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The Wright Boss(3)

By:K.A. Linde

Or the blonde at the pool table in the back of the bar.

My eyes found Heidi Martin, Emery's best friend, as she stood up to her considerable height. She was surely making a fool out of her opponent since I'd personally seen her hustle more than her fair share of unsuspecting victims.

We'd known each other for years. She'd been a cheerleader when I was the starting quarterback in high school. We'd hung out more times than I could count while I was dating Emery. But, when I'd come back over for Sutton's wedding, it was like seeing a whole new Heidi. She oozed confidence and power, she made everyone smile, and she did it all effortlessly. Heidi Martin had completely come into her own.

We'd started talking after the wedding. Nothing serious. Or at least that was what I had told myself. Our conversations became intimate...and then New Year's had happened. We'd almost kissed, and fuck, I'd wanted to. But it hadn't been fair to Miranda. And so, after that, I'd cut off all contact with her.

Time to fix that mistake.

I strode down the bar and straight to the pool tables. Heidi curved a ball and knocked it into the pocket. Her blue eyes lifted from the table and landed right on me. Her smile grew but warily. She hadn't forgotten how abruptly I had ended things.

"Heidi," I said, taking her in like a breath of fresh air.

"Hey, Landon." Her eyes looked over my shoulder, as if she were trying to figure out if I was alone. "Where's your wife?"

"She's not here."

"Oh," she said. Though she didn't seem upset by that notion. "Sorry she couldn't make it."

"Are you?" I asked curiously.

She laughed and shook her head. "Are you drunk?"

"I might be a bit inebriated, yes."

"Ah. Inebriated, are we?" she asked with an eye roll. "Guess you can't be too drunk then."

"Never know. I'm still an intelligent drunk."

"Sure you are." She pushed her blonde hair out of her face and smiled, as she seemed to be warming up to my presence. The next person missed his shot, and she proceeded to run the table. "Another round?"

The guy shook his head. "No way in hell. Find someone else to embarrass, Martin."

She shrugged and leaned on the pool stick as she turned her attention to me. "So, what's new with you?"

"A lot actually," I told her. "Can we go somewhere to talk?"

"Somewhere, not being here?"

"Somewhere … more private." Then, I dropped my voice. "I just … don't like the way we left things."

"Oh, Landon," she said with her characteristic laugh, as if nothing bothered her. Even though I knew it did. "Don't even worry about it."

"Heidi," I said softly, stepping closer to her. Her body tensed as I drew near, and she took a shallow breath. "Please."


"All right," she said, stumbling backward a step. Her eyes were wide and desirous, but she quickly hid her emotions. She put on a big smile. "Sure, I'd love to catch up."

She placed the pool stick back in its slot and then nodded her head to the side. I followed her to a booth in the back of the room. A handful of people from our senior class plus their dates were already at the reunion  . I knew right away that talking in a booth in the back of the room was tantamount to announcing that something nefarious was going on. I didn't want anyone to overhear us. I didn't want anyone to see us.

I might not care that ten years had passed. I was a different man. I was a professional golfer. I had my own life. I didn't live in town. But no one could escape high school gossip.

"Let's go outside," I suggested.

"Landon, I don't think that's a good idea."

"Fuck good ideas." I took her hand in mine and gently tugged her to the emergency exit. It had been disabled for as long as I could remember, and we breezed through it and out into the hot summer night.

"All right, we're outside. What's up?" Heidi asked. She leaned back on the brick wall and popped a foot up against it. "The last time we spoke, you said that we shouldn't talk anymore. You said what was going on between us wasn't fair to your wife."

"That was true," I agreed.

But my body and addled brain couldn't care less about what I'd said all those months ago. January felt like a lifetime ago. The reasons I'd had for reacting that way no longer applied.

"This probably isn't fair to her either, Landon."

I stepped into her personal space, and her breathing hitched. My hands went on either side of her face, boxing her in. She swallowed but fiercely met my gaze. I'd thought she'd push me away. I'd thought she'd stop me.