Kellan grabbed her shoulders, shaking her gently.
“Amanda. Amanda, wake up.”
Amanda mumbled something unintelligible. She opened her eyes slowly. Then she looked up at Kellan and Christopher.
“What time is it? Oh, my God. Did I doze off?”
“Yes. You need to get ready for your appointment, Amanda. You’ll be able to get a few Z’s there.”
Amanda frowned, sitting up.
“What appointment?”
“Nathan’s surprise, remember?”
Amanda’s eyes widened. She stood up.
“Oh, my. The envelope!”
“I know about the surprise. Nathan told me so I could take you.”
Amanda nodded, running a hand through her hair.
“Shall we go now?”
“If you want. We have fifteen minutes. Are you ready?” Kellan asked.
Amanda looked down at her clothes. She thought she was okay enough.
“Yeah. Let’s go.”
Amanda grabbed her sweater and put it on. Then she went to her bedroom to retrieve her purse. When she came back and saw Christopher, she went red.
“What’s wrong?” he asked.
“Nothing. I just…see you later.”
Christopher nodded, smiling.
“See you too,” he replied. Christopher smiled as if he was enjoying a private joke. He wasn’t going to forget what it felt like to kiss and to touch Amanda.
The three of them left the apartment. Christopher told Amanda to have a good time, and then went his own way. Kellan and Caldwell led Amanda back to the car.
“What happened in there?”
Amanda looked at Kellan, a little confused. She thought about what Christopher had confessed to her.
“Nothing. I was just a little tired.”
“Where we’re going now will recharge your batteries. Trust me, you’ll enjoy it.”

The last surprise gift happened to be an appointment with a masseuse. Amanda couldn’t believe it when Kellan had pulled up outside of a beauty salon. On their way inside, Amanda asked what they were doing there.
“You’re getting a massage.”
Amanda’s mouth had opened wide in delight.
“That’s just what I need right now!”
When Amanda entered, she was taken to a room almost right away. She was told to strip down and wait while the masseuse arrived. Amanda did so, and then laid face down on a long table.
The masseuse, a woman in her late thirties, arrived a few minutes later. She greeted Amanda, but didn’t seem to know that she was modestly famous. The two women did small talk while the woman covered part of Amanda’s body with a towel.
“How long will this be?”
“One hour,” the masseuse replied. “You may talk or you may take a nap while I work. I recommend you don’t fall too deep into sleep because I’ll be asking you to turn over halfway through.”
“All right.”
Amanda had only once gotten a massage. It had been during her trip to Europe. She’d chosen to pamper herself to see if it would help erase the pain of Liam’s death. The massage had felt so heavenly that all worries and pain were erased from Amanda’s head, at least temporarily.
This massage was almost as good. The woman started with the muscles at the back of Amanda’s neck. Instantly, she relaxed. The massage seemed to erase her weariness as it progressed.
I love you, Nathan, Amanda thought to herself.
An hour later, a beep sounded. Amanda looked at the masseuse.
“Done,” she said. The woman had just finished on Amanda’s feet. “You may dress now.”
The woman left. Amanda got dressed, and then she went back to the front. She’d been able to get a short nap while getting the massage. Her energies seemed to have been restored.
“Where else are we going?” Amanda asked Kellan when they were back on the road.
“Home. You’re to take a bath and then get ready. Nathan is taking you out for dinner this evening. He’s picking you up and driving. We’ll follow you.”
Amanda felt so good that she all but forgot about Christopher’s ill-timed admission. She brought a couple of fingers to her lips. That kiss should have been for Judith.
When Amanda got back to her apartment, Emmy was there again. She was watching This Means War.
“Is my poor friend on a solo date?”
Emmy pouted, putting on a sad face.
“Yeah. Judith doesn’t want to go out. I can’t bribe her with anything, not even Christopher.”
Amanda cleared her throat.
“Why don’t you call Brad?”
“I don’t want to interrupt him. He must be very busy right now.”
Amanda sat down next to Emmy, putting an arm around her.
“Call him anyway. Brad would love to hear from you.”
Emmy looked at Amanda, sighing.
“I guess there’s nothing to lose.”
“That’s my girl,” said Amanda, standing up. “I’ll go take a shower, just so you know if anyone shows up.”



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