Logan had been right. She was running again. And he’d run out of patience. She didn’t blamed him. She was too good at leaving, and no good when it came to staying. A relationship wasn’t something she could check in and out of, like a hotel.
It was a commitment. Something worth working for, fighting for, and treasuring all the good times that got a couple through the tougher moments.
Instead of trying for something better than what she’d known before, she’d taken the path of escape. No wonder Logan told her never to come back. She brushed away the dampness trembling on her lashes.
As she filled the coffee carafe with water, she stared out Devon’s kitchen window. It was a bright sunny day. Most of the recent snowfall had melted. She liked that about Denver. The snow came hard but didn’t linger long, and most days she woke to blue skies and sunshine. She adored this city. She didn’t want to move again. This was where she’d started over. A new job, a new city, a new life, new friends, new passion, new baby, new love.
The carafe slipped from her hand, clanking against the sink. Water spilled over her fingers and her lips parted. A terrifying combination of hope and need filled her. Yes, she had found love here.
I love Logan .
Her heart skipped a beat. Her hands trembled with piercing recognition.
The truth surrounded her, beckoning her to surrender to the emotion. To shatter her own defenses and finally accept the love she felt for the best man she’d ever known.
“I’m in love with him.” The words rolled off her tongue as if they’d always been there, waiting to be spoken. No second-guessing or denial. It was totally unexpected and absolutely amazing.
“What are you staring at?” Devon stood beside her at the sink and peered out the window. “Oh, how about that. He’s gone.”
“Your watchdog.” When Allison looked at her blankly, Devon stated, “The guy Logan sent to guard you. His car isn’t outside my house anymore.”
Allison parted the blinds. Sure enough, the unmarked car with tinted windows was nowhere in sight.
A giddy feeling washed over her. She abandoned coffee making and rushed out to the front stoop. She glanced up and down the street. No sign of the watcher.
Devon poked her head out the door. “This is a good sign, because after he left the military, Logan forgot how to follow anyone’s orders but his own. Even when his brilliant chief information officer tells him he can’t do something.”
Allison hesitated. “I need more convincing.” She returned inside the warmth of the house. “I think we should take Peanut for a walk, just to make sure.”
At the magic word, Devon’s little Yorkie dashed into the room barking like crazy. Devon sighed. “A walk, it is.”
After bundling up, they strolled the crisscrossing side streets of Devon’s neighborhood. Peanut lifted his leg and marked every single tree and telephone pole they encountered, then trotted happily toward his next vertical conquest.
“Men.” Devon rolled her eyes. “I swear it’s in their DNA.” Peanut caught sight of a new tree and dragged them toward it. “This is mine. This is mine. Oh, and that’s mine, too,” she remarked with amusement, personifying the male psyche,
Allison grinned. “So true.”
When Peanut finally ran out of marketing material and got bored with the scenery, Allison was more than satisfied. No one was watching her.
“What if Logan called off his guard because I’m a waste of time?” She had never imagined feeling let down by Logan’s lack of possessiveness, but it made sense. She’d walked out on him. He might’ve decided to retract any ties they had.
“Doubt it. You’re the mother of his child.”
“Good point.” Logan wouldn’t relieve his stand-in bodyguard if he only cared about the baby. “Maybe he’s seen the light.”
That hope hounded her the whole afternoon. What if he was willing to make up? What if they still stood a chance at reconciling their differences, and making a future together?
At eight o’clock, Devon appeared downstairs wearing a slinky black dress. Allison tore herself away from the laptop, where she’d been researching the likelihood of couples who were drawn together by a pregnancy to last a lifetime. “What’s on your calendar that’s got you all gorgeous?”
Devon glanced at the floor. “I didn’t want to say anything before. You and Logan’s fate hanging in the balance, and all.”
“I definitely don’t feel like going out. So where are you heading tonight?”
It was the first time she ever saw Devon blush. “On a date.”
Allison abandoned the computer. “Who is he?”
Devon picked at the sequins of her black purse. “Just this guy I’ve been talking to online.”
“Is he hot?”
“He sounds like it, but I’m not totally sure.” Apparently expecting Allison’s concern, Devon quickly replied, “We’ve been talking for weeks through this dating site.” Her cheeks splashed with pink. “He seems like a good fit for me.”
“You should’ve told me.” Allison stood and hugged her friend. “I can go somewhere else if you want your place to yourself.”
“If it goes that well, we won’t make it back to my place.”
“You go girl.” Allison gave her a hug and shooed her out the door.
Devon climbed into her Prius and zipped off down the street toward her date. Allison appreciated her friend’s consideration, not wanting to rub her big night in Allison’s face. While Allison hung out alone, watching lame TV, wishing she was with Logan.
Without thinking, she reached for her cell phone. Pulled up Logan’s number. She didn’t mean to hit send . She waited, anxious, hoping he picked up the call.
“This is Logan Stone of Stone Security. I’m unavailable to take your call now, but leave a message and I’ll get back to you.” Beep .
Logan was never unavailable. Apparently, she was the exception now. Her heart broke into pieces like a sailboat thrown against a cliff by a hurricane. She hung up. He really didn’t want her back in his life.
I’m not going to cry. I’m not going to cry . Her chin wobbled.
She’d get through this. On her own. Like she always had.
France was still an option. Not the one she wanted anymore, but the option she’d take if Logan didn’t want to be a part of her and her baby’s life. It just didn’t make sense, though. She agreed with Devon. Logan might turn his back on her, but would he do the same to his own child out of spite?