“There are my favorite girls! Welcome home, Lia.” Beck nudges my leg with one of his feet in greeting, and I try not to stare up at him from the creeper board. “I need to get packed, and I have lots of meetings tomorrow. Did you get my note, Tasha?” When she does not look up from her phone, Beck clears his throat in anticipation of a response.

“Yeah, Dad. I transferred laundry, checked our pantry, and updated the grocery list for the delivery guys.” It must be nice to be as rich as they are. I mean, my family is beyond comfortable, but Tasha and her dad have the money to vacation anywhere they want, have a housekeeper, and get their groceries delivered for the rare times they aren’t just getting takeout. Their housekeeper doubled as a nanny growing up, so she has always been more like a daytime grandma than a maid, even to me when I came to visit.

“What’s it like being back?” Beck asks me.

Back? My brain blanks out everything except images of what it would be like to be on my back under him. I try to give his question more thought than an immediate, cliché response. He knows me, or knew me, better than that. When my mom was in hospice care, Beck was the one who gave me sanctuary from all the nurse visits and company coming to say their farewells. He was the one who looked the other way when Tasha and I raided his liquor cabinet, as long as we did it in moderation, didn’t get drunk, and weren’t driving.

“It’s hard after living on my own. I didn’t think I’d be back here for more than a visit. I miss having my own space and schedule.” Sitting up on the board, it slides into his leg, and I find myself leaning on Beck to find my balance. “Sorry.” I’m not really sorry, not when grabbing onto him lets me know that he still smells every bit as good as I remember.

The hum of a vibrating phone has all three of us patting our pockets to find whose is responsible. Tasha looks at her screen and then locks eyes with me, desperation filling her silent plea. I know she expects me to take one for the team—she wants me to distract Beck. I have no problem doing this. I’m eager for time with him in any way I can get it. If only Tasha knew how much I would suffer by keeping her hottie of a dad’s eyes focused on me. By suffer, I mean that ache inside while I try not to have my way with him on the garage’s futon in the time it takes Tasha to take her call…

She bats her lashes at me, holding the phone against her chest as she bounces from foot to foot. Desperation and the passion of new love have changed her. It is heartwarming to see her so wrapped up in someone.

“You owe me,” I mouth to Tasha. Really, I owe her. Looking up at Beck, I ask him about work. “Tasha said you are getting ready for a business trip.” As soon as he turns his attention to me, Tasha slips in the door to the house, leaving us alone. I hope ten minutes will be enough; I don’t know if I can trust myself with him longer than that.

I slide back under my project and install another of the mirrors, listening as he tells me about how he spent a week in India, delivering a shipment to a business partner there and volunteering some of his time in repairing an orphanage.

“You always were good with your hands.” I can’t stop the teasing huskiness to my words and am glad my heating cheeks are out of his view. I would love to see if he is as good with his hands in person as he has been in my dreams for the past decade.

“Beck, can you hand me another of the mirror plates from the box on your workbench?” I don’t wait for him to bring it before I grab the screws I’ll need to hold it in place. I scoot further back so that I’m in position and hold out my hand. It’s an effort to not stroke his fingers with mine as he settles the glass into my palm. For a wealthy CEO, he has not lost the hands of a man who worked his way to the top.

“Would it be rude of me to ask what the hell this is going to be?” Beck’s voice is rich with his smile, and I must admit I would ask the same if I weren’t the designer.

My fingers close around the grip of the electric screwdriver, and I fight to get this mirror shard into place. “I started off calling it ‘Disco ball, deconstructed.’ Now, though, I am leaning more towards ‘Eye of the Beholder.’ With the mirrors and everything, it’s something about how you see yourself is different than others do, because reflection and…” I trail off, having lost my train of thought as Beck strips off his jacket. His biceps strain the fabric of his button-down.

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