A Love So Sweet

By: Addison Cole

“I’m fine. He was just egging me on,” Treat answered.

“Yeah, well, you all can be jerks at one time or another,” Savannah said, fixing his collar.

Dane and Rex came back into the kitchen carrying more dishes.

“Is it safe?” Rex asked.

Treat locked eyes with Dane in a silent warning not to talk about Max and Justin in the same breath again.

“Yes, it’s safe,” Savannah insisted, glaring at Treat. “Treat, you have to go out with me and Hugh tonight.”

“What are we, second rate?” Rex asked.

Savannah rolled her eyes. “You’re anything but second rate. That’s the problem. I don’t want to spend the evening beating women away with a stick because you two look at them like you want to devour them. Treat has more couth. It’s the festival after-party. Hugh has a date and two extra tickets.” She raised her brows and said, “Max might be there.”

The mention of Justin and Max had made his blood boil, and he wasn’t sure he could even look at Max without feeling it rip through him again. “I’m beat,” he lied.

“Yeah? Well, wake up,” Savannah said. “You’re going.”

“She made it pretty clear that she wants distance from me. I can’t push myself on her.”

“Treat, you’re such a fool. All men are. No matter what we women say, we want the knight in shining armor. We want Richard Gere riding up in his white limousine. We want Leonardo DiCaprio to tell us that he’ll never let us go.”

“I don’t know about that,” Treat said. “Don’t they want us to respect their space when they make it clear they want it?” Savannah’s energy was finding its way into his body, and he was actually wondering if he was wrong and should go after Max.

“Nope,” she said. “We want you to read between the lines.”

“She didn’t leave much for interpretation.”

“Trust me, big brother,” Savannah said. “Every woman wants her man to read between the lines, and because of that, she leaves a bread-crumb trail for you to find her.”

“I’m a pretty wise man. If there were a bread-crumb trail, I’d have seen it before she even realized she left it.” He had dissected every word Max had said, and beyond the way she looked at him—like she wanted to kiss him as she had that night—there wasn’t a hint of an open door. Was that the trail? Or had he conjured it in his mind with wishful thinking?

“Don’t fool yourself. You’re wise when it comes to business, but maybe not so much when it comes to the mysterious ways of women. Be ready for the party at seven. You’re going with me.”

Chapter Five

WHY THE HECK had Max given Treat her number? More bothersome, why hadn’t he called? She had taken out her battery and rebooted her phone twice and had been checking her messages like she had OCD. She didn’t know why she even hoped he’d call. He was a man with many resources. He could have tracked her down any time after she left the resort, and he hadn’t. She was a fool to have played right into his hands again, sweet apology or not. He was in town to visit his father. Chances were he’d forgotten about Max the minute he’d walked away. The same way he did after Nassau. Maybe seeing her had simply sparked a memory, and he felt guilty for judging her. Well, she’d take that guilty apology over nothing any day, even if she hadn’t been ready to accept it.

Now, if she could only stop thinking about him.

“Max, you’ve done it again,” Chaz said as they left the festival that evening. They had reviewed the day’s financial reports, and it was obvious that he was still thinking about their overwhelming success. It was only the first day, and they had already almost matched the previous year’s total festival revenue.

“Not me, boss. We did it. At least the first day went off without a hitch.” She’d been sure Chaz would say something about how weird she’d acted around Treat, but he hadn’t mentioned him at all. Maybe she’d gotten lucky and no one else had noticed how uncomfortable she’d been, either.

“Don’t forget, you said you’d do the after-party swing tonight. I can’t wait to go home and see Trevor and Lexi. It’s been a long day.” Chaz and Kaylie had been married for just shy of two months, but their twins were two years old.

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