“You can cancel the car, Mia. I really do have time to drive you wherever you need to go.”

“And I’m fine with having some independence, Flynn, so I’ll keep my car reservation. But thanks, anyway.”

Mia always had that independent streak, even as a kid. It shouldn’t surprise him that she wouldn’t want to be at his mercy while she was visiting.

“Fine. I’ll look for your e-mail tomorrow.”

“Okay. Can’t wait to see you. Love you.”

“Love you, too.”

After Mia, he talked to his parents. They were both doing well. Dad was busy buying some new equipment for the ranch, so they spent a lot of time talking tractors, which Flynn always found interesting. It was his goal to someday own a parcel of land that wasn’t in the city.

He loved Texas. His parents’ ranch was there, and while Texas might not be where Flynn ended up, he knew he wanted land and space. He loved San Francisco and everything about the city, but he couldn’t deny that when he settled down and found a woman willing to put up with him, he hoped that woman would also crave time outside the city—even if it was on a part-time basis.

By the time he finished up with his phone conversations, he realized the restaurant had closed and everyone was cleaning up. He pitched in and helped the staff put up the tables so the floors could be cleaned, then made his way into the kitchen to see if he could help out there.

Amelia looked up and frowned.

“You’re still here?”

He always enjoyed that shocked look on her face whenever she spotted him at Ninety-Two, as if him being in his own restaurant was unusual. “I do own the place.”

“Of course I know that. I just assumed you’d be gone by now. Aren’t you tired after the game today?”

“No. And I wanted to hang out and talk to you.” The kitchen was spotless and she was the only one left.

“Oh.” She swiped her hair behind her ears. “Sure. About what?”

She seemed flustered. Or frustrated. Maybe even pissed.

“Is there something wrong?”

“Not really. Nothing I can’t handle.”

He leaned against one of the stainless steel counters. “Tell me what’s going on.”

“I’ve got a handle on it, Flynn. And right now I’d like nothing more than to have a really large glass of wine.”

“Let’s do that. But not here. You ready to leave?”

“Yes. But let me change out of my uniform first.”


He checked sports scores while he waited. His team was in second place in the division. Not good enough, but they were only one game behind Seattle. They could do this. They’d have to play Seattle again later in the season, and since it was a home game he was certain they’d win. He was confident in his team and their abilities. They were on the cusp of greatness. Now they just had to make it happen.

“Okay, I’m ready.”

He looked up to see Amelia wearing dark jeans, boots and a white sweater. Simple, but damn if she didn’t take his breath away. She had pulled her hair up into a high ponytail, and there was something about it that made him want to pull her ponytail holder out and run his fingers through her silky blond hair.

Maybe it was because she always looked so . . . perfect. So put together. He wanted to muss her up a little.

His cock tightened.

Yeah, time to rein it in a little.

They were the last two there, so they turned off all the lights and locked up, then walked outside.

“Where’s your car?”

“It was a nice day so I walked. I figured I’d either walk home or grab a ride.”

“Yeah, I’ll drive you.” He led her to his SUV and they got in. “How about my place?” he asked.

“I thought you wanted to go to a bar?”

He looked over at her. “I said a drink. Besides, you can kick off your shoes and put your feet up there.”

“I’m not going to complain about that.”

“I didn’t think you would.”

He drove to his house and pulled into the driveway. He led Amelia to the front door and unlocked it.

“I don’t think I’ve been here since you interviewed me,” she said as he opened the door and flipped on the light.

“That was a really good meal you fixed that night. My brother still raves about it.”

She smiled as she laid her purse down on the sofa, then shrugged out of her sweater. “That’s good to hear.”

“Take a seat. I’ll pour us a glass of wine. I’ve got a bottle of Shiraz I’ve wanted to open for a while now.”

“But all the women you go out with keep preening for the cameras, so you haven’t gotten far enough with one of them to get them back here to crack open that bottle?”

He paused, then shot her a disparaging look. “Funny.”

“I thought so.”

He went into the kitchen, grabbed the bottle and uncorked it. He pulled out two wineglasses, then carried it all into the living room.

Amelia sat on the sofa, her spine straight, her feet planted firmly on the floor.

“This isn’t an interview, you know,” he said as he set the bottle and glasses on the coffee table. “You can sit back and relax.”

“I am relaxed.”

He cocked a brow. “If that’s you relaxed, I’d hate to see you tense.”

“I’m rarely tense.”