* * *
With a solid plan, he focused long enough to catch up on his work. He also found out that what Donovan had said about Trina Jackson was true. Several times over the past two days, he’d glance up from his paperwork or a telephone call to find her standing in his office doorway. When he asked if she needed anything, she merely smiled and told him she wanted to make sure he had everything and to let her know if there was something she could get for him. She made a point of walking past him with an exaggerated sway of her hips and had even asked for his autograph. Terrence needed someone to keep the office running smoothly, not a fangirl. If this kept up, he would talk to Audrey about getting someone else for the following week. He’d be out of the office starting tomorrow until Friday, so he’d wait until then to mention it.
Leaning back in his chair, he thought more about his plan to get Janae back. Lord, how he missed hearing her voice. He’d laughed more with her in the few weeks they had known each other than he had his entire adult life. When he kissed her, it felt as if her mouth was made exclusively for his. He was still in awe of their lovemaking—the way her body arched into his, the sound of her voice screaming out his name. She held nothing back...and neither did he.
“Excuse me, Monte. You have a phone call. It’s Mrs. Lewis.”
He spun in his chair. “Thank you, Ms. Jackson. You don’t have to get up. Use the intercom.” Terrence shook his head and waited until she moved from the door, then picked up the line. “Hey, Mrs. Lewis. Is everything okay?”
“Hello, dear. Everything is fine. I wanted to let you know that Michelle and Trevor had another little boy last night,” she sang. “They wanted to thank you for the gift card. I knew you went overboard.”
“That’s wonderful. Are mom and baby doing well?”
“They’re doing fine. Christopher is excited about being a big brother.”
He chuckled. “I’m sure he is. What did they name the baby?”
“Actually, that’s the other reason I’m calling. Michelle wants to name him after you.”
“What? Why? I...I don’t know what to say.”
She laughed. “How about we start with the name Terrence.”
“I’m truly honored.”
“You’re a good man, and I’d be proud to have my grandson carry part of your name.”
He fell silent for several seconds as emotions gripped him.
“So, how are you coming on that other matter we discussed?”
She was as bad as his grandmother. “If things go as planned, it should be settled by the time you get back.”
“That’s what I like to hear. I’ll let you go now. I know you need to get ready for your Seattle trip. Be safe.”
“I will. See you in a couple of weeks, and thank Michelle and Trevor for me.” He slowly dropped the receiver in the cradle and briefly wondered if he would ever have children of his own. If he did, he knew he would be the same kind of father as his own. Though his father lived only a short time, he’d given Terrence a lifetime of memories.
* * *
Janae sat at Karen’s kitchen table with her head in her hands. “What am I going to do?” she moaned.
“You need to talk to Terrence. At least let him explain.”
“I will talk to him, but not yet. I’m just not ready.”
Karen reached over and squeezed her hand. “Whatever happens, you know I’ll be here for you.”
“I know, and I’m grateful.” She stood. “I’d better head home. I want to do some painting. That always relaxes me and helps me think.” She followed Karen to the door. “I’ll call you.”
“You do that.”
Janae headed directly for her studio the moment she arrived home. She was halfway done with the sunrise and was anxious to complete it. Taking a deep breath, she closed her eyes and let her mind journey back to that morning. With the picture in her mind, she picked up the brush, and the moment it touched the canvas calmness washed over her and the tension dropped off in waves.
She was so intent that she started when the doorbell rang. She placed her brush aside, wiped her hands and went to the door.
“Terrence. What are you doing here?”
* * *
Terrence’s heart pounded in his chest, and he let his gaze roam all over her. He needed this woman like he needed to breathe. “Hi. Can I come in for a minute?”
She seemed to hesitate briefly, then unlocked the screen. She led him to the living room. “Have a seat.”
“I can’t stay long. A cab is waiting to take me back to the airport. We’re on our way to Seattle.” He scooted next to her on the couch and took her hand. “Janae, I am so sorry. I didn’t mean to hurt you. Can you forgive me?”