“No, the problem is you do know what you want. And you’re too afraid to have it.”

With a disgusted sigh, she wound her hair up in a clip and turned on the water so she could get ready for bed.


They were deep into the third quarter, and the Sabers were up by one touchdown against Green Bay.

Flynn lived for games like this. When it was a blowout, that was great, too, because it meant his offense was kicking ass on all cylinders. But close games like this really put his defense to work. It was their job to keep the opposing team from scoring. A score by Green Bay would tie the game, and the Sabers had to make sure that didn’t happen.

Flynn wouldn’t have it any other way.

They lined up as Green Bay’s quarterback took the snap. Flynn was quick off the line, shoving the offensive lineman out of the way. Since it was third down and long, it was a pass, and Flynn had gotten a mark on the quarterback.

He flattened him before he got the ball off, then walked away, eyeing the quarterback to be sure he got up.

He did, brushing off his jersey.

Flynn was happy about the sack. So was the crowd, who roared their approval. He bumped fists with Hey Man, then they huddled up to do it all over again.

Offensive line for Green Bay was tough, so he had to dig in and push his way forward with every snap. They were sweating through this series with every down, but they kept Green Bay from advancing more than a few yards.

By the end of the third quarter, the Sabers were still up by one touchdown.

Mick and the offense took care of that by scoring another seven in the fourth, giving the defense a cushion to work with.

They battered Green Bay’s offense, keeping them on their own side of the field for most of the fourth quarter. They gave up a few first downs, but other than that, Green Bay remained scoreless.

The Sabers got the ball with three minutes left in the game, managed to get a first down and ended the game with the ball in hand.

All in all, a solid win, especially for the defense. They’d battled hard against a really good team and won. After last week’s loss, this felt damned satisfying.

“Nice sack,” Junior said as they walked off the field after the game.

“Thanks. It was a solid team effort. We all did good today.”

“We sure as hell did, didn’t we?”

He nudged shoulders in celebration with Junior, then they headed to the locker room.

He was stopped by media so he did a couple of short interviews first, the whole time thinking of a shower and an ice bath for his sore muscles. But they mentioned his restaurant, and he wasn’t about to turn down free advertising for Ninety-Two, so he gladly took the extra five minutes to talk about the game.

After, he hit the locker room, basked in the afterglow of the pumped-up team and coaches, then soaked in an ice bath for a good long time. He finally took a hot shower to scrub off the sweat and grime.

By then he was starving. He knew exactly what he wanted for dinner. He drove to Ninety-Two and parked down the street, leaving the prime parking for his customers.

He went in and greeted some of the regulars, who congratulated him on the game, so he stopped to talk to them before heading into the kitchen.

Amelia looked up at him in surprise.

“What are you doing here?” she asked. “I thought you’d be out celebrating your win with your teammates.”

“Did you catch the game?”

She smiled at him. “I might have watched parts of it before I came in to work.”

She had totally watched the game. Why she wouldn’t admit it was a mystery to him. Maybe it was because she liked him and she didn’t want to admit that, either.

“So what brings you here?” she asked.


“Now, that I can help you with. What would you like?”

“I’ve been thinking about the black bean burger all day.”

“Take a seat and I’ll fix one for you. Do you want an egg on that and some sweet potato fries?”

“Yes to both.”

She laughed. “I’ll have it out to you shortly.”

“Thanks, Amelia.”

He could have sat and had one of the waitresses take the order back, but he wanted to see Amelia. After the other night at Tara’s party, he realized there was something between them—something he wanted to explore further.

He stopped at the bar to grab a beer, then found a seat at a small table in the corner to sip his beer and observe. He was happy to see the restaurant busy. His staff was good at what they did so he didn’t need to hover. Ken knew what he was doing, as did the managers who worked under him.

Grace, one of the waitresses, brought his burger out and set it in front of him.

“Amelia wanted me to tell you that she’s trying something new tonight with the sweet potato fries. She hopes you like them.”

“Thanks, Grace.”

He dug into his burger, which was delicious. Then he tried the sweet potato fries, which came with a side of dipping sauce. It surprised the hell out of him because the fries were sprinkled with something hot, and the sauce was sweet. The combination was excellent.

He savored the meal, which went well with his beer. He could have eaten the entire meal twice. In fact, he just might since he’d burned a lot of calories during the game.

Amelia came out after he’d eaten the last fry.

“What did you think?” she asked.

“My mouth is on fire from these fries. What’s in them?”

She gave him a half smile. “That’s a secret.”