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It's Complicated

Cover of It's Complicated

It's Complicated

Tucker Springs Series, Book 7
by L.A. Witt

After their umpteenth breakup, Brad Sweeney and Jeff Hayden are living apart and starting over from scratch. The morning after a promising first date, they're more optimistic than ever that they can make it work this time . . . until Jeff's ex-wife and business partner calls to announce she's pregnant with Jeff's baby. Brad's already competing with a demanding business for Jeff's time. Now there's a baby on the way, and worse, he's afraid Jeff is still carrying a torch for the woman who's carrying his child.

Jeff is desperately trying to keep his life together, but before he can even get his head around the news that he's going to be a father, his ex announces that she wants to leave Tucker Springs. Now he either has to take over her role at the shop while ferrying the baby back and forth from Denver, or move the business—and himself—with her.

Brad and Jeff knew reconciliation wouldn't be easy, but they're rapidly running out of room for compromise. And sooner or later, something has to give.

After their umpteenth breakup, Brad Sweeney and Jeff Hayden are living apart and starting over from scratch. The morning after a promising first date, they're more optimistic than ever that they can make it work this time . . . until Jeff's ex-wife and business partner calls to announce she's pregnant with Jeff's baby. Brad's already competing with a demanding business for Jeff's time. Now there's a baby on the way, and worse, he's afraid Jeff is still carrying a torch for the woman who's carrying his child.

Jeff is desperately trying to keep his life together, but before he can even get his head around the news that he's going to be a father, his ex announces that she wants to leave Tucker Springs. Now he either has to take over her role at the shop while ferrying the baby back and forth from Denver, or move the business—and himself—with her.

Brad and Jeff knew reconciliation wouldn't be easy, but they're rapidly running out of room for compromise. And sooner or later, something has to give.

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  • Chapter One

    I thought I was nervous on our first date.

    Which I had been. God, I'd been a wreck. But tonight? Sitting outside the restaurant, drumming my thumbs on the steering wheel in between texting with my friend Nathan, nervous wreck didn't even begin to describe it. Four years, a few breakups, and a year of struggling to work things out had led up to tonight.

    Even if things don't go perfectly, Nathan sagely said via yet another text, so what? You guys have been trying too long to fix it for one night to screw it up.

    He was probably right. If one night could blow this thing out of the water, we'd have been history a long, long time ago. Assuming, of course, this didn't turn out to be the straw that broke the camel's—

    Don't think like that, I reminded myself again and again.

    I wrote back to Nathan: OK. He'll be here shortly. I'm heading in.

    My thumb hovered over the button, as if the text committed me to getting out and going in, but then I bit the bullet and hit Send. As soon as the message was gone, I stepped out of the car, straightened my jacket, and headed inside.

    I hadn't been here before. Neither had Jeff. We'd both agreed it would be fitting to start over in a new place, on unfamiliar ground—a fresh start in every way possible. And besides, it wasn't like we could go to the restaurant where we'd had our first date. Just last year, it had been demolished to make way for a hipster bistro with a vegan menu and poetry slams.

    So we'd agreed on the Whitewater Grill. Nathan said his boss had insisted it was good and that the prime rib was utterly spectacular. Guess we'd find out.

    The restaurant was dimly lit, almost completely dark except for flickering candles on every small, intimate table. It wasn't coat-and-tie formal, but it was upscale enough I was glad I'd opted for a jacket.

    A pretty brunette in a crisp, white shirt smiled at me from behind the hostess's podium. "Can I help you, sir?"

    "I— Yes. I have a seven o'clock reservation for two." When had my mouth gone dry? "Brad Sweeney."

    She found the reservation and took me to a table on the far side of the restaurant by the windows, promising to send Jeff over as soon as he arrived. After she'd gone, I opened one of the leather-bound menus, scanning the entrées in between glancing at the front door.

    My phone vibrated. This time, the message hadn't come from Nathan.

    I'm on my way. Will be about 15 min late.

    Fifteen minutes? Not bad.

    I'm here, I sent back. Should I order wine?

    A minute or so later: Get something red. :-) Be there shortly.

    I smiled and reached for the wine list. So he really was on his way. Otherwise, he'd have told me to wait. He'd be here soon.

    Oh God. He would be here soon, wouldn't he?

    I took a gulp of ice water. When the waitress came by, I ordered a bottle of cabernet sauvignon. And a refill of water. Another after she'd brought and presented the wine.

    I closed my eyes and took a few slow, deep breaths. I was overreacting. It wasn't like this was a first date with a stranger who might be nothing like the description from his online profile or by a well-meaning mutual friend. We knew each other. Hell, we already knew each other's irritating quirks and habits. There was no need for first-date bravado and being on our best behavior, even if my fluttering stomach begged to differ.

    If anything, this was just a formality. Going out to dinner to mark the first night of trying again. So, no pressure or anything.

    Nope, no pressure at all.

    Fuck.

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Tucker Springs Series, Book 7
L.A. Witt
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