“Good. He’s staying here a few weeks. I’m sorry I didn’t tell you, Kaley, but you wouldn’t have been here tonight. Please, we’re all friends.”

Dorothy was using the guilt card. Whenever Dorothy begged, Kaley never failed to feel bad for putting her friend in this predicament. Quinn was a nice guy. In all the years she’d known him, he’d never once made her feel unaccepted or uncomfortable. All of her problems when it came to this man were her own.

“Fine. Is there anything you need me to carry?”

“You can take the pasta. Love you.” Dorothy kissed her cheek, exiting the room.


Picking up the bowl of pasta, she walked to the table, placed the pasta down before taking her seat. Quinn had taken the head of the table while she and Dorothy sat either side of him. She could do this. She could get through one dinner without talking.

The two siblings usually talked a great deal while she listened in.

“How’s life, Kaley?” Quinn asked.

“Fine.” She looked toward her friend. Dorothy stared at her expectantly.

You need to get through this dinner.


“It’s going great.”

“You’re working at the library.”

“She spends all of her time at the library,” Dorothy said, shooting her a glare.

“I work, and I study. I need the library to do both.” The only other element of her life was her writing, which she wouldn’t be sharing. “What are you doing now that you’re home?” she asked, hoping to stop all of their attention on her.

“I’m going to relax. Get to annoy my sister, maybe find a hobby or two.”

Kaley watched him eat, his sensual lips closing around the fork.

“Oh, I forgot. I’ve got a hot date tonight with Scott.” Dorothy got to her feet, taking a quick sip of her water.

“I got that movie for you.” Kaley didn’t want to be alone with Quinn. Not once had she ever been alone with Quinn.

“I know. I’m sorry. I wish you had said you were bringing it home. I wouldn’t have made other plans.” She walked across their apartment toward her bedroom. “You two can get along without me.”

Kaley opened her lips only to close them. What could she say to keep her friend home? She drew a blank.

Coating a piece of pasta in sauce, she lifted it to her lips. The nerves around Quinn came back, and she chanced a quick glance toward him. He stared right back.

“It’ll only be us tonight.”

Squeezing her thighs together, Kaley nodded. “Yes.”

She listened to her friend moving around in her room.

I hate you, Dorothy.

The moment she thought the words, she felt bad. She shouldn’t hate her friend. There was nothing wrong with Quinn.

Minutes later, Dorothy came out of the room, dressed to impress in a tight red dress.

“Do I need to warn this guy?” Quinn asked. The big brother in him was showing through.

“Nope. He’s a good guy.” Dorothy hugged her tight before going to Quinn. “Have fun, kids, and don’t do anything naughty.”

Heat filled Kaley’s cheeks at her friend’s words. Nothing naughty would ever go on between them.

“Have fun,” Kaley said, getting to her feet. The door to the apartment was already closed. She picked her plate up, all of her appetite gone. “If you want to go out, I’ll understand.”

“Don’t you want some company with that movie?”

She stared back at him. “You’ll watch a romance?”

“Sure. I’ve not seen you in so long. It’ll be fun.” He stood, picking up his sister’s plate.

Together they walked into the kitchen. This was the first time they’d been alone together. She put the dishes in the sink, filling the bowl with soap and water. Kaley washed the dishes, hoping he’d leave the kitchen. There was no such luck. He picked up the towel and started to help.

With his size, he made the kitchen feel so small. Licking her lips, she did her best to ignore him, which was so hard to do with him so close. How was she going to survive with him staying with them? She didn’t know how she was going to last the next couple of hours, let alone weeks.

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