“It’s a five-minute sketch. You can tell him to make the front longer.”

Leaning forward, I grabbed the bottle of wine we’d opened earlier and added more to my glass. Journey’s greatest hits piped out through the surround sound speakers, the volume on low. The rest of the penthouse was quiet and dark¸ the living room illuminated by two end table lamps.


“It’s too … contemporary,” I complained. “Too modern.”

“Uh, yeah.” He lifted his head to look at the drawing again. “That’s what makes it cool.”

“It’s trendy, Cary. When I have kids, they’ll look at it and wonder what I was thinking.” I took a sip of my wine and ran my fingers through his thick hair. “I want something timeless. Like Grace Kelly or Jackie Kennedy.”

“Kids, huh?” He leaned into my touch, like a cat. “If you hurry up, we can push strollers through the park together and plan playdates.”

“Ha! Maybe in ten years.” That sounded about right to me. Ten years of having Gideon to myself. Time for us to both grow a little more, smooth things out and find our groove.

Things were getting better every day, but we remained a volatile couple with a tempestuous relationship. What we’d argued about earlier in his office?… I still didn’t know. That was Gideon, though. As sleek, wild, and dangerous as a wolf. Eating out of my hand one minute and snapping at it the next. Which was usually followed by fucking me like a beast, so … it worked for me.

“Yeah,” Cary said morosely. “It’ll take ten years—and immaculate conception—for you to get knocked up if you don’t start nailing him again.”

“Ugh.” I yanked on his hair. “Not that it’s any of your business, but I rocked his world last night.”

“Did you?” He leered at me over his shoulder. “That’s my girl.”

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I smirked. “Going to rock it again when he gets home.”

“I’m jealous. I’m not getting any. Zip. Zero. Zilch. My palm’s going to have a permanent indentation from my lonely dick.”

Laughing, I leaned back into the sofa. “It’s good to take a break for a while. Puts things in perspective.”

“You barely made it a week,” he scoffed.

“Ten days, actually. Ten horrible, hellacious, horrendous days.” I took another drink.

“Right? Sucks. Bad.”

“I wouldn’t want to go through it again, but I’m glad we were able to take sex out of the equation for a little bit. Made us focus on talking things out and enjoying just hanging out. When we finally let loose, it was …” I licked my lips. “Explosive.”

“You’re making me hard.”

I snorted. “What doesn’t?”

He shot me an arch glance. “I will not be ashamed of my healthy sex drive.”

“Just be proud of yourself for taking some time to figure out where you’re going. I’m proud of you.”

“Aww, thanks, Mom.” He leaned his head on my knee. “You know … I could be lying to you.”

“Nope. If you were fucking around, you’d want me to know about it, because then I’d kick your ass, which is part of the fun.” Not. But it was a way he used me to punish himself.

“What’s going to be fun is Ibiza.”

“Ibiza?” It took me a second to put it together. “For my bachelorette party?”


Spain. Half a world away. I hadn’t been expecting that. “How long is this party supposed to last?”

Cary flashed his million-dollar smile. “The weekend.”

“Not that he gets a say, but Gideon’s not going to like it.”

“I smoothed him out. He’s antsy about security, but he’s going to be busy himself, in Brazil.”

I sat up. “Brazil?”

“You’re like a parrot tonight, repeating everything.”

I loved Brazil. Loved the music, the weather, the passion of the people. There was a sensuality to the culture of Brazil that was unmatched in the world.

And thinking of Gideon there, with that pack of hot, rich men he called friends, celebrating the last days of a bachelorhood he’d already given up …

My best friend twisted to face me. “I know that look. You’re getting twitchy just thinking about him surrounded by Brazilian bikinis and the hot-blooded women wearing them.”

“Shut up, Cary.”

“He’s got the right crew to hit it hard, too. Especially that Manuel character. He’s a major player.”

I remembered watching Manuel Alcoa make a conquest when we’d all gone out together to a karaoke bar. Like Arnoldo, Gideon, and Arash, Manuel didn’t even have to try. He just had to pick from the wide selection of women throwing themselves at him.

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