“Whatever is the matter, darling?” Maeve asked, tilting her head to one side.

Connor bit his lip. How could he ask her without giving away what he already knew? He swallowed and then said, “I stopped by earlier and… you weren’t here.”

“I was having lunch with a friend,” Maeve said, shrugging.

Frowning, Connor said, “What sort of friend?”

Maeve took the question exactly how he’d hoped she would. She assumed he was jealous because she might be stepping out on his late father. She chuckled softly and patted his hand. “Don’t you worry, honey,” she said. “He’s recently lost his wife and we met at group for people who’ve lost loved ones. We’re just friends. Neither of us is ready for anything more than that.”

A faint smile touched Connor’s lips. “So, you just… meet up because you’ve forged a friendship over your… shared grief?”

“Well, of course,” Maeve said. She chuckled. “I don’t even know what he does for a living.” She shook her head, still chuckling, even as a wave of relief washed through Connor.


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