From Enemies to Expecting(4)

By: Kat Cantrell

“Mr. McLaughlin,” she murmured. “Perhaps you’d give me my hand back so we can get to work?”

He dropped it like he’d discovered a live copperhead in his grip and cleared his throat. “Yeah. Good idea.”

They retrieved a sealed envelope from the show’s host, and Logan followed Trinity to an area with an easel and large pad of paper for brainstorming. Her fingers itched to mark up those pristine white pages with diagrams. If that didn’t jump-start her missing muse, nothing would. Though she’d tried a lot of things.

The cameraman wedged into the small area with them, still rolling. Perfect. She’d have to come up with more outrageous things to do, just to ensure the editors had plenty to work with. Coming in late had been a stroke of brilliance. And McLaughlin’s face when she’d informed him he couldn’t hold fifteen minutes against her...priceless. He was obviously a rule follower. Shame.

He tore open the envelope and pulled out the contents, scanning it quickly. “We have to run a lemonade stand in Klyde Warren Park. Whichever team makes the most money wins the task and avoids execution.”

“Excellent.” Rubbing her hands together, she then quickly sketched out her vision for the stand, filling in small details like cross-hatching to indicate shadowing. “Orange will be the best color to paint the booth. Good contrast against green, assuming we’ll be in the grassy part of the park.”

Her partner loomed at her shoulder, breathing down her neck as he stretched one muscular arm out to stab the pad. “What is this?”

“A sign. That says Trinity’s Lemonade.”

What did the man bathe in that smelled so...manly? The clean, citrusy notes spread through her senses and caught the attention of her erogenous zones, none of which had gotten the memo that she did not go for Texas boys who looked like they lived outdoors.

The man owned a sports team, for God’s sake. He’d probably need a dictionary to hold a conversation over drinks, which would no doubt include beer and a hundred TVs with a different game on each one. She and Logan were ill matched for a reality game show, let alone outside one, his rock-hard pecs aside. Her fingertip still tingled from when she’d poked him, not at all prepared for the body she’d discovered under that blue T-shirt.

“Why would we call it Trinity’s Lemonade, exactly?” he asked, his deep voice rumbling in her ear. “Logan’s Lemonade sounds better. Starts with the same letter.”

“It’s alliterative, you mean,” she supplied sweetly. “I understand the dynamics of appealing to the public better than you do, honey. So let’s stick with our strengths, shall we?”

She stroked a few more lines across her work of art and then yelped as her partner spun her around to face him. His mouth firmed into a flat line and he towered over her even in her five-inch Stuart Weitzman sandals. Trinity was used to looking men in the eye, and the fact that she couldn’t do that with Logan McLaughlin put her on edge.

“You’ve done a really good job of not mentioning your strengths, darling,” he threw in sarcastically. “I run a multimillion-dollar sports franchise. What do you do, Ms. Forrester?”

“Haven’t I mentioned it?” she tossed off casually when she knew good and well she hadn’t—on purpose. The moment a man like him heard the word cosmetics, he’d make more snap judgments and she’d had enough of that.

At this point, though, she needed to impress upon him that she was in her sweet spot. “I’m the CMO at Fyra.”

Blandly, he surveyed her. “The makeup company?”

“The very same. So now we’re all caught up,” she informed him brightly. “Marketing is my gig. Yours is figuring out which guy can hit the ball hardest. When we have a task that requires balls, I’ll let you be in charge.”

This lemonade stand graphic was the first inspired thing she’d done in weeks, which was frankly depressing. Her muse had deserted her, which was alarming enough in and of itself, but the timing was horrific. Fyra planned to launch its premier product in the next ninety days. Fortunately, no one knew she’d run dry in the creativity department. It wasn’t like she could tell her business partners that she had a mental block when it came to Formula-47. They were counting on her.

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