It’s time to do the reveal for my next release, and it’s the second installment of The Sawtooth Mountains Stories!
You might remember that last year I blogged about the odd birth of this series, how the inspiration for the first book, Somewhere, hit me out of the blue in 2016, and when it was finished I wasn’t sure it fit my “brand” or whatever, so there was this whole angsty and misguided decision to publish it under a pen name–and then immediate regrets about using a pen name and a very quick decision to pull it from publication. It languished on my hard drive for months, but I love these people and their world, and I wanted to write more about them. (I still want to write more about them–in fact, I’m currently working on Book 3.) So I sucked it up and put Somewhere back out in the world, this time under my own name.
Even though this series is pretty different from my other series (specifically, there’s a lot less mayhem), Somewhere did quite well. I’m so glad it found its audience, some who like my other work, and some who don’t, and I’m so grateful for your support while I navigated my personal anxieties about publishing it … twice.
So today I’m thrilled to announce the upcoming publication of Book 2! Someday is Logan and Honor’s story, and it will be released on Saturday, 13 October. I’ll set up the preorder next week. I’ve set up the Goodreads page, if you’d like to add it to your TBR. As usual, Someday will be available on multiple digital platforms as well as paperback.
For those who want to know, my visual inspirations for Logan and Honor are Anson Mount (Hell on Wheels version, *swoons*) and Katheryn Winnick. I have a Pinterest board for the Sawtooth Mountains Stories, if you’re interested.
Here’s the description for Someday:
Honor Babinot is one of the best defense attorneys in Idaho, with a long list of high-profile wins on her resumé already. But her elite law firm is an old-boys’ club, and to the partners she’s just a ‘little lady,’ despite her success. After another major win in the courtroom, she makes a bold move to leave the swanky office behind and step out on her own.
Someday, she’ll reach the success she’s worked so hard for, and on her own terms.
Logan Cahill is the eldest son of a powerful rancher, and heir to the Cahill family legacy. He’s also a notorious ladies’ man, who’s avoided commitment to anything but his family. Now that he’s past forty, and his younger siblings have the next generation of Cahills handled, Logan is well set in his ways and perfectly content to be married to the Twisted C Ranch.
Someday, he’ll be head of the family he loves, and he wants nothing to draw him from it.
Since Honor saved Logan’s younger brother from conviction for a murder he didn’t commit, she’s taken up acreage in his head. Honor certainly remembers Logan. A chance encounter brings them back together, and sudden trouble draws them close. They can’t deny or resist the fire that ignites between them.
Honor is married to her career. Logan is married to the Twisted C. Neither wants to need the other. Neither has room in their plans for love.
But love has plans of its own.
And here are the first few scenes of Chapter 4 as a preview. NOTE: some spoilers here for Somewhere. Someday can be read as a standalone, but it is a continuation of the series, too.
Not surprisingly, there was a lot Honor didn’t know about how a law office worked, or how a small business worked. There had always been people to do the work of keeping things running. Even as an intern, she hadn’t had to attend to the minutiae of the business itself. Now, she was getting a crash course in the terrifying truth of independence.
It wasn’t just a matter of putting a desk in her crappy new office and finding clients. She’d known that, of course, but what she hadn’t known was how very much had to happen before she could even legally have the window repainted and call the place her office.
She’d applied for a small business loan, and her parents had lent her some money for start-up expenses, so Honor spent the first week studying up on all the legal forms she had to complete, inspections she had to pass, and fees she had to pay to become an LLC and open her doors. While she worked on all that, she ordered office furniture—inexpensive but not embarrassingly obviously so—and paper products like letterhead stationery and business cards. She designed the letterhead and her office sign herself, using Photoshop, and found a sign painter to do the work.
And she figured out a budget. That was terrifying, and the clearest indication of how much her circumstances had changed—because the very nature of her work had changed. No longer could she simply be a criminal defense attorney. Working out of a strip-mall office, with a client list of exactly one name so far, Honor would have to take all comers until she had her feet under her again. Personally, she’d have to economize quite a lot so she could be sure to keep her apartment, and hopefully her car, too.
