Come a Little Closer Bonus Epilogue

The parking lot of The Right Attitude was empty, save for Jonah’s truck.

“Looks like he’s already inside.” Sam released her seatbelt and stared at the hideous cinderblock building. It was a far cry from the last time she’d been here. God willing, there’d be no more reason after this.

Griff took her hand. “You okay?”

“Yeah. I’ll be glad when a decision is made and we’re free of this albatross.”

There’d been so many changes the last couple of months, merging their lives together and planning for a bright and happy future. This was the last shadow on her happiness, the last thing she and Jonah had to do regarding their father’s estate, such as it was, before they could all turn their attention to the more pleasant business of Christmas.

“Then let’s get to it.”

A frigid wind had Sam hunching her shoulders and leaning into the shelter of her husband’s arm. Inside, the bar was eerily silent, no hum of a crowd, no tinny radio blaring. Chairs were stacked upside down on all the tables, and for once, all the fluorescent lights were on. One flickered anemically over the pool table, where Jonah stood writing in a notebook.

Sam wrinkled her nose in distaste as she noted the bra border was still up. “I guess Harley didn’t think disposing of the bras was part of the cleaning we asked for.”

“I think we did good for him to sweep the floor. He wasn’t exactly happy we shut the place down.” Jonah took an assessing gaze around the room and wrote something else.

“What are you scribbling about? Lists of repairs needed?”

“Some. There are things that need doing no matter what we do with the place. A real clean, fresh paint, replacing light bulbs.”

Griff snorted. “You sure you want more light in here to highlight the actual state of the place?”

“Seriously.” Sam considered taking down one of the chairs to sit and thought better of it. “I don’t think paint is going to do nearly enough to camouflage the fact that the place is soulless and butt ugly. It seems like throwing good money after bad.”

“It won’t win any prizes. But the structure is actually solid. Getting rid of Dad’s bad taste, scraping off years of dirt, grime, and grease will open up the market to more potential buyers.”

“Because we have so many of those in Eden’s Ridge.” Sam thought it would be better razed to the ground. But that was probably her old resentment talking.

“You never know. With the functional kitchen, someone might want to open a restaurant. It can’t do anything but up what we can get out of it if we strip away as much as we can of what it used to be and provide a relative blank slate. The place has potential. Or could, with a helluva lot of elbow grease and sweat equity.”

Griff went brows up. “I think you’ve got more imagination than me, man.”

“I don’t know about that, but I’ve got time.”

Something in Jonah’s voice told Sam he was considering other options.

“What are you thinking?”

“Do you absolutely want to get rid of it?”

“I can say unequivocally that don’t want anything to do with this place.”

“But do you want or need the money from a sale in a hurry?”

“You know I never counted on getting anything from Dad. The money isn’t an issue for me. Are you thinking of coming home and renovating to run it yourself?” She couldn’t imagine her brother being satisfied with that, but maybe he needed more time to figure his new civilian life out.

“No. Running a bar is the last thing I have any interest in doing. But it makes sense to put in some sweat equity to maximize what we can get out of it. We can afford to take some time for that, rather than accepting the first low-ball offer to come our way just to offload the thing. Either way, you won’t have to do anything with it. Brax and Holt—he’s another of my buddies from Audrey’s program—are coming down next month to help me with it. It’ll give us a project while we decide what we want to do with ourselves.”

Sam wondered if he’d ultimately decide to come home to stay, but she didn’t dare bring that up as a possibility, lest Jonah balk. If he was meant to come home, he’d do it in his own time.

“Working with your hands is a good way to clear your head,” Griff agreed. “We’ll be sorry to miss seeing them, though.”

“Goin’ somewhere?”

“We are, actually.” Sam slid her arm around Griff’s waist. “I’m taking a sabbatical next semester. We want to do some traveling. Italy, France, Germany, the UK. Wherever else strikes our fancy.”

Jonah nodded. “Delayed honeymoon. Makes sense. You had to get right back to work after the wedding.”

She struggled to keep a straight face and casual tone. “Well, that and we won’t have much chance for a while once the baby comes.”

Her brother froze. “Baby?” He blinked, as if she’d just started spouting Farsi. “Baby? You’re pregnant?”

Unable to hold in her delighted grin, Sam laid a hand over her still-flat belly. “You’re gonna be an uncle.”

His usually serious face transformed with utter delight. “An uncle! Holy shit! Sam, that’s amazing.” On a whoop, he scooped her up and spun her around. “Wait, we should get out of here. There’s no telling what you’re breathing in.”

The moment he set her on her feet, he tried to herd her toward the door.

Sam dug in her feet. “I haven’t yakked yet, so we should be okay.”

“Does Mom know?”

“Not yet. We have something special planned for her for Christmas, so keep your trap shut.”

He mimed locking his mouth and throwing away the key, then pulled Griff in for a back-thumping hug. “Seriously, this is amazing news. Mom’s gonna be over the moon. Congratulations. Both of you.”

Griff pulled her back to his side, pressing a kiss to her temple. “Best Christmas present I could get.”

Beaming up at him, she linked hands with the two most important men in her life. “And here’s to many more.”


I know you can’t wait to see Jonah get his happy ending! You can start his series with Mixed Up with a Marine, where he and his pals get started on their bakery. Or jump to the prequel, Rescued By a Bad Boy to get Brax and Mia’s backstory.