Logan, I can either tell him I needed to get out of the house to write, or that me and my boyfriend, who happens to be an ex-con, were at a hotel where he made love to me so thoroughly that I’ll only have fifty percent usage of my legs for the rest of my life.
— Katie

Two days of isolation with Logan in his hotel room seemed to be just what the doctor ordered. While he’d only left once for a meeting with his lawyer and PO, Katie had used that time for some well-needed rest. She didn’t want to leave, and she’d even offered to pay for some additional days, but Logan had flat out refused her money saying he wasn’t going to cost her a cent—ever. Katie was pleased and disappointed by his declaration, but he was right. He needed to get back home, and the faster he did, the faster he could come back to her.

Her phone rang as she was getting in her car. Logan looked at the display before he handed her the phone.

“I hate that you are lying to your father, Katie.” His voice sounded dejected. “This is starting off wrong.”

She took the phone. “Logan, I can either tell him I needed to get out of the house to write, or that me and my boyfriend, who happens to be an ex-con, were at a hotel where he made love to me so thoroughly that I’ll only have fifty percent usage of my legs for the rest of my life.” She placed her finger in a shushing gesture over her lips when Logan started to laugh.

“Yes, Dad?” Katie started the car as she answered the phone and adjusted the heat. April’s in Vermont still offered frost, and a chill was in the air . . . as well as in her father’s voice.

“Have you left the hotel yet?” His voice was short and clipped.

Katie could hear in his voice that he was upset about something. She’d talked to him yesterday and told him she was working on a deadline and needed a change of scenery to get her creative juices flowing. She hated lying to her dad, but she couldn’t imagine telling him the truth at the moment. On top of that, Katie was an adult, she wasn’t sure why she always felt the need to explain her actions to others.

“Yes, I’m heading back now.” Unsure of what was happening with her dad, Katie forced pep into her voice even though dread filled her heart. She glanced over to Logan and gave him a look that she hoped conveyed her nervousness.

“Good, I’ll head over after this meeting. I need to discuss something with you.”

Katie’s heart jumped into her throat. There was no way she was going to hide Logan in her house, she was too old for that, but she wasn’t ready to introduce him to her father yet.

“Um . . .” She searched her brain for an excuse. “How about Mel’s Bistro in an hour?” That was their normal spot. She didn’t think he’d mind meeting there.

He cleared his throat. “I need to speak to you in private, Katie.” Her heart dropped, and she cursed Teal in her head. Her best friend had betrayed her trust and told her father. She wouldn’t put it past her—it’d happened once or twice before.

“Uh, okay. Is everything okay?” She grasped the steering wheel. Logan reached for her hand, placing it in his, and she loosened her grip.

“I sure hope so, but I’ll have to talk to you about it when I get there in an hour and a half. Love you, Katie.” Her father’s voice softened.

“Love you, too, Dad,” Katie responded before disconnecting the call. She turned to Logan and said, “Looks like you’ll be meeting my father sooner than expected.” She was freaking out inside, but Logan seemed calm. Bees buzzed in her head and her stomach ached. “You aren’t nervous?” She pulled the car from the parking spot and headed out of the lot.

Logan pulled her hand into his lap. “It is what it is, Katie. I really don’t want you lying to him anymore. I don’t want him to have any excuse not to accept me in your life.”

Katie knew there was one big reason why her dad wouldn’t accept him, but she planned on convincing him to give Logan a chance. How she planned on doing that was beyond her, but she would try.

Driving up the hill, she parked in front of her house. They stepped out of the vehicle and walked up to the front door.

“Looks like my baby is pretty successful.”

She glanced at Logan looking over the house. She saw the awe in his eyes and smiled. It was a modest home in her opinion; not too big or too small. Everything was brand new when she’d moved in, and there was a large front and back yard. Her dream was to get a dog, but she hadn’t gotten around to it yet.

“I do all right,” she said humbly as she put the key in the door and pushed it open. Stepping inside, she looked around. Ordinarily, Katie worried about what her guest would think about her home—like, was there a funny smell, was her furniture nice, or did they see an ant crawling on something—but with Logan, Katie had none of those concerns.

He glanced at her pictures on the wall, and then sat down on the couch and patted his lap. Katie threw her keys on the end table and perched herself on his strong thighs.

“When your dad gets here, I think you should tell him the truth.”

Katie hated when Logan took a disapproving tone with her; it made her feel so young.

“And what would you have me say, Logan?” she retorted hotly. “He isn’t going to understand, and I just don’t want to disappoint him.” Katie knew that being an adult meant making your own choices, but that didn’t mean the choices you made only affected you. If you screwed up, the backlash might fall onto others, and Katie knew her father would say just that to her.

He shrugged. “I don’t care.” His voice was cold. “I’m not going to be some dirty little secret, Katie.”

She turned in his lap and took him in. She hadn’t thought of it like that. Kissing him, she apologized. “I’m sorry. You aren’t a secret to me. I guess I’m just trying to avoid the stress of an argument.”

He huffed. “An argument that will be so much worse if you keep lying.”