“No,” she said, “but I can make you one.”

“Yeah,” he said with a smile. “Definitely special.”

That night Becca sat in Olivia’s apartment sharing Chinese takeout and some wine.

And woes.

They started with work woes. Olivia’s were physical. She’d been in Lucky Harbor for a year now and was outgrowing her store. It was why she’d moved into the warehouse apartment. She’d been living above the store, but that space was now needed for stock storage.

Becca’s work woes were mental. She was trying to teach music to a group of kids who’d never played an instrument in their lives, and it didn’t take a shrink to know that she needed this more than they did.

And then there was the fact that she was falling for her stoic, sexy boss. But as Olivia pointed out while refilling their glasses for the second or third or maybe fourth time, “If you put those two things aside, things are good for you.”

This was actually true, of sorts. Work was going pretty well. She had the Summer Bash plans under control, and she’d finished updating the charter website. The guys had been doing double the work, taking calls for reservations and then having to enter everything into the system. But now the site was fully operational, and people could book themselves.

“I bet you’re worth your weight in gold,” Olivia said. “Come work for me; it’ll be better for you.”

“How’s that?” Becca asked. “You have three hot guys in board shorts, shirts optional, working at your shop to look at all day?”

Olivia snorted. “No, but if you work for me, then you can sleep with Sam.”

Which brought them to the next subject—man woes.

“I’m not sure we’re going there,” Becca said. “And anyway, I’m not in a hurry to have him as an ex.”

“Yeah,” Olivia said. “Exes suck.”

She looked at Olivia with interest. “Tell me an ex story.”

“I once had a boyfriend who was an FBI agent.”


“Wait for it,” Olivia said, not nearly as impressed as Becca.


“Yeah,” Olivia said. “He said being an agent was why he had to come and go without warning, and why he didn’t have to call.”

“Well, that sucks,” Becca said.

“Gets worse. One night I had a break-in, and he happened to be with me. He ran out the front door screaming into the night like a little girl, without so much as looking back for me.” Olivia shook her head. “FBI agent my ass.”

They both laughed. Some of the hilarity had to be attributed to the wine, but mostly it was Olivia’s delivery. She knew how to spin a tale, and she knew how to be kick-ass, and not just the pretend, fake-it-till-you-make-it kind.

Becca needed to learn that particular skill.

“So. . .,” Olivia said, making the word about fifty syllables.

“So what?”

“So now it’s your turn to regale me with an ex story,” Olivia said.

Becca became suddenly extremely engrossed with finishing her wine. “I don’t really have all that many,” she finally said.

“Come on. Be serious.”

“I am serious,” Becca said.

Olivia had been lying flat on the couch, her head hanging over the side, while Becca—sitting on the floor—braided the long mass. But at this statement, Olivia lifted her head, pulling her hair from Becca’s hands.

“Unlikely from a woman who looks like you,” Olivia said slowly, taking Becca in, “with that gorgeous hair and those big, warm eyes, not to mention your amazing skin, which probably came from a rosy-cheeked baby with unicorn wings who poops golden fairy dust.”

Becca laughed. “You should be the writer.”

Olivia’s smile reminded Becca that her new friend still had lots of secrets. “So no ex at all?” Olivia said, heavy on the disbelief.

“Well, sure,” Becca said, busying herself with picking out a fortune cookie. “A few here and there.”

“Name ’em,” Olivia said.

“Taylor Bennett,” Becca said. “He dumped me because I couldn’t name the jazz songs he played.”

“Uh-huh,” Olivia said. “And how old were you?”


“That’s the best you got?” Olivia asked.

She racked her brain. The problem was, during those years, she’d been traveling with Jase, and it hadn’t exactly been a normal coming-of-age situation. She’d dated, but hadn’t really sunk her teeth into any real relationships other than with Nathan. “There were others, just no one memorable.”

“Come on, there’s got to be a story to tell.”

“Maybe.” Becca nudged the fortune cookies around with her fingers. “But I don’t like to revisit the only other one I’ve got.”

Olivia was quiet a moment. “This have anything to do with our impromptu sleepover?”

Becca shrugged. She didn’t want to go there sober, much less half-baked.

“Men are bastards,” Olivia said with feeling.

Becca made a noncommittal response to this and opened her fortune cookie.

Your future is your own, it said.

“Damn it,” Becca said. “This one’s defective.”

Olivia peered over the edge of the couch and read it. “Hey, it sounds good to me. I like making my own future.”