She also figured out how much she could afford to pay an assistant, and when she called Debbie and told her what she could offer, there was a long, long, painful silence on the other end before Debbie said she had to think it through and asked for a day to give her answer.
That was yesterday. Today, while Honor waited to find out if she’d have to place an ad and hire someone she didn’t know to manage her office and hopefully do some research and case prep, too, she was at the courthouse to file all her paperwork and become an official business owner.
It was disorienting to be in a courthouse she would have said she knew well and yet wander around unsure, because she’d never had to find the offices one went to to file papers.
Her phone rang while she stood in line for the third time, after being sent back for more information twice, to register her business license. She’d been scrolling Twitter to keep her mind occupied, so she saw it was Debbie right away, and her stomach leapt up and slapped her heart. “Hey, Debbie.”
“Hi. I’m not calling with an answer. I need a little more time for that.”
It was Friday. Honor had been out of work for more than two weeks now, spending money but not earning it. She had savings, and her parents, but she didn’t want to deplete either any more than she had to. “Okay, how much time?”
“Just the weekend. I’ll know one way or the other by Monday.”
“Okay.” Over the weekend, she’d draft an ad and be ready to post it widely online Monday, if Debbie said no.
“That’s not why I’m calling, though.”
“Oh. What’s up?” The line inched forward as a broad-shouldered man with thick, longish salt-and-pepper hair stepped to the counter and leaned on it—seeing only his back and his posture, Honor, who read people for a living, knew him to be the kind of overly confident man who flirted with every woman he met and was quite certain they all responded to him.
That made her think of the driver from her last night out with the girls. Tyler. He’d been broad-shouldered and long-haired, and that kind of confident. Drunk, she’d been totally into him. Sober, she’d been mercilessly ashamed of herself and deeply suspicious of his smug cockiness.
He hadn’t tried to take advantage of her drunkenness, however. That was nice. She’d never called him—she’d been too mortified the day after, and anyway, she had far too much going on to start dating anyone right now.
She always had too much going on for that.
Debbie had just said something that Honor had totally missed. “I’m sorry, what? I’m in line at the courthouse. It’s hard to focus.”
“Judith called this morning, looking for you.”
“Judith Jones? Is she okay?” The girl had been free for less than three weeks. Honor had arranged for a placement for her at a woman’s shelter after the verdict, but honestly, everything in her life had gone topsy-turvy immediately after that case, so she hadn’t thought much about her since.
“I don’t think so. It’s not legal trouble, but she sounds bad, Honor. She says she needs to talk to you. When I told her you weren’t with the firm anymore, she burst into tears. I didn’t know what else to do, so I’m seeing her this afternoon, but it’s you she wants.”
The line inched forward as another clerk opened up. Cocky Wonderhair was still chatting up his clerk. Honor stared daggers at his broad back, encased in a tailored, obviously expensive, dark grey suit coat, which topped fashionably faded jeans.
The sign painter was scheduled to be at her crappy new office that afternoon, and there was nobody but Honor to let him in. At this rate, she wouldn’t make it.
She did not have the time—or, now, the resources—to rescue Judith Jones. She’d done all she could for her already. “I don’t know what to do, Debbie. My office isn’t ready, and I can’t go to the firm. There’s nothing I can do.”
“She trusts you, Honor. She’s overwhelmed and scared, and she needs somebody who understands her. You’re her only friend.”
“I’m not her friend, Debbie. I was her lawyer.”
“Honor. Why’d you leave BWC? Was it just money?”
“No. It was …” She stopped. Why had she left? Money hadn’t even been a factor. She’d earned well there. It was respect. Worth. Justice.
None of those things had monetary value. They all should be the foundation of anything she did in the future. Which was, of course, Debbie’s point. “The sign painter is coming to the office this afternoon, so I have to be there, and I’ve got the Mayor’s Civic Awards banquet tonight.” An event she’d have preferred to bail on, but it was one of the biggest events Emily planned, and she had to be there to provide support and panic-abatement. Besides, it was a great opportunity for networking, and Honor needed all the networking she could manage. Already she’d had to get control of a rumor that she’d been ‘let go’ from the firm.
