He’s also not remotely impressed that we’re having tacos for dinner. I find his disinterest in tacos almost more alarming than his penchant for murder. What kind of psycho doesn’t like taco night?

Long story short, we’re definitely never getting tacos at family dinner ever again.

When we’re clearing up the dishes from dinner, before we head our separate ways, Mia pulls me aside and requests, “Can you please take him tonight?”

“Um… I can try,” I offer, though I’m really not sure how successful that’s going to be. Since his dick touched her again, it hasn’t come near me. Which, since the whole Vince thing I haven’t been as sad about, but it still makes this request a challenge to grant. If things were going well maybe he would come back to me for a night, but since that whole thing happened in the study I’m pretty sure he’ll want to be with her.

I try to think up ways to entice him to stay with me when we go back upstairs to put the girls to bed. Lily gets two stories out of us tonight, then I drag both girls off the bed and chase them down the hall to their bedroom.

Once I return to our bedroom, I climb up on the bed and crawl across. Deciding to ditch subtlety, I straddle him.

“Well, hello,” he says, smiling up at me, arms folded behind his head. My heart aches a little, because this is the version of him I miss. My Mateo. I want his sweetness back in my life.

But he had to go and murder Vince and fuck everything up.

I’m also still not totally sure Mia wants him in her bed, but since she specifically asked me to keep him out of it tonight, I’m guessing no. Which I hope means he hasn’t had sex in a while. It’s really difficult to picture a reality in which Mateo lies in bed next to a woman every night and doesn’t have sex with her, but that’s the reality I need.

It’s all really stressful to think about, so I stop.

“So, I told Mia tonight that I’m the reason she can’t have babies, and she didn’t seem to have any idea what I was talking about.”

His eyebrows rise casually, but he offers back, “Strangely enough, in light of recent events, it has not come up.”

“Well, I thought it might’ve come up before you got all murdery. Like, presumably the first time you wrapped your dick before putting it in her body, since she knows you’re not really into that.”

He shrugs. “I didn’t explain it. I planned to, eventually, just hadn’t yet.”

“Well, I tried, and it did not go well.”

“I noticed,” he says, dryly. “Thanks so much for your help.”

“You’re the one who made the chair empty,” I point out.

“I didn’t have a choice, Meg.”

This is super not sexy, so I climb off him and onto the bed beside him instead. “Yes, you did, Mateo. Even if he had to die, you didn’t have to do it like that. You didn’t have to do it yourself. You could’ve sent Colin or Adrian or literally anyone. And even if you had to do it yourself because of some bizarre, evolutionary, caveman impulse, you didn’t have to do it in front of her. You have way more tact than that. Don’t try to act like you don’t. Either you did what you did on purpose, or you’re so damn obsessed with that girl that you actually lost your mind. But you didn’t have to do it. Not like that.”

“I don’t want to fight about this. I’m tired of fighting about Vince. I wish he were here right now so I could punch him in the face again for being such a pain in my ass.”

“Well, that’s a little morbid, even for me,” I inform him.

Mateo rolls his eyes and sighs, making the move to get out of my bed. The move he always makes, right before he goes to hers.

“No, wait,” I say, pinching a section of his shirt before he can stand and tugging him back. “Why don’t you stay with me tonight?”

“I thought I might be able to when things were on track, but now that all that happened, I think I should—”

“She doesn’t want you to come to her room,” I interrupt. “She asked me… to keep you in here tonight.”

This causes him to scowl. I realize immediately I shouldn’t have taken the honest approach. I should’ve taken my shirt off or started giving him a blow job; I should not have told the truth.

“Then I need to go check on her,” he says, getting up off the bed.

“Mateo, come on…”

“If she specifically asked you to keep me away, that could mean she’s planning something.”

Eyes bugging out of my head, I say, “Yes, Mateo. I think she probably is planning something—like, maybe, crying herself to sleep over the loved one you stole from her. I think that’s probably her master plan tonight.”

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