“Skye,” Harley murmured.

Nolan looked like he was thinking about smiling. “It’s okay, Skye. I was dumped before you got in the front door.”

“Dumped?” Skye looked at Harley and raised a curious brow. “Interesting.”

Nolan made to leave, but Harley grabbed his hand. “Nolan-”

“It’s okay, Harley. No hard feelings.”

Well maybe he didn’t have hard feelings, but she sure as hell did. This was TJ and his magic fingers’ fault. If he hadn’t given her that orgasm, she’d have been fine. Fine.

Okay, so it wasn’t TJ’s fault, but she wanted someone to blame. She supposed she should grow up and look in the mirror. “I want you to know, Nolan, that whatever you heard isn’t true.” Well, unless he heard that she’d crawled into TJ’s sleeping bag and let him-oh, God. “Most of it anyway.”

“Harley,” he said with terrifying kindness. “It’s okay to stop talking.”

Right. Miserable, she nodded. And when the door closed behind him, she turned to Skye, who lifted her hands in surrender.

“Hey, I’m just the messenger,” Skye said. “You can’t shoot the messenger.”

“Wanna bet?”

“So you and TJ…?”

“Ohmigod. Why is everyone talking about this?”

“Because Shelly was with Annie when the two of you came back together. Shelly went to work her shift at Moody’s and told someone who told someone-hell, Harl, you know how it works.” She shrugged. “This is what happens when you go out with the town’s hottie.”

“We didn’t go out!”

“No, even better, you went directly to the overnight portion of the program. Was it the romance novel I gave you? It was, wasn’t it?”

“Oh my God, this is out of control. TJ and I are…” What? “Nothing. We’re just friends.”

“Since when?” Without waiting for an answer, Skye headed straight for the refrigerator. “Jeez, we need food.”


“Okay, me. I need food. Whadda ya got for dinner?”

Harley sighed, reached into her purse and looked in her wallet.

A ten and two ones.

She handed it over.

There was no fast food in Wishful, so their choices were limited to the café, the grocery store, or the gas station convenience store. They both knew there was only enough money for the latter.

“I’m going to take your truck,” Skye said. “I’m low on gas. Hot dogs? Taquitos? Burritos?”

Harley sighed. “All of it. No, wait.” All of it would require that she go for a run tomorrow. “Two hot dogs,” she decided.

“Chili? Cheese?”

“Sure. But make it one hot dog.” She sighed. “My jeans are tight.”

Skye laughed.

“It’s not funny. It means I need to go running.” She hated running. “Okay, skip the chili and the cheese, but add pickles. Pickles are low in calories, right?”

“Well yes, when compared to the actual hot dog itself,” Skye said, amused.

“You know what, add the cheese. I really need the cheese.”

“You’re going to hell in a handbasket, Harl.”

Harley thought of what she’d let TJ do, what she wanted to do to him, and sighed. “Don’t I know it.”


TJ sat at his desk and looked at the mess on it. He hated paperwork. He hated filing. He hated sitting.

He hated not having fresh air in his lungs.

Huh. That was sort of fun. What else did he hate about office work? How about the fact that there were walls all around him instead of the elements? He hated walls. He hated being enclosed. He hated the electronic hum of the office equipment.

His phone rang. He hated that, too, but he answered it. Turned out to be a good call-a last-minute Alaska trip, leaving in a week. Didn’t get better than that.

Well, actually, it could get better than that. He could be back out at Desolation with Harley.

He looked at the paperwork again and decided it was time for a field trip. He headed to Cam’s office, intending to grab him for help cataloguing their inventory for month-end, and then they could go on a hard, fast, mountain bike ride.

Cam’s laptop was open on his desk. Next to it lay a cell phone and keys. Next to that, an iPod, with Radiohead blaring out of the headphones. There was also an opened soda and bag of chips.

Had there been some sort of emergency? TJ couldn’t think of another reason why his brother would leave so quickly with an unfinished bag of chips lying out, just begging to be stolen. Cam didn’t leave his food.

Just then, the cell phone rang. The screen ID’d Nick. “Yo,” TJ answered.

“TJ? Where the hell’s Cam? I’m out back waiting for him.”

“I have no idea.” Then he heard it. A rustle and a…moan? Both came from the closet behind the desk.

And then, a soft, husky female voice that sounded suspiciously like Katie saying, “Oh, God. Cam…” Something thunked against the closet door from the inside. And then a soft moan. “There, Cam. Right there.”

TJ went still. “Jesus.”

“What?” Nick asked.

A rough gasp came from the closet.

Fucking almost-newlyweds. TJ rubbed a hand over his face, even as he wished he was in a closet causing Harley to make those sounds. “Call it a hunch,” he said to Nick. “But I think Cam’s indisposed.”