“Seven will work for me,” he said, “although I hope you don’t have anything you have to get to in the morning. Because I’m not planning on letting you get much sleep, Kerry.”

Before she could respond—or even begin to untangle her overexcited synapses into thinking of a response that might make the slightest bit of sense—his secretary beeped him on the intercom.

“Jay Jones has arrived for your eleven o’clock meeting, Adam.”

The sound of the buzzer yanked Kerry back to reality. One where she’d been about to ask—to beg—Adam to pretend that it was already Friday night.

“I have a meeting soon, too.” She backed away from him so quickly that cool air rushed between them.

“I’ll walk you out.”

She nodded, calling on her poise as she said good-bye to his employees on her way out of the building. After opening the front door for her, he stepped outside with her and closed it behind them.

She couldn’t read his expression as he gazed at her, his eyes dark and intense. “Anything you need before Friday night, call me.”

“The plans for the gazebo look great, so we shouldn’t need to go over them again.”

“I’m not talking about the gazebo or the wedding.”

She’d known that, and knew he deserved her being just as direct as he was. “I’m not going to change my mind about meeting you on Friday.” She wasn’t going to wimp out, wasn’t going to let nerves take away the only chance life had ever given her to focus solely on pleasure with no emotional repercussions. “But if you need anything before Friday—”

“Nothing is going to keep me from you, Kerry.” His eyes darkened even further. “Nothing.” With that, he leaned forward, and her heart nearly leapt out of her chest as he lightly pressed his lips to her cheek and whispered, “See you soon.”

It was the kind of kiss friends gave one another. It should have been sweet. Perfectly innocent.

But, oh God, just the barest brush of his lips against her cheek was hands-down the hottest thing she’d ever experienced in her entire life.

Just minutes ago, when she’d made the decision to sleep with him, she’d been so confident, so rational, so certain that everything would be okay. But as she walked back to her car, her legs were a heck of a lot less steady than they’d ever been before.

If the brush of his lips on her cheek could turn her insides to mush, what would a real kiss do to her?

The question should have scared her. Should have made her spin around and tell him to forget the whole thing.

Instead, Kerry couldn’t stop smiling.


“Give me the sander.” Adam’s brother Dylan stood above him on the deck of the new boat he was building, holding out his hand. “Either your workmanship is slipping, or you’ve got something on your mind.”

Adam looked down at the wood he’d been working on and knew his brother was right to take the tool away. He’d planned this Friday off weeks ago to help Dylan finish sanding the sloop, but work like this took a hell of a lot of concentration. And lately it seemed he could concentrate on only one thing. One woman.

Kerry Dromoland.

And the night they were going to spend together.

Dylan replaced the sander with a Coke for each of them, and they went out to the dock to drink it in the sun. Sitting on a couple of deck chairs, both of them kicked their feet up on the low table between them. Seattle was famous for rain, but when the sun came out, there were few places on earth that could rival its beauty. Particularly right here outside his brother’s boathouse, golden rays glinting off the blue water as seagulls swooped down to catch fish.

“So, who is she?”

Adam shook his head. “You’re getting to be worse than Mom. Marriage is obviously doing a number on you.”

“The best damned number in the world,” Dylan said with a grin. “You shouldn’t knock a wife and kids until you try them.”


Dylan’s grin became even wider. “We were going to try to keep it on the down-low for a few more weeks, but you dragged it out of me. Grace is pregnant.”

“Congratulations.” Adam raised his Coke to toast his brother, his grin just as big. “Adam Junior is a pretty good name, don’t you think?”

Dylan laughed. “I’ll make sure Grace puts it on the list.”

“First tell her how happy I am for you guys. Then put my name at the top of your baby name list.”

“What are we so happy about?” Rafe asked, surprising them both on the dock. He’d always been able to sneak up on them, even as a kid. No wonder he was such a great private investigator. No one ever saw him coming.

Dylan didn’t even make a pretense of trying to keep things on that down-low he’d mentioned. “Grace is pregnant.”

“Incredible news.” Rafe pulled Dylan into a hug. “Although I’ve got one piece of advice. You’d better tell Mia soon. Because if she ends up being the last to know, you’re—” He slid a finger across his throat.

Dylan suddenly looked nervous. “I’d better call Grace to figure this whole spilling-the-beans thing out. Because if Mia or Mom hears the news from one of you first...”

As soon as Dylan got up to head back into the boathouse, Rafe took his seat. “I was just about to give you a call. You free tonight for dinner?”

Adam knew he had a hell of a poker face. Which was good, because he was about to use it. “Nope, I’ve got plans.”

“Blonde or brunette?”

Adam gave his brother the laugh he was looking for. “Trying to live vicariously through me?”

“Hell, no.” Rafe didn’t look even remotely interested in being single again. “Brooke is the best thing that ever happened to me.”

“You know I’m happy for you. For all of you. But every time you guys say stuff like that...” Adam mimed being sick.

“You’ll understand one day,” Rafe said, absolutely serious. “And too bad about dinner. I told Brooke it would be a long shot getting the four of us together tonight.”

“Who’s the fourth?”

“The wedding planner.”

Though Adam felt his poker face slip, he needed to be absolutely sure. “Kerry’s going to dinner with you tonight?”

“Hopefully. Brooke is probably on with her now to see if she can make it on such late notice, since we didn’t know we’d be able to get into town until this morning.” Rafe shot him a rather assessing look. “You sure you can’t push back your plans a couple of hours so that the four of us could talk more about the gazebo?”

Adam made a show of thinking about it. “You know what? If it will make your blushing bride happy, I’m happy to change my plans. Why don’t you let me make us a reservation for the Four Seasons restaurant? I’m pretty sure I can pull a few strings to get us in.”

Both of their cell phones rang thirty seconds later. Rafe got up to take his call from Brooke just as Dromoland Weddings & Events came up on Adam’s screen.

Kerry didn’t say hello, just barreled straight in. “I’m so sorry, but I can’t meet you tonight after all. Not because I want to back out on our plans, but because Rafe and Brooke just asked me to have dinner with them. With the wedding coming up so soon, and they’re so rarely in town, I couldn’t say no.”

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