Devon arched a black eyebrow. “Not sure Logan’s going to like that.”

“Why?”

“I know how he works.”

“Then you’re exactly the person I need to talk to right now.”

“Sounds like a girl’s-night-out waiting to happen.”

Allison admitted longingly, “You have no idea.” She found ginger ale acted like a truth serum as much as alcohol. She spent the next thirty minutes spilling the story of her one-night-stand with Logan. And how he wouldn’t let it go.

Devon listened patiently, respectfully. Her lack of judgment was the balm Allison needed to soothe her misgivings. Once she’d purged her pent-up anxiety, she felt relieved.

After a brief silence, Devon offered words of wisdom along with a sardonic look. “There are worse things.”

“Oh, really?”

“Look at the bright side. At least you aren’t pregnant.”

Allison’s grin died on her lips. That possibility had occurred to her earlier.

Oh, God . What if I am pregnant?

No. Absolutely impossible. He’d used a condom. They may have had sex four times within five hours, but she didn’t remember a condom breaking. Her recent physical issues—bloating, breast tenderness, stomach upset, fatigue—all symptoms of PMS. Had to be, even though her period hadn’t come yet.

“You’re right, Devon,” she whispered faintly. “Things could definitely be worse.”

“See? It’s all about perspective.” Devon sipped her drink, her lipstick leaving a red ring on her straw. Then she froze. “Um, this doesn’t look good.”

Allison straightened, burying her worry under heaps of denial. Because the alternative was unthinkable. “What? Is Vivi charging in on her high horse?”

“No, but Vivi’s ‘big hunk of deliciousness’ is headed this way. And I’d bet my military stripes he’s not interested in small talk.”

Growing tense, Allison glanced over her shoulder. Logan stormed toward her with determined strides. Her good mood vanished. “He’s the last person I want to talk to now.”

“Not talking is not an option. I know that look. I’ll catch up with you later.”  Devon fled.

Allison cursed herself again for agreeing to ride with Logan. She should’ve refused his invitation in the first place.

Logan crossed the space between them. His eyes flashed with copper sparks. “I’ve been looking all over for you.”

“I didn’t want to be found.”

Spinning her around to face him, he gripped the arms of her bar chair. His thighs wedged her legs apart to accommodate his stance. “If you’d stuck around, I could’ve diffused the situation.”

“You’ve done enough for one night, don’t you think?”

“What does that mean?”

“I want to leave.” Since I got here .

“Fine.” He pushed away from her chair. “I’ll grab our coats.”

She hadn’t expected him to agree. “You can’t go, Logan. You’re the guest of honor.”

“As the guest of honor, I can do whatever I want.”

“Then the rumor mill will have all the ammunition it needs to crucify us.”

His gaze sharpened. “I dare them to say it to my face.”

She threw her hands up. “That’s the point of gossip. Doesn’t matter if it’s true. It’s supposed to be secretive. And destructive.”

“I can institute a policy against that. Handy thing, being the boss. And right now, I don’t care what anyone thinks.” He threw a fifty on the bar to cover her three-dollar tab.

Grabbing her hand, he led her to the coat check. She ignored the hot tingles leaping from his palm to hers. He helped her with her jacket, shouldered into his, and they waited in the lobby for the valet. When the college kid pulled the Escalade up to the restaurant, Logan made sure she was settled in, shut the passenger door and went to the driver’s side.

Thankfully, the weather had cleared. She’d be able to drive her car home from the office without a problem. Except, as they pulled onto the street, she noticed he was heading in the wrong direction.

He ran a hand through his hair. “I want to apologize for Vivi Dunn’s interrogation. You didn’t have to answer her questions.”

“Really?” Her palms turned face-up in her lap. “What choice did I have?”

He fell silent for a minute. “You grew up surrounded by world-class talent. Can you sing?”

“To myself, in the car. Or in the shower. That’s as far as my vocal talent stretches.”

“So what else don’t I know about you that I should. Did you hula-hoop with Pavarotti? Play hopscotch with the Phantom of the Opera?”

A snort of amusement escaped her. “I wish.”

“I never noticed you talk with an accent.”

“Wherever we went, I learned how to blend in. That’s why I speak so many languages. When I came to America, I adopted the news anchors’ speech I heard on the nightly reports.”

“Makes sense.” He sprayed windshield fluid and hit the wipers to scrape away grime kicked up by the car in front of them. “You’ve spent your life in constant state of change. You’ve had to adapt like a chameleon.”

She’d never thought of it that way. “You do what you have to do, to survive.”

“I understand. More than you know.” He sent her a meaningful look, and she saw the compassion in his eyes. If Logan’s military experience was anything like her ex-husband’s, the Special Forces had sent him all over the world to meet with heads of state or hide out in hovels undercover. Always vigilant, prepared for anything. They were wanderers, both. “Were you ever onstage?” he asked.

“I had a few cameo roles, but no one took the time to teach me more than the basics.”

“Must’ve been lonely. Never staying in one place long enough to get to make friends. Never hanging with kids your age, playing kick ball or freeze tag.”

A pang of regret echoed in her chest. “You do grow up fast. When I was young, it was dazzling. Bright lights. Roaring applause. Egos bigger than the European Union. I can see why my parents craved the glitz and fame.” Her forehead pinched. “I begged my parents to send me to boarding school. But applying to an academy required money, entrance exams, paperwork. Things they couldn’t be bothered with.” Old disappointment surfaced. She stared out the passenger window, watching streetlights reflect off damp trails streaming down the glass.


Tags: Vanessa Waltz Billionaire Bodyguard Suspense
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