Judith Jones couldn’t be much help to her career, but Honor could spare some time to see if there was something she could do to help this poor girl who’d been thrown into an adulthood alone, without any preparation whatsoever. “Can you bring her to me on the Bench? Say three o’clock? It’s on La Cassia.” When she gave Debbie the address, embarrassment brushed over her tongue.
“We’ll be there. Thank you, Honor.”
As she ended the call, the line moved forward again, and Honor saw Cocky Wonderhair heading toward her, finally finished hogging the clerk. His head was down as he scanned through his papers, but a bolt of recognition hit her. She knew him. From where?
Then he looked up, and she knew exactly who he was. At the same time, he saw, and recognized, her, and he smiled. “Honor! Hey!”
Logan Cahill, older brother of Heath Cahill, the man she’d defended against a first-degree murder charge six months ago. Salt-and-pepper beard to match his salt-and-pepper Wonderhair. Blue-grey eyes, framed with crinkles. Cocky, white-toothed grin. A white, tailored dress shirt under his expensive blazer, two buttons open at the throat. The pewter rodeo charm he wore on a leather cord around his neck peeked out from under the placket of his shirt, resting on his bare skin.
She hadn’t seen him since just after the trial, and they hadn’t parted on good terms, but damn, he was pretty. Despite herself, she answered his grin with a smile. “Hi, Logan.”
His hand wrapped around her arm, and he leaned down and in to kiss her cheek. His beard brushed her skin, and the muscles between her legs clenched.
“What are you doing here?” he asked while his mouth was still close enough that she felt his breath.
“Filing some papers. You?”
“Same. Doing some work at the Moondancer that’s wound with bright red county tape.”
The Moondancer was a dude ranch just outside the Cahills’ hometown of Jasper Ridge, on the eastern edge of the county. “Oh, that’s right. You guys bought that place, didn’t you?” The Cahills were a wealthy ranching family. Logan’s father, Morgan, the family patriarch, was a serious mover and shaker in politics all through the state. The Moondancer Ranch, and its owner, Catherine Spelling, had featured prominently in Heath’s trial and suffered badly because of it. She’d heard through the grapevine that the Cahills had bought the property at the end of last year.
“Majority share.” He eyed the line up and down. “Don’t you have staff to do the line-standing for you?”
“Not anymore. Don’t you?”
“Family business, darlin’. Today I am the line-standing staff. Had to be in town anyway, for the mayor’s awards thing.”
“You’re going to that?” Well, shit. “Did you win something?”
“No, no. My dad’s sponsoring a new award, and I’m announcing it tonight. So I’m hanging out in Boise for the weekend, and I told Wes I’d file his papers.” He cocked his head. “Will you be there?”
The person standing behind Honor gave a harshly rhetorical clearing of his throat, and Honor saw that another clerk had opened a window, and the line had moved several feet. She was up next. She used the chance to avoid Logan’s question and end their encounter. “Well, have a good time tonight.”
His eyes narrowed a bit, and Honor thought he’d press for an answer to his question, but apparently he thought better of it. “Yeah. It was good to see you, counselor.”
Rather than return the sentiment, Honor smiled and offered him a subtle nod. Then a clerk called, “Next!” and she turned away.
At the counter, as she handed over her completed forms and the check she’d already filled out, she glanced over her shoulder, but Logan Cahill was long gone.
When Debbie and Judith came into the office, Honor felt that accursed brush of embarrassment again. Since she’d left Bellamy White, she’d been caroming violently between hopeful self-assuredness and desperate panic, and she had to get control of her attitude. She. Had. Made. This. Choice. She was in the driver’s seat, in control of her destiny. That was what she’d wanted, so she needed to own this and be proud of every accomplishment.
In less than three weeks, she’d secured a small business loan, leased office space, furnished it, outfitted it with sufficient supplies, designed and ordered letterhead and business cards, hired a sign painter to change the window from MARTY HIBBERT, CPA to Honor Babinot, Attorney at Law. On Monday, she would open her doors, though she’d be doing all the work herself until she could hire a paralegal.
