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I sniffle while nodding my head.

“Yeah, maybe I will because I feel so awful at the moment that it’s only up from here, right? Thanks Rae. I really appreciate it.” But then I sniffle again and wipe my nose. “What was that thing you said about you messing up really bad? Have you told me about that?”

Rae looks away quickly, a secretive look on her pretty features.

“Oh, that’s for later,” she says quickly. “For now, let’s just get you cleaned up so that you can talk to Brant without looking like a witch. Come on, I have some make-up in the bathroom, and you can wear some of my clothes too. We’ll have you pretty and presentable in no time!”

With that, my friend drags me over to the bathroom in the hallway, just as her stepdad happens to be exiting his bedroom. I nod a hello.

“Hey Mr. Ward,” I sniffle, not caring that my eyes are puffy and my cheeks stained with tears. “You have the best stepdaughter in the world, have I mentioned? You’re so lucky to have Rae.” Hunter Ward has always been pure beefcake with his dark hair and all-seeing blue eyes, but at the moment, I’m too upset to notice. Meanwhile, Hunter’s azure gaze merely flashes as he takes in Rae’s ample figure and curly brown locks.

“Yes, I am lucky, aren’t I?”

Then, my friend tugs me into the bathroom and to my surprise, Rae’s blushing for some reason. But before I can comment on it, she’s already handing me a cool washcloth before rifling through her make-up bag to select the perfect shade of rose lipstick. I pause for a moment. There’s something mysterious going on between Rae and Hunter, but at the moment, I’m so consumed with my own problems that I let it slip away without another thought.

Okay, this is it. I pause for a moment on the porch of Brant’s house. I’ve been here several times in the past week because we’ve been making love constantly, and it was either here or in my hotel room. As a result, I shouldn’t be nervous because the surroundings are familiar, and yet I can’t help the sheen of sweat on my upper lip, nor the uncomfortable moisture in my armpits. Oh shit, oh shit. I’m going to ruin Rae’s blue sundress, but it is what it is.

Taking a deep breath, I ring the bell and within seconds, the door swings open. The smile pasted on my face is genuine and hopeful, but Brant’s stern mien stops me in my tracks.

“Yeah?” he growls.

“Hi,” I manage to choke out in a whisper. “Um, I was wondering if I could come in to talk?”

He shoots me a measured look, his expression forbidding.

“About what?”

I flounder helplessly.

“Well, about what happened earlier. I mean, I know it was terrible and …”

He stands there expectantly, huge and dark with his brawny arms crossed over his chest.


Oh damn, he’s going to make me say it. I squirm while looking down at my feet, but I have to do this. I take a deep breath and force myself to look into those piercing blue eyes.

“I’m sorry, okay, Brant? I misjudged you. I thought you were helping my mom cheat on my dad, but I was wrong. You didn’t know Monica was married, and had no idea that Rudy even existed.”

With those words, the huge man stands aside to let me into his home and I enter immediately. Okay, first hurdle down. But as I step into his living room, I brace myself because there are quite a few more to go.

“Take a seat,” the handsome man says in a smooth voice. “Can I get you a drink?”

I shake my head, grateful for this small courtesy. Maybe things will be okay after all.

“No thank you,” I murmur tentatively. “I’m good, thanks.”

Brant nods curtly before striding off to get his own drink. Then he reappears with a cold beer in hand and leans against the wall, staring at me. He’s so handsome in a casual blue t-shirt and loose jeans that my heart skips a beat. I’d love for him to take off his clothes and let me run my tongue all over his body to show him just how sorry I am, but I know we’re a long ways from that right now.

“So why else are you here?” he intones in a calm voice.

I know what he’s talking about and bow my head, ashamed.

“I’m sorry I had this crazy plan to break-up you and my mom,” I say in a low tone. “I don’t know what I was thinking when I hatched it. I was just so incensed about what Monica was doing to Rudy that I didn’t think about the repercussions.”

Brant snorts then.

“Repercussions? Sweetheart, I fucked a mother and a daughter within a twenty-four-hour period. I’m trying to figure out if there are any repercussions from doing that. While it might be a part of another man’s fantasies, trust me, it’s not mine.”

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