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The Hug

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I've been waiting weeks for the Mountie to come back to Chicago so you'd think I'd be pleased the day's finally here. My stomach's churning so much I can't eat, keeping still is impossible, and I just keep thinking how upset he's gonna be when he finds his friend has gone.

I've rehearsed what I want to say to him so many times I'm starting to confuse myself. Serious or casual? I don't know anymore.

Welsh says not to worry, he'll talk to Fraser, explain everything, so everyone will be singing from the same hymn sheet by the time I meet him. That should make me feel better, but it doesn't.

Above all I'm worried I won't recognise him. Huey says that there's no way I'll be able to miss him. I think he's screwing with me so I got Welsh to show me a photograph. This assignment just got a hundred times more difficult.

The Mountie's gorgeous. I'm surprised he can walk anywhere without being mobbed. Hell, if I saw him in a bar on a Friday night I'd be buying him a drink and trying to crawl onto his lap by closing time.

I've gotta work with this man and those kinds of thoughts really aren't helping, and I'm not gonna tell you what I did last night while thinking about him, so don't even think about asking.

I'm just getting on with my day, no idea when he's actually going to arrive. I'm so keyed up I'm jumping at my own shadow and then I hear him say my name. 'Course it's not actually my name he's saying, but I turn around, put on my best smile and stride forward to give him a hug. These next few months are going to be the hardest of the hard, a bit like me, and that's got to be ironic, right?