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𝑵𝒐 𝒐𝒏𝒆 𝒆𝒗𝒆𝒓 𝒈𝒆𝒕𝒔 𝒂 𝒇𝒂𝒊𝒓 𝒔𝒉𝒐𝒕 𝒂𝒕 𝒍𝒊𝒇𝒆, 𝒃𝒖𝒕 𝒘𝒉𝒆𝒏 𝒐𝒕𝒉𝒆𝒓𝒔 𝒅𝒐 𝒕𝒉𝒆𝒊𝒓 𝒃𝒆𝒔𝒕 𝒕𝒐 𝒌𝒊𝒄𝒌 𝒚𝒐𝒖 𝒘𝒉𝒊𝒍𝒆 𝒚𝒐𝒖’𝒓𝒆 𝒅𝒐𝒘𝒏, 𝒊𝒕’𝒔 𝒉𝒂𝒓𝒅 𝒏𝒐𝒕 𝒕𝒐 𝒇𝒆𝒆𝒍 𝒉𝒆𝒍𝒑𝒍𝒆𝒔𝒔.
𝐿𝑒𝐴𝑛𝑛𝑎 𝑊𝑟𝑖𝑔ℎ𝑡 𝑤𝑎𝑛𝑡𝑒𝑑 𝑡𝑜 𝑙𝑒𝑎𝑣𝑒 𝑃𝑒𝑎𝑘 𝑉𝑎𝑙𝑙𝑒𝑦 𝑏𝑢𝑡 𝑤ℎ𝑒𝑛 ℎ𝑒𝑟 𝑑𝑎𝑑 𝑔𝑜𝑒𝑠 𝑡𝑜 𝑝𝑟𝑖𝑠𝑜𝑛 𝑎𝑛𝑑 ℎ𝑒𝑟 𝑚𝑜𝑚 𝑠𝑝𝑙𝑖𝑡𝑠 𝑡𝑜𝑤𝑛, 𝑠ℎ𝑒 𝑏𝑒𝑐𝑜𝑚𝑒𝑠 ℎ𝑒𝑟 𝑙𝑖𝑡𝑡𝑙𝑒 𝑠𝑖𝑠𝑡𝑒𝑟’𝑠 𝑜𝑛𝑙𝑦 𝑔𝑢𝑎𝑟𝑑𝑖𝑎𝑛. 𝐴𝑙𝑙 𝑡ℎ𝑒 𝑑𝑟𝑒𝑎𝑚𝑠 𝐿𝑒𝐴𝑛𝑛𝑎 ℎ𝑎𝑑 𝑑𝑖𝑠𝑎𝑝𝑝𝑒𝑎𝑟 𝑤ℎ𝑖𝑙𝑒 𝑠ℎ𝑒 𝑑𝑜𝑒𝑠 𝑒𝑣𝑒𝑟𝑦𝑡ℎ𝑖𝑛𝑔 𝑠ℎ𝑒 𝑐𝑎𝑛 𝑡𝑜 𝑔𝑖𝑣𝑒 𝐺𝑖𝑔𝑖 𝑎 𝑔𝑜𝑜𝑑 𝑙𝑖𝑓𝑒. 𝐴𝑓𝑡𝑒𝑟 𝑦𝑒𝑎𝑟𝑠 𝑜𝑓 𝑠𝑡𝑟𝑢𝑔𝑔𝑙𝑖𝑛𝑔, 𝑙𝑖𝑓𝑒 𝑖𝑠 𝑙𝑜𝑜𝑘𝑖𝑛𝑔 𝑝𝑟𝑒𝑡𝑡𝑦 𝑔𝑜𝑜𝑑 𝑓𝑜𝑟 𝑡ℎ𝑒 𝑡𝑤𝑜, 𝑢𝑛𝑡𝑖𝑙 𝐿𝑒𝐴𝑛𝑛𝑎’𝑠 𝑒𝑥-𝑏𝑜𝑦𝑓𝑟𝑖𝑒𝑛𝑑 𝑋𝑎𝑣𝑖𝑒𝑟 𝑟𝑒𝑡𝑢𝑟𝑛𝑠 𝑡𝑜 𝑃𝑒𝑎𝑘 𝑉𝑎𝑙𝑙𝑒𝑦, ℎ𝑜𝑙𝑑𝑖𝑛𝑔 𝑎 𝑏𝑖𝑡𝑡𝑒𝑟 𝑔𝑟𝑢𝑑𝑔𝑒 𝑎𝑔𝑎𝑖𝑛𝑠𝑡 ℎ𝑒𝑟.
