Chantelle had made it to Friday night. Yvette and Nadiya set up the movie and got out the pizza boxes. Dominick was talking with Kat, comparing notes on sourdough bread traditions. Derrick had just got off the phone with his partner.
Her friends had been her rock this week. They had cried and laughed with her. Kept her busy and sane while she mourned for what could have been.
Nadiya whispered something to Yvette and giggled. Yvette looked over, shushing her.
“What are you two conspiring about?” Chantelle asked.
“Nothing!” said Nadiya, a little too loudly.
Chantelle went into the kitchen to grab the bottle of wine for refills. There was a shriek. She came running. “What is it?”
Covering her mouth, Nadiya pointed outside. Her heart racing, she looked in the driveway. There was a large white van pulling in. Kidnappers?
Derrick looked out the window. “It’s all right. Just a delivery from the resort. Come with me, Chantelle.” She took a big breath and tried to slow her heart. They left the house. Derrick walked to the back of the van, opened the doors and started picking up boxes.
“What are all these things?” she asked.
Someone came around from the side of the van. “They’re from me.”
She turned. Charles. Looking hot as hell. He was playing the sexy lumberjack card tonight—beanie casually pulled on over his shaggy hair, two-day growth on his chin, and a soft plaid jacket that begged to be touched.
“What are you doing here?” She backed up.
“I came to apologise. Beg, if I have to.” He slowly advanced but stopped out of arm’s reach. Derrick disappeared inside the house, closing the door behind him. Only she and Charles remained.
“There’s nothing to apologise for. It just didn’t work out.” She stood her ground.
“I should have fought for you. Not retreated into my shell.”
“Stop shooting those smouldering rays from your eyes. I don’t want them anymore,” she said. If only she could convince her body that was true.
“Will you give me another chance?” He took a step forward. She didn’t back away, but she didn’t close the distance between them. Câlice, he looks good enough to eat.
“What’s the point? All those things Pea and Gwen said. Those things we saw.” She looked at the ground. “I can’t be that person for you. For your clan.”
“I don’t need her. I want you.” He stepped towards her, reaching up to touch her face. Calloused fingers brushed against her cheek. Sweet friction. He tilted her face up, looking into her eyes. Damn those smoulder rays.
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