He tilted his head back to look at me. “How is that supposed to help? You two don’t get along.”

“I’m not a fan,” I admitted. “But I can work around that. A woman-to-woman talk—if it’s done right—could help. It really couldn’t make things worse, right?” I hesitated before saying more. I meant well, but my good intentions did sound naïve.


He snorted. “There’s always worse.”

“Way to look on the bright side,” I chastised. “Does Trey know that you talked to Tatiana and she’s not moving in?”

“I texted him. Got nada back. But I really didn’t expect to.”

“Give him a little more time.”

“Eva, at the end of the day, he wishes I were totally gay. In his mind, being bisexual means I have to sleep around. He doesn’t get that just because I’m attracted to men and women doesn’t mean I can’t be faithful to one person. Or maybe he just doesn’t want to get it.”

I blew out my breath. “I don’t think I helped with that. He brought it up to me once and I didn’t explain things well.”

That had been eating at me for a while. I needed to reach out to Trey and set that straight. Cary had been in the hospital recovering from a vicious assault when Trey approached me. My mind hadn’t been at its sharpest at the time.

“You can’t fix everything for me, baby girl.” He rolled over onto his stomach and looked at me. “But I love you so much for trying.”

“You’re part of me.” I struggled to find the right words. “I need you to be okay, Cary.”

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“I’m working on it.” He scooped his hair back from his face. “I’m taking this weekend in Westport to deal with the possibility that Trey might be out of the mix. I have to be realistic about that.”

“You be realistic, I’ll be hopeful.”

“Have fun with that.” He sat up and put his elbows on his knees, his head hanging. “Which brings me back to Tatiana. I guess I am clear about that. We can’t be together. Baby or not, it wouldn’t work for her or me.”

“I respect that.”

It was hard not to say more. I would always give my best friend the support and reassurance he needed, but there were some hard lessons to be learned here. Trey, Tatiana, and Cary were all hurting—with a baby on the way to join them—because of Cary’s choices. He pushed those who loved him away with his actions, daring them to stay. It was a test rigged for failure. Facing the consequences might just get him to make a change for the better.

His grin was wry, one beautiful green eye peeking through the fall of his long bangs. “I can’t pick and choose based on what I’m going to get out of it. Sucks, but hey … I gotta grow up sometime.”

“Don’t we all?” I gave him an encouraging smile. “I quit my job today.”

Accepting what I’d done got easier every time I said it aloud.

“No shit?”

Looking up at the ceiling, I replied, “No shit.”

He whistled. “Should I break out the bourbon and some shot glasses?”

I shuddered. “Ugh. You know I can’t stand bourbon. And really, Cristal and flutes would be more appropriate for my resignation.”

“Seriously? You want to celebrate?”

“I don’t need to drown any sorrows, that’s for sure.” I stretched my arms out over my head and let the last of my tension go. “I’ve been thinking about it all day, though.”


“I’m good. Maybe if Mark had taken the news differently, I’d have second thoughts, but he’s leaving, too, and he’s been there way longer than the three months I’ve been there. It wouldn’t make sense for me to be more upset about moving on than he is.”

“Baby girl, things don’t have to make sense to be true.” Grabbing the remote, he turned the speaker volume down.

“You’re right, but I found Gideon at the same time I started at Waters Field and Leaman. Practically speaking, there’s no comparison between a job you’ve had three months and a husband you’re going to spend the rest of your life with.”

He shot me a look. “You went from sensible to practical. This just keeps getting worse.”

“Oh, shut up.” Cary never let me get away with the easy explanation. Since I was often good at deluding myself, his no-bullshit policy was a mirror I needed.

My smile faded. “I want more.”

“More what?”

“More of everything.” I looked his way again. “Gideon’s got this presence, you know? When he walks into a room, everyone straightens up and pays attention. I want that.”

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