Tide Will Tell (Islands of Intrigue: San Juans)
notorious. Public opinion has been pretty much swayed against him. Not just because of this situation, but his unethical business practices.”
    “He’s a very successful businessman.”
    “That may be true, but there’s talk that he greases palms to get his drugs pushed through the testing so they can get FDA approval faster. I don’t think a lot of women who are well-informed would choose to get engaged to the guy.”
    She straightened. “You don’t have to insult me.”
    “I don’t mean to insult you. But haven’t you wondered why Trina would just leave?
    “He told me she was troubled.”
    “Even so, mothers don’t usually just leave their kids.”
    She twisted her mouth. “Well, you’ve met her kids.”
    “I’m serious, Kate.”
    “I don’t have all the answers, Josh.”
    “And that doesn’t bother you? Don’t you think you should have all the answers before you join this family?”
    “Not when I know Chase is innocent.” She stood and crossed to the railing at the edge of the walkway.
    “But how do you know that?” He stood and followed her. “The media reported what he said, but—”
    “But, what?”
    “I don’t know. It just doesn’t add up.” He paused, confirming in his heart that he had to take this opportunity to say more. Even if it made her angry, at least someone would have said it to her. “Maybe you should wait a while before you marry the guy.”
    She turned a gaze on him that was both dark and fiery. “Wait for what? ”
    “I don’t know. For Trina to resurface.” He paused, glancing past her at the bit of Blind Bay that peeked through the trees. “One way or the other.”
    As he returned his gaze to Kate, a cloud passed in front of the sun, stealing the brightness from the parking lot and sending a chill through him.
    She glanced over at the bay, fear cutting a jagged line across her face. “What if that never happens?”
    “Then at least give yourself some time to get to know Mr. Cole a little better.” The cloud passed, and the sunlight returned. “Marriage is a covenant. It’s not something you should rush into.”
    Her jaw firmed, and she took a stiff bite of her dripping cone. “I don’t know anything about ‘covenants’. I just know that I want to be a wife.”
    He frowned. “It’s better to stay single than to marry the wrong person.”
    The little creases in her forehead returned. “Are you saying you think I’m marrying the wrong person?”
    “I don’t have any way of knowing that.” He hated having to be so blunt with a girl he hardly knew. And the fact that he was undeniably drawn to her might be clouding his judgment. “I just get a really uneasy feeling about this. And it’s more than just the age difference—”
    “Okay, stop right there.” The hurt in her eyes ignited in anger. “I know it might seem a little strange at first…me being closer in age to Chase’s kids than to him—”
    “Kate.” He held up a hand. “I didn’t mean to judge.”
    “Have you ever been in love?”
    He jerked back, totally caught off guard by the question. “I…”
    Turning her back on him, she huffed out indignation. “Because age makes no difference to true love.”
    “Look, it’s your life and your decision.” He held a beat. “And no.”
    She looked over her shoulder at him. “No, what?”
    “You asked if I’ve ever been in love. The answer is no. Not really.”
    The fire in her eyes flickered out and was replaced by something else. Surprise? Discomfort, maybe. Josh couldn’t quite read it, but he hated that she’d become silent again. He hadn’t wanted to anger her, but at least she’d begun to open up.
    A gentle rain started to dampen the ground in front of them, making him grateful they were under cover. He had to face it. Trying to help her was only drawing him deeper into the emotional hole into which she was not going to follow. He had to get away before he did some irreparable damage to his own heart. It would be better for

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