“Knock, knock.” Aubrey peeked her head inside Hugh’s office with a smile. “Is this a bad time?”
He couldn’t help but smile back. “It’s the perfect time. Come on in.”
She stepped in and closed the door behind her, walking toward Hugh’s desk. He met her halfway and immediately took her into his arms and kissed her breathless. “Oh my,” she said when they broke apart. “That’s quite a greeting.”
“Get used to it.” He took her by the hand and led her over to the sofa. “How was your morning?”
“It was good. Jacques was amazing. He was very open to my menu suggestions. He’s going to work on it and we’ll keep in touch via email to finalize everything. He’s very sweet.”
Hugh knew he was blessed with some of the finest chefs, but he’d never heard anyone describe Jacques as being sweet. He was moody, temperamental, and could be out and out indignant at times. But clearly, Aubrey knew exactly how to handle him. “I’m glad. I can’t wait to hear all about it.”
“How about you? Are you okay?”
He looked at her quizzically. “Yeah. Why?”
“Well, Riley left. I know the two of you don’t get to spend a lot of time together and this was a really short visit. I wanted to make sure you were all right.”
He leaned in and kissed her again. “I’m fine. This is how it normally goes. Out of all of us, Riley’s schedule is the hardest to work with. The fact that he took the few days he had and came here was great. I think he just needed the rest more than anything. It isn’t often he gets to step out of the spotlight and just chill out.”
Aubrey squeezed his hand. “It’s pretty awesome you can do that for him. He’s lucky to have you.”
“Would you mind telling him that the next time you see him? Because he seems to think we’re all lucky to have him.”
“I’m sure you all feel you’re the MVP of the family at one time or another.” She rested her head on his shoulder. “Not that I would know, but it would be my guess.”
“You’re pretty much spot-on there.” He turned and simply inhaled. Damn, he even liked the way she smelled—like clean clothes and sunshine. Maybe sex did make him act a bit girly.
“So, ready for lunch?” he asked.
“I’m famished. Jacques may have been open to talking with me and sharing ideas, but he would not let me taste anything.”
“He’s like that. Don’t take it personally.”
“Oh, I didn’t. I’m not normally a big breakfast person. I had some yogurt before I went over there, but I am definitely ready for something better now.”
Hugh stood and helped Aubrey to her feet. “So what are you in the mood for? We can eat here or if you want we can go into town or we can…”
“Do you have the ability to special order whatever you want for lunch like you do for dinner?”
He nodded. “Of course.”
She considered it for a moment. “What do you normally have?”
“Well…” Friday was normally a turkey club, but again, he wasn’t going to lock her into his crazy food OCD. “You know, a sandwich. Nothing major. Why? What were you thinking?”
“Those take a while to make, don’t they?”
Again, she nodded.
“Um…sure. We can call over to Jacques and ask him to get started on it, and we’ll be in there in around…what? Thirty minutes? Forty-five?”
Aubrey stepped in close to him and took his hands in hers. “Or…” she began, “we can give him the order and have it delivered to your room.” She closed the distance between them and looked up innocently. “Your choice.”
“You really do come up with the best ideas,” Hugh replied. Reaching over to his desk, he grabbed his cell phone and quickly led Aubrey from the room. “I’ll call him on the way and tell him to take his time.”
The Shaughnessy Brothers are back
He lives by a schedule
Aubrey Burke is on the run from an about-to-be-disastrous mistake when resort owner Hugh Shaughnessy catches her climbing through his office window. Until Aubrey tumbled into his life, Hugh had relied on work and discipline to safeguard a heart damaged by family tragedy. Now his careful world will never be the same.
She lives for the moment
Hugh’s approach to life and love is the opposite of Aubrey’s, but she soon finds herself falling hard for the handsome hotel mogul. There’s a darker reason behind her “live for today” attitude than Hugh could possibly know, but for the first time Aubrey dares to hope this man’s love might make it worth taking a chance on the future.
About Samantha Chase:
Samantha Chase, a creative writing teacher, released her debut novel, Jordan’s Return, in November 2011. Since then, she has published seventeen more titles and has become a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author. She lives with her husband of twenty-four years and their two sons in North Carolina. http://www.chasing-romance.com/
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