“You look like you haven’t slept a wink. Are you feeling okay?”
I shake my head. “I’m a little nauseated.” I should have eaten something before going to bed. Or had some water. Now I need an aspirin and an industrial-size bottle of Gatorade.
Turning away from my duffel, she looks down at my stomach and then back to my face. “Morning sickness?”
Her jaw unhinges, and she stares at me. “Girl.”
“I’m not pregnant,” I say softly.
“Oh my God. I’m so sorry. No wonder you’re such a mess this morning. When did you lose it?”
I shake my head. “I’ve never been pregnant. I’m not Veronica.”
I don’t know if it’s from sheer repetition or something in my tone that finally gets through to her, but Teagan lifts a hand to cover her mouth. She sinks onto the couch beside me and proceeds to stare into my eyes for a period of time that could only be described as awkward. “Nicole? Nicole Maddox?”
“In the flesh.”
She tilts her head to one side, then the other, as if searching for the sign that I am who I say, which would make sense if Veronica and I weren’t completely identical. “It’s really you,” she says. “Aren’t you supposed to be on your honeymoon? Why are you here?”
“Veronica is pregnant.”
“I know.” Her brow wrinkles in confusion. “That’s why I got her the job up here with the Jacksons. People aren’t as judgy about single moms here as they are where you two come from.”
“She’s pregnant with my fiancé’s baby.”
“Well, she left out that little detail when she was here last month.” She scowls and mutters, “What a cunt.”
My stomach rolls and I squeeze my eyes shut. “I wouldn’t use that word.”
She snorts. “Of course you wouldn’t. You’re the good twin. But I swear to you, if you slept with her fiancé, she’d call you a cunt so many times you’d think it was the name your mama gave you.”
“I’m sorry I stood you up for breakfast, but I’m not her, so if you want to leave now, I’ll get back to sleeping off the worst day of my life.” And the hottest night. Did that really happen? Or did I dream it?
“Wait, so when did you find out about them? Before or after you married the dude? And did he know he was sleeping with the wrong twin, or was Veronica pretending to be you like she used to do in college? Did you suspect anything?”
I rub my temples. “That’s too many questions at once.” I lean back on the couch—the same couch where a sexy stranger gave me the most intense orgasm of my life just last night—and press my hand to my head. “I don’t know if I’m hungover because of the tequila or because of life.”
“You need food. I’m taking you to Sunny Side Up. Best breakfast in town.”
“Okay, start at the beginning,” she says when we’re seated in a booth at the back of a bustling diner.
I give her the abbreviated version of what happened. The phone call I overheard, the wedding, Veronica puking on my ivory roses, finding myself at the airport with her purse, the panicked flight to Grand Rapids, and the drive in the rental car to Veronica’s hotel in Jackson Harbor.
I leave out meeting the stranger at the bar, but jump to the text from Marcus that sent me into the women’s bathroom. I hand over Veronica’s phone so she can read it, though I read it so many times last night I could probably recite it from memory.
Teagan takes the phone and reads aloud. “Nicole, Veronica told me you took her purse, so I’m texting you on her phone in case you have it. I’m sorry. I misled you. I lied to myself. I don’t think I ever loved you the way a man should love his wife. I’m fond of you, but you don’t light my soul on fire. I think this pregnancy was God’s way of stopping you and I from making a terrible mistake. You’ll never be the one I need, no matter how much I wanted you to be.”
Teagan drops the phone to the table with a clatter. “Oh my God, has he always been this big of a douche, or is he just letting the douche flag fly because he was found out?”
I shrug. “I thought I was lucky. I thought we were meant to be. He’s . . .” My eyes fill with tears. “I thought he was a good guy.”
I was so angry when I got that text, and then that beautiful stranger was there, looking at me like he didn’t want to be anywhere else, even though I had mascara running down my face and probably seemed like the biggest drama queen in town.
Then he kissed me, and I let him walk me to my hotel, and . . .