“I’m with Theresa,” Bronwyn said. “There’s a but in there somewhere.”

Her phone buzzed again and she shut her eyes for a brief second before lifting it to her ear.


“Gabe?” Her voice was more abrupt than she’d intended it to be.

“Hey,” his deep voice sounded uncertain. “Are you okay?”

“I’m fine . . . why?”

“It’s nothing . . .” There was a long pause. What was going on with him?

“Gabe, is everything okay? Is my dad okay? Billy?”

“No. Everything’s fine. It’s rather late, Bobbi.”

“I know. Which is why I don’t understand why you’re calling me.”

“When do you think you’ll be home?”

“What?” She actually drew the phone away from her ear to peer at it incredulously for a moment. “Why?”

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“Your dad is worried.”

“He is? How do you know that?”

“I spoke with him earlier.” His voice sounded weird.

“Well then, I’ll call him and tell him not to worry,” she said, and there was another long silence before he spoke again.

“Don’t. He’s asleep.”

“What? Gabe, you’re not making any sense. Are you drunk?”

“No . . . I mean I had a few drinks but nothing . . .” He sighed, the sound an exasperated huff, and broke off in midsentence. “Look, I just wanted to know when you’d be home.”

“That’s none of your business,” she told him.

“Where are you? I could escort you home,” he suggested.

“For God’s sake, Gabe, you’re being ridiculous. I’m hanging up now.” She disconnected the call before he had a chance to respond and switched the phone off.

“And that,” Theresa said, pointing at the phone, “would be the but we were discussing earlier.”

“Oh he’s a butt alright,” Bobbi seethed, and Lisa grinned.

“Do you want to talk about what happened the other night?” Theresa asked and the rest of them nodded encouragingly.

“I was drunk and I kissed Gabe,” she said, and more than one pair of eyes widened; only Theresa looked unsurprised.

“What did he do?” Alice asked.

“He kissed me back at first and then he stopped. And later that night, he was in his room with his shirt off and I . . . touched him,” she confessed, trying to keep her embarrassment at bay but failing.

“Touched him? How? Where?” Bronwyn questioned.

“His chest, he has a gorgeous chest.” There was a chorus of agreeing hums from the other women. “I touched him and he let me, before stopping me.”

“And what was this phone call about?” Lisa asked, nodding toward the phone in Bobbi’s hand.

Bobbi sighed and told them everything else that had happened over the weekend since The Kiss and leading up to the bizarre phone call. By the time she had finished they were all staring at her in disbelief.

“Firstly, Kyle Foster sounds adorable and if it weren’t for the fact that you’re head over heels in love with your idiotic friend, I would totally encourage you to tap that,” Lisa said. “And secondly, Gabe really is a butt but he sounds like a totally confused butt.” The other women laughed but Lisa ignored them, keeping her focus on Bobbi’s flushed face.

“Personally, I think he wants you and he has no idea how to deal with that,” Theresa stated.

“I agree,” Bronwyn said.

“Me too,” Alice concurred and Lisa indicated her agreement with a thumbs up.

“I’m not his type,” Bobbi said, shaking her head.

“I wasn’t Sandro’s type,” Theresa pointed out.

“Pierre preferred tall, skinny, flawless models,” the short, slightly plump, and scarred Alice said.

“Rick liked to date adrenaline junkies. A nerdy, bookshop owner was a far cry from his usual girlfriends,” Lisa added.

“Tastes change and what men—or women—think they want, isn’t necessarily the type of person they end up with,” Bronwyn said.

Sage words that made perfect sense of course, but none of them had had a years-long friendship to lose with the men in question. Bobbi shook her head and pointed to the abandoned vibrator that lay off to the side.

“What else can that thing do?”

“It can’t cuddle you afterward, that’s for sure,” Alice said with a frown.

“Or whisper Italian endearments in your ear.” This from Theresa who had a dreamy gleam in her eyes.

“Oh my God, you guys are the worst! I give up.” Bronwyn tossed the thing to the side just as her husband, Bryce, walked into the room. It landed at his feet and he looked down at it blankly. A flush crept up his face to the tips of his ears. His sharp ice-blue eyes flew up to meet his wife’s, and she had both hands over her mouth either to stifle a laugh or a scream, Bobbi couldn’t be sure which.

He said something in sign language that made Bronwyn go bright red, and the other women who could all understand sign language as well, laughed. Bobbi, who wasn’t as adept as they were, felt lost.

Bryce’s stern face melted into a grin, which made him go from scary to gorgeous in a split second.

“After Massive Marvin, nothing you ladies do can surprise me anymore,” he said in his carefully modulated voice, referring to a stripper they had all fawned over the previous year on another girls’ night. Bronwyn groaned and covered her eyes, causing Bryce’s grin to widen. “Anyway, I just came to check when you were wrapping it up? I’ve been getting frantic texts.”

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