I knew I didn’t have anything here to feed her. “Me, too. Want to get some Chinese?” I asked while playing with her little silver toe ring.

“Can we get takeout?” she asked.

I was all about keeping her to myself. “Sure. I can call and order it and they’ll deliver.”

She didn’t respond right away. She fiddled with her fingernails as if they had her answers. “Are you going to take me home tonight?” she asked, then glanced up at me.

“I was waiting until I fed you and buttered you up with a fortune cookie before I brought this up, but I want you to stay here tonight. I don’t want to take you back to Nan’s.”

She let out a breath and smiled. “Good. I don’t think I’m ready to walk back into that just yet. I’ll deal with it tomorrow.”

I took her ankle and pulled her closer to me, making her squeal in surprise. “I’m all about keeping you here all the time. But tomorrow morning I have to do some work before I get fired. You don’t have to leave. You can stay right here. I just need to catch up on some things. Then I have a board meeting at the club at four.”

She scrunched her nose. “I didn’t think about how I was keeping you from work. I’ll leave in the morning. I have tennis anyway.”


I hated f**king tennis.

“I can be more fun than tennis,” I told her, crawling on top of her.


“Is this about Adam?” she asked, grinning up at me.

“Hell yeah, it is.”

Harlow laughed and shoved at my chest. “I don’t want Adam. I think I made that clear today. And yesterday, a few times.”

She had a point. But I wanted Adam to know it. “Okay, fine. Go to tennis, but if I come to watch while I work, don’t get pissed.”

Her eyes went wide. “You wouldn’t do that.”

I bent down to kiss the corner of her mouth. “Yes, sweet girl, I would.”


It was three days later before I went back to Nan’s. Grant convinced me to come back to his place every evening. When he wasn’t working, he was with me, and sometimes when he was working he was with me. Like during tennis every day. Grant sat on the porch that wrapped around the main clubhouse. He drank coffee and worked on his laptop.

Adam got the hint. He would’ve been an idiot not to. Grant made it very clear, going so far as walking me to the gate and kissing me until I lost my breath before sending me to each session.

Today, however, I had to go back to Nan’s. I couldn’t move in with Grant. We had to get over this hurdle with Nan. This was my house, too. I also wanted to talk to Mase without Grant around so I had privacy if Mase wanted to ask me about Grant.

When Grant got a call to drive two hours south to check out a site for his dad, he wanted me to go with him. But I needed some space to think. I felt like we’d gone from taking things fast to super overdrive. My heart was having a hard time keeping up.

I knew the moment I’d given myself to Grant that I had deep feelings for him. Then he’d destroyed them. I had thought it would take a long time for those feelings to come back, or even resurface. But I was finding out how wrong I was. They were coming back hard.

While watching Grant brush his teeth this morning as I shaved my legs, I realized that this felt right. It was easy. And it scared me. He was making me picture a future for us. But what kind of future could I give him? Not the one I’m sure he always wanted. He wasn’t in love with me. Falling into the daily everyday details of life with him was dangerous. Before, I was worried about getting hurt. Now, I knew I was going to get hurt. It had gone too far.

And I didn’t know what to do about it.

I was hoping Mase had some wisdom to share.

Nan’s car was gone when I pulled up to the house, and I breathed a sigh of relief. This was good. Maybe she was gone on one of her trips. I headed inside and stopped by the kitchen to get myself a bottle of water before going up to my room.

My room was just like I left it. Nan must have told the house cleaner not to go into my room. Not that I cared. I didn’t have a messy room, just an unmade bed. I set my water down on the table and sat down.

Mase answered his phone on the second ring.

“About damn time I got a call from you,” he grumbled into the phone.

“Sorry. I’ve been busy,” I replied.

“Don’t need to know. I already got an idea of the busy you’ve been.”

My cheeks turned red. I hated thinking about what he’d heard on the plane.

“How are things?” I asked him.