𝐷𝑦𝑙𝑎𝑛 𝑀𝑜𝑛𝑡𝑔𝑜𝑚𝑒𝑟𝑦 ℎ𝑎𝑠 𝑏𝑒𝑒𝑛 𝑖𝑛 𝑙𝑜𝑣𝑒 𝑤𝑖𝑡ℎ 𝐿𝑒𝐴𝑛𝑛𝑎 𝑠𝑖𝑛𝑐𝑒 𝑡ℎ𝑒𝑦 𝑤𝑒𝑟𝑒 𝑘𝑖𝑑𝑠. 𝐸𝑣𝑒𝑟𝑦 𝑡𝑖𝑚𝑒 ℎ𝑒 𝑚𝑢𝑠𝑡𝑒𝑟𝑒𝑑 𝑡ℎ𝑒 𝑐𝑜𝑢𝑟𝑎𝑔𝑒 𝑡𝑜 𝑡𝑒𝑙𝑙 ℎ𝑒𝑟 ℎ𝑜𝑤 ℎ𝑒 𝑓𝑒𝑙𝑡, 𝑓𝑎𝑡𝑒 𝑤𝑜𝑢𝑙𝑑 𝑖𝑛𝑡𝑒𝑟𝑣𝑒𝑛𝑒. 𝑇𝑖𝑟𝑒𝑑 𝑜𝑓 𝑓𝑎𝑡𝑒 𝑔𝑒𝑡𝑡𝑖𝑛𝑔 𝑖𝑛 𝑡ℎ𝑒 𝑤𝑎𝑦, 𝐷𝑦𝑙𝑎𝑛 𝑠𝑒𝑖𝑧𝑒𝑠 𝑡ℎ𝑒 𝑚𝑜𝑚𝑒𝑛𝑡 𝑎𝑛𝑑 𝑙𝑖𝑓𝑒 𝑠𝑡𝑎𝑟𝑡𝑠 𝑡𝑜 𝑙𝑜𝑜𝑘 𝑝𝑟𝑒𝑡𝑡𝑦 𝑔𝑜𝑜𝑑 𝑓𝑜𝑟 𝑡ℎ𝑒 𝑡𝑤𝑜, 𝑢𝑛𝑡𝑖𝑙 ℎ𝑒𝑟 𝑒𝑥-𝑏𝑜𝑦𝑓𝑟𝑖𝑒𝑛𝑑 𝑋𝑎𝑣𝑖𝑒𝑟 𝑏𝑒𝑔𝑖𝑛𝑠 𝑡𝑜 𝑠ℎ𝑜𝑤 𝑢𝑝 𝑤ℎ𝑒𝑟𝑒 ℎ𝑒 𝑖𝑠𝑛’𝑡 𝑤𝑎𝑛𝑡𝑒𝑑.
𝑻𝒉𝒆 𝒎𝒐𝒓𝒆 𝑫𝒚𝒍𝒂𝒏 𝒂𝒏𝒅 𝑳𝒆𝑨𝒏𝒏𝒂 𝒕𝒓𝒚 𝒕𝒐 𝒂𝒗𝒐𝒊𝒅 𝑿𝒂𝒗𝒊𝒆𝒓 𝒕𝒉𝒆 𝒎𝒐𝒓𝒆 𝒃𝒖𝒓𝒊𝒆𝒅 𝒔𝒆𝒄𝒓𝒆𝒕𝒔 𝒄𝒐𝒎𝒆 𝒕𝒐 𝒔𝒖𝒓𝒇𝒂𝒄𝒆. 𝑩𝒖𝒓𝒊𝒆𝒅 𝒔𝒆𝒄𝒓𝒆𝒕𝒔 𝒕𝒉𝒂𝒕 𝒄𝒐𝒖𝒍𝒅 𝒄𝒐𝒔𝒕 𝑳𝒆𝑨𝒏𝒏𝒂 𝒆𝒗𝒆𝒓𝒚𝒕𝒉𝒊𝒏𝒈.
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I’m about to grab my purse when Alice walks into the office, walking straight toward me. “I told my son he shouldn’t keep you on when he purchased this place.” She points an accusing finger at me. “And after that stunt you pulled at Mr. Arnoldson’s party, your proved me right.”
“Mrs. Duncan,” she corrects me.
“Mrs. Duncan, I think there has been a misunderstanding. I don’t know what you’re talking about.”
“You left the party,” she says, as if that explains anything.
“Mom,” Xavier comes into the lobby, “what are you doing here?”
“I’m letting this… woman know she failed to do her job. You have responsibilities and you neglected them. After everything my son has done for you.”
“It is Mr. Duncan to you,” Alice cuts in again.
“Mom, please.” Xavier takes her arm and pulls her to his office. “LeAnna, stay there.”
Xavier takes his mom into his office, and I hear her heated voice tell him she wants me gone. I can’t hear what Xavier says to her, but after a few minutes, he leaves his office, shutting the door behind him, and comes to my desk. I don’t know whether to run or hide when his gaze lands on me with an intensity I’ve seen from him before.
Lorraine and Gerald are pretending to not watch us from their offices, and I feel a blush of embarrassment heat my cheeks.
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Read the First Chapter HERE!
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Romance Author. Professional Pen Thief. Coffee Addict. Obsessive Reader.
Amanda lives in the weather crazed Midwest where they experience hot summers and cold winters. She believes spring and fall are a beautiful made up fantasy. Amanda shares her life with her wonderful husband who despite her begging and pleading won’t grow his beard out. She has three teenagers, two girls and a boy, and two mouthy malamutes that always keep her on her toes, and never stop eating.
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