Ecstasy rips through me like a submarine missile tearing into the ocean. I lean forward over Kate, pressing her against me. Trying to get closer—to absorb every ounce of bliss she’s giving me. I think I shout her name, but I’m not sure.

Several moments later, after the sound of my blood pounding in my ears has lessened, I look into Kate’s smiling eyes. She pushes my damp hair off my forehead. Then she kisses the tattoo of our son’s name on my chest.


And she hugs me—holds me—resting her cheek against my heart. “I love you, Drew.”

It should be weird to have such sweet words and tender actions come after the rough and raw screwing we just enjoyed. But for us? Nothing weird about it.

For us, it’s perfect.

Chapter 9

I did eventually give Kate that massage. Not that she needed it, relaxed as she was—but rubbing warm baby oil on Kate’s body is my idea of a really good time. It doesn’t take a genius to figure out how things went from there. Which is why, at the moment, Kate is passed out cold on the bed. I’ll let her sleep another twenty minutes or so before I’ll have to wake her. Because it’s common knowledge that women take forever and a day to get ready for a night on the town. Kate may be different from most girls in a lot of ways—but in that way? She’s exactly the same.

I walk out of the bedroom to the kitchen, looking for some nourishment. Man can’t live on sex alone—as cool an idea as that would be. The house is quiet. Jack and Warren probably took off to escape the sounds of bumping and grinding all around them.

I make myself a turkey on rye in the kitchen, then I glance out the balcony doors and spot my sister. Sitting alone on the private brick patio in the rear of the villa.

Mentally I shake my head and step out through the doors. Alexandra glances at me quickly, then turns her eyes back to the foliage surrounding the yard. Forlorn is not a look I’m used to seeing on my sister. It’s unsettling.

I sit down in the lawn chair beside her and put my sandwich on the table. I should start off kindly. Unaccusing. Considerate. I should be diplomatic.

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“What the f**k, Lexi?”

She takes a sip from the martini glass in her hand before placing it on the table. “Go away, Drew. I’d like to be alone.”

“I’d like to buy a private island in the South Pacific and name it Drewland, but that’s not going to happen anytime soon. We can’t always have what we want.”

I pick up the pink-concoction-filled glass and give it a sniff. My head jerks back and my nose wrinkles. Whatever my sister’s been drinking smells like fruity ammonia—like strawberry-scented bat piss.

“If you’re going to poison your body, at least have the decency to use a premium-brand toxin.” Cheap liquor is strictly reserved for winos and college kids who don’t know any better.

Her face is impassive. Slack and sad. She shakes her head slightly. “You don’t understand.”

I toss her drink onto the grass. “I resent that. I’ll have you know I understand all perspectives—man, woman, or child. God and I are a lot alike that way.” I pause for a second and my voice softens. “What’s wrong, Alexandra? Whatever it is, maybe I can help.”

Her tone is flat. Lifeless. “Steven is going to divorce me.”

I snort. “With the way you’ve been acting lately, I don’t blame him.”

I ready my hand to block the glass that I’m pretty certain is about to come spiraling at my face. But nothing gets thrown at me. Instead something more shocking—more horrifying—happens.

The Bitch covers her face with her hands and sobs into them.

I swallow hard. Then I look around. Waiting for that douche bag Ashton Kutcher to jump out and yell, “Punked!” Because Alexandra Evans isn’t a crier. She’s a doer—a fixer.

And throughout the history of mankind, crying has never fixed shit.

I stutter. And ask the second-stupidest question ever. “Are you . . . are you crying?”

In my head Tom Hanks’s voice echoes, “There’s no crying in baseball!” Did Cleopatra cry when Egypt got sacked? Did Joan of Arc cry when the Catholic Church called her a witch? They are my sister’s counterparts.

Alexandra shakes her head, but the tears keep on flowing. “It’s my fault. I’ve pushed him away. I’ve been miserable to be around. I’ve treated him terribly.”

“Well, if you know that, why don’t you just . . . stop?” Seems simple, right?


“I can’t help it. I’m so sad. And angry. It’s not fair. I’m too young to be a dried-up prune!”

Now she’s really going at it. Sniffling and snotting all over the place. I don’t have a tissue, so I take off my T-shirt—even though it’s one of my favorites—and hand it to her. Alexandra blows her nose into it. It sounds like a dying goose.

Even though I have no f**king clue what she’s talking about, I know I’m supposed to say something. “Well . . . prunes have their uses. A few months ago, James’s pipes were backed up. And we fed him a few of those bad boys and they did the trick. It was like edible Drano—cleaned everything out. Prunes are great.”

She stops. And looks up at me with red-rimmed, perplexed eyes. “What the hell are you talking about?”

“I have no f**king idea! I’m trying to be comforting.”

“Well, it’s a good thing I don’t come to you for comfort often. You suck at it!” She goes back to bawling in the T-shirt.

I pinch the bridge of my nose and breathe deep. Let’s try this again. “You said you were angry. Sad. Why are you angry and sad, Alexandra?”

She wipes at her face and talks quickly—rushed. “I could set my watch to my period. Every twenty-seven days on the dot. So when it didn’t come, I thought, Oh, crap, you know? And even though the test said negative, I assumed it was just too early. So I went to the doctor and I was so sure he was going to tell me I was pregnant. And even though it wasn’t planned, I started to get used to the idea of another one. I was excited. But then . . . then he told me I wasn’t pregnant.”

A cold ball of ice settles in my stomach. “You’re not . . . you’re not sick, are you?”

She shakes her head. “No. I’m not sick.” She takes a cleansing breath. “He said it’s menopause. Early-onset menopause. I can’t have any more children—ever. I’m infertile.”

She weeps quietly for a minute.

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