“What are you doing here? And where are the rest of your clothes?”

The three year old fell asleep at 7:30 pm and I figured I could get a really good night’s sleep. Once again, I was wrong and now the SEAL is sitting on the side of my bed again.

I wonder if Cece knows he’s gone.

“I snuck out for a while.” Jake reads my mind, dangles the cuffs from his finger and rolls his eyes. “I’ve been humoring her, since she’s getting a kick out of it. She claims she’s editing now but she’s mumbling other men’s names. Some guys named Zack and Ty.”

“Funny, I’ve never seen you as the jealous type.”

“Don’t try and change the subject,” he grumbled.

“I’m not doing any more on your book until Nick’s is finished.” I consider the benefits of appeasing him and decide to go for it. “But I’ve found you someone.”

“I know. Her name’s Cece and I’ve got to get back before she finds out I’m gone. Gonna have to do something to make her forget about that Ty person. I’ve got a reputation to uphold.”

“I meant I’ve found your heroine.”

“Oh.” He pauses. “So, what’s she like?”

“She’s rich. Or at least she was. She just had the trust fund pulled out from under her.”

“How come?”

“She ran out on her own wedding and then enlisted in the marines.”

“I’m going to fall in love with a marine?” His voice is doubtful.

“She’s a doctor,” I explain.

“What kind of doctor? You know I hate doctors. She’s not going to be a shrink, is she?”

“I don’t know yet. That makes it all the more interesting.”

He snorts and the three year old stirs.

“You need to leave. Things between Nick and Cass are getting complicated. And the faster I can uncomplicate things, the better for you.

“But you’re sleeping,” he points out.

“Sometimes that’s where I get my best plotting done,” I tell him, but he still looks skeptical.

“If you get stuck, just raise the stakes.”

“Where did you hear that?”

He rolls his eyes. “Cece and I do talk, you know. And I’ll leave, but there’s a line behind me. There’s some guy named Sin – looks pretty pissed. Says you left him and some chick…”

“Tori.”

“Whatever. He said something about a bathtub and unfinished business.” He paused. “You like doing things like that, don’t you?”

“Who else is out there?”

“Some guy calling himself Oz. He’s got this crazy woman holding a gun to his back. I don’t think your husband’s going to be too happy about this.” Jake looks happy to announce all of this to me. He loves the drama.

I sigh loudly.

“I’ll handle them for you,” he says, perking up immediately.

“No. I need you in one piece. Just go.”

Surprisingly, he listens. “I’ve got one question, though.”

“Go ahead.” I don’t know why I encourage him. It’s going to be a long enough night as it is, what with Sin and Oz pounding down the door.

“Do I have to give up Cece?”

The moment comes when a character does or says something you hadn’t thought about. At that moment, he’s alive and you leave it to him. – Graham Greene

Steph T.