“Easton doesn’t look at you as a cash register,” I said quietly. “But, to be honest, part of my anger is over the lost commission. Commission he lost just because he’s a good guy. He’s still new in wealth management and has had some trouble getting his foot in the door. You—you were a big deal to him. And I know he wouldn’t have pushed you for this deal if he didn’t think it was the right thing for you. And…” I groaned.

“Whatever. It’s done. It just hurt him—in more ways than one.”

“You’re right. He is a good guy.

I knew that the minute he pushed my hand off of him. And when he walked away from the commission and turned me over to his boss.” She met my eyes. “I know he doesn’t want anything to do with me, but I can’t let what I did slide. I’ve been calling him but he won’t answer. Please, Elle. Help me.”

As much as I wanted to take a check from Nicole for the commission, I couldn’t. That was something between her and Easton, and I’d stand by whatever decision he made with it. But I did think he needed to hear what she had just told me. It was up to him whether he wanted to give her a second chance.

“I’ll have him call you tomorrow,” I promised. “But… there is one thing that you can do for me.”

She raised her brows. “Anything.”

29

I was still hungover from the margaritas, my stomach flipping in protest as I sat across from Julia De Luca the next day. She looked stunning in a bright green sundress, one that showed off her olive skin and dark hair. I watched as she delicately cut into a giant blueberry pancake, then shoved a wedge of it into her mouth with the gusto of a linebacker.

The new sushi restaurant had been closed, so we’d ended up at IHOP—a transition she had enthusiastically accepted. Upon arrival, she’d grilled the waitress about their syrup brands and distributor, then ordered enough food for two.

She noticed me watching and gestured to her plate with her fork. “Want some? I have plenty.”

“Oh, no. But thank you. I’m trying to do keto.” I gave an apologetic smile.

“Yeah, Brad’s doing that. Except that he cheats and drinks Coke, which I’m pretty sure throws the ketosis thing completely out of whack.” She blew at a strand of hair that had fallen into her face. “So, how’s everything?”

I tried not to stare at the giant diamond that screamed at me from her ring finger. “Good. I have the buyer’s inspections scheduled for Friday. I’m coordinating it with Martha, she’s prepared and is working with the security.”

She nodded as her delicate jaw worked through a bite, then she took a sip of milk. “Great. But, I was actually asking about you and Easton. Did I totally freak you out the other night?”

“Oh!” I inhaled sharply. “No, absolutely not.” I shook my head. “No, it was fine.”

She gave me a tentative grin. “It’s okay, Elle. I’m a wife, just like you. You can tell me if it freaked you out.”

I relaxed a little, picking up my fork and scooping a little of my eggs onto the end of it. “Honestly, it didn’t freak me out. I thought it would. I was prepared for it. But it was hot. And it was something that I could give him, to kind of make up for the”—I glanced around to make sure that no one was in earshot—“threesome we did with his friend.”

She was shaking her head before I even finished talking. “You don’t need to make up for anything, Elle. If that’s what the experiences are—one for him, one for you—then they won’t work. He needs to be into watching you be pleased as much as he’s into getting pleased.”

“I think he is.” I flushed and took a small bite of the egg, which was too runny for me. I chewed. “I mean, we’d never talked about being with a girl, until we had that conversation at your house and all… you know. All that happened.”

“Personally, I’m very selfish in our sex life,” she confided. “It’s why Brad doesn’t fuck other women.”

My thoughts stalled around the statement. “You don’t?”

She shook her head, and another big square of fluffy pancake disappeared between her glossy lips. She chewed, taking her time, while my heart sprinted around my chest in equal parts joy and despair. Brad doesn’t fuck other women. She swallowed, then continued. “We used to do it in the past and had a really bad experience with this one girl.” She wrinkled her face, as if she’d smelled something rotten. “She was the one who pretty much told half of Miami our sexual business. It took me a while to recover from her, and we stopped doing anything with anyone for a while.” She picked up her milk and I thought of our three-month break, the one that was going to start right after I slept with Brad. Ha. We were such cocky idiots.

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