It didn’t even occur to him that she might not be in her room, not until the sound of car engine caught his attention. An olive-green Jeep Cherokee had just pulled into the parking lot, and Becker’s breath froze in his lungs when he spotted the two familiar figures in the vehicle. Breathing hard, he discreetly ducked between his SUV and the minivan beside it, forcing his pulse to slow. Fuck. That couldn’t have been Jane in that Jeep. Sitting next to Ryan Evans.
He peered out from his hiding spot, his hands curling into fists as he received confirmation. Across the lot, Ryan Evans hopped out of the Jeep, then bounded toward the passenger door to help Jane out. She tripped and stumbled into Ryan’s arms, letting out a melodic laugh that echoed through the deserted lot and hardened Becker’s veins.
He stood there, frozen in place, as Ryan wrapped his arm around Jane’s shoulders and bent to say something in her ear. She laughed again, and then the two of them headed for the path leading toward the main building of the hotel. Becker watched them go, unable to move, unable to stop the simultaneous jolts of anger and betrayal the sight of Jane and Ryan had evoked.
Goddammit. Goddamn her.
One day. That’s all it had taken for her to hook up with another man. And here he was, pining over her for the past twenty-four hours, second-guessing his decision to end things, coming here so he could win her back. What a f**king moron he was. What did he expect, that she’d be missing him too? She’d said so herself. She liked sex. And she’d been attracted to Evans. Not to mention her admission that she’d never had a relationship that lasted more than a few months.
Well, theirs had lasted a full week.
He slowly uncurled his fists, sucking in a long breath. Fuck. He needed to calm down. Needed to restrain himself, before he lost control, marched over to Jane’s room and punched Ryan Evans’ lights out. Getting angry wouldn’t achieve a goddamn thing. Either way, he’d completely deluded himself into thinking he and Jane could have something serious. How could they? Jane wasn’t serious. She was fun and flirty and f**king another man right at this very moment. How could he get serious with a woman like that?
Tightening his jaw, he tore his gaze away from the direction Jane and Evans had gone. As much as it hurt, seeing them together, at least it had snapped some sense into him. He and Jane had f**ked for a week, and now she’d found a new bedmate. Big deal. He’d get over it. He’d get over her.
He let out a ragged breath, straightened his shoulders and headed to his cottage, all the while trying to convince himself that getting over Jane would be absolutely no trouble at all.
“Okay, are you going to tell me what’s bothering you or should I tell Mom and Dad so they can harass you about it?” Jane’s sister demanded, her hands on her hips as she loomed over Jane.
Jane had been lying on her comfy couch, a carton of ice cream in her lap, when her sister had marched into her apartment as if she owned the place and started the interrogation. “I don’t see what the big deal is,” Jane said defensively, sliding up into a cross-legged position. “I took a week off work so I could chill out for a while. Why is that cause for concern?”
“Because you never take time off,” Liz said, her blonde ponytail flipping as she plopped down on the couch. “You’ve practically lived in your office for the past two years.”
“Well, I needed a break.” She jammed her spoon into the carton and brought out a scoop of cookie dough ice cream, which she swirled around in her mouth before swallowing. God, ice cream was the best thing ever. She’d been back in LA for a week now, and so far, the only thing that had managed to cheer her up was ice cream.
“Why?” Liz pressed, her brown eyes filling with concern. “What happened in San Diego, Janie? You’ve been depressed ever since you got back.”
“I’m not depressed.”
“I’m not sad.”
Liz groaned with frustration. “I will call Mom. She’ll get the truth out of you.”
Jane sighed. She set down the ice cream carton on the glass coffee table and turned to her sister. “Fine, I’ll tell you what’s wrong, but please don’t tell Mom, okay?”
Triumph lit her sister’s eyes. “I knew something was wrong. Tell me everything.”
With another sigh, Jane spilled her guts. She told Liz all about Becker, the wild sex, her growing feelings for him, how he’d ended it before it could even begin. She finished by confessing how she’d spent her final night in San Diego—drunker than drunk. She left out the part about Ryan being there that last night, since it wasn’t important. Nope, the only truly important thing was how desperately she missed Thomas Becker.
“Then call him,” Liz said quietly when Jane voiced the thought out loud.
“I can’t. He made it clear he doesn’t see a future with me. He wants some perfect, obedient little housewife who’ll pop out half a dozen babies for him, and we both know I’m neither perfect nor obedient,” Jane said wryly.
Her sister grinned. “No, obedient you most certainly are not. Not perfect either, but…” Liz’s voice was laced with affection as she said, “You’re an amazing woman, Janie. Any man would be lucky to have you.”
“Too bad the one I want doesn’t see it that way.”
She went for the ice cream again, but Liz intercepted her, pushing the carton out of reach. “Thomas Becker is obviously an idiot, Janie. If he can’t see what’s right in front of him, then he doesn’t deserve you.”
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