I huff a laugh. “He’s right out there. I’ll try that route first.”

“Thank you.” He deflates. “I really am sorry.”

“It’s okay,” I say, holding back the sigh that’s threatening to come out. “We’ll get it figured out.”

I push past my father and back into the main bakery. Thomas is standing there looking far too self-satisfied. His hands are in his pockets, and I swear it’s not fair how attractive he is. If he weren’t…him, I’d have agreed to drinks in half a second.

“Fine,” I say. “I will go to drinks with you.” A smug grin appears on his face, and I have the urge to slap it off. “I’m only going because my father is in trouble and you—out of all the people in the universe—seem to be the person who can help him.”

“Understood.” He glances at my hand. “I see you have my card already, so you get settled in and text me when you’re ready get those drinks.”

“Sure.” I plaster on a fake smile. “Looking forward to it.”

He gives me another long look up and down, and I feel that heat rising under my skin again. Dammit. This is so unfair. “I’ll see you later, Rose.”

And then he’s out the door and I can’t look away from the way his suit fits him perfectly, how it hugs every muscle and stretches across those wide shoulders. His walk is equally sexy. It screams confidence.

I watch as he drives away. With the way I’m being torn between loathing and lust, God only knows what tonight has in store.


Laying in my childhood bed, I stare up at the ceiling, at the collage of pictures I kept of my high school friends. I don’t talk to any of them anymore. We’ve all lost touch. High school seems like a life-time ago. Some of those memories don’t even seem like mine. Like they happened to someone else and I had watched it all from a distance.

Seeing Thomas Logan has caused my world then and my world now to crash together, and the results are disastrous. After everything that happened with Fiona, I honestly never thought that I would see him again. And I was perfectly content not to. But seeing him brings back all that delicious thrill that I had in high school. The flirtation and the sneaking and the high of our first and only kiss. It’s definitely clouding my judgment. Part of me is infuriated that I can’t back out on our meeting tonight. But the other part of me is…relieved. And curious.

After taking a much-needed shower, I pull out clothes for the dreaded drinks meeting. Just a pair of fresh jeans and a black tank top. I’m not about to dress up for this. I pull out some underwear, and for just a second I wonder if should wear something cute, like the matching burgundy set I have that’s embroidered with silver flowers. I’m looking through all the pretty sets I brought with me when I remember that this is Thomas Logan. Nothing is going to happen between us. Given our current situation, there’s no way he’s going to see my underwear, unbelievably hot as he is.

This is a business meeting borne out of desperation, not a date. I opt for basic comfort instead: black boy shorts and a black bra. The black makes me feel a little badass and adds just a little bit to my mental armor. I’m going to need as much of that as I can muster tonight. I decide on flat shoes, too. Heels will only complicate the situation. In my experience, men take heels as either a challenge or an invitation. I don’t want Thomas to think either of those things—only business thoughts are to cross his mind.

Yeah, right. As if that’s the only thing that he’s thinking after the way he looked me up and down earlier today, and the way he touched my breast while pretending to clean something off my shirt. It’s not like I wasn’t ogling him as well. I’ll have to squash that pretty quickly.

Once I’m dressed, I hop into my car. I’ll head toward the nicer side of town and text Thomas on the way. I toss my purse on the seat and put the key into the ignition, and nothing. My engine sputters and dies after I turn the key. I try it again, and it’s the same thing. Of course. Of course this would happen to me. Today of all days. After Thomas swerved past me at the high school, I ran up onto the curve trying not to hit him. Something probably got dislodged or dinged or whatever the hell makes cars make that grating sound.

Slumping, I put my head against the steering wheel. “Why me?” I send the question into the universe.

My dad is busy at the bakery so I don’t want to call him. Fiona is sleeping off the long drive it took her to get here. I also don’t want to cancel drinks. The Logans aren’t a family to mess around with. I have to convince Thomas to make some kind of deal with his father so my dad doesn’t lose the bakery.

Tags: Penny Wylder Dirty Brothers Billionaire Romance
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