I pulled the bottle away from my lips. “Well, that’s a nice bit of news to wrap up the day,” I muttered.

“What is?”


Arash and I both turned our heads to discover Eva bouncing through the open door of my office with only her smartphone in her hands. She was dressed in the same workout gear she’d been wearing the day I first saw her. Her ponytail was lighter nowadays and shorter, her body leaner and more defined. But she would always be that girl who took my breath away.

“Eva.” Arash stood quickly.

“Hey.” She flashed him a smile as she came toward me, rising onto her tiptoes to press a kiss to my mouth. “Hi, ace.”

As she lowered back down, she frowned. “What’s wrong? Is it a bad time?”

I slid an arm around her waist, pulling her close. I loved the feel of her body against mine; it soothed the anxiousness I felt whenever we were apart. “Never, angel. You come to me whenever you want.”

Her eyes sparkled. “Megumi and I are going to hit the gym together, but I’m early, so figured I’d drop in on you. Grab a glimpse of your hotness to motivate me.”

I dropped a kiss on her forehead. “Don’t wear yourself out,” I murmured. “That’s my job.”

There was a frown between her brows as I straightened. “Seriously. What’s the matter?”

Arash cleared his throat and gestured toward the door. “I’ll head back to my office.”

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I answered her question before he left. “Deanna is ghostwriting Corinne’s book.”

Eva stiffened. “Is that so?”

“She knows about Deanna?” Arash looked at us both with wide eyes.

My wife pinned him with her gaze. “Do you know Deanna?”

He held up both hands. “Never met her. Never even heard of her before today.”

Stepping out of my embrace, Eva shot me a look. “I told you.”

“I know.”

“Told him what?” Arash asked, shoving his hands in his pockets.

She took my water bottle and dropped into a club chair. “That she couldn’t be trusted. She’s butthurt because he got her naked, then blew her off. Not that I blame her. I’d be totally humiliated if I showed the goods but couldn’t make the sale.”

Arash sat back down on the sofa. “You have performance problems, Cross?”

“You have your eye on unemployment, Madani?” I took the other chair.

“She’d already played hide-the-salami with Gideon once,” Eva went on. “And she really liked the salami. Can’t blame her there, either. I told you what a great lay he is.”

Arash glanced at me, highly amused. “You did, yes.”

“Blows the top of your head right off. Your toes curl and—”

“For fuck’s sake, Eva,” I muttered.

She looked at me innocently. “Just trying to give some context, baby. And give credit where it’s due. Anyway, poor Deanna is torn between hating his guts and wanting to bang him like a drum. Since she can’t do the latter, she’s stuck with the former.”

I looked at her. “Are you done?”

My wife blew me a kiss, then took a big swallow of water.

Arash sat back. “Props for laying that all out for her,” he said to me. “You’re a saint, Eva, for putting up with him and the trail of scorned women in his wake.”

“What can I say?” Her lips pursed. “How’d you guys find out?”

“I’ve got an inside connection at the publishing house.”

“Oh. I thought maybe Deanna said something.”

“She won’t. They don’t want it known that Corinne isn’t writing the book, so they’ve got a confidentiality clause. They’re negotiating the contract now.”

Eva sat forward, her fingers picking at the label on the bottle. Her phone buzzed on the chair by her thigh and she picked it up to read the text. “Off I go. Megumi’s ready.”

She stood. Arash and I stood with her. She was in my arms a moment later, tilting her head back for a kiss. I gave it to her, nuzzling my nose against hers before she retreated.

“You’re so lucky I came along.” She handed me back the water. “Think of how much more trouble you would’ve gotten into if you’d stayed single any longer.”

“You’re trouble enough for a lifetime.”

She said good-bye to Arash, then headed out. I watched her leave, hating to see her go. She waved to Scott as she passed him, then disappeared.

“She got any sisters?” Arash asked, as we both sat down again.

“No, she’s one of a kind.”

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