“Really?”

“Don’t you remember, Oz? It was last week.” I look up at him, encouraging him with my eyes, but apparently he doesn’t read my body language like Paige does. So I elbow him again because that seemed to work last time.


“I don’t recall,” he says drily.

I see Paige rush by out of the corner of my eye. She and Captain both came to the event tonight but dressed inconspicuously so as not to look like bodyguards. Oz offered the two of them, along with a few others, for security tonight—what with there being high-priced auction items up for bid they wanted all the security they could get.

Paige got her makeup and hair done at Oz’s with me, but she went home to get dressed. I look her up and down as she approaches wearing a tight strapless dress that goes all the way to the floor. It looks conservative until she takes a step, and then I see that a slit runs all the way up to the top of her hip. I’m pretty sure underwear isn’t an option when wearing a dress like that, and it makes me smile. She looks incredible, and Captain looks like he’s chewing on glass.

“Excuse me,” I say, but Oz doesn’t let me go. “Ladies’ room.” He looks over my head and must see Paige, because he releases his death grip on me.

“Come back to me.”

“Always,” I tell him, getting another quick kiss before I turn to follow Paige. I can tell by the look on her face that she’s pissed.

I catch her outside the ladies’ room and grab her by her arm. “Listen,” she snaps, but stops short when she sees it’s me. It’s then I get a good look at her face. Her lipstick is all kinds of smeared.

“Who’d you suck face with?”

“Grr,” she growls, reminding me of her brother. I still forget they’re related, but every now and then something like this makes me remember. She grabs my hand, pulling me away from the bathroom and down a little hallway into what looks like some fancy sitting room.

“Captain kissed me!” she finally says, using the back of her hand to wipe at her mouth. “Or maybe I kissed him. I don’t know. I wanted him to stop talking. Then, well…” She throws her hands up in the air like she doesn’t really know what happened at all.

“Was it good?”

“Mal, I’m serious here.”

I want to tell her I am, too, but I decide against it. I don’t know why this is such a big deal. Haven’t they been dancing around this since they met?

“What happened?” I decide to ask instead.

“He kind of cornered me about the pregnancy test.”

“Oh, God, you didn’t tell, did you?” I haven’t even told Oz yet, and I have a feeling he’s going to be disappointed when he finds out I’m not pregnant.

“Of course not.” Her faces scrunches like she can’t believe I asked her that.

“I’m sorry. I know. Just panicked a little.”

“Ryan thinks it’s mine, and he’s been on my case about it.”

“So he thinks you’re pregnant? You didn’t tell him you weren’t?”

A sheepish look crosses her face “When I dropped the bag in front of him and I saw how pissed he was about it, I might have let it hang out there.”

Of course she did.

“Then tonight he cornered me. Said I should be on desk duty if I was in fact pregnant. Then I went ahead and told him to mind his own fucking business.”

That isn’t shocking either. “And that led to a kiss?”

She shakes her head. “He started pushing, asking who the father was. He was pissed, Mal. Like, seriously pissed. Then he said there couldn’t be anyone, and I asked him how he knew.”

“They know everything,” I say, confirming what she already knows.

“Yeah, but then…” She shakes her head again like she can’t believe what she’s about to say. “Then he said that if there was someone else, then he must not be around and that Captain’d be around if I wanted him to be.” She takes a step toward me. “Even put his fucking hand on my stomach, Mal.” I’m not sure if she’s pissed about this or in awe.

I’m definitely melting at how sweet that is, because I see the way Captain watches her. He wants her, but to step in on something like that—her possibly being pregnant with another man’s baby—and he wants to be involved. That’s big. That’s saying a lot about how he feels if you ask me.

“Then we kind of started going at it. Like full-on. He picked me up and pushed me against the wall, like this is a fucking movie or some shit.”

“I’m not following why we’re mad about this, because you look pissed.”

She brings her hand to her mouth again, like she’s still feeling the kiss. “I don’t know. All I can seem to feel is mad, and I’m not even sure who I’m mad at. Fuck, Mal, I could really fall for him.”

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