“I’m fine,” I say. It’s more a reflex than anything, but it’s true.
His fingers run down my side and I like the ripples they send across my skin. “You don’t talk about yourself much. I’ve noticed.”
“There’s not much to tell. Besides, there are more pressing matters than my personal life.”
Thomas turns on his side, and suddenly I feel cradled. I don’t mind the feeling. “You need to take care of yourself too, or you won’t be able to help anyone.”
“I do take care of myself—I came out to meet you, didn’t I? And Fiona is a nurse. She makes sure that I eat.”
He makes a small noise of disapproval. “You haven’t gotten your car fixed yet.”
“It’s fine. I just have Dad drive me.”
“Don’t you think you’d be more help right now if you had your own car? How do you plan on getting back to New York?”
I honestly hadn’t thought about it. I suppose he’s right. I do need to think about myself a little more. I can’t sacrifice my health or happiness for the bakery. Even though I know I would justify it as sacrificing it for my father’s happiness. “I’ll fix it.”
“Good. I’ll send you to my mechanic. He’ll make sure everything is running smoothly.”
I snuggle in a little closer. “I should get back to the house.”
“Should?” he asks.
“I’m very comfortable.”
He wraps his other arm around me, and presses his lips to my neck in a way that tells me this cuddling might not last. “Then maybe you can wait just a little while longer.”
The next morning, I take my car to the shop Thomas recommended. Thankfully the mechanic’s assessment of the car doesn’t break the bank, and I can pick it up the next day. Fiona’s catching up on some sleep and Dad’s at the bakery, so I call a cab. But while I’m waiting outside, I wish I hadn’t. I wish I’d just sucked it up and walked the two miles back to the bakery. Because the person pulling into the parking lot right now is none other than the infamous Samuel Logan. The Sammy who broke my sister’s heart and the whole reason we agreed to avoid the Logans in the first place.
And he’s definitely seen me. Great.
He gets out of the car, and grins at me. You can’t deny that the Logan brothers are handsome. Robert is too, though he’s far more reclusive than either of his brothers. “Rosie Monroe,” he says across the parking lot in a cheerful voice. “Been a long time.”
“It’s Rose,” I say. “And yes it has. I thought you were a mechanic? Unless you got out of the business?”
“Nah,” he says. “I still am. High end vehicles mostly, and I work on my own cars when I can. But Joe in there has a way with paint that I’ll never have, and I want her to have some touch-ups.” I’m assuming ‘her’ is the cherry red Mustang parked on the other side of the lot. “Man,” he says, “when was the last time we saw each other?”
“I think it was prom night,” I say flatly.
Samuel visibly winces. He rubs the back of his neck with one hand, obviously uncomfortable. “Yeah. How is Fiona?”
I give him a close-lipped smile. “Sorry, Sam. I can’t do that.”
“Yeah,” he says again. “I get it.” He turns to leave and then turns back. “For what it’s worth, Thomas really likes you. Don’t use that against him. Your dad made some mistakes, but they don’t have to be yours, and you shouldn’t try to solve those problems by manipulating him.”
I go stock still. He knows about Thomas and me, which means Thomas said something. That could either be good or very, very bad. There’s a vicious anger rising at the accusation that I’m using Thomas, but given our past history, I can’t really blame him for thinking that might be the case. I do my best to control my expression and nod. “I’ll remember that.”
He turns and disappears into the mechanic shop, and I go back to waiting for my cab.
We make the signs and stand outside with them all day. But there aren’t many takers. It’s discouraging, and by the time the day is over, I’ve got a headache and there’s nothing I want more than to shower, eat, and sleep. Fiona is driving me home and our father isn’t far behind. I’m dozing off in the passenger seat when my phone buzzes.
Come to dinner with me.
I text back,
I’m not sure you fully comprehend how exhausted I am right now.
The little typing bubble appears.
I’ll make it worth your while. Plus, I left a surprise for you at the house.
Surprise makes me wake up a little.
That’s the one.
What is it?
I almost make a face at the phone before I remember that Fiona is in the car.