendly, but the words feel like barbs.What happened to this being Switzerland?

I shrug. "That sort of thing is common in New York City."

"It'll be a first for Friendly." He laughs. "You do know that she's run unopposed for more than thirty years? She doesn't need a campaign fundraiser."

I sip my wine, a nice, full-bodied Chardonnay. "The ethics rules allow campaign contributions to be allocated for community services or donated to charity."

"So, you get people into your store, and my mother gets to look good when she puts the money toward the town?"


"I have to admit, it's brilliant." There's a strange edge to his voice.

"Is the food in the basket as good as the wine?" I ask, attempting to change the subject.

"Best fish tacos Friendly has to offer. Pete's Bar & Grill doesn't open until next month, but I have an in with the chef."

"Lucky me." There's no mistaking the flirty tone of my voice, but there's not even a hint of a smile on Tuck's face. It doesn't make sense. The setting couldn't be more romantic, with the sunset and the wine. It feels like a date. Though truth be told, I'd started to think of all our rooftop meetings as dates.

Every night, I wonder when he’ll finally kiss me.

But now he seems sodistant.

He pulls the food out of the basket. Everything is compartmentalized so that we can assemble the tacos ourselves. Pete clearly knows how to pack a picnic basket.