A Reason to Love
then, Will.” He stumbled a bit over the name, but he’d get used to it. “I’ll see you tomorrow night, and I’ll bring some treats to go with our coffee. Maybe a couple of those fancy cupcakes that Bridey Roke bakes at her shop.”
    “I don’t need nothing fancy, Spence, but I wouldn’t turn down one of her blackberry muffins.”
    “It’s a deal. I’ll see what I can come up with.”
    Spence waved at Will’s daughter on his way out of the parking lot. It was a nice night with a full moon overhead. Rather than drive straight back to the cottage, he took the long way around. His chosen route allowed him to enjoy a little more time on the Harley but also kept him from having to drive through the heart of town. So far, his efforts to avoid contact with very many people had been successful.
    Other than with Will, he hadn’t spent more than five minutes in any one person’s company for the past week, and that was fine with him. Well, there was one other exception—Melanie. She’d come knocking at his door two days ago to let him know that Mr. Cosgrove was willing to take him up on his offer of help to get all of the equipment serviced.
    She’d started off insisting on paying Spence some ridiculous amount of money, which he didn’t need and suspected she did. They’d finally agreed that he could stay in the cottage rent free for a month in lieu of a salary. He’d pretended not to notice how relieved she was by the arrangement.
    While he was glad to have something constructive to do with his time, he had to wonder why she hadn’t just called with the news. Was this her way of checking up on him? If so, that would piss him off big-time. He was doing fine, damn it.
    Mostly.
    On the other hand, they’d ended up sitting out on the front steps for more than an hour talking about nothing in particular. When she announced it was time for her to get back to the house, he’d walked with her, stopping short of seeing her all the way to her door. Somehow that would have felt as if they were crossing into dangerous territory to be something more than just friends.
    He didn’t want that. Or at least, he shouldn’t. He didn’t like to think about how he’d been unable to tear his eyes away from watching how her faded jeans showed off the curves of what was one spectacular ass as she walked away. Not to mention how much he wanted to tangle his fingers in that unruly red hair tumbling down her back.
    It had been ages since he’d gotten laid, but Melanie Wolfe wasn’t the kind of woman a man pursued just to scratch an itch. At least he’d held on to enough of his honor to know that. He was damaged goods, and she deserved better. Not to mention he’d always hoped to come home and convince Callie to spend her life with him.
    Thanks to Nick, that wasn’t going to happen. The enemy might have stolen months of Spence’s time, but it was his friend who had stolen his life. A fresh infusion of anger had him picking up speed as he tore down the back roads. He entered the next turn driving flat out and way faster than the posted speed limit. Big mistake. He and the Harley almost went flying straight into the trees that crowded close to the edge of the road. It took a shitload of luck and every bit of sheer stubbornness he had to muscle the bike back under control without laying it down.
    When he successfully reached the straightaway on the other side of the curve, he slowed to a stop on the narrow shoulder. He yanked his helmet off and wiped the sweat off his forehead with the hem of his T-shirt. As he waited for his pulse to slow down, he studied his image in the review mirror. He didn’t much like what he saw.
    “Damn, man, do you have a death wish?”
    He tipped his head back to let the evening breeze cool him down. The familiar burn of adrenaline had left him breathing hard and shaking in his boots. Staring up at the night sky, he counted his lucky stars that he was alive. There’d been times in the past months when he

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