Author Note: Well, I got the rejection letter from Harlequin. Back to the drawing board. But, at least, you-the Wattpad reader- get the benefit of getting some more sneak peeks. At least I can't waste all the cool rewrites, and hopefully you enjoy them. Please let me know in comments if you'd like to see more. Very much considering putting this up as a self-published novel. Would love the input from you. -Marilyn


Chapter 27

JULIE

For two weeks, it was all business. We didn't have much time alone except sometimes back at his apartment. But that was our unwind time, and I enjoyed being in his arms too much to ruin it. Being together was enough for now in the middle of this business emergency.

But as the date for the fundraising ball approached, I felt more in the grip of being his assistant in public, and his girlfriend in private. I was living a double life, and didn't know what to do. But emergencies always bring about a sense of need. One thing at a time.

The cool thing was that we could fly Mark out to join in the ball planning. I was in the limo heading to JFK to get him to help with the final arrangements for the ball. All the initial invites had been sent. The hall booked, decorators and caterers hired. All I need was someone to hold my hand to get the rest done. A girl needs her best friend in this situation.

In the limo on the way to the airport, I sent Mark a text to see if he was off the plane yet. I got a beep back telling me where to meet him. I gave instructions to the driver, and he dropped me off. Mark was a breath of fresh air. He came up to me, giving me a bear hug. After a moment, he stood back and looked at me. "It looks like he's turned you into a New York girl."

"I'm dressed for business now."

He eyed me up and down, lingering around my chest and down to my legs. "And looking sexy while doing it."

I gave him a smack. "You don't mean that."

"Best thing a gay man can say. You're slaying it."

I let the corner of my lip go up. "Peter bought me some new clothes since I wasn't able to go home."

His eyes held a hunger I hadn't seen before. "The pencil skirt and silk blouse suits you. The colors tan and blue make you look sophisticated. But why do you have you're hair up?"

I swipe my hand back over the base of my head in my best Hollywood starlet imitation. "I think it looks more refined."

"It looks crazy good." He gave me a wink. "Come on. I've got to get my checked bag."

He slung his man purse behind him, and I linked with his arm. I couldn't help but bubble with enthusiasm now. "It's good that you're here. Things have been so serious the last two weeks."

He swung his head to me. "Did you have that talk?"

"A little. We're together."

"Well, it's a start." He seemed to sense my hesitation. "Don't worry. So much has happened. Time is what you both may need right now. Help him get his business settled."

"It is my job." I winked at him.

"As his assistant. But as his lover?" He looked at me, and stopped for a moment.

I stopped next to him. "I'm not sure what that is quite yet?"

"Like I said before, the time will come that you'll both figure it out." He patted my arm and we headed over to get his bag. Later in the limo, he caught me up with all the small town gossip. "Things are how they normally would be. Patty is spearheading the redesign of the book club meeting room."

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