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“He still might. The key is honesty every step of the way. I’m going back there this weekend, thanks to you. I didn’t think I’d be able to because I had to do weekends.”

She gathered her things together, stifling a yawn. “I’d better get home before I fall asleep.”

“Jeez, I forgot you were up all night.”

He signaled the server to get the check and while they waited, they made small talk as they stood by the cash register.

“I just realized thatwe’refriends,” Alex said.

“We are. I’m so lucky to know you. You’re a freaking general! And you fixed my job problem. Thank you so much.”

“What I’m getting at is that you’ll make a good friend to your baby daddy, too. That’s all. It’s good to be friends. And maybe it will be more someday.”

“Maybe. But I’m going to be gone for another year. He might find someone else while I’m gone.”

“How would you feel about that?” he asked. “Knowing he was in love with another woman, having sex with her.”

“Like,I don’t want him, but you can’t have him? No. I’d embrace her if she was nice to my kid.”

“Ugh, that’s the big problem. It was a reason I stayed in an unhappy marriage for a long time, that Susan might hook up with some asshole who she’d then expose to my kids.”

“That doesn’t sound like something she’d do.”

“Hell hath no fury,” he singsonged.

“Yeah, but not with your kids.”

“Can I drive you home?”

“If you’re sure it’s not out of your way.”

“It’s not out of my way, Bridget.”

“Thank you again, so much, Alex.”

Before she climbed into her futon, she called Luke on Facetime. “Is this a bad time?”

“Not at all. I’m at your cousin Dave’s house, finishing up the attic conversion.”

“I wanted to see your face,” she said, grinning. “Do I look like hell?”

“No, you look lovely. How was it?”

“Well, let me tell you what happened.”

She left nothing out, truthful about having the fling with the general and that he’d offered to finagle to get her off night shift and that it worked and she was going to start on days tomorrow.

“So, what you’re saying is that it’s not who you know, it’s who you blow.”

At first, she couldn’t speak, looking at him on the screen of her phone, her mouth open, but then she saw his lip quivering and knew he was teasing her and she laughed hysterically, a contagious laugh that he caught.

“That was awful, but yes, exactly. It didn’t even last that long, less than a month because his wife got suspicious.”

“Oh great, he was married, too?” Luke asked, sputtering.

“Yes, I’m not proud of that. I’m warning you; I have history.”

“All twenty-five-year-olds have history,” he said. “It’s okay. I apologize for making a joke at your expense.”