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The next day AJ worked his ass off at work, seeing clients back to back to back, managing staff, running a fitness workshop with Ariana, and handling the virtual mountain of all the usual behind-the-scenes crap at his desk. He’d been so busy he didn’t have time to wonder if his head was on straight.

A good thing, as it was most definitely not on straight. In fact, thinking about the Boise trip, it was about as unstraight as it could get.

A knock at his door had him looking up from his computer.

“Going to meditate,” Ariana said. “Thought you might join me.”

She was forever trying to get him to meditate with her. AJ appreciated that she got a lot out of it. And he also appreciated that a lot of their clients got a lot out of it. But he didn’t. Every time he tried, his mind wandered to all the shit he should be doing with his time. “Sorry. I’ve still got a lot to do.”

She smiled. “You know what they say about all work and no play …”

“Yeah, yeah, but I also have one client left for the day.”

“Tyson? He just cancelled.”

AJ frowned. “Any reason why?”

“Yeah, he said he was over it.”

AJ had been working with the guy for months, and though Tyson still had a shit attitude, AJ had thought that maybe they were finally getting somewhere.

Apparently not.

He pulled out his phone and called him.

“What?” Tyson answered in a tone that suggested the caller could and should go fuck themselves.

“We had plans,” AJ said.

“You had plans. Me, not so much.”

“The key is constantly working at those muscles,” AJ said. “You know this. When we work hard, you get more mobility each time.”

“We?” Tyson repeated. “You mean when I work hard, and I’m tired of working hard.” He blew out a breath. “Listen, this isn’t your problem, so forget it. Forget me.”

Most of AJ’s clients actively wanted to get better. Not Tyson. He honestly didn’t appear to care if he recovered or not. Not that this mattered, because AJ refused to give up on him. “Come in or I’ll drive to you.”

There was a beat of silence. “Why?” Tyson finally asked. “What the hell does it matter to you?”

“A lot. You’re going to get some more improvement, Tyson, even if you don’t believe it.”

“But I’m always going to be in this fucking chair.”

“You still have two working arms and a brain, right?” AJ pressed.

More silence. Pissy silence.

“Look,” AJ said more gently, “your doctor said there was room for physical improvement, and it’s my job to help you get it. Why not go for it? Unless you’re enjoying the solo pity party?”

“Fuck you. Hard.”

“Tell you what,” AJ said. “Let’s strengthen your arms and shoulders and then you can try.”

Tyson choked out a laugh. “You’re an asshole.”

“I know. You have a ride here?”

Another pause. Then a long, drawn-out exhale. “Yeah.”

“Great,” AJ said. “I’ll be waiting.”

Tyson swore and disconnected, and AJ left his office, walked down the hall, and into the gym. It would take Tyson at least a half hour to get here, not long enough for a real workout but he’d take what he could get.

He needed to blow off some steam.

Wyatt was there at the bench press, and by the looks of him, he’d been there awhile. AJ took the machine next to him and started pumping.

Wyatt slid him a look. “Problem?”

“Nope. No problem. No problem at all.”

“Say it one more time and maybe I’ll believe you.”

AJ just kept working the weights, eyes open. Every time he closed them he could still see a certain woman in her pj’s standing in her kitchen looking sexier than he could possibly have imagined.

When had Darcy gotten so sexy?

“Did you seriously just ask me that?” Wyatt asked.

AJ nearly dropped the weights on his face and just barely managed to not kill himself. “Um, what?”

Wyatt stared at him. “Zoe’s worried about this weekend,” he finally said. “And now maybe I am, too.”

“I’d never put Darcy into a situation she can’t handle.”

“Actually, Zoe’s worried that it’s a situation you can’t handle,” Wyatt said.

“I’ll be fine.” One could hope.

“Remind me again—when have you ever successfully handled Darcy?”

Shit. “I don’t plan to handle her at all,” AJ said. “She just needs to be herself. That’s all I’m asking.”

Wyatt was quiet a moment, and AJ went back to the weights, thinking they needed a subject change quick.

“You two have always rubbed each other the wrong way,” Wyatt said after a minute. “Since I can’t even remember when.” He met AJ’s gaze. “Come to think of it, I don’t even know why.”

AJ stayed very busy with the weights but could see from his peripheral that Wyatt didn’t do the same. In fact, Wyatt got up and stood behind AJ like he was going to spot him.

AJ tilted his head back and met Wyatt’s upside-down face staring down at him. “What?”

“Is there something I should know?” Wyatt asked.


Wyatt’s eyes narrowed. “My sister.”