“Hey, good morning.” Sam greeted the pretty blonde sitting at her desk as she approached.

“Hey. How are things going? I couldn’t reach you by phone, but I knew if I summoned you here, you would come.”

“I guess I’m easy like that.” Sam joked.

Samantha glanced over at Logan’s office, and she felt an intense sense of relief seeing that he wasn’t there yet. Most days they managed to only pass one another in the hall, or sit in the same room at one meeting or another for a limited amount of time. Since Sam still reflected on the lunch date they shared when she first arrived, she knew that given half a chance she would easily be distracted by him which was definitely not an option.

“He isn’t in yet.” Deanna stated, obviously noticing Sam eyeing the man’s office door. “He called to say that he would be a little late. He needed to pick something up for the party.”

“Party?” Sam hadn’t heard of anything, but she didn’t necessarily expect to. Although she had become a familiar face within the Dallas offices, it wasn’t as though she had been there for long. There were probably many events that had been scheduled prior to her arrival that she wasn’t invited to.

“Yes. We’re having a pool party at Logan’s house this afternoon. It starts at three o’clock, so we’re letting everyone go home early today.” Deanna stared back at Sam with a look that told her she was expected to make an appearance.

“That’s great. What’s the occasion?” Sam asked, not necessarily wanting to know what went on at Logan’s house after hours. The intrigue that came along with that thought scared the shit out of her.

“We all try to get together at least once a month and do something outside of the office. Logan says it builds relationships within the team. You’re invited.” Deanna said, a sweet smile on her face as she waited for Sam’s response.

“Well, I don’t know. I –“

“You what? You have other plans? Doubtful, especially considering it’s during working hours. You have to come. I’ll need someone to talk to.” Deanna wasn’t beyond pleading when it came to getting the office personnel to do what her boss wanted them to do, and Sam found herself on the other end of the woman’s kind hearted manipulations now.

“You can bring anyone you’d like. I’m bringing Tommy. I’d really like for you to meet him.”

Well, hell. How could she say no to that? Sam looked into the bright blue, begging eyes and found she couldn’t refuse Deanna’s sincerity. “Sure, I’ll be there. Can you send me directions to where it is?”

“Sure.” She typed a quick note on her computer. “Done. And don’t worry. You’ll have a fabulous time. This group of people is a hoot when they are out together. Just watch out for Alex McDermott.” Deanna laughed.

This was the last thing Sam needed right now. She was already worried about what Logan thought about her reaction to him. She wasn’t a particularly convincing actress and knew how transparent she was.

“I guess I’ll see you at three o’clock. Oh, and about Alex. You don’t have to worry about me,” Sam leaned in close, “he and I go way back. He’s harmless.” Sam grinned and then quickly headed down the corridor to her office, shutting the door behind her.

There was no way she could get out of this now.

She was thirty minutes late to the party, but it had taken her that long to convince herself she was seriously going to go. Then, it had taken her that much more time just to figure out what was appropriate to wear.

Going home to change had been her first priority. With the brutal Texas sun beating down, she’d burn up in the one hundred and two degree heat wearing what she was wearing. August in Texas wasn’t much different than June or July – hotter than hell with enough humidity to make it necessary to take a shower more than once a day. The jeans she’d chosen for work had proven to be too hot even as she walked to her car.

Back at her apartment, she’d opted not to wear a swimsuit after trying on the only two she owned. Although she hadn’t been dissatisfied with the way she filled them out, modesty had been her deciding factor, and she resigned herself to not get in the pool.

Not that she didn’t want to submerge herself in the cool water; she did, just not under these circumstances. Partly because this was a company function, but mostly because Logan would be there. She wouldn’t be able to hide the telltale reaction she had when he was around.

Obviously the security guard stationed at the gates to Logan’s upscale neighborhood knew he was expecting company because once Sam gave her name, he opened the gates and allowed her entry.

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