When Sam invites her to spend the day with him, Lace agrees without knowing their destination, hoping that being with her man will help her out of her depression. A day on the river is just what she needs, especially when it comes with a few sexy surprises.
She would not have minded dealing with the grief, if only she had known how it would affect her. She was not interested in doing anything that she should, like eating, sleeping, or finishing the four paintings she was doing for a client. She wanted to do something physical, something that would leave her sweating and panting and maybe break through the wall of numbness that surrounded her.
She wanted to cry and let out the grief, but could not.
When the cellphone in her lap rang, it took her a few seconds to recognize the ringtone she had assigned only to Sam’s number. When it sunk in, her heart jumped, and her pussy clenched as her fingers fumbled to pick it up and hit the appropriate button to answer it.
She tried to sound less lifeless than she felt but knew she had failed as soon as the single word was out of her mouth. Sam would pick up on her mood in a heartbeat, just as he always did. He noticed everything, remembered everything, and in the past months of their unique relationship, she learned he was the kindest, most loving person she had ever met.
As was his habit, Sam did not bother with a traditional greeting. “What are you doing?”
“Now?” Lace asked, trying to stall for time.
Lace thought about lying, but in the six months since she and Sam had met and started seeing one another, she had never outright lied to him. Oh, sure, there were things she had not told him, like how she felt about him. But that was because they had never discussed their feelings and fear kept her from being bold and telling him that she had fallen in love with him.
Besides, her brain was not quick enough these days to come up with anything other than the truth.
“Nothing,” she admitted after taking a deep breath and releasing it on a sigh.
“Do you have any plans for the day?”
Though he sounded concerned, Lace could not find the strength to assure him that she was fine and he should not worry about her. She had told that lie so many times over the past weeks to so many people she almost believed it herself. Besides, even if she tried to convince him otherwise, Sam would know the truth, that she was anything but all right. They seem to have a connection that went beyond just physical attraction. It was as if they were connected heart, mind, and soul as well.
“No,” she replied sadly. “No plans except to try to go into the studio and try to paint something.”
“Painting can wait until tomorrow. Today you’re coming with me. I’ll be there in twenty minutes.”
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