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“Nothing’s up,” Eve said. “I’ll just be back to my normal, fun-loving self when this fund-raiser is over.”

“Why, are the guys at the base giving you shit?” Megan asked.

“No, they’re fine,” Eve said.

“Evie, don’t you know it’s not nice to call people fucked up, insecure, neurotic, and emotional?” Megan joked. “Besides, I heard some women are into that sort of thing.”

Eve looked at her slot machine, but she could feel Allison watching her.

“Do you like one of them?” Allison asked.

“Come on, Ali.” Eve tried to sound derisive but didn’t think it worked.

“Fuck me, you do!” Megan crowed.

“I don’t!” Catching their skeptical looks, Eve reluctantly said, “Okay, I might, but I don’t want to.”

“Who is it? Come on, details, woman,” Megan said.

“There are no details to tell. I don’t even know if I like him, it’s more that I just—”

“Want to strip him naked and eat chocolate off his abs?” Megan offered.

Eve thought about that, grinning. “His butt, too. He’s got a great butt.”

“So, do it. What’s the hold up?” Allison asked.

“Well, my dad hates him, so that always makes things easy,” Eve said.

“What did he do to piss off the general?” Megan asked, amused.

“Remember when I told you Hank got arrested a few weeks ago for drunk and disorderly conduct after fighting with a guy from the base?” Eve could tell they did because their eyes widened and they nodded. “Yep, I picked that guy. Out of all the guys I could fall for, I pick the one my brother and dad despise.”

“Wait, fall for? Like, you could fall in love with this guy?” Allison asked.

“No, I mean . . . I just meant that I like him and I’m trying really hard not to. But then I find myself calling him for no reason and showing up at his work because I want to see him, only to make an ass out of myself . . . ” Both of her friends were staring at her like she’d grown a third eye. She buried her face in her hands and groaned. “Ugh, what is wrong with me?”

“Could you be going through a late-in-life rebellion?” Eve shot Megan a glare, and she held her hands up. “Hey, the alternative is that you, Miss Evelyn Reynolds, are smitten with someone your father would definitely not approve of.”

“Thanks for stating the obvious, Meg. How do I make it go away?” Eve asked.

“Why would you want it to?” Allison was watching her seriously, and Eve bit her lip to keep from saying the first thing she thought, which was that she didn’t want her mother’s life, but was that really how she felt? Her mother had been married to the same man for almost thirty years, had two grown, mostly well-adjusted children. There were worse things to aspire to.

“Because we aren’t right for each other and I’m not looking for someone to just hang out and kill time with until I meet the right guy.”

“Why aren’t you right for each other?” Allison asked.

“You mean besides the obvious?” Eve thought for a moment. “He’s never been in a relationship.”

“Neither have you,” Megan said.

“Yes, I have. I dated Dylan for almost six months.”

“You only dated him that long because you were afraid to break up with him because he had stalker tendencies,” Allison said.

“Fine, but I would have relationships if I found the right guy.”

“Or maybe you’re scared to find the right guy, so you self-sabotage,” Allison said.

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