“Those are my only two choices?”
“Then, I’m willing to try.”
At least he could still spend time with her. And maybe he could manage to impress her. And maybe, if he was very lucky, their chemistry would rear its head again and she’d come back into his arms.
* * *
In the breezeway outside Tuck’s hotel suite, Amber sagged against the wall. It had taken everything she had to pull off the act, to pretend that making love with Tuck hadn’t thrown her for an absolute emotional loop.
She might not have been able to stop herself. But she knew she’d made one of the world’s biggest mistakes. She had hopped into bed with her boss. She’d hopped into bed with her boss, and it was fantastic.
At least it had been fantastic for her. Who knew what it was for him? Maybe he had sex like that every Saturday night.
Maybe she’d been mediocre. Maybe he’d been disappointed. She forcibly stopped her brain from going there.
She wasn’t going to do that to herself. If it hadn’t been good for him, too darn bad. He’d have to get past it, maybe move on to someone else. She was moving on. She was definitely moving on.
She straightened from the wall, putting one foot in front of the other. Her room was along the courtyard and up one flight of stairs. She was going to shower and sleep, and then she was going back home to focus on Jade, the baby and Tucker Transportation.
Tonight was a lark. It didn’t have to define her. It didn’t even need to define her relationship with Tuck.
“Amber?” Jackson’s voice came from a pathway at a right angle.
She stopped. Her heart sank and her stomach contracted into a knot of embarrassment and guilt.
She forced herself to turn and face him. “Hello, Jackson.”
“I’m glad I caught you.” His expression wasn’t condemning, nor was it judgmental.
Maybe he hadn’t guessed what had just happened.
She should play it cool. She could have taken her hair down for any number of reasons. From this angle, he couldn’t see her zipper was partway down. She made a mental note to keep her back away from him.
“Did Dixon ever mention a woman?” he asked.
Amber forced herself to stay calm and collected. “What kind of a woman?”
She fought off the urge to smooth her hair. It would only call attention to the mess.
“Someone other than Kassandra.”
“You mean a girlfriend?” She knew that wasn’t possible.
“Dixon wasn’t fooling around. He was as honorable as they come.”
“I know you’re loyal to him.”
“That’s not loyalty talking,” said Amber. “Jackson, he didn’t cheat on Kassandra.”
“What about after they separated?”
“Nobody I ever heard about.”
Jackson showed her his phone with a photo of a pretty blond woman. “Recognize her?”
“No. Who is she?”
“Is there any chance, any chance at all, that Dixon left Chicago to be with another woman?”
“He wouldn’t leave Chicago to do that. His friends would be cheering from the rooftops. He wouldn’t hide it.”
Jackson was obviously deep in thought.
“What’s going on?” she asked.
“I’m covering all the bases.”
“Where did you get the picture?”
“She might be connected to the sailboat. We’re tracking it down the coast.”
“There might not be so much of a rush now.”
Amber was warming up to the idea of Tuck proving himself to his father. He’d obviously spent his whole life riddled with self-doubt. She knew he’d feel good if he succeeded. And she knew he had it in him. He just had to apply himself.
Jackson’s brow rose. “Why do you say that?”
“Tuck’s going to run the company. It’s the first chance he’s ever had. This might even turn out to be a blessing in disguise.”
Jackson didn’t respond, but skepticism came into his eyes.
“You think it’s a bad idea.” She wished she hadn’t come to respect Jackson’s opinion.
“I think it’s not Tuck’s idea.”
“It was. Kind of.” She struggled to remember the exact details of the conversation. “He’s always felt inadequate.”
Jackson looked amused. “He’s been too busy having fun to feel inadequate.”