“Saw you from Weststar.” He pointed to the peak above them.

“You expect me to believe this is a chance meeting?”

“It is. I was hiking back after taking video for a client when I saw you.”

“How could you tell it was me?”


“Wow. Good thing I wasn’t having wild sex against a tree or something.”

He arched a brow. “By yourself?”

She blew out a sigh. Sex with herself was all she had lately. As if she’d admit that.

He grinned, making her realize her thoughts were all over her face.

“Okay, look,” she said. “You’ve seen for yourself I’m fine. So thanks for the concern, but feel free to continue on your merry way.”

“I thought maybe you’d want company.”

“Yours?” she asked.

“No, the Tooth Fairy’s. Yes, mine.”

Above them, clouds bumped and exploded in a burst of lightning, and she tipped her head up to look at the churning sky. Huh. That storm had moved in quickly. “Are we supposed to count one-Mississippi, two-Mississippi, or just-”

The sonic boom of thunder shook the ground beneath their feet, and she jumped. Holy smokes. Without meaning to, she shifted a step toward TJ, who looked like he was thinking about smiling again.

“Are you scared?” he asked.

“Of course not.” She was far closer to terrified.

“Are you prepared for rain?”

“I’m prepared for anything, TJ.” Theoretically, anyway. “I’m also wearing my Supergirl panties. So really, you can go home.”

“You’re right.” He scrubbed a hand down his face. “You have a way of taking care of yourself. I have no idea why I feel the need to do it for you.”

“You could just stop.”

He pulled off his baseball cap and shoved a hand through his hair. “It’s not that easy. I…think about you.”

This made her blink. “You do?”

“Well, yeah. Don’t you think about me?”

Far too often. She thought about why he was always gone, she thought about what made him need to be gone, and wondered if it was the same restlessness that sat low in her gut, the same nameless ache.

Probably it wasn’t. Because her ache was for him to touch her the way he had that long ago night, the night he didn’t remember. “But we’re nothing to each other,” she whispered.

“I don’t believe that.” He shook his head. “And I don’t think you do, either. You’ve been a part of my life since high school.”

“Yes. I know. I remember. In fact, I wish I could forget as easily as you.”


There went her brain running away from her mouth again. “Nothing.” She turned away to start walking again. “It’s nothing.” Let it go. Please just let it go.

He grabbed her wrist and pulled her back to him. “It’s something.”

“Okay, it’s something, but nothing I want to get into right now.” Or ever. “Go home, TJ. Please?”

He pulled off her sunglasses to see her face. “Maybe later.” As he continued to tug her in, she set a hand to his abs for balance and her fingers brushed the hard ridges of his six-pack. Make that an eight-pack. She could have pulled back, but her fingers suddenly weren’t listening to her brain any more than her mouth had. Not good.

In fact, this was bad. Very, very bad. He wasn’t going anywhere. She got why, she really did. She’d inadvertently triggered his protective nature, and thanks to what he’d suffered through with Sam, there was no easy way to get rid of him.

But that didn’t mean she wouldn’t try. She had to, because she knew herself. She wasn’t strong enough to fight off the asinine, juvenile attraction she had for him, and she wasn’t in the mood to make a fool of herself. “I have to make a phone call.”

“Okay,” he said. “Go ahead.”

“It’s private.”

When he didn’t budge, she walked off, not exactly sure of which she hoped for more, that he’d go home…

Or follow her.

TJ watched Harley vanish up the trail, then pulled out his cell phone as well. He had a new text from Nick.

Warning-you’re Annie’s new Worry Obsession. Fix it so she doesn’t worry herself into early labor.

TJ called his client first. He had the video to show him, but he rescheduled their late afternoon meeting so that he’d be free to stay with Harley.

He called Stone next. “Today’s afternoon meeting’s cancelled. I’m with Harley.”

Stone let that sink in. “When she kills you, tell her to call me. I’ll help her hide your body. I know this great spot just off-”

With a sigh, TJ disconnected, then called Annie. “I’m fine.”



“Good. Because if you’re planning on going off the deep end, I’d need to schedule it in, that’s all.”

“No need.”

“You’re still restless as hell.”

“I’m always restless as hell. You’re only noticing now because for the first time in forever, you’re truly happy. Everyone’s happy. I stick out like a sore thumb.”

“Oh, honey. We can fix this. We’ll-”

“Annie,” he broke in gently. “I’m okay. Really.”