“You don’t want me to talk about it? Everyone else in this office is dying to know.”

I glared at him. “You just said you didn’t. There is something I want to know though.”

“What?” he asked, wary.

“Who is in the pictures on your desk?”

“What makes you think it’s a who? Maybe they’re pictures of cats.”

All emotion left my face. “You don’t have cats.”

“But I like cats.”

I leaned back, and I hit my desk, frustrated. “You don’t like cats.”

“You don’t know me that well.”

I hid behind my monitor again. “I know that you either have a miracle lint brush, or you don’t have cats.”

“I could still like cats.”

I leaned over. “You’re killing me.”

The faintest hint of a smile touched his lips. “Let’s go to dinner.”

“Not unless you tell me who is in those frames.”

Thomas frowned. “Why don’t you just look for yourself the next time you’re in there?”

“Maybe I will.”


We were quiet for several seconds, and then I finally spoke, “I’ll help you.”

“To dinner?”

“I’ll help you help Travis.”

He shifted in the chair. “I didn’t know you weren’t planning to.”

“Maybe you shouldn’t consider me a sure thing.”

“Maybe you shouldn’t say yes,” he snapped back.

I slammed my laptop closed. “I didn’t say yes. I said I would watch for the email from Constance.”

He narrowed his eyes at me. “I’m going to have to watch you.”

A smug smile broke out across my face. “Yes, you are.”

My cell phone chirped, and Val’s name appeared on the screen. I picked up the phone and held it to my ear. “Hey, Val. Yes, just finishing up. Okay. See you in twenty.” I pressed the End button and laid my phone on the desk.

“That hurts,” Thomas said, checking his own phone.

“Deal with it,” I said, opening the lower drawer to retrieve my purse and keys.

His brow furrowed. “Is Marks going?”

“I don’t know,” I said, standing before pulling my purse strap over my shoulder.

Vacuums were being pushed back and forth somewhere down the hall. Only half the lights were on. Thomas and I were the only employees left in the wing besides the cleaning staff.

Thomas’s expression made me feel guilty. I tilted my head. “Do you want to go?”

“If Val will be there, it would be less awkward if Marks were going,” he said, standing.

“Agreed.” I thought about it for a moment. “Invite him.”

Thomas’s eyes sparked, and he lifted his cell phone, tapping out a quick message. Within seconds, it beeped back. He looked up at me. “Where?”

“A place downtown called Kansas City Barbeque.”

Thomas laughed once. “Is she giving you the official tourist tour?”

I smiled. “It’s the same bar from Top Gun. She said she didn’t do those things when she moved here, and she’s never gotten to it. Now, she has an excuse.”

Thomas tapped on his phone, a grin spreading quickly across his face. “KC Barbeque it is.”

I sat on the end stool, glancing around the room. The walls were covered in Top Gun memorabilia—posters, pictures, and signed headshots of the cast. To me, it didn’t look anything like the bar in the movie, except for the jukebox and the antique piano.

Val and Marks were deep in conversation about the pros and cons for the solicitation notice of the 9mm pistols versus our standard issue Smith & Wesson. Thomas was on the other side of the L-shaped bar, standing in the middle of a small herd of California girls any Beach Boy would be proud of. The women were all giggling as they drank and took turns at the dartboard, clapping and cheering every time Thomas hit a bull’s-eye.

Thomas didn’t seem to be overly flattered by the attention, but he was having a good time, glancing over at me every now and again with a relaxed smile.

He had taken off his jacket and rolled up the sleeves of his oxford, revealing several inches of his thick tanned forearms. His tie was loose, and his top button had been left undone. I willed away the jealousy threatening to bubble to the surface every time I looked over at his new fangirls, but I could still feel those arms around me, pulling me into different positions and watching as they flexed while he—

“Liis!” Val said, snapping her fingers. “You didn’t hear a flippin’ word I said, did you?”

“No,” I said before finishing my drink. “I’m going to head out.”

“What? No!” Val said, pouting. Her protruding bottom lip pulled back in as she smiled. “You don’t have a ride. You can’t leave.”

“I called a taxi.”

Val’s eyes reflected her feelings of betrayal. “How dare you.”

“See you Monday,” I said, situating my purse strap.

“Monday? What about tomorrow? You’re going to waste a perfectly good Saturday night?”

“I have to unpack, and I would actually like to spend time in the condo I’m paying for.”

Val was back to pouting. “Fine.”

“Good night, Lindy,” Marks said before turning his attention back to Val.

I pushed the door open, smiling politely to the patrons sitting outside on the patio. The multicolored string lights hanging overhead made me feel like I was on vacation. I still wasn’t used to the fact that the balmy temperature and camisoles were now my normal. Instead of trudging through the frozen tundra of Chicago in a down coat, I could step outside in a summer dress and sandals if I wanted, even in the wee hours of the morning.

“Leaving?” Thomas said, seeming rushed.

“Yes. I’d like to get completely unpacked this weekend.”

“Let me drive you.”

“You look”—I leaned over to peek at his groupies through the window—“busy.”

“I’m not.” He shook his head as if I should have known better.

When he looked at me that way, I felt like the only person in the city.

My heart fluttered in my chest, and I begged any hatred I still had for him to make itself known.