She’d pick up right where she’d left off. In fact, she’d come up with an even better concept. Then, once she’d proven to him and to the world that she was a talented architect, she’d sign whatever papers he needed her to sign. He’d have his company back, and she’d have her life back. And, most importantly, she wouldn’t have to leave New York City.

The light turned green, and she tugged on Lindsay’s arm. “You’re coming with me.”

Lindsay hesitated, staying on the curb. “I have a class now.”

“We’ll be quick,” Kaitlin promised.


“Come on. I need you to spout some legalese to scare him.”

“Trust me, he’s already scared.” But Lindsay started across the street.

“Then it’ll be easy,” Kaitlin assured her, stepping up on the opposite curb then mounting the short concrete staircase.

They made their way across the small serviceable lobby of the Harper Transportation building. Kaitlin had been in the building many times, so she knew Zach’s office was on the top floor.

While they took the groaning elevator ride up twenty stories, she straightened her short black skirt and adjusted her sleeveless, jade-green sweater, anchoring the strap of her small handbag. She moistened her lips as they exited the elevator. Then she determinedly paced down the narrow hallway to Zach’s receptionist.

“I’m here to see Zach Harper,” Kaitlin announced with as much confidence as she could muster.

Her pulse had increased, and her palms were starting to dampen. She was suddenly afraid the plan wouldn’t work. Like a drowning woman who’d been tossed a life vest, she was afraid her chance would float away before she could grab on to it.

“Do you have an appointment?” the young brunette woman asked politely, glancing from Kaitlin to Lindsay and back again. Kaitlin had seen the woman from a distance while working on the project for Hutton Quinn, but they’d never been introduced.

“No,” Kaitlin admitted, realizing the odds were slim that Zach was available at that particular moment.

Lindsay stepped forward, standing two inches taller than Kaitlin, her voice telegraphing professionalism and importance. “Tell him it’s a legal matter,” she said to the receptionist. “Kaitlin Saville.”

The woman’s head came up, curiosity flaring briefly in her blue eyes. “Of course. One moment, please.” She rose from her wheeled desk chair.

“Thanks,” Kaitlin whispered to Lindsay, as the receptionist walked down the hallway that stretched behind her desk. “I knew you’d come in handy.”

“I’ll send you a bill,” Lindsay responded in an undertone.

“No, you won’t.” Kaitlin knew her friend better than that. Lindsay had never charged her for anything in her life.

“Ten minutes from now, you’ll be able to afford me,” Lindsay joked.

“Send Zach the bill,” Kaitlin suggested, a nervous sense of excitement forming in her belly. If this worked. If it actually worked…

“Will do,” Lindsay promised.

The receptionist returned, a practiced, professional smile on her face. “Right this way, please.”

She led them past a few closed doors to the end of the hallway where a set of double doors stood open on a big, bright, burgundy-carpeted room.

She gestured them inside, and Kaitlin entered first.

If she thought Zach had looked impressive standing in her apartment last week, it was nothing compared to what his office did for him. The fine surroundings reeked of power, and he was obviously in his element.

His big desk was walnut with inset cherry panels. A matching credenza and hutch were accented with cherry wood drawers, and a bookcase opposite showcased leather-bound volumes and nautical carvings. The desk chair was also leather, and high-backed with carved wood arms. Two guest chairs flanked the front of his desk, while a meeting table stood in an arched window alcove.

As Kaitlin crossed the thick carpet, Zach came to his feet. As usual, he wore a perfectly pressed, incredibly well-cut suit. His usual white shirt was crisp and bright. The necktie was gold this time, with a subtle silver thread that picked up the sunlight.

“Thank you, Amy.” He nodded to the receptionist, who closed the doors as she left the room.

His gaze flicked to Lindsay and he quirked a questioning brow in her direction.

“My lawyer,” Kaitlin explained to him. “Lindsay Rubin.”

“Please sit down.” Zach gestured to the leather guest chairs.

But Kaitlin chose to remain standing. “I’ll sign your papers,” she told him.

Zach’s glance went back to Lindsay, then returned to Kaitlin. The barest hint of a smile twitched his full lips, and there was a definite flare of relief in his gray eyes.