A Wife for a Westmoreland(8)

By: Brenda Jackson

Lucia loved her job as managing editor. Chloe was editor in chief, but since her baby—a beautiful little girl named Susan—was born six months ago, Chloe spent most of her time at home taking care of her husband and daughter. Lucia had earned a business-management degree in college, but when Chloe had gotten pregnant she had encouraged Lucia to go back to school and get a master’s degree in mass communications to further her career at Simply Irresistible. Lucia only needed a few more classes to complete that degree.

Lucia figured it would only be a matter of time before Chloe and Ramsey decided they would want another baby, and the running of Simply Irresistible’s Denver office would eventually fall in her lap.


She jumped when Chloe said her name with a little more force, getting her attention. “What? You scared me.”

Chloe couldn’t help but smile. It had been a long time since she’d seen her best friend so preoccupied. “I was asking you a question.”

Lucia scrunched up her face. “You were?”


“Oh, what was your question?”

Chloe shook her head, smiling. “I asked if you were all right. You seem preoccupied about something and I want to know what. Things are looking good here. We doubled our print run for April’s issue since the president is on the cover, so that shouldn’t cause you any concern. What’s going on with you?”

Lucia nibbled on her bottom lip. She needed to tell someone about what happened last night and since Chloe was her best friend, she would be the logical person. However, there was a problem with that. Chloe was married to Ramsey, who was Derringer’s oldest brother. There was no doubt in Lucia’s mind Chloe would keep her mouth closed about anything if she asked her to, but still…

“Okay, Lucia, I’m only going to ask you one more time. What’s wrong with you? You’ve been acting spaced out since I got here, and I doubt you were listening to anything Barbara was saying during the production meeting. So what’s going on with you?”

Lucia breathed in deeply. “It’s Derringer.”

Frowning, Chloe stared. “What about Derringer? Ramsey called and checked on him this morning and he was doing fine. All he needed was a dose of pain medication and a good night’s sleep.”

“I’m sure he got the dose of pain medication, but I don’t know about the good night’s sleep,” Lucia said drily, before taking a long sip of cappuccino.

“And why don’t you think he got a good night’s sleep?”

Lucia shrugged, started to feign total ignorance to Chloe’s question and then decided to come clean. She looked up and met her friend’s curious gaze.

“Because I spent the night with him and I know for certain we barely slept at all.”

She could tell from the look that suddenly appeared on Chloe’s face that she had shocked her friend witless. Now that she had confessed her sins, she was hoping they could move on and talk about something else, but she should know better than to think that.

“You and Derringer finally got together?” Chloe asked. The shocked expression had been replaced by a smile.

“Depends on what you mean by got together. I’m no longer a virgin, if that’s what you mean,” Lucia said evenly. “But he was so over the top on painkillers he probably doesn’t remember a thing.”

The smile dropped from Chloe’s lips. “You think so?”

“I know so. He looked right in my face and asked me for my name.”

She took the next ten minutes and told Chloe everything, including the part about the panties she had left behind. “So that’s the end of it,” Lucia finished her tale by saying.

Chloe shook her head. “I really don’t think so for two reasons, Lucia. First, you’re in love with Derringer and have been for a very long time. I don’t see that coming to an end any time soon. In fact, now that the two of you have been intimate, you’re going to see him in a whole new light. Whenever you run into him, your hunger for him will automatically kick in.”

Chloe’s expression became even more serious when she said, “And you better hope Derringer doesn’t find your panties. If he does find them and can’t remember the woman he took them off of, he will do everything in his power to track her down.”

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