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They’ve grown closer over the last few weeks. Since selling the North Carolina branch, I’ve had a lot of my time freed up. I have a few more people here, and taken a step back to a less active roll. Chelcie, having her time cut in half as well, has taken to helping Asher whenever possible. I’ve promised Beck that I won’t stick my nose in their business, so I can only hope she knows what she’s doing, and pray she doesn’t get hurt in the end.

Coop being gone is something that we notice more and more every day. It’s hard to fill the void that a personality as strong as his used to fill. I know for a fact, that as long as I live, there will never be another person like Zeke Cooper. The guys have had a photo of Coop in all his big grinning glory framed and it is one of the main focal points when you walk into Corps Security. It’s pure Coop… big, smiling, and the twinkle of mischief shining from his beautiful blue eyes. Underneath the picture, a simple quote is engraved into the frame. ‘Tomorrow is never a guarantee; live life to the fullest and never stop smiling.’ He was taken from us before we were ready, but he lived his life unapologetically full, and I know somewhere up there, he’s flirting with angels and watching over each one of us.

The only part of the last six weeks that’s unsettled is Emmy. God, Emmy. She’s hurting, and she’s hurting bad, but she’s also running. I remember Beck sitting me down after all that Nico garbage went down, and he explained to me why he wasn’t home.

He said that Emmy had left a letter resigning from her position at Corps Security, effective immediately. She didn’t leave details on where she was going, but did say that it was just too hard to stay, knowing that Coop was dead because he took a bullet meant for her. She didn’t need to be here, but he did. The guilt and blame that she was carrying was unimaginable. Beck had gone to the office to send Maddox the location her GPS was picking up. Much to my shock, Maddox had placed a tracking device on her car almost a year ago, along with one in her purse, and he keeps her phone tracked. After explaining all of that to me, he dropped the bomb that Maddox was taking a leave of absence to ‘get my girl and bring her home.’ Yeah, I was beyond shocked that Maddox openly claimed Emmy. Between Coop’s death and Emmy’s running, something was awakened inside of Maddox. The last call Beck got from him was three nights ago, and he was no closer to getting her home.

My heart broke for Emmy, but I had a feeling that, regardless of what happens, they have a climb ahead of them. After what I saw at Cohen’s party a few months ago, I have no doubt that the demons he’s fighting are all-consuming. Even if he manages to get her home, there is a lot of healing needed. Not saying that Emmy isn’t less important than Maddox, but something tells me that the scars he has are far deeper than anyone could imagine.

****

I pull into the parking lot of the complex where my office, Corps Security, and Sway’s salon are all located. My door is a good four businesses down from the boys, but theirs sits right next to Sway’s.

After Coop’s funeral, I helped Sway extend the sidewalk of gold glitter, to extend all the way down to my door. I wanted a piece of that when I went to work. It’s silly, gaudy, and sometimes obnoxious, but it’s our thing. The other business owners love it, but then again, it’s really hard not to love anything that Sway does.

I have just stepped out of the car when I notice Sway through the window of his salon. He’s waving like he normally does, loudly. I laugh to myself and walk his way. By the time I get to the sidewalk, he’s already thrown the door to the salon open and is bouncing on his purple four-inch heels in anticipation. I love this man.

“Dee! My sweet, beautiful Dee! When are you going to let me have at your marvelous shoe collection! I must have those two-toned Chanel knot-shaped pumps! Don’t think I didn’t notice them, you sneaky little devil! You went shopping without Sway, and oh, my little diva, that is just not okay!” He pauses, I’m sure for dramatic effect, before continuing. “And that outfit! Spin, spin!” He brings one of his large hands off his hips long enough to spin his finger in a circle. “You have the perfect outfit. Oh Darlin’, it is to die for! I could just take a bite out of your booty. You must tell me your secrets.”

He’s right. I look damn good, but then again, I chose this outfit for my man today. I’ve got on one of my favorite dresses. The light pink color looks amazing against my tan, and the hemline hits mid-thigh, covering just enough leg that Beck won’t flip his shit, but leaving the rest of my long legs bare. I know he has a weakness for my legs; he’s never shy about reminding me… usually when they are wrapped around his waist. The bandage style dress is as skintight as possible without looking trashy, hugs my figure, and pushes my breasts up. The bust is a weave of black and pink lines that make my already generous chest look even bigger. Two straps hug my shoulders and wrap around the top of my biceps. I’ve finished the look with my five-inch black heels.

I laugh, and twirl until Sway stops moving his finger. He’s got the biggest grin on his face. “You are something else! I know what you’re up to. You’re going to seduce that fine hunk of yours. Don’t think I don’t know this. Good Lord was he looking edible today. Walking sex, I’m telling you. That man is a walking, talking orgasm.”

I throw my head back and laugh because he isn’t wrong. Beck is that good-looking. “Sway, what did I tell you about fantasizing about my man?”

