The Maverick's Red Hot Reunion  (8)

By: Christine Glover

Kennedy shoved the warm memory deep down, then pointed. “Room 125’s that way.” She could put him at the other end of the hall and keep his sexy body as far away as possible.

He scanned the distance and tapped his chin with his index finger. “Is 105 available? 101 is.” He walked across the hall, opened the door, and faced her. “You want something to eat before you tuck in for the night?”

Zach looked incredibly delectable as he leaned against the doorway. His shirt strained against his tightly packed muscles and flat abdomen. His jeans clung to his powerful legs and lean hips.

A hunger for something different than food curled low in her belly. Thank goodness she’d stashed goodies and wine in her room’s small fridge.

She injected her voice with a nuance of indifference. “No thanks, but help yourself to what’s in the kitchen. There’s junk food in the main pantry—bread, deli meats, and condiments in the fridge. Coffeemaker is on the counter. Sodas, water, beer, wine—whatever you want.” He could have whatever he wanted except her. She wasn’t on the menu.

“I’ll do that,” he said, his voice equally calm. “Sleep well, Kennedy.”

“I’ll see you in the morning. My crew arrives at seven sharp,” she said before stepping inside and closing her door.

She heard his door’s answering echo as she clicked her lock into place. Her heartbeat drummed against her temples—thinking about him getting undressed, showering, slipping beneath the covers half-naked only a few steps away unnerved her. Kennedy pressed her forehead against the cool wood.

Sleeping would be about as easy to accomplish as nailing cotton candy to wet wood.

Tossing the covers off her tired bones and hauling her body out of bed the following morning had taken a herculean effort. But Kennedy had set her iPhone alarm for o’dark thirty in the predawn hours for two reasons. One: Skype Michael in Italy. Two: Hurry up and start working before Zach woke up.

After pushing her feet into her favorite pair of fuzzy slippers, Kennedy grabbed her laptop and walked to the kitchen. She brewed a single serve cup of her favorite flavored coffee, then powered up her computer. Within five minutes, Michael’s handsome face filled most of the screen. They greeted each other, his voice not as strong as she remembered.

“I’m sorry about the diagnosis,” she said. “How do you feel?”

“Like shit.” Michael shrugged his still broad shoulders. “But the doctors caught it early. And I’m not wasting time feeling sorry for myself.”

Her nose prickled as she held back tears. What could she say to soften the sting of his illness? Not a damn thing. She sniffed, and he shot her a warning look. “Kennedy, don’t you dare cry. It’s bad enough hearing my Mom crying when she thinks I can’t hear.”

She swiped her nose with the back of her hand. “Gotcha. No tears.” Not in front of him. Never would she let him see her weep over this terrible disease that would one day rob her of his presence.

“Thanks. How’s the reno going? You and Zach playing nice?”

“I won’t lie.” Kennedy sipped her coffee, looking at her computer screen as she watched the parade of Sullivans traipsing into the Italian villa’s expansive living room. “Quite the surprise you sprung on me.”

“Zach’s the best man for the job,” he said. “Besides, y’all needed to get in the same room again ’cause I can’t have my best friends fighting anymore.”

Kennedy had wanted to lambast Michael for bringing Zach back into her life, but hearing the happiness in her friend’s voice meant pretending all was well. Clearly, he needed Zach and her to bury their differences and move on. “No worries. We’ll get along fine.” They’d get along super fine as long as Zach concentrated on running his father’s corporation and not on seducing her.

“That’s what I want to hear.” Michael’s answering smile glowed, crinkling the corners of his hazel eyes.

Kennedy heard footfalls coming down the hall and watched Michael crane his neck to look over her shoulder. “Whoa, Zach’s staying at the resort?” he asked, lifting his brows.

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