“Yeah, but it’s nothing. I think I’m ready to do cardio and then head out.”

“Okay.” I follow behind him, wondering what the hell just happened to make him react like that. Perhaps there’s more to this Kayla thing than he’s let on.


Viola and I chat on my drive into work. The mornings are the best times to call her because I know she’ll already be up and the kids will be eating breakfast, so she’s not having to chase them around the house as we talk about the party and where to find an ugly Christmas sweater in the middle of summer.

“With the amount of vomit and snot I get on my clothes daily, I could just add a few red and green pieces and pass that off as my ugly sweater.” She snorts, but I can tell she’s being serious. “I think I’m getting the flu bug though or these kids are just sucking the energy completely out of me.”

“Oh no, are they sick?”

“No, they’re like the energizer bunny twenty-four seven. Is anyone at the office sick? Travis could’ve brought it home.”

I think about it for a moment. “No, I don’t think so. Maybe you caught it at the grocery store. Or the pharmacy. The bank, maybe?”

“Oh my God,” she groans. “I need to get out more. My immune system is probably shot from being inside all day. All I do is chase toddlers and run errands.”

“You want me to help you find a nanny? I’ll find you the best one in town,” I offer, knowing she could use the help since Travis has been working longer hours lately.

“No, I don’t think I could relax while a nanny takes care of my kids. Maybe if I was out doing something or working, but I’d just be here.”

“Well, if you need a project or something to get you out of the house, Kayla can give you plenty of ideas. Between the color pallets and concepts she sends me for the house and her always talking about the shelter needing more volunteers, I’m sure she could assign you something.”

She inhales deeply. “Maybe. I should probably shower though. It’s Thursday.”

I chuckle at the sound of her defeated voice at just the idea of taking a shower. “Lola, it’s Friday.”

“Oh, motherfucker,” she curses, and I hear Ginny in the background yelling at her for saying a bad word.

I laugh at her expense and pull into the parking lot. “Okay, I’m at work now. You go take a shower and drink some coffee before you lose your mind.”

“I’ve already had a pot and a half,” she says like it’s no big deal. “Tell my husband he better be home before dinner tonight or he’s not getting sex for a week.”

Putting the car into park and turning off my engine, I scowl even though she can’t see me. “Disgusting. I’m not getting in the middle of your affairs. At least, not again. He always gives me shit for it.”

“You’re supposed to be my best friend!” she scolds, but I hear the sarcasm in her tone.

“I am! I’m just not going to tell my boss that his wife wants him home early so she can ride him all night long.” I lock the Jeep and slam the door shut before making my way into the building. “Unless there’s a raise involved,” I clarify.

“You get him home before dinner, I’ll make sure you get a raise,” she offers, and although I’m not sure she’s one hundred percent being serious, I take her up on the challenge.

“Okay, deal.”

We hang up and now that I’m on a mission, I’ll make sure to be extra sweet to Travis today.

By my lunch break, I’ve sweet-talked Travis several times to the point where he’s getting very suspicious, but of course, I don’t admit anything. I take as much of his workload off as possible and delegate projects to a few people who are too idle during the day. If I can shorten his to-do list, he can leave early and hopefully make it before dinner. Although, knowing Travis, he would still find something to do, so I may just have to push him out of the office myself.

As I’m scrolling through ugly Christmas sweaters, Jayden pops his head into my office and scares the crap out of me.

“Jesus! You’re like a fox,” I screech, pressing a hand to my chest to calm my heart rate.

“I didn’t realize you’d be so sucked into looking up…” He looks over at my screen and scrunches his nose. “Fugly sweaters.”

“You’d be surprised how hard it is to find an ugly Christmas sweater in July! Especially matching ones.”

“Matching ugly Christmas sweaters? I must know what this fashion statement is!” he squeals, pretending to sound excited.

I laugh at his fake amusement and enlarge one of the images I found. “My friend, Kayla is having a Christmas in July party and we’re all required to wear ugly sweaters, and what’s cuter than going as a couple in matching sweaters!” I look up at him and flash him a grin. “Oh my God! You should totally come! You’d love Kayla! And then you could officially meet Drew.”

Tags: Kennedy Fox The Checkmate Duet Erotic
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