After the tennis event, we’d had drinks with Nicole who was incredibly delightful, bless my jealousy’s soul, and incredibly gay. Like… super gay. As a prime example, my neck may contain a hickey from my husband’s new client’s Olympic-gold mouth—the result of a tequila shot taken a little too far. He was right. Nicole did reek of sexuality. Sexuality that really really liked me and not my husband. Not that Easton had minded. I’d seen the gleam in his eyes as she had gotten more and more handsy. He’d given me a suggestive grin and I’d vigorously shook my head at him, killing the idea of a Nicole/Aaron/Elle sandwich.
“You’re preening,” Aaron remarked.
“Am I?” I blushed and bit into a wedge of melon. To be honest, the attention had been nice.
“I’m actually surprised you’re functioning properly. E said you’d had a half-dozen drinks.” He gave me the sort brotherly look that Easton liked to adopt, right before he reminded me to wear my seat belt, or not give rides to homeless people, or to call him when I got into an Uber.
“I did, and I was fine.” I waved off his concern. “I handle my alcohol way better than you think.”
“In Vegas, you vomited in the ice bucket of the limo,” he reminded me.
“I did?” I frowned at him, and the faint memory of clutching the ice bucket did sharpen into focus. “No, I didn’t. You have me confused with one of those escorts. I was sober and classy the entire time.”
He smirked at me, and I wondered if he was thinking about watching me through the window.
“Almost the entire time,” I amended. “Definitely no vomiting occurred.”
He chewed on another chunk of watermelon and let my lie slide. “So, Nicole’s gay.”
“Very.” I shrugged. “But you never know. Maybe she’d cross the street for you.”
“Nah.” He tore off a piece of paper towel and used it to wipe the watermelon juice off his fingers. “I watched an interview she did with 30-for-30 and she didn’t do anything for me anyway. I prefer brunettes.” He grinned at me, and I couldn’t help but return the gesture. He’d always been a flirt, and this easy back and forth returned us to familiar ground.
“Here.” He pushed the watermelon container toward me. “I’m going to go take a shower and clean up so my future ex-wife can throw a bunch of bullshit on me.” He pointed at me. “Drink lots of water.”
I rolled my eyes in response. “Don’t leave your wet towel on the floor.”
“Come on.” He scoffed, spreading his hands as he walked. “Who do you think you’re talking to?”
“Uh-huh.” I pulled the container closer to me and selected a bigger piece. “Go tell someone who will believe you.”
I heard him laugh as he walked down the hall and let out a slow breath of relief, glad that things were back to normal between us. Picking up my glass, I stared into the clear contents. God, I had thrown up in that limo. How had I forgotten that? I tilted back my head and finished off the glass, shaking the ice until a piece landed into my mouth.
There was the sound of the front door and I turned, watching as Wayland’s nose wedged through the opening. He barreled through, my husband in tow.
Two days later, I was mid-huff up the highest part of our street when Easton pulled Wayland’s leash over his wrist and tossed out the grenade.
“You never responded to my email.”
The email was now a solid week old, which I’d hoped had been long enough to fall off our radar.
They were just fantasies. We can forget they exist.
Yeah, we could. Or we could explore them further.
“It didn’t require a response,” I pointed out.
“Yeah, but it probably should have.” We hit the top part of the hill and moved to the shoulder to let a white SUV past. “Have you thought about it anymore?”
“Thought about what?” Which part? Who?
“Any of it.” We paused to let Wayland take a long and very intense examination of an untamed clump of grass. “Have you thought about Aaron at all?”
“He lives with us. It’s hard not to think about someone when you’re tripping over them.” I was evading and he knew it. The next step would be a confrontation, one paired with his serious voice and some eye contact.
“Elle.” He moved in front of me and blocked my path, his gaze searing a hole in my eyes. “I’m trying to make you happy.”
I pulled at the two plastic grocery bags I’d tucked into the front of my shorts and nodded at Wayland. “Your son is pooping.” I moved toward the Great Dane and E blocked me.
“Talk to me.”
“Okay. I don’t want to do anything with Aaron.”
I blew out a frustrated breath. “Because it’ll make things really really awkward.”
“I thought you guys talked and were back to normal.”