The Maverick's Red Hot Reunion  (Entangled Indulgence)

By: Christine Glover



“Absolutely.” Caleb waved to three men hauling pails and debris to the oversized dumpster the county had parked on the property, then turned to Kennedy. “See you at the pub later?”

“I’ve got too much to cover with Michael.” If he arrived with good news, but she suppressed her concern. Kennedy kicked a dry clump of clay and watched it sail across the overgrown weeds and broken pavestones. “Payroll, new hires, ordering supplies.”

“We’ll toss a cold one back for you.”

“Sounds good.” Kennedy nodded to her men. “Have a great night.”

“Will do,” they answered, lifting their hands to say good-bye.

“You heading to your folks’ house tonight?” she asked Caleb.

“Not if I can help it,” he said.

“What’ll be your excuse this time?”

“I’ll let them draw their own conclusions.”

Her chest felt tight. Caleb had gotten the shit end of the stick where his family was concerned, and no one could figure out why his parents rode him so hard. Sure, he had acted out in high school and lived up to their bad boy expectations. But she’d known that he had a good heart. And she hated waiting for him to return from fighting his battles overseas, worried about him never coming back.

She touched her cousin’s forearm. “You’re only making it harder to come home for good.”

He shrugged, his indigo blue eyes clouding ever so slightly. “I’m a Marine. Home is wherever my combat boots land.”

She sighed. “If you say so. When’s your next tour?”

He grinned. “Don’t worry. You’ve got me until next July.”

“Good to know. I’ll get another temp when that happens to fill your spot until you return.” She pointed toward the rusty wrought iron gate. “Get out of here and keep the guys in line. I don’t need hangovers slowing down our progress.”

“Roger that,” he said before joining the rest of the men.

She watched Caleb and her crew leave, dust clouds spiraling behind their pickups as they bounced across the rough-hewn gravel road. Once they’d disappeared, she returned to the lodge and showered in one of the hotel rooms she’d taken over for the duration of the project.

After she slipped into fresh clothes and applied a light dusting of makeup, she heard the distinctive sound of Michael’s motorcycle rumbling. Moments later, she was outside waving as he drove his black V-rod through the entrance.

The machine had the terrorizing look of a raging stallion, the power of over a hundred thoroughbreds, and the brute force of a thousand warriors. Her stomach clenched.

Why was he driving so aggressively? Too fast. And taking the last turn way too tight.

The motorcycle crunched to a halt in front of her, the driver cut the engine, and took off his helmet.

Zach Tanner stared at her with cold, demanding, espresso-colored eyes. Where once there had been passion, now there was hatred. Hatred she’d earned.

“Didn’t expect to see you here,” he said.

A fist drove inside her belly, hard and cruel, and a terrifying ache tugged at her heart. Just seeing him again and hearing his frigid tone shell-shocked her.

He’d grown devilishly more attractive during their years apart. Maturity had toughened his finely chiseled features, deepened his brooding brown eyes, carved sexy lines around his sensual full mouth, and slipped a dash of light into his curling chestnut hair.

Hair she’d twisted in her fingers during wicked, steamy, heated nights.

“Where’s Michael?” she asked.

“My villa in Italy. Resting. Surrounded by his family.” He got off the bike and hooked his helmet on the handlebar. “He got a diagnosis.”

Her stomach hollowed. If Michael was in Italy, then the news had to be bad. “Why didn’t he tell me himself?”

“He wanted to have all his bases covered first.” Zach scrubbed his hand over his face. “Contacted me to ask for help before he filled everyone in.”

“Overprotective as usual.” Fear iced through her, numbing her lips. Still, she forced the question out. “What’s he got?”

“ALS.”

A horrible heaviness oozed through her. Dread—the sick feeling of spinning out of control with no power to break the fall—dizzied her. She inhaled deeply, willing herself to remain calm even as her mind reeled with the implications. How would she get along without the friend she’d relied on when her world had fallen apart?

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