I was behind my desk, glad that he hadn’t perched himself on the corner. “Not wrong. No.”

“What then? I thought we had a good vibe going on here.”

I wasn’t experienced in dating, and so I didn’t really know what to say or do to tell someone it was over. Or more accurately, how to tell him I wasn’t interested in pursuing something with him. “I’m sort of seeing someone now.”

One brow quirked up. “Is this new?”

“Yes.” Please don’t let him guess it’s Blake, I prayed. After the way Blake acted yesterday, it would be easy for Dylan to make that assumption.

He looked away for a moment and then turned back. “Here I thought I was being too assertive, but it looks like I should have acted faster.”

“I’m sorry. I like you—”

He held up a hand to stop me. “Please don’t end that sentence with ‘as a friend.’”

I pinched my lips together to stop myself from saying exactly that. At least he didn’t seem angry.

“Well, Dylan, better luck next time,” he said as he stood.

I felt terrible. Here was a person who liked me. He wanted to see me without terms or conditions. If he had baggage, it wasn’t likely to be a dead wife. Why couldn’t I want him more than I wanted Blake?

He left my office, and I seriously rethought what I was doing with Blake. It wasn’t that I needed to find my Mr. Right. I wasn’t in a hurry for marriage and kids. But I also didn’t want to rule it out. I wanted love, friendship, and companionship, as well as sex. Dylan could probably give me all that. Blake could only give me sex. Why was I okay with that?

A phone call interrupted my inner tug-of-war.

“Bella Hanson.”

“Ms. Hanson, this is Patsy Lockwood. We met the other day? I’m Lily’s grandmother.”

“Yes, I remember.” Odd that she didn’t present herself as Blake’s mother-in-law. Odder still was that she was calling me. “How can I help you?”

“I don’t know if Blake has talked to you, but Lily has been asking if you’d be able to come to her birthday party this weekend.”

Huh?

“I know it’s a little unconventional, but Lily is quite taken with you. She talks about you all the time. She had me get her a book on learning French and she’s only drawing spreadsheets at the moment.”

I smiled. You could never know the impression you make on children. Apparently, I’d made one on Lily. My first instinct was to say yes to the party, but then I realized she’d said that Blake was supposed to talk to me. He hadn’t. Perhaps he was too busy, or more likely, he didn’t want me there. I guess I couldn’t blame him. It might be weird for him to have his mistress at his daughter’s birthday party.

I winced inwardly at the word. I’d let myself become a mistress. It bothered me as much as it seemed to bother Blake.

“I’ll need to check my schedule,” I said by way of a non-committal answer.

“Yes, of course. A young woman like you probably has a filled social calendar.”

I bit back a snort. My social calendar was filled with visits to my couch to binge watch the show of the month on Netflix.

“When do you need an RSVP?” I asked.

“If you could let me know before Friday, that would be lovely. Or just tell Blake.”

“Okay.”

There was a pause on her end of the phone and I was getting ready to say goodbye when she said, “How well do you know Blake?”

I swallowed as panic rose in me. Did she suspect I was having sex with Blake? What would she think that her son-in-law took me on his desk? Would she think he was betraying Joanna too?

“I… ah…”

“I’m sorry to put you on the spot, but I worry about him. I love him for all the dedication he puts into JoXander. It was my daughter’s dream and every day he seems to fulfill another one of her goals. But I worry that that’s all he’s living for. Well, that and Lily.”

“He is very committed to Mrs. Alexander’s vision.”

“I guess as his assistant, you wouldn’t know about his social life. Friends? Does he still play racquetball?”

I didn’t even know he played racquetball. “I’m sorry. I don’t know.” I hated lying to her, but I was certain Blake wouldn’t want me to tell her I was his social life.

“Hmm, thank you anyway. Do let me or Blake know about Lily’s party. She’d be so pleased to have you there. As her grandmother, it’s my job to spoil her.”

“Of course.”

I got off the phone and went right back to wondering what I was doing having an affair with Blake. Well, I did know. I liked the sex. And while I knew I shouldn’t, there was a part of me that hoped that maybe over time he’d come to care for me. That’s where I was going to get in trouble, and the reason why I should stop. I should just tell him I can’t do it after all. He told me that if at any time I felt uncomfortable, I could tell him and we’d stop. Then I could pursue whatever things could be with Dylan. But my head just wasn’t able to convince my heart or my hormones.


Tags: Victoria Snow Beautiful Mistakes Romance
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