She’d crested the first hill already. She had nothing to be embarrassed about.
“It looks nice,” Debbie said as she led Judith in.
“Thanks,” Honor said and made herself hold back a self-deprecating comment about it not having quite the same view she’d had before. “Hi, Judith. How’re you doing?”
The sign painter, standing on a ladder at the window, did a double take, stared for a second, then offered Honor’s guests a polite nod. Had he recognized Judith from all the news coverage? Honor had just said her name, which wasn’t particularly common.
The girl—woman, she was a young woman, not a child, which was why there was no one to help her—wore the same ill-fitting navy blue suit and white urethane pumps she’d favored at trial. Honor had used the firm incidental fund to buy her a couple of nicer dresses for trial, but she’d thought they were too fancy and refused to wear them to court. For weeks, she’d worn that blue suit, with a limited cycle of a few rayon shells in different pastels. In every single photograph of her taken during the trial, she looked exactly as she did now.
She smiled shyly and tucked her hair behind her ears. “How do, Miss Babinot. I’m glad to see you.” She darted a glance toward the sign painter, standing on his ladder. Honor decided they needed to get away from the interloper.
Honor gestured toward the sole interior door, which led to a stunted hallway, the bathroom, and her private office. “Let’s leave Greg to his work. We can talk in my office.”
Though in the outer room, which would serve as both the waiting room and her assistant’s office space, she’d economized as much as possible, in her own office, she’d taken some time to make it appealing—for herself and her prospective clients. She hadn’t spent too much money, though. Mostly, she’d pillaged from her own apartment, emptying out her home study and swiping a set of Danish armchairs from her living room.
“Oh, this is nice,” Judith gushed as she sat, swiveling to take in the whole windowless space. “You must be doin’ real well, to get a whole place like this to yourself.”
“I’m doing okay.” Honor sat at her desk. “What’s going on, Judith? Why’d you want to see me? Are you in trouble?”
“No, ma’am. Not law trouble. But I don’t like that place you put me.”
The shelter was generally regarded as the best in the county. Residents had comfortable rooms shared with only one roommate. They all shared family-style meals for breakfast and dinner. Life skills and occupational training classes were provided, as well as remedial reading, writing, and math classes. Not to mention therapy and security—most of the residents had histories of abuse, and many were still under threat from their abusers. Honor couldn’t think of a better place for a damaged girl like Judith to be. “Why not? What happened?”
“They keep tellin’ me what to do. When I got to get in by, when I can go out, when I got to go to class, what class I got to take, when I got to do work, what work I got to do. I was locked up my whole life, my daddy telling me every day what to do, and this place ain’t much different.”
“Is anyone bothering you? Hurting you?”
“Not hurting, but they all bothering me. I just want to be free for a change and do what I want.” Her quiet defiance fragmented, and her lip began to quiver. “Miss Rupert, she said I was on a warning now, but all I did was tell her I’m not cleaning up after other people no more.”
“That’s not all you did, Judith,” Debbie cut in.
Judith chewed on her lip. “It is. But I slammed a door and the window in it broke.”
Honor made herself imagine this pale, frail woman slamming a door that hard, and remembered the violence she’d done to her father. “What would you like me to do?”
“Can’t you find me a different place? Maybe a little house of my own?”
She’d never been in the world, never had any experience except what her father had done to her, and then jail and trial. There was absolutely no possible way for Judith Jones to manage out in the world alone. But Honor could see why she found the shelter so constraining. She was a young woman with a child’s understanding of the world and her place in it; she’d been chained all her life, and she rebelled against any restraint now.
Honor glanced at Debbie, sitting quietly beside Judith, looking every inch the PTA mom she was. She got the sense that Debbie had a lot of opinions about what Judith should do, and maybe had shared them with her already, but now was working hard at letting Honor handle things her way.
