Logan forced his mind to Alicia. He didn’t blame her for not answering her phone, but if he couldn’t reach her, how could he appease Mitchell before their meeting about the merger?

Earlier Logan had dropped by the building in the Quarter where Alicia lived. Her doorman had been only too happy to inform him that she’d come home early this morning with a man who looked a whole lot like Logan, that she’d packed a bag, and that the two of them had left almost immediately.

“He had his arm around her. He seemed to be comforting her. Until you showed up, I thought he was you.”

So, where were they?

Logan punched in Alicia’s cell phone number, but as it rang, a vision of Cici naked in bed beneath him last night sprang into his mind. God, she’d felt so deliciously hot he couldn’t stop thinking about her.

All morning as he’d searched for Alicia and Jake, Cici had been on his mind. He kept remembering her taste and the thrill of her soft, wet lips when she’d gone down on her knees to pleasure him. He got hard every time he thought about it, which was all the time, damn it.

Last night had been wonderful. Everything had been great after they’d started making love until he’d awakened to sobering reality this morning. Even so, he hadn’t been gone from her five minutes before he’d wanted to turn his Lexus around and drive right back and reassure her.

He had his own life, even if it was a mess at present. He couldn’t let himself care about Cici Bellefleur. But suppose he did care.

As Logan raced down the steps to his Lexus, he dialed Alicia’s cell phone. When her voice mail picked up again, he snapped his phone shut. Clearly, she wasn’t ready to be found. At least not by him.

Who could blame her?

He was jamming his key in the ignition, when his own phone rang. Finally, he thought, sure it was Alicia.

Hayes spoke instead. “Mitch just walked in. You’d better get the hell over here.”

“He’s early. It’s only twelve-thirty. Our meeting isn’t until one.”

“He’s here. He says you’re late. He says the meeting’s supposed to start now.”

“He always thinks all meetings should start whenever he shows up. He’s being unreasonable—as usual.”

“I don’t think he likes you very much this morning, either. Would somebody please tell me what the hell is going on?”

“Mitch thinks I hurt Alicia.”

“Well, did you?”

“Not on purpose. Alicia won’t talk to me, so I don’t know exactly what is wrong with her.”

“Is Miss Bellefleur involved in any of this?”

“I don’t want to talk about her.”

“Okay. So, sounds like she’s involved. Not good.” He paused. “Mitchell just told me he has another offer—a very attractive offer from J.L. Brown. So, where does this leave our merger?”

“You’d better ask Mitchell.”

The door of the dress shop closed behind Cici with a tinkle of merry, silvery bells. Her emotions had been in such turmoil ever since Logan had left, she’d been unable to think, much less focus on her book. So, she’d driven into town on an errand for Noonoon and to check a book out of the library for Pierre. And, now after seeing the blue dress in the shop window, she was shopping to distract herself.

Besides, she’d been desperate to get away from the telephone because despite everything she’d said to the contrary to Logan, she’d longed for him to call. If everybody else on the planet hadn’t phoned to say how much he or she had loved the party, maybe she wouldn’t have noticed Logan’s neglect quite as much. But every time the phone had rung, she’d driven herself crazy wishing it was him.

If only she could stop thinking about him, stop wishing he’d acted differently this morning.

Stupid. She knew what kind of man he was.

The elderly saleslady at the cash register looked up and smiled. “May I help you?”

“That dress in the window. It caught my eye. The blue one with the full skirt.”

“The sweet little sundress?”

“I was wondering if you had it in my size.”

“You’re a four, aren’t you, dear?”

“How did you know?”

Cici’s gaze was then drawn to a red lace bra and matching thong.

“Sexy, aren’t they? Just the things to win a man.” The saleslady smiled at her dreamily. “I used to be a four…and wear naughty underthings…but that was many, many years ago.”

Maybe so, but her step was as light as a girl’s as she hurried to the rack in the back and found the blue dress Cici liked in a four.

In no time Cici had the dress on and was staring at herself in a long, gilt-edged mirror lit by spring sunshine.

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