Courtney asks for one too and soon we’re all laughing with the kids. Jayden is standing next to us and surprisingly, he fits right in, making funny faces at the kids and making them smile.

“You okay, Lola?” I hear Courtney ask Viola. She does look a little pale, but I suspect that she’s tired from the kids.

“Oh, yeah I’m fine. Exhaustion just hits me when I stop moving for more than five seconds.”

“Well, Drew and I would be happy to take them off your hands any time!”

“I’ll remember that at two in the morning when James’ diaper explodes and Ginny’s crying from a shadow that scared her.” She sighs and Travis takes her face and lays a kiss on her lips.

“So, Logan, how are things going?” Courtney asks him, forcing him out of his silent corner.

“Fine.” His arms are crossed over his chest and it’s obvious he’d rather be any place but here.

“Anything new?” she keeps digging.

He purses his lips, glances over her shoulder where Kayla and Tyler are standing, and shakes his head. “Nope.”

“How are things at work?” she asks, more firmly.


“Are you seeing someone?”

His jaw ticks and I can tell he’s over this twenty questions interrogation.

“Court…” I interrupt, grabbing her attention away from Logan. “Let’s grab a drink.” I hold my hand out for her, eyeing her to grab it. She stares at me and then finally takes it. I lead her into the kitchen and ask what the heck she was thinking.

“What? He’s totally watching them. I know he won’t admit it, but he has feelings for her. I just need to figure out why he’s pretending he doesn’t…” She narrows her eyes and chews on her bottom lip.

“Stop,” I tell her in a firm tone as we make our way into the kitchen. “Stop pushing.”

“I’m not pushing! I was just asking him a question!” she defends, but even she can’t believe her own words. “I wanted to see his reaction and now you saw it, too. There’s definitely something there. They used to text and hang out occasionally, but now he’s just completely off the grid. Says he’s too busy at work, blows her off, or doesn’t even return her messages. Something is going on and I intend to find out what it is!”

“Why is it your business to dig up? Don’t you think you’re being a little too nosy? If he doesn’t want people to know his private life, then just let it be.”

“But what if they’re meant to be together and it’s his stubbornness that’s getting in the way? Maybe fate brought us all together as friends for us to help him see what’s right in front of him.”

I shake my head, unable to get through to her. I place my hands on her shoulders and pull her toward me. “I love you and I love that you want your friends to be happy, but you have to let them work this out. You can’t get involved.”

She sighs and then pouts. “Fine, I will try to stay out of it.”

I raise my brows at her.

“What? That’s the best you’re getting out of me.”

I chuckle, knowing Courtney all too well and how much she loves seeing her friends happy. “Fine. I’ll take what I can get.”

She smiles. “Good. Now dance with me, Deputy.”


More of Kayla’s friends arrive and soon her condo is packed full. She introduces them to us, most of them from the firm she works at and others she met in college.

The mood shifts as more people fill in. She brings out her special holiday punch that I’m almost positive is ninety percent liquor. In the corner of her living room is a mini decorated Christmas tree with colored lights and a little train track set running around it. It’s actually pretty cute and festive and if it wasn’t eighty degrees out, I wouldn’t mind the Christmas music and Santa hats.

“I think I’m going to head out so I can get up early and FaceTime Skylar in the morning,” I overhear Logan tell Drew. I pinch my brows together, wondering who Skylar is and why it’s the first time I’m hearing the name.

Before Drew can reply, I interrupt. “Dance with me first!” I grab Logan’s hand before he can say no and pull him with me toward the middle of the living room.

“Jesus, Drew wasn’t lying when he mentioned your abnormal strength.”

I wrap my hands around his shoulders and he reluctantly wraps his arms around my waist.

“Born and raised in Texas,” I say with a smile. “Grew up on a ranch,” I explain. “With four older brothers.”

His eyes widen briefly. “Sounds intense. Damn.”

“Yup. So, you want to go at this the easy way or the hard way?”

He arches a brow, questioning me. “Excuse me?”

“I know you’re a detective and you’re used to being the one asking all the questions, but Kayla’s my friend and you’re Drew’s friend, so I feel it’s my duty to make sure you don’t hurt my friend.”

Tags: Kennedy Fox The Checkmate Duet Erotic