“You don’t have to stay at the shelter, Judith. You are old enough that you can leave whenever you want. But if you leave, you’ll be totally on your own. There’s no better place I can help you with. If you’d like a little house of your own, you’ll need to get educated and find a job and start earning money. The counselors at the shelter are there to help you learn all the things you never got a chance to learn before, and help you get ready so you can have the life you want. They have rules so that everything’s fair for everyone, and so that you have a chance to learn. But honey, nobody gets to do whatever they want. Being a grownup, living on your own, means having to do things you don’t want every single day, and having to do what other people say. You just get to choose who you have to listen to and who you can ignore.”
“You have to do what people say?”
“Sure! I have to pay bills on time, I had to file papers and pay fees so I could open this office. Being free doesn’t mean you don’t have obligations and responsibilities. It just means that sometimes you get to pick what responsibilities you have.”
“That’s not what I thought at all.”
“I tell you what. Why don’t you go back to the shelter, tell Ms. Rupert you’re sorry for what you did, and give the place, say, three months. Follow the rules, take the opportunities they offer, and see if it doesn’t help you figure out how to be free.”
“If I stay, can I see you sometimes? I don’t got nobody else to talk to.”
“You can talk to your counselor, Judith. They’re there to help you.”
“But they don’t know me. You know me. You understand.”
Honor took one of her brand-new business cards from the brand-new holder on her desk. With the silver Mont Blanc pen her father had given her when she passed the bar, she wrote her personal cell number on the back. “Okay. Here’s my number, this office on the front, and my cell on the back. You can call me when you need to talk, and when I have some time for lunch or something, I’ll call you. But in the meantime, you try to make it work at the shelter, and maybe try to make friends with the other women there. They have stories, too. I’ll bet they’ll understand you, too. Does that sound good?”
Judith took the card and stared at it. Her reading skills weren’t great, but they were sufficient to read a business card. “Okay. Thank you. Can I stay here for awhile now?”
“No, I’m sorry. I have work to do, and I’ve got plans in a couple hours. But soon, okay?” Honor could feel the skidding pebbles of a slippery slope under her feet, but she didn’t know a better course of action. She had defended this young woman against a murder charge and seen her freed. The law had no more interest in her, until and unless she was again suspected of a crime. Honor did feel responsible for her; Judith was out in a world she didn’t understand because Honor had won her case—and that had been the just result. What Judith had suffered her whole life was beyond comprehension. If she hadn’t killed her father, she would still be suffering. Her act had been true self-defense.
But the girl was capable of real violence, and Honor had turned her loose in Boise. She couldn’t ignore her now.
As she led Debbie and Judith back to the front door, Honor turned and said, “Call me if you need help, and I’ll call soon and take you to lunch. Okay?”
Judith grinned. “Okay. Thank you, Honor.”
It was the first time she’d used her first name. Honor found it strangely unsettling.
But as Debbie stepped across the threshold to the parking lot, she turned back and said, “I need to give them two weeks. Can you hold the fort until then?”
All her worries about Judith Jones evaporated at once. “Yes! Yes! That’s great! Thank you!”
“I can’t take a penny less than you said on the phone. Be straight with me right now if you’re not sure you can pay me that, and do it on time. I’ve got a teenage boy to keep in cheeseburgers.”
Honor had been diligent and careful in working out a salary. For Debbie, she’d added a bump over what she’d pay a stranger, and she’d taken it straight from what she meant to earmark for her own living expenses. “I can pay you, Debbie.”
“Then I’ll be here two weeks from Monday. Earlier, if they do me like they did you.”
That wouldn’t be the case; Honor had had a clear schedule when she’d given notice and Silas had sent her packing. Debbie was working on cases. They’d squeeze every last second out of her.
“I’ll see you in two weeks!” She had a surprising, and strong, urge to hug Debbie, but Honor wasn’t a hugger, so instead she clamped her hands together until the urge passed, and she watched her former—current?—client and her new—old?—paralegal walk across the cracked parking lot.
“That was that girl who killed her daddy, huh?” the sign painter mused as he packed up his supplies.
