“Right. And not breathing, that would be worse,” Mark said.

She stared at him. “That’s it? That’s the wisdom you’re going to impart?” Becca said. “Keep breathing?”

“And don’t sweat the small stuff,” he said. “Both good bits of advice.”

“True enough,” she said, and stood up. “Need a ride?”

“Nah. I want to walk. No worries, I didn’t drink.”

“You going to?”

“No, ma’am.”

She kissed him on his cheek and went home and sat on her bed, which reminded her of Sam, and work. By dawn, she’d sent off a jingle for the diaper campaign, but she wasn’t thrilled with it, and she was a little bit afraid she knew why.

She was sweating the small stuff.

She was also sweating the big stuff, but one thing at a time.

Chapter 22

By early evening, Becca had closed the hut and was eating ice cream after snorkeling with Olivia when the guys came back in.

She hurriedly popped the last bite of cone into her mouth and pulled on her denim shorts over her still-damp bathing suit.

“Look at you move,” Olivia said, amused.

“My bosses are back. They might need something.”

“Uh-huh,” Olivia said. “Or you want to pull a Baywatch and run down the beach toward your man. Or maybe I should say Babe-watch.”

Becca ignored her and . . . ran down the beach.

Cole and Tanner were unloading gear to the dock. She didn’t see Sam, and thought maybe he’d somehow gotten by her. She slowed her footsteps, and tried to slow her heart down as well.

After all, he didn’t owe her a special hello. He owed her nothing.

“Hey,” she said, greeting Cole and Tanner. “Everyone good?”

“Sure.” Tanner tossed some more gear to the docks. “We hardly ever kill anyone anymore.”

Cole turned to look at him. “Seriously? You’re allowed to joke about it, but not me?”

Tanner shrugged.

Cole shook his head and pulled Becca in for a hug. “Everything holding up here?” he asked her.

“Of course.”

His gaze said he knew otherwise, but he let her get away with it. “Saw you and Anderson all hot and heavy on the dance floor. You really gotta watch that guy, okay?”

Becca stared at him. “You were there?”

Tanner laughed. “No, he wasn’t there. But please ask him how he knows.”

Becca looked at Cole.

Cole grimaced. “It’s not a big deal.”

“Then tell her,” Tanner said.

Cole sighed. “Pinterest.”

Tanner coughed and said “pussy” at the same time.

“Hey, my mom sent me the link to the pin,” Cole said.

Tanner grinned. “Gets better and better.”

Cole had accessed the pic on his phone and showed it to Becca. It was her and Anderson dancing, and from the angle the shot had been taken, Anderson appeared to be holding her very close and whispering a sweet nothing in her ear. “Okay, that is not what it looks like,” she told them, and in the interest of a subject change she waved the iPad she held and went through her list of things to go over. “The decorations for the Summer Bash,” she said to Cole as he did something fancy with the ropes in his hands.

“Whatever you want,” he said.

She sighed and looked at Tanner, who was straddling the dock and the boat with circus-like balancing ability as he hosed down the bow.

“What he said,” Tanner said.

“You guys are too easy,” she said.

They both shrugged. “You could ask the boss,” Cole suggested, jerking his head toward the figure coming out of the cabin, heading to the helm.


He wore no shirt, no shoes, nothing but a pair of low-slung board shorts, a backward ball cap, and dark lenses as he did something with the controls and the engine roared to life.

He took her breath.

“He’s not the only boss,” she managed.

“No, but he likes to think he is,” Tanner said.

“He’s not exactly crazy about this whole shindig,” she reminded them.

Cole laughed.

“What?” she asked.

“Honey, what he’s crazy about is you.”

This startled her. She’d really believed that she and Sam had been doing a great job at keeping . . . whatever this was under wraps. Not that she was ashamed of what they were doing, although thinking about it did make her blush.

But there was the unprofessional factor. She was, after all—and despite his best efforts to the contrary—sleeping with her boss. She glanced at Sam, still behind the helm, his back to them. “You really think he’s doing this party just for me?”

“Did he not hire you when he didn’t want to?” Cole asked.

“Yes, but—”

“And did he let you into his Man Cave without bloodshed?”

“Well, yes. But. . .”

They were both just looking at her.

“Come on,” she said. “This is silly. Sam doesn’t do anything he doesn’t want to. Not unless. . .” She thought about how he did whatever his dad needed done, just to keep the man afloat, even though it’d be easier to walk away. How much he did for Cole’s mom, which she knew he felt was payback, just as she knew that Amelia didn’t feel he owed her a thing. How much he did for these guys right in front of her, though that was mutual. How much he’d done for her . . .