“What is it?” Abby asks me.

“I didn’t do that. She was at my house, but I wasn’t. Fuck. Where is Megan?” I stutter out.

“She’s at a cabin in the woods,” she tells me then laughs.

“Where is she, Abby?” I ask her again, not the least bit amused.

“She wouldn’t tell me. She did say she will be home tomorrow because she has to work Thursday. But that’s it.” She starts walking back inside.

I stand there for a minute trying to come up with a plan. “Let’s get to work. I’m taking tomorrow off,” I tell her as I stroll past her and back into the house we are working on.

Megan

Since I hung up with Abby, my mind has been working double-time. Could it have all been a mistake? Could Emily been pulling one over on me?

As soon as I start to have my doubts, I realize that I know what I saw. She was half naked in his house… in his T-shirt. No matter what really happened, I know I don’t want to be with a man that allows his ex access to his home.

I spend the rest of the day and half the next hiking through the woods and enjoying the scenery. On my drive back into town, I feel a little bit better than I did when I left. But I still have the soft ache in my chest.

Pulling onto my street, the first thing I see is Jackson’s truck in my driveway. I want to turn around. I don’t know if I can deal with this now, but I get myself together. I’m not going to run from him. I might as well get this over with. It’s bound to happen and I’d rather it be here than at the shop.

I get out of the car and he’s sitting on my front porch. He stands when I get out, but he doesn’t come any closer. I take a minute to look at him. He has a few days’ worth of stubble covering his face. He looks worn out and the light in his eyes is dim, but he still looks good. Damn, he still looks good.

“Hey, Megan,” he says huskily.

“Hey. What are you doing here?” I ask him, trying to keep the emotion out of my voice.

“I had to see you. Just give me five minutes. If you still want me to leave in five minutes, I won’t bother you again.” He’s talking softly with his hands down to his sides. It’s almost like he’s afraid he’ll spook me and I’ll run again.

“How did you know I was almost home?” I ask him as I walk up the steps.

“I’ve been here since dawn. Abby said you would be home today,” he tells me.

I stop with my hand on the doorknob and look up at him. That was almost ten hours ago. “Have you been sitting on my porch for ten hours?”

“Yes, except for when I helped Miss Mason next door carry her groceries in and she let me use her restroom. She’s a nice woman. She likes you,” he tells me as he follows me in the door.

I look around my small house and wonder what he thinks about it. To me, everything is so cozy. Wait, why do I care what he thinks?

I sit down on the couch and look at him. He hasn’t taken his gaze off me.

“Sit down. Let’s get this over with.” I point to the chair across the room from me.

He sits down and looks at me for a minute.

“Megan, you’ve known me how long? Do you really think I would ever do anything to hurt you?”

I answer him without hesitating. “No, I don’t think you would ever hurt me on purpose.”

He’s shaking his head. “No, honey, I would never hurt you… for any reason.”

I take a deep breath and try to hold it together.

“What do you want, Jackson?”

He moves around to the seat next to me and I sit back in mine, trying to put some distance between us. He’s sitting on the edge with his arms on his knees, looking at me. “When I got home the other day, Emily was on my porch. She wanted to get back together. I told her no and that I would never be with her ever again.”

I know that Abby probably already told him, but I’m going to say it anyway. “I was there. Emily was in your house. She answered the door in her underwear and your T-shirt. She told me you were in the shower and you… you were getting back together.”

He puts his hand on my knee and I can’t look away from it. “She lied to you. I wasn’t there. I didn’t get there until you had already left. The only thing I can figure is that she still had a key to my house. Or hell, she used the one under the pot. I don’t know. But since then, I’ve changed the locks at my house and the only spare key I have is this one.” And he sets it down on the coffee table.

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