Flynn was just relieved he hadn’t fucked it all up.

A group of them decided to go out for steaks. Tara had flown in for the game, but she had Sam with her and he was tired since it was a night game, so she was taking Sam back to the house. Mick was going to head out for steak with them.

They waited in the bar while their table was prepared. Mick and Flynn sat next to each other. Flynn grabbed a beer and Mick got a soda.

“You pulled it out in the second half,” Mick said.

“Yeah, defense got it together. Offense kicked some ass.”

Mick took a long swallow of soda and grinned. “Next week will be even better.”

“It will.”

“Wanna talk about your woman trouble?”

Flynn said. “It’s Amelia. We broke up.”

Mick frowned. “Sorry to hear that, man. Tara and I really liked her.”

“So did I. But she wasn’t who I thought she was.”

“Yeah? And how’s that?”

“She used me for the prime promotion opportunity—a network show.”

Mick looked surprised. “Really? That doesn’t seem like Amelia.”

“I didn’t think it was possible, either. But I overheard her talking to the network people about it.”

Mick turned around in his chair to face him. “Are you sure that’s what you heard?”

Flynn shrugged. “She told me she was trying to let them down in a professional manner, but I heard her tell them she wanted to talk somewhere private. They went into the restaurant manager’s office.”

“Okay. And?”

“And, nothing. She used me.”

“You verified this with those network people who filmed your show?”

“Well . . . no.”

Mick rolled his eyes. “Look, Flynn. The last thing I want to do is to get in between you and your woman. But trust me, the one thing I do know is misunderstanding, and it almost cost me my relationship with Tara. Before you lose her, verify it.”

Flynn took a long swallow of his beer. “Fine. I’ll do that.”

Flynn had a lot to think about, and he did that the long night after the game. The next morning, he got up and made a phone call to Paul Birch, the producer of the show. He started out by thanking him for including his restaurant, figuring that accusing him of trying to steal his head chef wouldn’t go over well, and he did have Ninety-Two to think about.

“We were glad to do it, Flynn. The footage came out great, by the way. Did Amelia tell you we offered her a TV spot?”

He was glad he didn’t have to bring it up. “She mentioned it.”

“She was extremely professional when she turned us down. I’ve never seen anyone more uninterested in being in the spotlight than Amelia.” Paul laughed. “You would have thought we were making her an offer for jail time.”

“Really.” He felt a stab to his gut.

“Yeah. But she was sweet about it. Hey, I gotta run. We’ll send you a link to your spot on the show when it’s available.”

“Okay. Thanks, Paul.”

He dropped his phone on the sofa and dragged his fingers through his hair.

“Shit.” He’d fucked up. Not only had he fucked up, he’d done it badly, and he’d ruined his relationship with Amelia.

Everything she’d said to him had been right. He hadn’t trusted her, hadn’t believed her when she’d told him the truth.

The things he’d accused her of, the things he’d said to her . . .

He was a total asshole, a complete douche.

But why had she turned the job down? It was a great opportunity for her. A once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

He had to talk to her. The problem was, she hadn’t been to work in a week, and he wasn’t even sure she was still in town.

He grabbed his keys and drove to her house, figuring since he’d been such a dick, she wouldn’t answer her phone if he called. He knocked at her door.

No answer. He rang the bell. Still no answer.

Fuck. He got out his phone and scrolled through his contacts, landing on Laura’s number. He was so glad he’d gotten it the night they’d had dinner at her place. He punched the button.

Laura answered. “You are an asshole, Flynn.”

“You’re right. And I deserve every terrible thing you want to say to me. But I need to find Amelia.”

“Why? So you can break her heart even more?”

“No. So I can make things right between us.”

Silence. Like, a really long silence.

“Please, Laura.”

He heard her sigh. “She’s here at my house. But if you make her cry again I will hurt you.”

“I believe you. And thanks.”

Now he had to gather his shit together and figure out what the hell he was going to say to Amelia. Because even he didn’t know how he was going to fix this just yet.

He only knew he was about to head into the most important conversation of his life.


Amelia was fixing chicken marsala in Laura’s kitchen when the doorbell rang.

“I’ll get it,” Laura said.

Jon was at a meeting downtown and was going to be late coming home tonight, so Amelia wanted to fix something he could easily heat up. She knew this was one of Jon’s favorite dishes and he’d been so great about letting her hang out here the past few days. She just couldn’t be alone in her house—alone with all her thoughts and her tears. Crying wasn’t doing her any good and she was tired of having headaches from crying so much.