Chessy and Joss burst into laughter.

“You’re so irreverent, Kylie. I love that about you,” Chessy said with a grin.

Kylie performed a mock bow. “Glad I can be of service. Now, let’s get to the point. What do you want, Chessy? Forget everything that’s happened in the past. Forget any worry over how you appear to others. Forget what me, Joss, Dash or Jensen think. What do you want? What would make you the happiest in the world? Don’t think about it. Go with your gut. Give me your answer in three seconds or less.”

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“I want my husband back,” Chessy blurted. “I want my child raised by both its mother and father. I want Tate to share in every aspect of my pregnancy. I want my marriage back.”

“Well, there you go,” Joss said, satisfaction lining her face.

“Oh my God,” Chessy whispered. “Is it truly that easy?”

“No,” Kylie said. “Nothing good is ever easy, or so Jensen always says. He said that about me in the beginning. I didn’t appreciate the sentiment at the time but that’s because I was being difficult and I knew it.”

Joss chuckled. “You? Difficult? Naaahhh.”

“Cut the sarcasm or I’ll cut you,” Kylie threatened. “As I was saying, Chessy,” she said pointedly ignoring Joss’s smirk. “No, it’s not that easy, but it can be. To quote Jensen yet again, and God, I’m starting to sound like his damn parrot! But he also says it can be as easy or as hard as we make it. The question is which do you want to make it?”

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“I don’t want it to be too easy for him,” Chessy said hesitantly. “Shouldn’t he have to work for it? If I make it too easy then it opens the door for him to take advantage of me again. To take me for granted. And, well, this may make me sound like a terrible person, but part of me wants to punish him for what he did. He deserves to be punished.”

“Sweetie, I think you’ve made it pretty damn difficult for him over the last several weeks. Not that he didn’t totally deserve it. But the guy is miserable. I’d say you’re definitely punishing him,” Joss said.

“Oh yeah,” Kylie agreed. “Jensen told me he’s looked like complete shit every time he shows up over here demanding to see you. And that he looks like a kicked puppy when Jensen tells him to f**k off.”

Chessy winced. “Ugh. I don’t want to strip him of his pride completely even if I do want to punish him for his utter stupidity.”

“So, what are you going to do?” Kylie persisted. “I distinctly remember a turning point with both Joss and me when our men were being complete dumbasses and if we hadn’t taken matters in our own hands, we’d probably both still be single.”

“In other words it’s up to me to pull Tate’s head out of his ass and show some mercy,” Chessy said in a dry tone.

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“Well, not in so many words, but yeah, basically,” Kylie said. “I know I’m repeating myself, but only if that’s what you want. It’s time to fish or cut bait. If you want a clean break then make an appointment with a divorce attorney and move on with your life. If you want Tate back then you need to get on the ball and tell him that. Either way, end your misery. Because right now you’re in a holding pattern, stuck in the mud, not going anywhere but deeper in the mire.”

“You certainly have a way with words,” Joss muttered.

“Am I right?” Kylie asked with a raised eyebrow.

“Yes, you prickly bitch. You’re always right,” Joss said in exasperation.

Chessy laughed again, realizing this was the most she’d laughed since she and Tate had split up.

“God I love you two,” she said fervently. “I have to be the luckiest woman on earth to have such good friends. Best friends.”

“Sisters,” Joss amended.

“Yes, sisters from another mother,” Kylie agreed. “So not to beat you over the head, but for the third time, what are you going to do? Or do you need our help figuring it out?”

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Chessy glanced down at the paper that was turned to the article on Tate’s new partnership. She gazed thoughtfully at it and then checked her watch.

“How long do you think it would take for y’all to totally glam me out. I mean everything. Kick-ass dress. Total f**k-me shoes. Hair, makeup, the complete works.”

“Not long if we get moving,” Joss said emphatically. “Why? What’s your plan?”

“Well, it’s currently noon and according to this article the newly formed MHL investment firm will host an open house at their new headquarters in the Woodlands between one and three P.M. today. I was thinking of dropping in. Just to offer my congratulations and all.”

“Oh you are evil and I love it,” Joss crowed.

“I do too!” Kylie exclaimed. “Evil genius! I so admire that in a person. Usually I’m the evil bitch of the group.”

“You can resume your role just as soon as I retire it,” Chessy soothed.

“Well if we’re going to get you all glammed out we need to get moving. Not to hurt your feelings, girlfriend, but you look like hammered horse shit,” Joss said bluntly.

“Gee thanks. I feel so much better about wowing my husband now.”

“Don’t listen to her. Give us forty-five minutes and you’ll look like a million dollars. Just make sure you don’t puke on anyone at the reception,” Kylie said with an evil grin.

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