After a quick shower, she decided to call Chase. He answered his cell phone almost immediately.

“Tell him to stop this,” she said, seething, before he’d even had a chance say hello.


“What?” he asked in confusion.

“Chase, tell him to stop! I’m not amused.” She hung up and tossed the phone aside.

“So what’s going on?” Chase asked Gabe, who was sitting in the den, staring at the muted television.

“What do you mean?” Gabe asked, looking up from the dancing couple on the screen.

“What the hell are you watching?” Chase was momentarily diverted by the garish costumes and blindingly white smiles.

“Some competition about vaguely famous people learning ballroom dancing, I think.” Gabe shrugged listlessly.

“Why are you watching it with the sound turned down?”

“The music is terrible,” Gabe said before going back to Chase’s original subject. “What did you mean by that first question?”

Still staring at the screen in horrified fascination, Chase stumbled around the back of the sofa and sat down next to Gabe.

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“Bobbi just called me.” That snagged Gabe’s interest and he sat up—wondering how pissed off she had been by his gesture. He knew her well enough to know that she wouldn’t have been happy, but it would have gotten her attention at least.

“She wants you to stop. She’s not amused.” Pretty much what Gabe had expected and he felt a reluctant smile tug at the corners of his mouth. He hadn’t felt like smiling in weeks, but one angry message from her and he felt like a drowning man who had been thrown a lifeline.

“What did you do?” Chase asked curiously—his eyes glued to the screen. The whirling couple had stopped dancing and now seemed to be standing in front of a panel of excitable judges.

“I sent her flowers,” Gabe said, and Chase choked before turning to stare at Gabe in complete disbelief.

“Uh . . .” His brother seemed at a loss for words.

“Roughly twelve dozen white roses. I imagine she’s pretty pissed off right now.”

“If you knew she’d be angry why did you send them?” Chase looked baffled.

“Because I knew that it would prompt a reaction from her,” Gabe said. “She’s been ignoring my calls.”

“Sending flowers was a pretty public thing to do,” Chase commented.

“I know.”

“Do you know what you’re doing?”

“God, I hope so,” Gabe said fervently. Chase merely studied him for a beat before allowing another gaudily outfitted couple on TV to distract him as they took to the dance floor.

“Hey, I’ve seen that guy before,” he said, grabbing the remote control from the coffee table. “That’s the guy from that early nineties archery action movie. Remember? We loved that movie when we were kids. What was the title?”

Gabe squinted at the screen and snorted.

“Yeah, I remember. We begged Mum to enroll us in archery classes after that,” Gabe recalled.

“And she stuck us in bloody ballet classes instead.” They both winced at the memory. Thankfully the ballet classes had only lasted a couple of months; their mother had been forced to remove them after the instructor complained about the eleven-year-old twins’ obstructive behavior. They had spent more time ruffling tutus and switching up everybody’s toe shoes than they had paying attention to the lessons.

“What was the title of that movie?” Gabe wondered aloud. Bobbi would know—she was awesome at remembering movie trivia and she had loved the movie as much as they had. At six years old she had still been young enough to score a plastic bow and arrow set with sucker cups on the ends of the arrows. She had had a fabulous time pretending to be the lead in her own action movie, constantly ambushing them when they least expected it. Gabe smiled at the memory. God, he missed her so much.

“Damn, how much work has this guy had done?” Chase leaned forward to peer more closely at the C-list actor who had once been a hero to them. Gabe grimaced at the plasticky sheen to the man’s skin. Chase turned the sound up and they both recoiled at the terrible rendition of “Yesterday” that the live band was offering up as an accompaniment to a halfway-decent waltz.

“He’s not too bad.” Chase was completely riveted by the dancing on the screen and Gabe left him to it. The music was too distracting and Gabe wasn’t in the right frame of mind to sit and watch television.

He went up to change into his swim trunks and spent a couple of hours relentlessly swimming laps in the hopes that it would tire him out enough to sleep through the night. He hadn’t had a decent night’s sleep since that last night with Bobbi and it was starting to wear him down.

On his way up to bed two hours later he passed the open door of the den and was surprised to see Chase still sitting there watching that same god-awful dancing show. It amused him enough to go into the room.

“Why are you still watching this?” he asked. Chase barely acknowledged him, keeping his eyes glued on the screen.

“It’s a marathon. Ssh,” he shushed urgently. “They’re leading up to a double elimination!” Rolling his eyes, Gabe turned and exited the room. The dramatic music reached a crescendo and the announcer’s voice rang out to be instantly followed by both boos and cheers.

“Oh my God, that’s crap. She was the better dancer out there!” Chase yelled, and followed that diatribe up with a string of colorful curses. Gabe left him to it and made his way upstairs, his mind back on Bobbi and his next plan of action.

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