If I did that, though, it would break the trust Walsh has in me. We agreed this would be our secret, and Walsh kept the secret of what happened that night to me all these years. I can’t do that to him.
I note that Walsh doesn’t answer me, so I prod him with a sassy grin. “Netflix and chill?”
He smiles back at me, but it doesn’t fully reach his eyes. “How come you didn’t tell me Vince called?”
I’m so stunned by this change of subject that for a moment I can’t figure out how he knows that. Then it hits me… he must have been standing outside that elevator for a few minutes and heard my conversation with Elena.
The answer to his question hits me hard, though, and I gently chastise. “Come on, Walsh… you have to know it’s hard to talk about one man while fucking another.”
I expect him to be ashamed a little, but he pointedly reminds me, “Not if there aren’t strings attached to the one man. Besides, we’re still friends, right?”
“Um… yeah. Sure,” I tell him hesitantly and with a little pain throbbing in the center of my chest. “Yesterday morning, and he’s been texting.”
Walsh studies me for a moment, and I feel like his words are carefully measured when he says, “I don’t want to stand in the way of your marriage.
“You’re not,” I hastily assure him.
My eyes drop to Walsh’s chest and my fingers come up to skim over the hard planes. When I look back up to him, I say, “I need you to let me have this for a while without pressure about Vince. I’m trying to figure myself out, and I’m happy right where I am. I know this is only ‘for now’ and not ‘forever,’ but I’m just not ready to give him a chance. I’m not sure I ever will.”
In fact, if I had to go with my deepest gut instinct, it’s over between me and Vince. I’d like to think I’d fight for my marriage, and Vince was right… we had a lot of great memories. But we have one inherent difference I can’t get over. Forget about the sex issue. He doesn’t want kids, and I’m not sure that will ever change about him. If I had to have one serious talk with Vince about the future of our marriage, it would be about that, and I’m convinced that’s not changed. Every function we’d ever been at together, he always sneered at the little kids, shied away from holding a baby, and mocked his friends who were going through teenager woes. He just doesn’t like kids, and that’s intolerable to me.
Another moment of silence, and then Walsh nods. I pretend not to notice that I think I saw a flicker of relief in his eyes over my words, because that would give me too much hope.
“You have a job interview tomorrow?” he asks.
I nod. “With the local paper in Henderson. It’s still a copyediting position, which I’m not fond of, but it’s a way to make some income while I continue to look around.”
“You’re looking to stay in Henderson?” he asks.
“For now,” I return vaguely. I didn’t dare look for anything in Vegas, because while Walsh has opened his home freely to me, I don’t want it to appear I want or expect more. I know there’s nothing that will scare him off faster.
“I have some contacts with some local media here in Vegas if you want me to reach out,” he says, and this surprises me.
I try not to read too much into it, so I just say, “Thanks. That would be awesome.”
His smile is bigger, and I don’t know what that means either. I take care not to get hopeful, because I have a feeling Walsh could crush me.
Vince hurt me. Shamed me.
But Walsh will destroy me if I don’t keep a tight lock on my heart.
“Let’s order in dinner,” Walsh suggests. “And then watch movies.”
“Netflix and chill,” I say again with a grin.
“You know that means sex, right?” he asks.
I blink at him in confusion. I’d heard the term a lot, and I just thought it meant chilling on the couch and watching movies.
But I’m okay with the sex, too. “Of course, I know that means sex. Duh… what did you think I thought it meant?”
Walsh barks out a laugh and leans forward to give me a hard kiss. It’s one of my favorite things about him… when I amuse him to the point of spontaneous displays of pure affection. Not saying that it’s better than the orgasms he gives me, but it feels damn good.
Rolling over, Walsh snags his phone off the nightstand and does a quick check of his messages. He may be technically out of the office, but the man never stops working.