Honor turned without answering and studied his handiwork. She was reading it backward, but it looked good—clean and classy. “You did a good job.”
“Thanks. You did too, helpin’ that girl out. I saw the news about what her daddy did. Wasn’t right, her gettin’ arrested.”
“No, it wasn’t.”
She hoped it was right setting her free.
“You look real good, counselor.”
The words were purred right at her ear. Standing at the bar waiting for another round of wine for the girls, Honor sent a sidelong glance in that direction. “Hi, Logan.”
She’d known she’d see him here—she’d dressed for that eventuality, in a sleek black off-the-shoulder cocktail dress—but she hadn’t thought it would be so soon, while people were still wandering the room. It was like he’d been looking for her—but she hadn’t told him she’d be here.
“Hey.” He lifted an eyebrow as the bartender set three glasses on the bar before her—Emily was busy running the banquet, so Lizbet, Callie, and Honor were on their own, taking up half of one of the tables Lizbet called ‘Event Siberia’—for the unremarkable guests without a plus-one. “Either you’re not alone, or you had a very hard day.”
“I’m not alone.”
“But you’re not here with a date, either?”
“What makes you say that?”
“Three glasses. Somebody’s the odd one out.”
“And you assume that’s me? Are you here with a date, Mr. Cahill?”
“No, ma’am, I am not.” He nodded toward one of the head tables, for honored guests. “That poor, lonely empty seat is mine.”
Honor shifted her body, turning to face the man directly. Despite his beard and shoulder-length hair—longer than before—he wasn’t the least bit scruffy. He had the debonair good looks her mother would call ‘dashing,’ and Honor had been truly into him during the months of his brother’s trial and its preparation. At first, he’d been contentious with her, arguing with her every explanation or piece of advice, angry when she didn’t tell him what he wanted to hear, but then, during the trial, his attitude had changed, and he’d made it quite clear that he was into her as well. He’d pressed the point a few times, once or twice going right up to the line where it would have stopped being flattering and become harassment.
He’d probably crossed that line, but she’d wanted him, so her line had been pretty flexible at the time.
But Honor had a firm rule about fraternizing with clients or their families—it wasn’t only her rule but a serious breach of professional ethics—and she’d held him off, telling him they had to wait until she wasn’t representing his brother any longer.
When the case was over and she was free to be with him, Logan vanished.
During her preparation for Heath’s trial, Honor had researched every crack and corner of his life. All his family members, all his friends, his whole town. She’d learned just about everything there was to know about the entire Cahill clan. Its wealth and power, its history, the personalities and personal skeletons of every member. And she knew very well how to interpret facts to make understanding. To see truth.
Thus, she knew that Logan Cahill, eldest child of Morgan Cahill, had never been in a serious relationship, though he had a prodigious reputation as a ladies’ man. Logan was the kind of man who preferred unattainable women. He’d fuck just about anything, but he wooed women he couldn’t have. Other men’s wives, for the most part.
During the trial, when she was working sixteen hour days seven days a week, at constant maximum stress, trying to build a story out of thin air that would win an unwinnable case, Logan had wooed her hard. His calm, lighthearted presence had been like a cool breeze on her overheated brain, his attention had given her something else to think about, and she’d worked herself into a crush powerful enough to discount what she knew of his predilections. She’d fallen into the old trap of thinking she was different, that his feelings for her were the real deal.
But then, when she’d won his brother’s case and been available, Logan had been gone. She hadn’t been different at all.
Standing before him again for the first time since she’d confronted that realization last fall, Honor felt both the allure of her crush and the sting of its disappointment. She’d spent weeks reliving a single kiss, waiting for the opportunity to really dive in to the next one, and a not-insignificant part of her brain (or maybe it wasn’t her brain) still wanted that chance. But the rest of her pretty much wanted to send the pointed toe of her nude Louboutin into his balls and walk away.
“Don’t flirt with me, Logan. You had your chance.”
He took one step toward her, leaving barely two inches between them. His head dipped to hers. “No second chances?”
“Are you sure you want one? Like I said, I’m not here with a date. There’s nobody for you to get over on by fucking me.”