“Working my ass off. With Jim down, I’m having to take up all his work. The man works hard. I wake up early and fall into bed late.”

“How much longer will he be in a cast?”

“Six weeks. I can handle it. Hard work never hurt me.”

The idea of Kiro’s only son working hard on a ranch in Texas wasn’t what the world would imagine.

“What about you? Nan eat you up yet?” he asked.

“No. I’m too tough for her. You know that.”

“Bullshit. She sees you with Grant and she’s going apeshit on your ass. He better be ready to make sure you come out without a scratch.”

“She knows, and he handled her. I haven’t seen her in a few days.”

“Good. Maybe she’ll stay gone.”

I hadn’t called him to talk about Nan. I needed guy advice. “Do you think it would be stupid for me to have feelings for Grant?”

He didn’t reply right away. I was worried he was about to say what I already feared. “I was under the impression that, for you to do what I heard on that plane, you’d already have feelings for him.”

“Well, yeah, I already had feelings for him, but I mean . . . you know, feelings feelings.”

Mase chuckled. “Are you trying to ask me if it’s smart for you to fall in love with Grant Carter?”

Well, yeah. “I guess,” I replied.

“No. It’s probably the dumbest thing you could do. But it’s done. You were in love with him when you decided to sleep with him. That’s who you are, Harlow. So you’ve done it. You need to be worrying about what you’re gonna do when this ends. How will you handle it?”

I sat there staring at the mirror in front of me. He was right. I had been in love with Grant for months. I didn’t want to admit it because it was pathetic. You didn’t fall in love in two weeks. But I had done just that. Then he’d left.

“I don’t know,” I said.

Mase grunted, and I could tell he was moving something heavy. “You pack your shit and come to Texas. I’ll handle the rest. That’s what we’ll do.”

I realized talking to Mase about this was pointless. I wasn’t moving to Texas and I wasn’t letting him seek revenge. “Never mind. I’ll figure this out. Thanks for listening.”

“I’m here, Sis. Anytime. Just call me.”

“I know. Love you.”

“You, too,” he replied.

I hung up and dropped the phone beside me. Where did I go from here?

I was in love with Grant. Full-fledged in love with him. I wanted him forever. I wanted to see his smile every morning. I wanted to know what it was like to be in his arms every day. What had I done?


It was after nine when I rolled back into Rosemary. I had tried calling Harlow twice and she hadn’t answered. If Rush hadn’t told me that Nan was in New York with Georgianna, I would be panicking. But I knew Harlow was home alone. I kept telling myself she was asleep or left her phone upstairs.

By the time I pulled into Nan’s driveway I was jumping out of the truck and running to the door. She was gonna have to start answering her phone when I was gone from now on. We’d talk about that. First, I just needed to see her face and know she was okay.

The door was locked. Good girl. I rang the bell and waited. I was about to ring it again when the door opened and a sleepy-looking Harlow answered. A smile touched her lips and she ran her hand through her hair. “Hey,” she said sweetly.

I walked inside and closed the door behind me, then covered her mouth with mine. It was so soft and plump, free of lip gloss, and I wanted a taste. It was all I’d thought about on my drive home.

She slipped her hands up my arms and held on. The little blue polka-dotted boxers and matching tank top she was wearing shouldn’t have been so damn sexy. But on her, they were that and more.

When I pulled back to look at her I smiled. “Hey.”

She giggled and laid her head on my chest. “Sorry, I fell asleep on the couch watching season one of How I Met Your Mother on Netflix.”

I wasn’t sure what the hell that was but I nodded anyway. “Where’s your phone?”

She frowned. “I think upstairs.”

I pulled her closer. “Next time I’m gone, keep it with you. I broke every damn speed limit out there trying to get back because you wouldn’t answer.”

She leaned into me. “I’m sorry. I didn’t think about it. People don’t normally call me.”

That, in itself, boggled my mind. Why didn’t people call her? Didn’t they want to hear her voice? Be near her? The world was full of idiots.

