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Tess peeked through the open door to her office and winced. She was late.
Even worse, Jeremy wasn't.
He was sitting with his back to her, facing her desk, head bent as he tapped out something on the screen of his phone. His dark brown hair was a little shorter than the last time she'd seen him, still long enough to put in a ponytail if he wanted, but not braidable. A thin strip of tanned skin was visible above the collar of his button-down shirt. He'd rolled up his sleeves almost to the elbows, exposing nicely toned forearms, and what the hell was she doing checking out his body?
Glancing around, she tried to decide which was the better course of actionbarge right in, or slip back out of the doorway and try to pretend she was just showing up? Or maybe leave altogether and call in an apology?
Suddenly, his head lifted, and he turned to look right at her, like he had a homing device or some damn thing. His distinctively Native features softened in a wide smile. "Hey, Tess."
"Sorry I'm late."
He shrugged. "You're busy, both with the job and the reunion. No skin off my back."
"That doesn't mean your time is any less valuable than mine." God, she sounded like a total stick in the mud. What was it about Jeremy that put her off her game so strongly?
Normally, she was a confident, cheerful, friendly person, able to work effectively with all kinds of people. But put her around Jeremy Wright, and she was a mess.
It didn't help that he was an inveterate flirt. Had been for as long as she'd known him, ever since he'd moved to Silverton seven months ago to become the manager of the hotel.
See, there, he was doing it again. Smiling and looking all happy to see her.
And none of it meant anything. It was just the way Jeremy Wright rolled.
Gritting her teeth, she rounded the desk and sat, putting as much solid material between them as possible. "So."
"So." He leaned back in his chair. "Let me guess. You were working on the reunion."
"What makes you think that?"
He said nothing, just raised one eyebrow.
"Okay, fine. I was working on the reunion. It's this weekend and I'm not even close to ready."
He waved a hand in a wide arc, indicating her cluttered office space. There were stacks of programs, boxes of name tags and piles of decorations covering every available surface, including the floor. "Correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't there supposed to be a committee working on this event?"
Tess grimaced. "Theoretically." The other committee members, though, had bailed once they realized there was actual work to be done. She'd been stuck with the lion's share for the past several months. And with the reunion just a couple of days away, that workload kept growing. Exponentially.
"I keep telling you, Tess. Let me pitch in. Use me." Jeremy leaned forward and braced his arms on his knees. His gaze fixed steadily on hers, pinning her in place.
Oh, God. She clenched her thighs together at the rush of heat his words caused. He probably had no idea she was taking that phrase the wrong way. But it didn't matter. He was so far out of her league, it wasn't even funny. She wasn't the type he'd be interested in anyway. Her whole life she'd been the best buddy, the sidekick, not the one the hot guys chased.
"You're not even from our graduating class," she pointed out.
"Nope." He waved a dismissive hand. "My reunion isn't for another"
"Shut up." As if she needed another reminder that not only was he out of her league, he was younger than her, too.