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“I’m not at the Dutchess County house, Jordan. I’m sorry. Tristan surprised me with a trip to London.”

Jordan sniffled. “Oh. Okay. It’s no big deal.”

It was a big deal, though. My best friend was sobbing into my cell phone over losing someone she cared about, and all I could tell her was that my husband had whisked me across the Atlantic Ocean on his private jet to his five-star hotel in London. All the times she’d listened to my sob stories and lent me a shoulder to cry on, and the best I could do was help her long distance.

“That doesn’t mean I can’t talk, though. I’m all ears.”

“It’s okay, Nina. I mean, it’s got to be the middle of the day there. You have better things to do on your vacation than talk to me about something silly. Tell Tristan I said hello and call me when you get back, okay?”

“Jordan, it’s all right. I’m just lying here resting up a bit. I have all the time in the world.”

The phone fell silent for nearly a minute, but in the background I heard her crying again. When she returned, all she said was, “I have to go, Nina. I didn’t mean to impose. I should just be a big girl about this and accept that it just was never meant to be. I’ll talk to you when you get back. I love you.”

Before I could assure her she hadn’t imposed and I wanted to talk, she hung up. A lump formed in my throat at the idea of how sad she sounded. Why had Gage broken it off with her? I hated the very possibility that I’d brought them together thinking he was a great guy, but now he’d left her high and dry. Had he gone back to that Angela woman? As my mind launched into best friend mode, I thought about calling him but decided against it. That would only make things worse. I called her three times, but her phone went directly to voicemail.

She’d moved into hibernation mode. I knew all too well how that went. Alcohol, ice cream, greasy fast food, and too much TV on top of lying in bed and listening to sad songs would be on the menu for the next few weeks. There would be a constant loop of that Goo Goo Dolls song and Sarah McLachlan song from the City of Angels soundtrack, two of our favorites when we felt like love had kicked us in the ass once again.

As I imagined her alone in her apartment feeling like she didn’t have a soul in the world to turn to, Tristan returned from his meeting all smiles. My frown stopped him dead, though, and racing to my side, he asked, “What’s wrong? Did something happen? Why are you in bed?”

“Jordan and Gage broke up. I just got off the phone with her. She’s heartbroken.”

Tristan’s shoulders sagged and he let out a deep sigh. “Oh. You had me scared there for a minute, Nina. I thought something had happened.”

My frown deepened. “Something did happen, Tristan. Jordan is a mess about this. She really cared about him and he broke up with her over the phone from LA.”

“I’m sorry. I get it. She’s always been there for you. Why don’t you call her back?”

“I tried. She’s turned her phone off. I feel terrible for her. I set them up, and now he’s bailed on her.”

Pushing my hair back from my face, Tristan leaned over and kissed me. “It’s not your fault, Nina. Maybe they just need some time apart.”

I turned my face away from him. “Do you know what I would have said if someone told me that when we had any one of our fights? What would you have said to someone who said that to you?”

He gently pulled my face back toward him. “I would have told them to stay out of my life. I imagine you would have been more colorful.”

“Tristan, I want to go back home. You won’t miss me since you’re in meetings most of the day, and to be honest, I’d feel better being close to my doctor. I went to a museum today and felt pretty rundown by the time I got through only half of it.”

“Were the bodyguards with you? Are you okay now?” he asked, those brown eyes of his filled with concern.

“They were, but I didn’t need them. I’m fine, but I think being close to Dr. Michaelson would make me feel better. We were only going to be here a week, so it’s no big deal. We can come back after the babies are born. You won’t miss me too much.”

“Yes, I will, but I can’t blame you for having a kind heart. I also can’t blame you for wanting to be at home. Every female at the meeting today gave me a nasty look when I announced my wife who’s five months pregnant came with me.”

“I wanted to come, but I’m glad you understand why I want to go home early. You’ll be back in a couple days anyway, and maybe I’ll ask Jordan to stay with me until you return. That way no one is hanging out alone.”

