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“Mom. You’re still up.”

Jessie’s mother raised an eyebrow and smiled. “Hard to break the habit of waiting for a child to come home, whether she’s nine or twenty-nine. You and Heather had fun shopping?”

For my upcoming fling? Jessie nodded and broke the seal on the cap of her water, resisting the urge to grab the bright pink Victoria’s Secret bag out of her mother’s hand. Her mother just hooked a finger around a strap and pulled a very brief lacy bra—bright red—from the tissue paper. She held it up and gave Jessie a knowing smile.

“For a special occasion?”

Jessie had never lied to her mother, and she wasn’t going to start now, though she felt her cheeks burning. “Mick Landers asked me out,” she blurted.

“Who?” Her mom furrowed her brow.

“The detective who found Charlie.”

“Oh, right.” Her mom nodded and dumped the contents of the bag on the counter, considered the jumble of lace and silky fabric then smiled. “Well, it’s about time!”

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