Chapter Eight

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"Did I wake you?" He asked.

"What time is it?" Her words were heavy and slow.

"Your time? About eight o'clock. It's midnight here."

"Oh." She strained to read the numbers on the clock.

"I got the message that you made it alright."

"Uh, yes," She yawned. "I did."

"No problem making your connection?"

"No problem whatsoever. Even made an earlier flight than what I booked."

"Well, that's good." He hesitated, unsure if she was ready to find some peaceful ground.

"Did you get my note?"

"Yes, I did." Her fingers ran down the buttons of his pajama top. "Your arms were around me all night."

"I put your nightgowns in the big zipper pocket of your suitcase, just in case, you know, in case you were still mad as hell at me."

"I found them. And I'm not mad as hell." She sighed. "Disappointed. Hurt. But not mad. Not anymore."

"Don't play the hurt and disappointed cards. Not when I'm thousands of miles away with no way to make amends. I'd rather have mad as hell."

"If you wake me up this early again, you'll get your wish."

"How's Greece?" He relaxed a little, thankful for a little humor.

"Hasn't changed. Still beautiful. How's Chicago?"

"Same as it ever was. I wish I there with you though."

"Me too."

"How's your room? I bet you have an incredible view."

She quickly sat up, taking inventory of the suite. Her heartbeat shot from a calm walk to a full sprint when her eyes found the grey stuffed shark on the pillow beside her. Kenny! She didn't know if her jet-lagged mind could handle the world-class shouting match that would erupt if she told him the truth. She'd tell him. Of course she'd tell time.

He said room...not hotel...he said technically...

"It's very nice." She mumbled, immediately weighed down with tremendous guilt. "How's yours?"

"Standard business traveler. Nothing special. No ocean views, of course."

"Well, it's just for a few days."

"I just want to be back home with you." He sighed heavily. "I hate the way we left things. I'm so sorry I acted the way I did, Mary Grace. It was wrong. I was wrong. I've had some time to really think about what you're doing and I hope you'll forgive me."

"I'm sorry I walked out. That was wrong of me. I just knew we were about to head down a road that I didn't want to travel."

"You had every right to walk away. I was acting like a jealous jerk, and to a woman that can only translate into one thing--a lack of trust--which is crazy because I trust you completely. You've never given me a reason not to."

Her heart was pounding as she fought an enormous internal battle between what was right and what was easy. She wanted to tell him the truth--but he just kept talking and soon she lost the opportunity and the nerve.

"It's like you said, why would he show up twenty years after the fact to sweep you off your feet? But I'm a man. We get a little crazy at times, you know? The whole territorial thing. My woman. His turf."

Men are jealous, Mary Grace...

"Les, I totally get it."

"I know this has nothing to do with your relationship with him. You're there to make a man's last wish come true. And I commend your dedication. It's a noble thing and I disgraced it by acting like a total ass." He paused a moment. "I hope you'll forgive me."

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