I was knuckle deep, my ass digging into the seat, my fantasies deep into a role-play where a commission shortage could only be solved by my mouth, when our front door slammed shut.

I paused, my sexual thoughts fleeing to the open vent in my floor, where they ran off to die. Footsteps sounded and I tried to place their location in the house. Working my panties back into place, I yanked a tissue out from the holder and wiped off my fingers. Zipping up the back of my skirt, I quietly disengaged the lock and crept out of the office. The person had gone into the formal living room, then the den, best I could tell from the acoustics.

I took the opposite path, rounded the corner into the kitchen, and screamed. My toe caught painfully on the transom, and I grabbed the frame to keep from falling. “Aaron!”

He looked over from his place at the fridge, a can of Mountain Dew in hand. One eyebrow lifted in a bemused fashion. “Elle. You okay?”

“Are you the only one here?”

“Yep. Just came in. I thought you were sleeping.”

“No, I was in the office.” I pointed an unnecessary finger in the general direction of the office. “Prepping a listing agreement. A bungalow in Meadow Hills. You know that neighborhood? It’s really nice. They aren’t craftsman-style, they’re like Tudor. Mid-century modern Tudor.”

He squinted at me. “Did you take an Adderall?”

So, I was talking too much. I crossed my arms over my chest and did my best to amble toward the sink in as casual a manner as possible, well aware that my panties were still stuck to me from my recent activities. “Nah. I might have overdone it on expresso. I’m still catching up from last night.” I clamped my mouth shut before I said anything else.

He closed the fridge and turned to the island, setting a Pyrex container of sliced watermelon on the granite. “Want some?”

“Sure.” I glanced at the microwave clock. “What are you doing here? I thought you’d be on-site somewhere.”

“I’ve got a meeting with Becca and the counselor at four. Wanted to get a shower first, clean up a little.”

Yeah. My gaze trailed over his shirt, which was stuck to his strong shoulders and chest. There was a dusting of sawdust over his arms and back, the smell of it and grass drifting off of him. I took a step back and reconsidered my need for watermelon, well aware of the still-wet condition of my lady parts. Moving to the cabinet, I opened the door and reached for a glass. “How’s counseling going?”

They’d had two appointments so far, and I hadn’t spoken to him after either. I’d asked Easton for an update, but had gotten a shrug in response. I shut the cabinet door.

“It’s been a gigantic waste of money so far.” He plucked a cube of watermelon from the tray and popped it into his mouth. “She’s refusing to give me a reason why she started hooking up with him. She says she needs to learn who she is, which I guess she plans to do in his bed. She’s at his house right now. Is probably fucking him before our session.” His face hardened into stern lines.

“And the divorce is definitely happening?” I still couldn’t fathom it. My marriage was the only solid thing in my life. Our relationship was my bedrock. My heartbeat. I couldn’t understand Becca jumping ship and not looking back.

“Yep. Today is the last court-ordered counseling session. We’ve sorted out the house and the business through mediation, so we just have to get through today, then have an attorney review the agreement and then…” He drew his thumb across the front of his throat. “It’s final.”

“That quickly? It’s been…” I tried to do the math. “Three weeks? Two and a half?”

“The beauty of living in Florida. The thirty-day divorce. As long as we agree on the division of assets, then it’s quick and simple.” He shrugged. “The shitty part is that we’ve spent more time arguing over the house than discussing our relationship.” A house he ended up giving to her in exchange for her half of his business. “And it’d be less painful if she was leaving me for a good guy, but he’s a complete dick.” He grimaced, the hurt clear across his features.

Yeah. That was one thing that Easton had described in clarity—Aaron’s introduction to the guy, who had been waiting outside their first mediation session, his chest puffed, arm slung around Becca’s shoulder as if marking her as his territory. My heart had broken at the way he’d been treated, and I’d mentally ignited any remaining compassion for Becca.

“I’m so sorry.” I felt a stab of guilt for avoiding him these last few days. “You don’t deserve any of this.”

“No, but I’m almost glad it happened.” He set down the watermelon and reached for his Mountain Dew. “What if we’d had kids together? What if I hadn’t found out about it until it was too late?”

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