Best Friends, Secret Lovers

By: Jessica Lemmon

Yes, she thought glumly.

“Read this.” He opened an email addressed from Mac and backed away, taking his manly scent—and her bizarre reaction to it—with him.

“They’re threatening to leave,” he said.

She read the subject of the email aloud. “Tender of resignation?”

“Yes. From our CFO, director of human resources and vice president. They’re going to start a new company and take most of our office with them. Or at least that’s the threat. If I agree to Belinda’s suggestion and take an extended break, they’ll stick around and give me a second chance.”

“It’s mutiny.” She could hardly believe this many bigwigs at Monarch would agree to such an insane plan.

“To say the least. If we were to attempt to keep Monarch afloat after they left, I doubt we’d be able to stay open while we trained a new...everyone.” He gestured his frustration with a sweep of his arm.

He was right. Hiring that many new executives would take months. Monarch would fold like a pizza box.

“I’m not backing down.”

“What do they believe will change if you take an extended break?”

“They think I’m burned out and need to take some time to reflect.” He said it like it was a swear word.


How to agree and not side against Flynn? That was the question...

“Is reflecting so bad? You didn’t take bereavement after your father passed.”

His face hardened. Even twenty-three years younger than his late father, Flynn was a picture-perfect match for dear old Dad.

The execs were used to the way things were, and when Flynn implemented new things—good things that the company needed—the change hadn’t gone over well. Flynn was the future of Monarch and had always been more forward thinking than his father.

“It’s a bluff,” he said.

She wasn’t so sure. Mac was powerful. Both in position and in his ability to convince his colleagues to go along with his scheme.

“Would a monthlong sabbatical be that bad?” She turned in her chair and met his gaze, which burned through her. Eyes she’d looked into on many occasions, and never failed to make her feel stable and like she mattered.

“If I leave for a month, God knows what those dinosaurs would do to the place.” Flynn would never voluntarily abandon ship—even if it was for a break he was in desperate need of taking.

“Reid’s here. Gage is here. They wouldn’t let Mac ruin your company.” And neither would she... But she wouldn’t be here once she convinced Flynn to take a hiatus. Belinda had plainly told Sabrina to “get him out of here” and Sabrina wouldn’t leave him to his own devices. Without work distracting him, she knew he’d be unpacking some hefty emotional baggage.

She refused to let him go through that alone.


“So? Advice?” Sabrina raised her eyebrows at her younger brother, who lifted his frosted beer mug and shrugged one shoulder.

Luke had thick, dark hair like hers but was blessed with their mother’s electric-green eyes. The jerk. The best Sabrina could hope for in that department was “greenish.”

“Leave him alone?” He smirked. Two years her junior, Luke’s twenty-eight was balanced by an even-keeled sense of humor and a huge brain. He was gifted and had embarrassed her a million times in the past by challenging some poor, hapless soul to a math contest he’d always win.

“Kidding.” Luke gave her hand a playful tap. “He’s been through hell, I’ll give him that.”

“He has. And that pact is ridiculous.”

“Eh, I can’t fault him for that.”

Of course he couldn’t. Luke was male and therefore incapable of being reasonable. “You’re saying that because of Dawn.”

Luke’s eyes darted to one side and his jaw went taut at the mention of his ex’s name. “You’re one to talk, Sab. Name the last guy you’ve been over the moon for besides your precious Flynn.”

“I’m not in love with Flynn, moron. You’ve been trotting out that argument for over a decade now. We’re friends and it works, and stop changing the subject.”

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