“What?” I ask.
“You just told me that you and Walsh have a bond that’s unlike any other probably in your life,” Vince points out. “I hate to even give the guy any credit, but Jorie… he made a mistake and didn’t choose you. It doesn’t mean his feelings weren’t real or deep. If he loves you the way you love him—I can’t compete with that. I guess I don’t know why you’re not choosing him.”
“I don’t know,” I whisper. “I don’t know why I’m so afraid.”
“You need to decide what to do.”
“I don’t have to decide right now,” I tell him. “But I do have to make the right decision.”
“What is Walsh offering you?” he asks me bluntly.
I hesitate a moment, my throat constricting as if I’m almost afraid to believe what Walsh told me. “Everything,” I whisper. “He’s offering me everything.”
I pull my meal out of the microwave—some pre-packaged frozen lasagna my housekeeper keeps stocked for late-night hunger emergencies—as I talk to Micah on the cell phone pressed between my ear and shoulder. He returned to San Francisco today. Some steam escapes out of the corner of container and catches me on my thumb.
“Ouch, fuck,” I yell as I drop the thing on the counter and bobble the phone. I mutter, “Hang on.”
I put the phone on the counter, hit the speaker phone button, and say, “Can you hear me okay?”
“Yeah,” he says. “You were telling me how you left it off with Jorie.”
Indeed, I was. I called Micah about the trip I just got back from about four hours ago. I came straight home and had been catching up on some work at my kitchen table. It’s only when I looked at the clock and saw it was almost ten did I realize I hadn’t eaten lunch or dinner and I was suddenly starved.
Now it’s a microwave meal and probably some Sons of Anarchy to cap my evening off. Besides, it will help keep my mind off Jorie.
“We talked,” I tell Micah. I absolutely don’t tell him about fucking her against the door. “And it was good, I think. She’s confused, and there’s Vince, of course.”
“She’ll choose you,” Micah says confidently.
“I want her to choose what’s best,” I return as I peel the plastic cover off the lasagna. “I hope to fuck that’s me, but it has to be what’s best for her.”
“You’re best,” Micah says again.
“Just two weeks ago, you were not keen on this idea,” I remind him.
“And you punched me hard and knocked some sense into me,” he says with a laugh, and I can’t help but join him. It’s like all the bad shit was quickly melting away between us.
“I talked to her today,” Micah says. “She called me after she talked to you.”
“What did she say?” I ask with great interest. Especially if it eases my mind a bit.
“That’s between me and her, but I was vocal that I thought you were the real deal.”
“Gee, thanks,” I mutter. “I’ve been telling her the same thing.”
“There is an issue though that’s bothering her,” Micah says, and my heart drops. How can there be an issue? I thought I covered everything I knew was important to her.
“Come on, man,” I say with a groan. “Don’t do this to me.”
“That’s for her to bring it up, because maybe it’s ultimately not an issue for her. But I told her she had to talk about it to you.”
A surge of irritation sweeps through me, and I snap, “Well, that could be days—even weeks—Micah. What am I supposed to do until then? Steal my secretary’s Xanax from her desk drawer?”
Just then, my elevator doors hiss open and I blink my eyes.
Jorie is standing there.
She’s got on a pair of faded jeans, a fitted t-shirt, and flip-flops. Over one shoulder is her purse, and her other hand has a rolling suitcase.
“Your sister’s here. Gotta go,” I lean down to mutter into the speaker, and I disconnect Micah.
When I look back up at her, she’s moved out of the elevator but hasn’t come in any further. I stay behind the kitchen island facing her, afraid if I blink, she’ll only be an apparition.
“What are you doing here?” I ask her, completely befuddled to see her. Not that I’m not fucking over the moon about it, but by my accounts, she should be deep in conversation with Vince about now.
“It’s you,” she murmurs, and my heart comes to a stuttering halt. “It’s only ever going to be you.”
Inside, I’m doing a fist pump but on the outside, I’m rounding the kitchen island with long strides. I practically knock her over when I crash into her, hands in that beautiful hair and my mouth fusing to hers. Jorie drops her purse, and I vaguely hear her suitcase fall over. Her arms wrap tight around me. What I’m getting from her is that she’s never letting me go.