“I call you. I need to hear your voice when I’m gone,” I told her.

The grin that lit up her face made my heart swell. “Okay.”

I was going to have to tell her soon. I needed her to know how I felt. She wasn’t going anywhere. I was keeping her. I wasn’t letting her go. I’d chase her all over the damn world if I had to.

“It’s been a long day, and right now I want to crawl into bed with you,” I told her instead.

“Mmm, okay,” she said before slipping her hand in mine and turning to walk toward the stairs.

At this moment, life was good. I had my girl and I was about to hold her all night. Before Harlow, I didn’t get it. Why Rush and Woods would let one woman control their emotions, lives, actions.

But I got it now.

It made complete sense.

This little woman had me wrapped around her little finger, and she didn’t have a clue.

I was going to have to tell her. I just didn’t want to scare her off. I needed to let her fall in love with me, too. When I knew she was mine and my feelings wouldn’t send her packing, I would tell her.

“I don’t think Nan is in town,” she said, glancing back at me.

“She’s not. I talked to Rush.”

Harlow didn’t reply but I could see her body tense. What the hell was that about?

When we got to the top of the stairs I tugged her back to me. “What? Say what you’re thinking.”

“I’m not thinking anything,” she replied, but the look on her face mimicked her body language.

“Yes, you are. Tell me or we’ll stand right here all night.”

She let out a sigh and looked away from me. “You talked to Rush about Nan,” she mumbled.

“Of course I did. I had left you with your crazy-ass half sister to drive two hours away and I wanted to make sure you were okay. I called Rush to send Blaire over here to stay with you, and he told me there were no worries. Nan had gone to New York.”

Her shoulders relaxed and then drooped. “I guess I’m not dealing well with this thing yet.”

She was jealous, and that made me want to shout. I cupped her face in my hands. “My past with Nan bothers you. I know that and I’m going to do whatever the hell I have to in order to ease your mind.”

She nodded, then let out a soft laugh.

“Why are you laughing?”

“Because I can’t believe I’m acting like this.”

Me neither, but I wasn’t about to complain. I was thrilled.

“Would it make it better if I admit that I like it?”

She cocked one eyebrow. “You like me to act like a possessive, crazed girlfriend?”

“Hell yeah, I do. And nothing about you is crazed. But, baby, anytime you want to get possessive over me, then do it. Turns me the f**k on.”

She laughed and slapped my chest, then turned around and started strutting to the bedroom.

“You left me,” I called after her.

“Come and get me,” she replied, and glanced back and winked at me.

Harlow just f**king winked at me.

“Get your ass na**d and on that bed now before I rip that cute little outfit off your body,” I ordered before going after her.


Ididn’t do well in crowds. I preferred to stay away from crowds. But I also couldn’t tell Grant that I didn’t want to go with him to a charity event at the club. He was on the board of directors and it was an annual ball held to benefit sea life along the gulf coast.

Kerrington Club had hosted this event for more than twenty years. Grant had told me he didn’t really want to go either, but Woods wanted him there. So we were going. Tonight was held in memory of Jace. His parents would be there, and Woods had warned Grant they would play a video that wouldn’t be easy to get through. Jace’s death was still too fresh for all of them.

I spent extra time putting on makeup, mostly because I didn’t do it often and I wanted to get it right. Choosing a dress hadn’t been easy, either. I had several formal ones that Dad had insisted I buy to bring here. He had said there would be events I would need them for. When I didn’t buy any, he’d had the personal shopper he hired for me bring several to me. I’d pointed at the few I liked and was done with it. I never expected to actually be wearing one. Now I was thankful Dad had made sure I had them.

I finally settled on the pale blue satin that hit right above my knees in the front and went longer in the back. I slipped on a pair of Daniele Michetti heels that consisted of barely there straps and tiny silver spikes. They were an impulse buy. I never bought things like this, but I’d seen them one day and couldn’t resist. I hadn’t even tried them on. I always got nervous in shoe stores.

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