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CHAPTER ONE

Brina

My parents told me I should always help someone in need if I had the means. After nearly destroying my relationship with Luke by trying to help my parents, I realized there is a line that can be crossed when helping others—and it’s blurry as hell. But working for the Kingston Foundation has awakened that longing inside me; the desire to feel needed.

Luke stands in front of the full-length mirror adjusting his tie and I can’t believe that after four years together and three years of marriage, he still takes my breath away.

“Are you going to be home in time for the birthday dinner I’m making?” I ask as I help him with his tie.

“You don’t need to cook me dinner, honey. That’s Myrna’s job.”

He plants a soft kiss on my forehead and sets off toward the walk-in closet to get his coat. I follow behind him.

“But I want to make you dinner,” I insist. “I don’t like having everything done for me all the time like I’m incompetent. We’ve had this conversation a million times.”

“Brina, we already spend enough time apart as it is. I don’t see the problem in accepting a little help so that we can spend my birthday together.”

“Now you’re going to make it like I don’t want to spend time with you on your birthday?”

“Please, baby. Can we talk about this tomorrow? You can make me dinner today if that’s what you really want. I’ll wait.”

I heave a deep sigh because I know he’s right. I wouldn’t get home from the ribbon cutting and the schmooze-fest with the trustees of the Kingston Foundation until almost six in the evening. By the time I finish making dinner, Luke will have been waiting over two hours. Then we’ll probably have a quick dinner with Rhianne or Lucas screaming through at least half of the meal. By the time we get to bed, we’ll be too exhausted, mentally and physically, to do anything more than get in a quickie before we fall asleep. The only time we ever get time to ourselves, to really indulge in each other, is when I allow Myrna, the nanny slash housekeeper, to help me out. And I hate admitting defeat.

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