Wish for You

By: Marquita Valentine

Beau, despite his sort of weird behavior, might have the right idea. I can’t guarantee Rae would go along with bad dates, because she is Lacey’s best friend, and since I’d been the one to suggest that she and Cole take a break, I doubt she’d do me any favors—that is, if Cole had told her what I said.

I can’t take that chance, and I don’t want to cause more problems for Cole. If she’s the one he wants, then who the hell am I to piss in his love cereal?

Where there’s a will, there’s a way around it.

The words echo in my mind. Tonight, I would strategize and come up with the best plan of attack.

I was going to become the best friend Lacey Evans ever had, and then I was going to make that redheaded roller girl regret it.

Chapter Two


I never should have kissed Wyatt Tanaka. I never should have tried to straddle the line of friend and lover. What I should have known—Wyatt is too good for me. Too beautifully made to be with a freak like me.

Everyone knows it. Everyone but him.

Now that I’ve promised his mother, who is also my boss, to stay away from her son, things have gotten worse. The boy with the easy smile has once again become the man who’d endured a war. A man I didn’t recognize when he first came home. A man who I’d catch staring off into space, but not with a dreamy look in his eyes. Oh, no—torment and anguish resided in those dark brown depths.

With most people, I have a really hard time noticing things like that. But Wyatt isn’t most people, and I’ve known him for so long that I make myself notice.

Like now, while I’m sitting at a high table with the best female friend I’ve ever had, and Wyatt is glaring at me. He’s across the bar, playing darts with his buddy, Cole Morgan.

The two of them have been friends longer than Wyatt and I have been. In the not-to-distant past, Wyatt was the one to calm Cole down. Wyatt was the one who was reasonable and thoughtful.

But not anymore.

Now he’s reckless, though he doesn’t think I notice. Only I do. I notice the females, every single one of them, the smell of alcohol on his breath, and the glassy eyes. My heart is breaking for him, for me, and there’s nothing I’d like more than to fix all of this, but I can’t.

None of that stops me from coming to The Double Deuce tonight, though Rae Givens was the one to invite me, and not Wyatt.

My heart turns over in my chest.

It’s New Year’s Eve and we’re all hanging out in the bar, because the press won’t leave Rae and Cole alone. In the public eye, everyone knows her as Violet Lynn, famous country music superstar. But she doesn’t talk about her career, unless someone asks her point-blank, and even then, she’s pretty quiet on the subject.

Fine with me. I’m not friends with her because she’s a celebrity. I’m friends with her because she takes the time to do things with me and listen to me. She’s a lot like Wyatt in that aspect.

Gosh, I miss him so much it physically hurts.

Another song comes over the speakers, and I feel like I should say something. “This is my favorite song.” Actually, I’ve never heard it before. My wrist starts to itch. I hate lying. It always makes me feel like I have to scratch at the skin, like I need to let the truth out.

“Why don’t you dance, then?” Rae asks.

I stare at the dance floor, watching the other couples move together. “Because Wyatt is playing darts with Cole, and I don’t want to interrupt his game.” He wouldn’t want me to interrupt his game. I let my gaze travel to Wyatt. His glare hasn’t faded.

“I’m pretty sure he would be okay with it.” I can hear the smile in Rae’s voice as she says this, but she doesn’t know how to read Wyatt like I do. He doesn’t glower like Cole. His glares are imperceptible.

I shake my head, sending my hair sliding over one shoulder. “Not anymore.”

Rae’s grin falls. “Why is that?”

“Mr. and Mrs. Tanaka said they’ll fire me if I keep seeing him.”

They hadn’t come out and said those words, but I’m not so dumb that I couldn’t figure out what they meant when they said, What happens when the two of you don’t work out?

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