“Mmm?” Somewhere deep inside her head, she knew she should stop, knew this was wrong, but that voice was so faint it vanished as quickly as it came.


“Don’t say it.” She put her finger over his lips. “I don’t believe you. You don’t act like your heart belongs to someone. You don’t act like someone who’s tied down.”

“I didn’t say that.”

“Then what did you say?” She opened her eyes and glared at him. “Tell me the truth. Now.”

Silence stretched out thick and heavy. “It’s complicated.”

“Uncomplicate it. Explain.” She had to know what was going on, what she was really getting into, but the longer they stood like this, the further away her sanity slipped. “Morgan. Now.” Sweat broke out all over her body at the unintended double entendre. Even she was turned on by her words. “Tell me now.”

He was so close, she felt the friction of his body moving against hers as he took a deep breath. “Sylvie—”

“Sylvie? She’s your wife? You said she was your friend.” Tara knew she sounded bitchy, but she couldn’t help it. This hurt.

Morgan frowned at her. “Okay, maybe I wasn’t totally honest about our relationship. There wasn’t any reason to explain to you then. Yes, Sylvie is who I’m looking for. Yes, we’re married.”

Tara stepped back, anger flooding through her. What did he see in her? Jealousy, and a mix of several other painful emotions, flared wild and green. “You’re as bad as they are.” She pointed at the doors, indicating the obnoxious diners. “At least their come-on was honest.”

“That’s low, Tara. I thought we were, at least, friends.” He shoved open the doors, then headed to his seat, grabbed his jacket. Morgan angrily slipped it on before pitching several bills on the counter, then leaving.

She watched until he disappeared into the rainy night.

“No change needed.” The two other diners got up and hustled out behind him, leaving another pile of cash on their table.

“There’d better be a good tip in there,” she said to no one. Grumbling, she stomped over to count the payments. “You men all suck.”

“You say somethin’?” Wade asked.

“No.” No sense ticking him off, too. She still needed him to cook.


ACCORDING TO JACK’S MANIFEST, Dewey was picking up a load here in Haskins Corners this afternoon, then heading to Fort Worth. Dewey wouldn’t arrive at the client’s business for another couple hours, so Morgan would come back. Until then, this town wasn’t that big, and he figured he could jog through most of it in a couple hours.

Running was about the only consistent workout he got on the road. Sometimes there was a gym nearby, but today the run gave him the opportunity to move around town, essentially unnoticed.

As well as burn off a mountain of Tara-induced frustration and energy.

Maybe he’d find Dewey sooner this way. How hard could it be to locate that truck?

He jogged past a tiny movie theater that still had one of those white marquees with the black plastic letters. A Disney logo told him this was one of those kid movies he’d probably know all about if Brooke was with him. Something, grief maybe, twisted in his gut. This was getting really, really old. But instead of the melancholia taking over, his anger grew.

Damn Sylvie.

He moved farther down the street, heading to the park. Today the street fair wasn’t in business. Which might be a good thing with the thick, heavy clouds hanging overhead. It had rained most of yesterday, so business must have been slow.

The few semipermanent structures around the park were covered in tarps, and a light rain gently pattered on the vinyl. The empty spaces between, where the temporary setups would be tomorrow, were quickly growing into mud puddles.

It was almost eerie. Few people were out, and those he saw were all doing business at the bank, the post office and such, hurrying from one doorway to the next.

Turning down the main drag, Morgan decided to head toward the part of town Dewey was more likely to haunt.

The creek ran through town, meandering behind buildings that had been here for what looked like decades. Morgan didn’t remember the water being so swift or high on the worn banks before, though. From here, looking across the flowing water, he could see the back of Tara’s diner.

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