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“I’ve always loved you. If you give me a second chance, we can make this work. We can have the family we always wanted.”

“Are you nuts?” My question is whispered, betraying the rage I’m feeling.

“We were happy.”

“You are . . . You are . . . You’re nuts. Completely off your rocker.”


I don’t let him say more. I stand, tossing my napkin on top of my uneaten lunch. “I don’t want anything to do with you. And now”—I turn to look at Lorie—“I don’t want anything to do with you, either.” I look back at Tom, staring him in the eye. “You didn’t just hurt me when you had an affair, you killed the love I had for you. You made me see the kind of man you really are.”


I hold up my hand. “I hope that one day you find someone to love, Tom. I really do. But that someone is not me.” I pull in a breath, then hold out my shaking hand. “Please hand me my purse. Do not ever contact me again, or I will be getting a restraining order against you.”

“Honey, hand her her bag,” Lorie says quietly.

Despite the sadness in her voice, I don’t look at her. I’m done.

“Don’t be mad at Mom. I made her tell me when you were meeting.”

I don’t acknowledge his words, I just keep my hand out and my face blank. I want to get out of here. I need to get out of here.

With a deep sigh, he reaches behind his back and grabs my purse, then hands it to me. I lift my chin and, without a backward glance, I leave.

I get into a cab right outside. As soon as I’m seated, I call Lucas.

“Hey, baby. How was lunch?” At the sound of his voice, the tears and anger I was holding in are released. I start to cry, not answering his question. “Where are you?”

“In . . . in a ca-cab,” I sob into the phone.

“Tell the driver to bring you to my office,” he demands.

“I think I should . . . should just go . . . go home.”

“Tell the driver to bring you to my office. I’ll meet you downstairs.”

I don’t say okay, I just give the driver the new address. During the ten-minute ride I don’t talk to Lucas, but I know he’s still on the phone. When I reach his office building, he’s standing outside with a worried look on his handsome face. He opens my door and helps me out of the cab before leaning in to pay my fare.

“Come on.”

I curl myself under his arm and let him lead me inside the building and up to his floor. Once we are there, the secretary who gave me her shoes the last time I was there starts to smile, but then worry etches her beautiful features. Lucas takes me down the hall into his office and leads me to his couch. He holds me on his lap, murmuring soft words as I cry ugly tears. I tell him about lunch through my sobs. He doesn’t say anything, but I feel his tense body coil tighter with every single word.

Eventually my tears dry up. My eyes and body are beyond tired. “I’m sorry,” I say, pulling back from his chest to look up at him. “I’m sure you have things to do today.”

“Nothing is more important to me right now than knowing you’re okay.” He rubs his thumbs under my eyes, swiping at the wetness that has coated my cheeks. “I should have known something like this would happen. I should have known he wasn’t going to give up.”

“I never would have guessed something like this could happen.” I drop my eyes.

“Are you crying because of him?”

“No, because of Lorie,” I whisper, feeling a fresh wave of tears. “Things . . . I thought things between us . . . It doesn’t matter now. I guess I’m crying because now my relationship with her is over, too.”

“It doesn’t have to be,” he says softly.

I shake my head. “It does. I can’t trust her. I won’t be able to trust her ever again.”

“I’m sorry, baby.”

“Me too.” I cuddle closer to his chest and rest my forehead in the crook of his neck. We sit like that for a long time—until he gets a call that he has to take. Then I lie down on his couch and eventually fall asleep.

When I wake up, he tells me it’s time for us to go. We stop at my place, since his parents are picking up Maddi from school. I shower, reapply my makeup, and change. Then we head to his apartment to meet his parents. After what happened today, I’m no longer nervous about meeting his mom and dad. I’m just bone-deep tired.

When we get to his place, he opens the door. I enter before him.

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