Chapter Seven

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"So this place is"-his business manager looked around the barren house, his nose twitching like he smelled something foul-"quaint."

Nick smiled as he opened the refrigerator and pulled out two beers. Some statements didn't require an answer. Besides, Jon was right. This house was hardly up to Home & Garden standards.

Not that it was structurally unsound. The house itself was a fantastic find. It was on one of the fashionable circles in Knightsbridge, a little house perfect for a bachelor, the real estate agent had assured him. A good investment for when he married and had kids.

The real estate agent had said that jokingly, because what international celebrity in his right mind would shackle himself to domesticity when he had all the beautiful women in the world throwing themselves at him?

Him, that's who, because Nick would have given anything for the chance to build a family of his own. Somewhere to belong, someone to belong to.

As he flipped open a bottle, he wondered if Rosalind wanted the same.

He shook his head. He shouldn't think about Rosalind. He had no reason to see her again, and he'd made it clear to Summer that he wasn't going to be party to her insanity.

Opening a cabinet, he reached inside to pull out glasses, only there weren't any. Of course there weren't-the house was virtually empty. The only piece of furniture in the whole place was a mattress, because Jon had made sure he had somewhere to sleep. One day he might even get a bed frame.

"Here." Nick handed over the beer bottle. "Sorry. Apparently I don't have glassware."

"Only sissies drink beer out of glasses." He took a delicate swig out of the bottle. "Man up."

Nick lifted his beer in salute. "I'd like to hear you repeat that at any pub."

"Forget the beer." Jon set the bottle down and crossed his arms. "Tell me when you're coming back to racing."

He didn't know when he was returning-or even if he was returning. It was ironic. He drove at such high speeds, but he felt like life was passing him by.

The more he thought about it, the more he thought it was time to stop and reassess. Tabitha had been fantastic to him, but after Summer had been born things had obviously changed. Not that she treated him with anything other than unconditional love, but he'd always known that his position was precarious, not because he wasn't loved but because he wasn't blood.

"I don't like this silence," Jon declared. "It doesn't bode well."

"It's best to go out on a high note rather than as a has-been."

His manager frowned. "Only if you're already a has-been, and you're far from that point. You're on top of your game, Nick. You can't quit yet. Juan Manuel Fangio was forty-six when he won the World Championship."

"I have other things I want to do, Jon."

"Can I still get ten percent?"

Nick thought about the softness of Rosalind's lip and shook his head firmly. "No. Definitely not."

Jon crossed his arms. "Sometimes you're particularly stubborn."

The doorbell chimed, and Nick looked at his agent suspiciously.

Jon shook his head. "Don't look at me, although if I'd known you were considering throwing your life away, I'd have had some hookers sent over to help entice you back."

Shaking his head, Nick went to get the door. It was the last person he'd ever have expected to see in his doorway: Luca Fiorelli.

Taking off designer sunglasses, Luca flashed his slick Italian smile. "Caro."

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