A Love So Sweet

By: Addison Cole

Leave it to Chaz to find more opportunities for sponsorships in the middle of the festival, when Max would give anything to hide beneath a rock. There he stood, smiling and pleased with himself at the chance to sell more sign space and bring more funding to the festival. Max could easily be annoyed with him for his bad timing, but she had no siblings and he’d become the brother she’d always wished she had. After so many years of working together, they bickered like she imagined siblings would and cared just as deeply about each other. Chaz’s wife, Kaylie, had become one of Max’s closest friends when they were planning the destination wedding for her and her older sister, Danica, who married Blake Carter.

“I think you’re a pain for calling me out here for something like this.” She smiled, and he crossed his arms, trying his darnedest to look angry. “You know I’m right. Why are you even looking at this stuff right now?”

The screening had just ended, and people streamed out of the theater entrance. Max and Chaz stepped to the side, listening to the patrons as they talked among themselves.

“Incredible,” an older woman said.

“Loved the dramatic flair of that one character. Winston?” said another.

“Oh, I hated him. Too full of himself,” a short, stocky woman said with a wave of her hand.

“Hot, though. And talk about commanding an audience! That Connor Dean is amazing.”

They could have just as easily been talking about Treat. Just the thought of him made Max’s mind ache. Why was she torturing herself like this? She should just disappear into the office and stay there until there was a real emergency.

“Hey, Max, look!” Chaz waved across the street to Treat and his beautiful companion. “Treat! Over here. Hey, buddy. How are you?”

Oh no. No, no, no. This could not be happening. Max turned away, frantically running through excuses to hightail it out of there. Sick? Need to go help the crew. Lighting, yeah, that could work. She turned with her excuse at the ready, opening her mouth to speak. Treat’s eyes locked on hers, and her mouth went dry.

“Chaz, Max, how are you?” Treat asked in that deep, sexy voice that made her legs turn to wet noodles.

Chaz said something, but it was all she could do to stare at the woman who had her hand on Treat’s shoulder. She was gorgeous, with a friendly smile. Of course she had a friendly smile. She had Treat! Max hated the green-eyed monster clinging to her shoulders. She wasn’t used to it, and she didn’t like the way it made her feel.

“Hi. I’m Savannah.” The woman extended her hand in greeting.

Savannah. What kind of name is that? She must be a model or something with those long legs and slim body. Max looked at Treat in his expensive suit and finely pressed shirt. Then she glanced down at her own less-than-glamorous attire. She absently touched her efficient ponytail, and cringed.

“Hi. I’m Chaz Crew.” He shook Savannah’s hand. “And this is Max Armstrong.”

Max gave Savannah’s hand a quick shake and tried her best to smile, then buried her nose in her planner before the woman—or Treat—could strike up a conversation.

While Chaz and Savannah talked, Treat moved to her side, bringing a wave of the spicy, masculine cologne she smelled in her dreams. “Max. How have you been?”

Too frazzled to face him, she kept her eyes trained on her planner. “Fine, thanks.”

“I’m glad we ran into each other. I’ve been thinking about Nassau.”

Giving me that look wasn’t enough? You needed to flaunt another woman in front of me just to show me what I already know? That you could have anyone you want?

“Max,” he said a little quieter. “I’m sorry for what happened there.”

She wanted to dislike him, to run away and never look back, because that look he’d given her had been too reminiscent of the ex-boyfriend she’d spent years trying to forget. But the sincerity in his voice brought her gaze to his, and Treat was looking at her like he had in Nassau, as if she was all he saw. Memories tumbled in, one after another—their incredible kisses, the feel of his strong arms around her, his sweet whispers in her ear…

Those intimate memories were like an addictive cocktail, and she reveled in their intoxicating sweetness. She should not be thinking about them, and he should not be looking at her like that when he was with his ridiculously gorgeous girlfriend.

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