“Do you take advice?” he asked, leaning forward.

His thick arms rested on the table. Did he work out? She was sure Julia said he did. Sitting behind a desk all day didn’t create arms that thick or a body more suited to the devil himself than Henry.

“Depending on the person giving the advice,” she said, glaring at him.

“Then take this advice, April. You’re not ready to know what I’ve got to say to you. This is new territory for you. Back off and I’ll tell you the truth when you’re ready.”

What did that mean?


The waiter left them with wine and water for April. She told him she couldn’t drink wine because of her leg and the pain meds she was still taking. Feeling like an idiot, Henry ordered himself a water, too, not wanting the weakness wine would give him.

Staring across the table, he tried to find something to talk about. Whenever he was with her, all he wanted to do was stare at her. She was so utterly beautiful and yet she didn’t have the first clue about herself. There were many nights she’d slept over in the spare bedroom with Julia and he overheard their conversation between each other. Throughout their talks, he heard April snort when Julia would talk about her beauty.

She looked down at her lap and started to trace around her leg cast.

“I don’t want you working while you’re still in a cast,” he said.



“There’s no way you’re fully recovered. I don’t want to think of you working all day. It’ll tire you out.”

“Henry, I need to work. Money doesn’t grow on trees.”

He gritted his teeth as he knew she’d refuse to listen to him. “Then you can work for me, from my home.”

April’s mouth dropped open with shock.


She kept saying that word. Was he speaking gibberish?

“You’re not ready to return to work. The only logical solution is for you to come and work for me. Don’t worry, I’ll pay you.” He fired off a sum that had her coughing. Henry wasn’t stupid. The money he offered her was more than she made within a year at the supermarket.

“What exactly would I be doing? You live in an apartment. How is working for you going to be easier than getting to the supermarket? You don’t exactly live on the bottom floor.”

Henry sat back in his seat, liking his idea more and more. If he had her around, he wouldn’t spend a great deal of time worrying about her. He was tired of always worrying about her. Every chance he got, he was thinking about her, even when he wasn’t supposed to be worrying.

“Stay at my place. You can clean and organize my life, I don’t know. I’ll pay you to play housemaid. I don’t care, April. I just don’t want you going back there. It’s not right. Your leg needs time to heal.” He stopped speaking when the waiter placed their food in front of them.

“You want me to clean for you.”

“I don’t care what you do.”

She started to twirl her fork in the pasta. He didn’t know what else to say to her.

Shit, great way to get what you want.

“I’m so confused right now,” she said. “I thought you hated me. Why would you even want me to be near you?”

“I don’t hate you, April. I’ve never hated you.”

I’m a jealous fuck who wants you more than I want anything else.

She shook her head. “Even Julia knew what you thought. She told me not to take it personally.”

“I never hated you. I want to help you. Take my offer willingly, April.”

“Or what?”

He leaned back in his seat and stared at her. “Or I’ll take you back to my apartment and lock you in the fucking place every day.”

She gasped. “You can’t do that.”

“I can do whatever the hell I want, and I do. You’re not going to work for the supermarket. You’re going to work for me, and you’re going to do it with a smile on your face, remembering Julia.”

“Throwing my friend in my—”

“Julia would want me to take care of you. Stop being a hard assed fucking female and learn to live with it. You’re coming home with me. We’ll stop by your place first to collect some things.”

“I’ve got rent to pay. I can’t just leave.”

“I’ll deal with your landlord.” He dug into his food starting to make plans in his head. This was how it could work. She wouldn’t start to think of it as charity or anything else. He was concerned for her.

“Using Julia wasn’t right.”

“What do you think she’d say to you right now?”

Tears filled her eyes making him feel like the worst bastard in the world. He did love Julia in his own way. They were together for over a year.

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