Page 10 of Wild Night

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Kelli considered the question, then shook her head. “No. It’s the subject matter too. I don’t know if…I’m not sure he’d understand. He’s kind of a romantic.”

“Kind of? Jesus. That’s the understatement of the year.”

“Yeah. It is. So there’s no way he’d get what I’m planning.”

Colm turned on the couch, resting his arm against the back cushions. “What the hell are you going to do? Shave your head? Join a cult? Marry your cat? Now you have to tell me.”

He expected her to flip him off. Or even to rise and walk upstairs. They weren’t confidants. Not even close to that.

Once again, she didn’t follow their usual pattern.

Instead…she answered. “I’m thirty-four.”

“I’m well aware. We’re the same age, remember? I was the one who cut your Barbie doll’s hair off in kindergarten.”

She narrowed her eyes. “Forgot about that. Damn, you were a dick right from the cradle.”

“The Barbie haircut was retaliation for the hole you poked in my soccer ball.”

“Ohhhh yeahhhhh.”

Colm scowled. “It was a brand-new ball.”

“You pulled my hair. It hurt.”

“Bet you wouldn’t bitch about getting your hair pulled these days.”

She blew out an exasperated breath. “Oh my God. Get your mind out of the gutter, Collins.”

He and Kelli were almost exactly the same age, he and Padraig only five weeks older. They’d all three celebrated their birthdays together last summer. “Fine, so you’re thirty-four. What’s the problem with that?”

“I’m out of time.”

Colm tilted his head, totally confused. “For what?”

“Children. My clock is ticking.”

Colm shook his head. “I’m sure a woman’s clock doesn’t start ticking until—”


“I thought it was thirty-five.”

Kelli shook her head. “Nope. It starts at thirty-two.”

“Oh. Well. Shit.”

“Yeah. Oh. Well. Shit,” she repeated.

He tried to minimize her concerns, certain things weren’t as dire as she thought. “Come on, Kell. You’re hardly ancient. I’m sure…”

“Did you know fertility drops rapidly after the age of 35?”

Colm winced, hoping to make her laugh. “Do you have to use words like fertility around me?”

She turned away from him, flopping her head back against the couch cushions. “I have no idea why I started this conversation with you.”

Damn. It was no wonder the two of them didn’t spend time alone together. After so many years of teasing and insults, he was saying all the wrong things simply because it was too hard to break the pattern.

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