He cocks his hip to the side, tosses his blond hair over his shoulder, and rolls his eyes. “Then you should put a bag over his head.” He pauses and seems to space out for a second. I don’t even bother opening my mouth because I know he isn’t done. “Better yet, you’re going to need to start stuffing his clothes… making him look good and thick, so no one will look at him.” He laughs before pulling me into a hug. I wrap my arms around his thick waist and hug him back.

“You’re a mess, Sway, but I love you.” I press my cheek against his silk blouse and enjoy the moment. Sway can be a bit much for anyone, but his heart is pure gold.

He pulls back and his face gets serious for a second. He looks both ways before motioning me to lean closer. “Have you seen him yet?”

“Have I seen who? Beck?” I honestly have no clue who he is talking about. I know Axel, Greg, and Beck are in today. Asher is at the house working from Beck’s office, and Maddox is still… well, Maddox isn’t here. I take a second to really look at Sway and notice the excitement written all over his face. Good Lord, he looks like he’s about to pop.

He leans in, moves my long brown hair off my shoulder, and whispers in my ear, “The new one. Oh my gawd! My senses tell me there is finally hope for one of those boys. My team, Dee. Do you hear me? This one is all over team rainbow, I can tell!” By the time he finishes ‘whispering’, he might as well have just yelled that out loud.

I pull back and look at him. I had no idea there was a new guy. Last I heard from Beck, they were just going to hire a temp to take Emmy’s spot until she came back.

“You’ve got me, Sway. I have no idea, but I guess I’ll find out soon.”

He doesn’t even give me a chance. He opens the door to his Salon and yells to Brandy, the adorable pixie like receptionist, that he’s going next door to ogle the hunks. She laughs, clearly used to this from Sway, and waves him off.

“Does this mean you’re coming with me?”

He doesn’t answer, laces our hands together, and all but pulls me to the door of Corps Security. The glass is tinted so we can’t see in, but that doesn’t stop Sway from vibrating his excitement.

“Would you calm down? You’re going to jerk my arm right off my body.”

He doesn’t respond, but the second I open the door, he rushes in, pulling me with him.

I smile at Coop’s portrait before my eyes sweep over to Emmy’s desk. I’ve been so used to hearing her sweet voice over the years that the very masculine voice echoing through the room takes me off guard. When I look over and see just what has Sway in knots, I can almost understand his ridiculous behavior.

“See what I mean? Gorgeous.” He doesn’t even try to keep his voice down, and the object of his eyes looks right at him with a large smile.

What the hell am I watching right now? This man is most definitely gorgeous. His blond hair is perfectly styled, not a single piece out of place. His face is almost too perfect… high cheekbones, strong jaw, big smile and perfectly white teeth. I can’t tell from where I’m standing, but his eyes almost look violet. His body is partially hidden by the desk, but from what I can tell, the rest is just as good as his face… strong shoulders, and trim, muscular chest.

And the best part, he hasn’t even taken his eyes off Sway once. Hell, I might as well not even be in the room. Oh my God! I want to jump up and clap my hands like a mad person. I feel like I’m watching that matchmaker show play out right in front of me.

He finishes up his call, and places the receiver down lightly, and turns his eyes back to Sway with a smile. “Dilbert. It’s great to see you again.”

Dilbert?! There are only three people I know that call him that. His mother, Greg when he’s annoyed, and Cohen… constantly.

“Davey.”

I stand here with my jaw dropped and watch as Sway walks over to Davey. Neither one of them have stopped smiling. Who knows how long I’m here just taking it all in. When a warm arm wraps around me. I jump, but when Beck’s delicious scent washes over me, I smile just as big as the two love birds at the front desk.

I turn, wrap my arms around his neck, and press my lips to his for a quick, but no less toe-curling kiss. When I fall back on my heels and look into his eyes, so full of love, my smile grows so large it hurts.

“Hey,” I whisper against his lips.

“Hey, back.” His smile is just as panty melting as it was the first time I saw him and I can’t help but think how lucky I am that this perfect man never gave up on me.

“I’ve got a present for you.”

His smile grows wicked and his eyes darken. He knows exactly what it means when I surprise him at work with a present.

I run my hands down the thick-corded muscles in his arm, and grab one of his hands, spinning on my heels I start to walk. I hear him groan and turn around to see his eyes on my ass. “Eyes up, John Beckett. You don’t want to scare the children.” I laugh and point over to Sway and Davey. They don’t even notice us, but Beck narrows his eyes when he sees Sway.

“Sway! I told you to stop coming over here and getting your drool all over the counter! Let David do his job.”

Sway laughs and waves him off, and Davey/David blushes. Oh wow, Sway so called it. I can’t wait to see how that plays out.

Beck takes the lead and starts stomping down the hall. Whether he’s impatient to get me in his office, or he’s frustrated with Sway’s normal antics, who cares? He’s taking me where I want to be, and I could care less how fast I have to run to keep up with him.

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