The Boss Vol. 5

By: Cari Quinn & Taryn Elliott



At least he didn’t lie. That would have to do.





Chapter Five





“So, it’s not broken?” I gripped my blanket and gasped as Dr. Perrault rotated my foot. My forehead and pits tingled with sweat.

“No.” He lowered it into the immobilizer, then flipped the sheet back down. “You bruised your ankle bone with the way it was pinned between the rocks, but mostly ended up with a mild sprain as you tried to free yourself.”

I tried to look at him, but there were spots floating in my vision. I almost preferred a break. I’d had one of those before. In fact, Dr. Perrault had set that when I was fourteen. I didn’t remember it hurting nearly as much as this.

He moved to the right of my bed to look over my IV. Various bags were converging together to pump whatever cocktail they’d deemed necessary to get me back on my feet.

I had a feeling there was something in there for pain as well.

Could be the needle the doctor flashed, because suddenly I was feeling a helluva lot more chill.

“You’ll have some discomfort for a few days, then a twinge or two as the bone heals. You were very lucky, Ms. Copeland.”

“I’ve been in that cove a hundred times since I was a kid.”

“Yes, but we’re far more nimble as a child. And the rocks on our beaches erode more and more every year.”

“I have a firsthand account, thanks.”

The doctor gave me a warm smile. “Maybe you’ll think better of crawling around in there during the winter. It’s been warm this winter so far, but you’re no stranger to the ocean in these parts.”

“No.” I sighed and flopped back on my nonexistent pillow. “It’s been a while since I’ve been in there.” How my grandmother moved around in there was beyond me.

In fact, that should have been a clue.

Annabelle was a fit older woman, but she wouldn’t have been climbing around in there. I’d been so excited to get a clue as to what could be behind the multiple break-ins that I’d jumped on the idea of the cove before thinking.

So stupid.

“You should be up on your feet in a week. If you hadn’t scared us with the hypothermia, I’d have let you go home today.”

“Great.”

I tried to straighten up at a knock on the door. “Am I interrupting?”

The familiar voice brought a stupid wash of tears. I smiled at the huge vase of yellow blooms blocking most of her body. They were a mix of roses, tulips, and daffodils. “Hi, Phil.”

“Get some rest, Ms. Copeland.”

“Thanks, Doctor.”

He stopped at the door. “Just a few minutes.”

Philomena Stanwick made an entrance, flowers or not. She swept in and pushed over the smaller bouquet of flowers that I hadn’t noticed before. A single white rosebud was nestled in a trio of sterling gray roses just about to unfurl.

Without looking at a card, I knew they were from Blake.

Unusual. Thoughtful and memorable with a dash of offhand romance. So much like the man. Always keeping me off balance.

I would’ve expected red, but not those. Those were definitely not the kind that would be ordered by an assistant. Considering I was his assistant, it wasn’t exactly a stretch that he’d have to do it on his own.

But he could have foisted it off on Jack’s PA.

The fact that he actually thought to do it…well, I didn’t know what to think about that.

Again, my cheeks grew hot, this time for a whole different reason. I cleared my throat. “Could you put the little vase over here?”

“Oh.” Phil blinked. “I barely saw it.” She brought the vase over and twirled it. “No card. Who’s it from?”

I chewed on my lower lip. I wasn’t sure I had the strength to get into it with Phil. The happy serum that Dr. Perrault had given me was definitely doing its job. I barely felt my ankle.

She trailed a long nail along the edge of one of the blooms. “Blake?”

I shrugged.

“Hmm.”

I picked at a piece of lint on my blanket. “No hmm.”

Phil waggled her brows. “I didn’t want to pry when you left the gallery again. I was hoping you working on new pieces, not Blake Carson.”

“I did—am.” I huffed out a breath. “I’m doing both.”

“Don’t define your world by a man. That’s never been your way, Grace.”

“I actually like working for him. He challenges me.”

“Well, put some of that challenge in your artwork instead.”

“I already have two pieces started. One’s just about finished.”

Phil’s dark eyes sharpened. “Oh? Why is this the first I’m hearing about it?” She waved her fingers. “See, you got me talking about work. I’m here to visit you, silly girl. How are you? What happened?”

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