“Except for me,” he said with a grin, teasing me.

“Are you trying to make me feel guilty?” I joked.

“No. Let’s get you ready to go home. The sooner you’re off the plane and back on New York soil, the better.”

Chapter Six


Tristan was right. By the time I got back to New York, I felt so much better. Being in my own house and my own bed, even if I was without Tristan, made me more comfortable. He’d be home in just a few days anyway, so I’d have a chance to spend some time with Jordan and help her ease her broken heart.

I called her as soon as I woke up the morning after getting home and convinced her to spend a few days out of the city with me. Indian summer had settled into the countryside around the house, and for late September, it felt more like the dog days of August. We could hang out in the garden during the day, swim a little in the pool, and relax at night as we figured out alternatives to ducks for the nursery, all the while I’d be doing what I could to make sure she didn’t crawl into a hole of depression I already heard traces of in her voice.

Jensen opened the car door, and Jordan stepped out into the sun, her hand shielding her eyes like she’d already made a home inside that hole. Slowly walking toward me, she looked so dejected. Her normally bubbly self, that spitfire everyone knew and loved, seemed absent, replaced by someone so full of sadness.

I opened my arms to hug her, and she hung her head and just leaned into me. Wrapping my arms around her, I held her tight as she quietly sobbed. I couldn’t help the tears as they welled up in my eyes. Jordan was always so tough, and now she felt so small next to me.

As she continued to sob, I whispered, “Hey, no crying allowed, lady. I’m a pregnant woman. I might just break down into a pool of hormonal mess.”

Jordan leaned back away from me and shook her head, a tiny smile creeping onto her lips. “Pulling the pregnant lady in distress card on me? Lame.”

“Come into the house and get yourself settled into your old room. Then you and I are going to relax like we’re at the beach in this heat. How did you end up convincing your principal to give you three days off in the middle of the week?”

“I get a handful of days off a year, so I just told her I needed to use them. I must look like a truckload of shit because she didn’t even ask why. She just gave me that fake smile she puts on for the parents and went back to shuffling through a stack of papers on her desk.”

“Well, I think you should look at this as a vacation from real life. You name it and we’ll do it. Deal?”

I bent down to pick up her bag and a twinge of pain shot up my right thigh. Grabbing my leg where the charley horse started, I groaned a little louder than I meant to. Jordan quickly took the bag from my hand. “You okay? That didn’t sound right.”

Straightening my back, I took a deep breath and shook my head. “No big deal. Just pregnant lady stuff. You try gaining nearly twenty pounds and see how you feel.”

Jordan looked me over and nodded. “You really do look pregnant now. How are my two nieces doing these days?”

I ran my palms over my belly and grinned. “They’re just fine. You do know they could be your nephews.”

“I’m not doing so well with males these days, so I’m hoping for girls,” she said in a voice tinged once again with sadness.

Before we both began crying right there on the front doorstep, I took her hand in mine and pulled her into the house. “Come on. We’ve got relaxing to catch up on and I want your help with picking a design out for the nursery.”

As she walked through the entryway with me, she mumbled, “Since they’re going to be girls, I say go with pink. Case closed.”

I twisted my face into a grimace and rolled my eyes. “Just come on.”

Lying on my side across Jordan’s bed, I listened as she explained her breakup with Gage and tried to figure out what had happened to something that had started out so great. Every word was laced with the familiar insecurity every female of dating age experienced, some more than others, when a relationship broke up and there wasn’t a shred of closure to be found.

“I thought we were good together, Nina. I mean, I never gave him a hassle about being out in LA, even though I missed him a ton. I may have felt insecure because of all those stunning women out there, but I didn’t think I was screaming “I’m needy” all over the place.” Jordan turned her head and stared out the window. Lowering her voice, she said quietly, “Maybe I was and I just didn’t know it.”