A Fine Mess (Over the Top #2) - Kelly Siskind



Whoever wrote the sixties song “Breaking Up Is Hard to Do” didn’t know the half of it. I’ve been living in Breakup Limbo for a year. A quiet town, population: two. Three hundred and sixty-five days of indecision. Each month, I wonder when I’ll find the courage to break up with Kevin, crushing our eleven years together. Each month, my fear and nerves and doubt feed my uncertainty. Then my design partner and boss, Sawyer West, comes to town, and I’m a walking mess.

We stand back from the takeout counter, Sawyer with his arms crossed, me biting my lip, while we examine the chalkboard menu above. Normally, ordering lunch is a simple affair. I might take a while deciding between a wrap or a salad, sushi or dim sum, but I don’t stare at the menu as if the letters are rearranging themselves.

That only happens when I’m with Sawyer.

He squints at the scrawled letters. “I’m obviously getting the Pig Wrap. Chipotle bacon and porchetta were invented for me. You know what you want?”

You, I should say. I’ll take all six feet, the sandy hair, brown eyes, wide shoulders, and lean body to go. With an extra dimple and sexy smile on the side, please. Unfortunately, my boyfriend might put up a fuss when I show up with my purchase.

“Can’t decide,” I say. The theme of my life these days.

A month ago, I dragged Shay and Raven out for a girls’ night. I was desperate to unload my dizzying thoughts about my stagnant relationship with Kevin, and I laid out the details. How we’d grown apart. That I loved him, but wasn’t in love with him. They were the same words I’ve been parroting mentally for a year as I flip through old photos solo, gorge on chocolate, and wonder when we lost what we had. It all seemed clear in that moment. I was sure I’d march home and finally end things with him. But when I got there, he smiled at me from our couch, his nose poking above his book. “Your mom called. I told her I’d drive up north this weekend to help with that charity drive.”

My resolve plummeted, and anxiety cramped my stomach. He’s a good man, I thought. He loves my family as much as I love his. So I said nothing. I went to sleep alone, the way I often do, my abdomen twisting in discomfort, and when he crawled into bed, we slept with our backs to each other.

Now Sawyer’s in town from Vancouver, his first visit since that night, and I hate myself a little more for not being strong enough to move on with my life.

Oblivious to my turmoil, he says, “If you can’t decide what to order, we’ll have to break it down. Pros and cons.” He steps behind me as a group of three squeezes past us to order at the counter. The toes of his shoes touch the heels of my ankle boots.

“Okay,” I say all breathy, like I’m twenty-six going on sixteen.

“The Veggie Vixen is off the list for obvious reasons. Portobello mushrooms don’t replace meat. The Napa Wrap could be decent since turkey is your go-to choice. The apple is a plus, and you eat kale like it’s going out of style. But the blue cheese is a deal-breaker.”

“I like blue cheese.”

“No, you don’t. No one actually likes something that smells like ass. And the honey-mustard dressing is questionable. If they use that Dijon crap, it’s a hard no.”

I tilt my head so he can see me roll my eyes, and my hair catches the stubble along his jaw. He brushes the strands away, grazing my ear.

My IQ joins my belly in a free fall.

It’s been like this since Aspen, my feelings and attraction to Sawyer growing by the week. The day. The minute. I often pick apart the domino effect that led us together, a string of innocent coincidences: Shay staying in her toxic relationship with her ex, him dumping her, then Raven and I taking her on a girls’ trip to Aspen. If Shay hadn’t skied into Kolton, we wouldn’t have knocked on his hotel door and met his friends. I wouldn’t have looked into Sawyer’s brown eyes as we talked design and clothing for five days, my I have a boyfriend the only thing keeping him at a platonic distance. Now I’m working for his retail chain, while crushing on my boss.

And I still have my boyfriend.

Another couple hurries in, the man accidentally brushing