Reckless Abandon (November Blue, #2)
Author:Randall, Andrea

I follow him after the minute it takes to prepare myself to see Adrian Turner for the first time since he dropped me off at my house a week ago.

 

“Ah, there he is. Let’s get to it, shall we?” David nods in my direction, but my eyes immediately fall on Adrian, whose face gives nothing away other than business.

 

Business it is, then. For the whole meeting we discuss how well our public handling of the blackmail has gone. The legal team breathes a collective sigh of relief at the news that The Hope Foundation still wishes to continue with collaboration. They’re truly the only organization worth collaborating with, and it would have been a mess if they’d backed out. At the end of the meeting, everyone leaves in a flash, except Adrian, who takes his time gathering his papers.

 

The room feels a lot more crowded than it did minutes ago. I clear my throat, and he raises an eyebrow in my direction before his eyes follow.

 

“I trust you’ll be here on Friday to oversee the collaboration contract?” This is what I open with—what other option is there?

 

A smug smile changes his face. “Of course.”

 

“Listen, Turner,” here we go, “thank you for driving November back to Barnstable…” I throw my sweaty palms into my pockets, disbelieving I’m even having this conversation.

 

“No worries, Cavanaugh. Glad I could help her.” He inflects a little more on “her” than I care for, and I feel jealousy reach for her box of matches.

 

“All right then, see you Friday, I guess.” I turn for the door before his voice stops me.

 

“Bo.”

 

I turn on my heels to see him standing with fire in his eyes, but the rest of his face is calm.

 

“Leave her alone.”

 

Without a verbal response I shake my head, huff through my nostrils, and return to my office.

 

Like hell I will.

 

 

 

 

 

Chapter Three

 

 

Ember

 

 

 

It turns out I only needed one night to scream and throw things. Two days later I’m heading to work, mentally preparing for the trip to Concord at the end of the week, when my phone rings. I don’t make a habit of talking while driving, but a quick glance at the Caller ID tells me I don’t know the number, so I absentmindedly answer. I never know where my parents might be, after all.

 

“Hello?”

 

After a second of silence, I have to repeat myself.

 

“Hello?” I try again.

 

“November.”

 

Bo. Shit.

 

I never learned his number because he put it in my phone to begin with. My face flushes as my heart stumbles over itself. Thankfully, I’m pulling into the parking lot at work.

 

“November?” I haven’t heard his voice since kicking him out of Adrian’s hotel room. In a flash, I feel everything I’ve been pushing down for the last week.

 

“Bo...hi.”

 

“Thanks for answering.” The hope in his voice mainlines to my gut and sends a lump to my throat.

 

I realize I don’t know if I would have answered had I known. “I didn’t know it was you.”

 

“Oh.”

 

“So, what’s up?”

 

He clears his throat. “I’d like to talk to you...before Friday.”

 

Shit.

 

“I thought you weren’t going to the meeting on Friday.” If I keep my words to business, maybe I won’t burst into tears as I walk into the office.

 

“Avoiding you won’t help DROP, or us.”

 

Us? Seriously?

 

Monica’s talking to our receptionist as I walk in. She stops mid-word when she sees the look on my face.

 

“There isn’t an ‘us’, Bo.” With that, Monica follows me to my office.

 

“Ember, please, I need to talk to you.” He takes a deep breath.

 

“Well, since you’ll be there Friday, I guess I’ll see you Friday.” Behind me, Monica clicks her tongue and gasps.

 

I don’t hear anything for a few seconds. I’m growing impatient with the pace and content of this conversation.

 

“Hello?”

 

“OK. See you Friday,” he concedes easily, perhaps not wanting to push his luck.

 

“Bye.”

 

Before I can even turn around, Monica starts in. “What. In. The. Hell?”

 

I arch a pissed-off eyebrow. “Bo says we should talk before the meeting on Friday.”

 

“Ha! You’ve ignored his calls for days, he finally gets you on the phone some-damn-how, and he says you need to talk? If he wanted to talk so bad, he should have driven his ass down here after you.” She crosses her arms in front of her as if something I’ve said offends her.

 

“Monica, he clearly respects me enough to not drive down here. Lord, can you imagine the shit-show he would have caused if he’d shown up at my place when Adrian was there?” I run both hands frantically through my hair in an effort to calm the inner storm.

 

“Respect or not, looks like you’re band-aiding it now.”

 

“What?”

 

“Ripping off the awkward conversation band-aid. We’re working with his organization, Ember. It’s not like he can hide in his dark castle forever. And, frankly, neither can you. If you’re grown up enough to work together, then you’re grown up enough to have a proper breakup and boundaries conversation. We’ll leave early on Friday.”

 

“Gee, Mom, thanks.”

 

“I’m serious. No use pretending he never existed.”

 

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