Kayla snorts and giggles. “You can’t fault him for favoring the D.”

“Oh my God,” Courtney says, laughing and now they both have the giggles, and I take that as my cue to leave.

Grabbing my smoothie, I kiss Courtney on her forehead and tell her I’m going to take a shower. Kayla makes a sexual remark and Courtney throws a blueberry in her face. I dodge out of there before I get in the cross fire.

“You’re cleaning that up,” I shout as I head down the hallway, the sound of their laughter echoing in the kitchen. Buddy follows behind me, happily wagging his tail. Once I finish showering, I’m anxious to have Courtney alone for the night, but as I finish getting dressed, I hear them chatting in the living room.

Although I want to spend time with Courtney, I can’t even be mad that Kayla’s here. She’s been a great friend to Courtney and between house hunting online and talking about decorating, Kayla’s helped become a much-needed distraction for her while we get through all the court drama. In fact, she’s been more giddy than usual and I love when she smiles. House hunting takes a little longer when we don’t work the same schedule, but this weekend we’re going to four open houses, so at least we’ll start getting an idea of what kind of layout and design we both want. A yard for Buddy is a must and a nice-sized kitchen for Courtney. I’d love to surprise her with top-of-the-line appliances and a countertop big enough to hold all her supplies for the muffins I know she’ll be baking—probably making a huge mess in the process. Even though she keeps dozens in our freezer, I hope she never stops. It’s part of how we fell in love and that’s something that’ll always be a part of our history.

I decide to take Buddy for a walk while they continue their girl talk. Plugging in my headphones, I search for the right song and just before walking across the street, a car on the corner catches my eye. It’s too far away to know for sure, but I’m almost positive someone’s sitting in the driver’s seat staring at me.

My first instinct is to assume it’s Mia, but it’s not her car. It wouldn’t surprise me though if she bought a new one to avoid her warrant. I feel the anxiety building and although the only threat Mia is to me is her unstable mind, I wonder if I should call it in just in case.

COURTNEY

Kayla has so many great decorating and color scheme ideas, I can’t wait until we find the right house for us and Buddy. I still can’t believe we’re planning to move. I’ve lived here for the past two years and Drew even longer, and part of it feels weird leaving, but the other part is ready for the next step. I know that Drew is serious about us, not that I ever doubted that, but after the heartbreak Toby put me through, I always feel that little insecurity that one day Drew will change his mind just like Toby did.

“So, Tyler’s been texting me,” Kayla tells me as I take a pan of muffins out of the oven.

“Yeah? And?”

I look at her as she shrugs. There’s no sparkle in her eyes or excitement in her voice.

“And he’s a really nice guy.”

“Okay?” I start laughing because I’m not sure where this is going. “And that’s bad?”

“No, of course not. He’s like a male version of Viola. He’s really into comics and video games. I just don’t think we have much in common.” She shoves a piece of hot blueberry muffin in her mouth and immediately grabs for the milk in the fridge.

“If Viola were around to hear you accuse her of being into comics and video games, she’d have your head.” I chuckle. “But I get what you’re saying. He’s not your usual type.”

“Yes, exactly. I feel so bad too because he is really sweet. He’s good-looking and he has a decent job and he’s everything I should want in a guy, but I don’t know. Something just feels off.”

“He’s not Logan,” I fill in for her, knowing it was heading that direction anyway. “You’ve had feelings for Logan and you can’t just date someone else, hoping they go away,” I say from experience. “Trust me.”

She sighs and shoves another piece in her mouth.

“But if you think that you could have feelings for Tyler, it wouldn’t hurt to date him casually. Make sure he knows that you aren’t looking for anything super serious but you still want to hang out. That way you aren’t leading him on to think it’s going somewhere it’s not.” I take the muffins out of the hot pan and set them on a cooling rack.


Tags: Kennedy Fox The Checkmate Duet Erotic
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