He blinked and took a step back, his Cary Grant grin erased. “Whoa. That was …”
“Entirely warranted. Go back to your bored trophy wives, Logan.” She picked up the full wineglasses with one hand, using a skill she’d honed in high school and college, working summers at a country club restaurant.
He set a hand—large, strong, manicured, but on the rough side—on her arm, at the crook of her elbow. “Honor, wait. I’m sorry I didn’t call you. There was a lot going on, and Jasper Ridge is two hours away. I didn’t know how it would work, if we got together.”
Could they not have had this discussion at the time? Yes, of course they could have. Well, they weren’t going to have it at this late date. “Have you packed up the town and moved it?”
He chuckled. “No, can’t say we have.”
“Then Jasper Ridge is still two hours away. So what is it that’s changed?”
His eyes clashed fiercely with hers. He didn’t like this, being rejected. Honor was surprised, and irritated, to realize she felt a little bit sorry for the guy—and for herself as well.
Not enough to let him off the hook, so she stared back and waited for him to remove his hand.
He finally did. “Nothing, I guess. Have a good night.”
She walked away—and saw that Lizbet and Callie had been hawkeyeing that whole exchange. They were practically drooling in anticipation of their chance to grill her about the handsome, tuxedoed cowboy at the bar.
Honor sighed. She should have asked the bartender for the whole bottle.
“Who was that?” Lizbet asked, taking a glass from Honor’s hand.
“Logan Cahill.” Honor handed Callie a glass and finally took a long, restorative swallow from her own. “I know him from the murder trial I worked last year. His brother was my client.”
“Oh yeah!” Lizbet nodded. “The sexy cowboy who didn’t kill the man who killed his little girl. Damn! The gene pool in that family is wide and deep.”
“He’s still looking, Honor,” Callie observed. “Did you reject him?”
Honor looked over to the bar. Logan stood there, watching. It didn’t appear that he’d even ordered a drink yet. Seeing her see him again, he didn’t look away, or try to interact again. He just met her eyes and locked on.
She turned back to her friends, away from him. “It’s complicated, but yes. Logan Cahill and I are not, and will not be, a Thing.”
“Well, that’s a crying shame. Nothing that pretty should be left behind. I might have to introduce myself.”
Honor felt a flare of jealous irritation at Lizbet’s suggestion, but she smiled. “Be my guest, but I warn you, he only likes women he can’t have.”
“Ohhhh,” Callie and Lizbet said, in unison. “That’s it, then,” Lizbet added.
“It’s your ice queen mystique,” Callie said. “You are a woman he can’t have—hence his fascination. I mean, not that you aren’t fascinating as a rule.”
Usually it was Lizbet who came up with the snarky barbs. From there, Honor was prepared to take them. Snark wasn’t Callie’s style, and it hurt more coming from her.
“I’m not an ice queen!”
Lizbet snorted, and Honor lifted her middle finger off her glass.
“Of course you’re not, honey,” Callie soothed, patting Honor’s knee. “We know the real you, and you’re warm and sweet and wonderful. But you’re always so buried in work, and you see everything like a case to be won.
Ouch. “You work as much as I do, Cal. We’re all obsessed with our work.”
“Not like you. We all work long hours, but the rest of us can set it aside. I don’t have my fingers in a patient’s brain when I’m away from the hospital. Liz doesn’t sit at the table grading papers. Emily is more like you, but even she can turn it off. You, though—until we get enough booze in you, you never stop thinking about work.”
It sure felt like her friend had her fingers in her brain right now. Honor finished her wine. “You know what? This conversation really sucks, and I am too stressed out to keep having it. I need more wine. Liz, why don’t you go up and get another round. You can find out if you’re unavailable enough for Logan while you’re there.”
She didn’t miss the glance that fired between her friends, and that just pissed her off more. Feeling sullen and entirely overwhelmed by every facet of life, Honor sagged back in her seat and crossed her arms. The very second she could get out of here without hurting Emily’s feelings, she was gone.
© 2018 Susan Fanetti