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Okay, that one was on the crazy side, but a girl could dream, right?

Once the sex and newness wore off, she’d still want the nice, normal, home-every-night guy, and eventually, their affair would crash and burn. It was inevitable and better to put the kibosh on it before it started.

A knock on her door jolted her out of her head, and Eve bolted upright. Her friends knew how she spent every Sunday: catching up on shows and vegging out until dinner with her parents at six. And even if they needed something, they would have called first.

Matilda jumped off the couch and scrambled into the other room as Eve stood up.

“Who is it?” she called.

“It’s your father, Evelyn, open the door.”

“Shit,” she said aloud.

“I heard that,” he said.

Curse these cheap apartments and their thin doors.

Glancing around her disastrous apartment, she started gathering last night’s take-out containers and rushing to the kitchen to throw them away. “Hang on.”

“There is no need to clean up. I’ve been your father for twenty-five years,” he said. Eve could hear the amusement in his tone, but despite his words, she knew if she answered the door right now—in yoga pants, an oversized sweatshirt, and her hair falling out of a messy ponytail—he wouldn’t be able to help commenting.

“Evelyn, now,” he barked, making her feel like a six-year-old who didn’t want to leave the playground.

“Fine, but I really don’t want to hear it, Dad,” she said.

She opened the door, and her father stepped past her into the apartment. She watched his eyes shift around the room and knew what he was thinking as he took in her sink piled with dishes, her clothes thrown about the floor and furniture, and the dust gathered across every surface.


“Bububububu . . . I don’t want to hear it,” she repeated.

Her dad’s mouth thinned under his thick silver and black mustache. Eve wasn’t sure why mustaches and beards had started coming back the last few years, but she had to admit that the look fit her father’s tan, weathered face. Dressed in a collared shirt, jeans, and a cap with an American flag on the front, he looked like a laid-back man enjoying his day off, but Eve knew better. Her dad never relaxed.

“So, what brings you by?” she asked.

Her father walked over to her arm chair, flicking one of her bras off the back of it before sitting down. “You mother wanted me to come by and check on you. She was concerned when you called to say you weren’t coming over for dinner.”

Eve refrained from rolling her eyes. When she had told her mother that she’d just needed a day to relax, her mom had been cool about it.

Which meant her dad was here because he was worried about her. How sweet.

“Do you want some coffee?” Eve asked. She’d gotten up this morning and been lazing on the couch, but if she was going to have a coherent conversation with her dad, she needed caffeine.

“Do you have a mug that’s clean?” he asked.

Eve slammed a cupboard and held up the black mug she kept just for him. “You just can’t help it, can you?”

“No, I can’t. Not when you’re living in a pigsty and you look like—”

“Let me stop you there,” Eve said. “My apartment might not look like a Better Homes and Gardens magazine, but it is hardly a pigsty.” Pausing to start the coffeemaker, she turned and pinned him with a hard look. “And you should definitely know better than to insult a woman’s appearance.”

“You’re still my daughter, and it’s my job to tell you that a man wants a woman who takes pride in her appearance,” he said.

Eve’s skin prickled with heat as anger flashed through her body. “I am put together six days a week. If on my one day off I want to wear sweats and not brush my hair, then that is my right. A right I should thank you for, by the way.”

“I did not fight for your right to look like a slob,” he barked.

Eve took a breath, arched her back, and cracked her neck, attempting to banish the urge to tell her father to get out. “Dad, why don’t you tell me why you’re really here and stop pussyfooting around?”