“Who knows or cares? She’ll take one look at your husband and sign up for whatever shit he’s peddling.” She waved off the concern as if Easton’s looks were some magic potion that turned intelligent women into idiots.

Though… I glanced down at the diamond on my left ring finger. I was a pretty shining example of exactly that. When he proposed, he’d been puffed up on dreams of the big leagues. Jets. Packed stadiums. Vacation mansions and household staffs. Ferraris and monster contracts. All things he thought would impress me, but I’d bought into Easton North for an entirely different set of factors—factors he still possessed in spades. Charm. Looks. Wit. Heat. A lethal combination that would be difficult for any woman to resist.

“Is she pretty?”

Chelsea shot me a bewildered look. “Would it matter? Don’t tell me you’re suddenly insecure about your marriage. You know E’s crazy about you. And I thought he needed more clients.”

“He does,” I said sharply. My husband’s client list was scrawny—a few baseball players he’d picked up using every pro connection he had, plus a young golfer who seemed more intent on partying than winning. He’d had a few nice paychecks, but nothing that was easing the tight grip that settled on my chest with each round of monthly bills. “Send him the shoot details. I’ll give him a heads up.”

“And no,” she remarked mildly. “She isn’t that pretty. But really, Elle.” She cocked a blonde brow at me. “Jealousy is not your color.”

Was it anyones? Maybe it was our frank conversation where Easton had told me about his symposium flirt, or my guilt over my rampant fantasies, but I was feeling extra possessive over my husband. And maybe a little insecure, especially where a successful and athletic potential client was involved.

My phone chimed, saving me from a witty retort I didn’t have. I made a big show over picking up my bag and shuffling through its contents, moving aside the doomed inspection report and finding the slim phone. “Speak of the devil.” I smiled and opened the text from E. Reading the short message, my mood sank.

Just got a call from Aaron. Becca just served him with divorce papers. Says she’s in love with someone else.

“Oh my God.”

“What?” Chelsea grabbed for my phone, wanting to read the message.

I held it out of her reach. “Becca’s divorcing Aaron. She’s been cheating on him.”

Her eyes widened, exposing her brilliantly applied purple shadow. “And she’s leaving him? Why the fuck would she cheat on Aaron?”

I thought of yesterday’s dermatology appointment. The male barista at the coffee shop I swung by three mornings a week. The fantasies that were starting to batter against my morality every single day. Would I be Becca one day? While I would never leave Easton, would two of my friends incredulously critique my cheating over an appetizer and watered-down drinks?

I unstuck the back of one leg from the plastic seat and crossed my legs, pinning my hands underneath my thighs. “Maybe we should call her.”

Chelsea hummed out a bar of trepidation. “I don’t know. Aaron’s E’s best friend. Our alliances seem pretty clear.”

Yes, in the world of divisions, the choice was easy. The skanky wife or the grieving husband. Our friend or his cheating wife. What good would an olive branch be? Did she even deserve a friendly gesture?

No, but my heart still broke at the thought of a marriage dying. I looked down at the crisp white tablecloth and deleted the desire to reach out.

“Now,” Chelsea announced with the graveness that could only precede a ridiculous statement. “Is it too soon to finally confess my wet dreams about Aaron? Because oh my God that boy is delicious.”

I barked out a laugh. “Finally confess? You told Becca you wanted him to stuff you like a Build-a-Bear.”

“That was a compliment, Elle.” She tried to roll her eyes, but ended up laughing instead. “I was trying to break the ice! She was so stiff that night we met her.” She straightened in her seat and adopted a southern drawl that no one had used in a hundred years. “A pleasure to meet you, Chelsea. Though I must say, you are wearing white after Labor Day.”

“She didn’t say that,” I protested.

“She wanted to say it. I could feel her wanting to say it.” She played with the end of her straw. “So I gave her a compliment on her boyfriend.” She shrugged. “I wouldn’t have done it if they were already married.”

“Oh right.” I nodded. “That’s where you draw the line. Because you’ve certainly snapped your trap about Easton ever since I walked down the aisle.”

“Easton’s different,” she whined. “I had him first so I’m allowed to gush over his sexual prowess. Plus, I need to remind you of the HUGE sacrifice I made for the sake of our friendship.” She held her hands about a foot apart to make the pun perfectly clear. I threw the wrapper of my straw at her.

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