Chapter Sixteen (New)

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One year later

"Natalie, Darling, it's for you." Stephen hollered from downstairs.

"Thanks. I'll take it up here." She cleared a spot off the bed and sat down. Reaching for the receiver, she was already smiling before she ever heard his voice.

"Hello?"

"You're not answering my calls. Should I be worried?"

"Sorry. My cellphone died. And the only thing you should be worried about is getting on that plane."

"What are you doing?"

Natalie surveyed her childhood bedroom and the stacks of clothes surrounding her.

"Editing."

"But you're officially off the clock."

"Not copy. Clothes. Noah went a little overboard with my packing. My suitcase weighs a thousand pounds. I've got to make some cuts and I can't decide what to take."

"You lived in London for how many years? Just throw a toothbrush in your purse and grab a trench coat."

"I hardly think I'll get by with just that."

"Well I'm not planning on leaving the hotel."

"What about the Jack The Ripper tour at midnight? You promised."

"That's what the trench coat is for."

"Oh."

"And the rest of the time...well, it's not like you'll really need much to wear."

"Good point." She smiled and bit her lip. "Are you and Colt still on schedule?"

"We should be on the ground by eight o'clock. And we're bringing another passenger."

"Who?"

"A friend of mine. You've never met him before. But you're gonna love him, I promise."

"Another guest? It's kind of crazy around here with the caterers and florists and what-not. I really don't think I'm up to entertaining one of your friends right now. I've got the final fitting for my dress and still need to pick up the marriage license..."

"He's very easy going. I promise he won't bother you a bit."

"So you'll drop him off at the hotel on your way out here?"

"Well actually, I talked with your father and he said it would be fine if he stayed out at the house with us."

"With everything that's going on, he agreed to a houseguest?"

Dash could tell by her tone that she was not pleased.

"I give you my word that he won't be in the way. And besides, Colt can keep an eye on him. Now do you trust me?"

Though she couldn't see him, she knew those eyes of his were shining.

"As long as you promise that we can go about the last minute details without interruptions."

"Scouts' Honor." He smiled.

"I've heard that before." She sighed heavily.

"I'll see you tonight. I love you."

"I love you too. See you soon."

Dash hung up the phone and turned to Colt, shrugging his shoulders.

"Did she buy it?" Colt asked, slipping a cigar into the inner pocket of his jacket.

"She's not happy but she's going along with it."

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