“We should talk,” she said.

“Do I look like I’m in the mood to talk?”

“I don’t care.”

He ran his hand back through his hair and started up the stairs.

She stomped after him. “Are you really just going to ignore me?”

“Talk if you must talk, woman.”

“I don’t feel like I should have to apologize about Asher.”

Clay ground his teeth. “The fact that you’re using that douche’s name in my house—”

“Our house,” she spat back. “Any other night, you wouldn’t have given two shits that I’d been seeing him. How many other girls have you seen through our games?”

Clay shrugged. “More than one.”

“Right. So, don’t come back all high and fucking mighty.”

“Have you seen him since that night?” Clay asked.

He glanced at her as they both walked into their massive master bedroom with the giant four-poster king-size bed in the center.

“What? No, of course not,” she said, something flashing in her eyes. She almost looked hurt that he had even asked.

Or guilty. Huh.


“And why do you even care?” she demanded. “You claim you aren’t jealous, but you are. You claim you don’t want a real relationship, yet you want me to be there for everything for you. You claim that this makes you happy, but it doesn’t.”

“You agreed to all of this, Andrea!” he bellowed. “You’re not the girlfriend type. You’re not the marrying type. You don’t want your heart broken. You don’t want to be left alone, like your parents left each other. You make the same fucking claims that I do.”

Her eyes spit fire at him. “And what if I’ve changed?”

“You haven’t.”

“How can you possibly know that?”

Clay laughed and shook his head. He couldn’t believe he was hearing this. “Because you like the games. You thrive on the games. You said it yourself…we survived three years of law school when no one else did.” He swept his hand through her long blonde hair, pushing it off her shoulders and exposing her collarbones. “You know I care about you. You know you’re my girl. At the end of the day, I come home to you. We work this way.”

He could tell that she wanted to say something else, but instead, she just turned away from him and walked into her walk-in closet. Clay dropped his hand with a sigh. Everything hurt too much for this conversation.

Andrea reappeared a couple of minutes later in a silk negligee that barely graced the tops of her thighs.

“I’m going to sleep,” she said. Then, she strode right past him, crawled into the enormous bed, and turned on her side with her back facing the middle of the bed.


He stripped out of his tuxedo and pulled back the covers to lie next to her. The bed was big enough that, if they wanted to, they never had to touch each other. Some nights, it was a blessing. Tonight, it felt like a giant chasm had ripped the bed in two.

Ignoring her obvious dismissal, Clay bridged the distance between them, wrapped a protective arm around her waist, and dragged her body against his. She was stiff as a board beneath his touch.

“Andrea,” he whispered, “come on.”

“I hate this,” she admitted.

“Me, too.”

She shook her head, and he wasn’t sure what she was thinking. Surely, she meant that she hated they were fighting over something ridiculous. Why change when things are good?

Eventually, her body relaxed into him, and much of her weight pressed back into his chest. It was a reassuring soft embrace, something they’d done for years. And even though he was still upset about Bad Suit, he couldn’t help but feel content as he fell asleep with his girl in his arms.

Chapter 7


Their relationship was tense the next week before Clay started his new law job. He wouldn’t give up an inch on the Bad Suit fiasco. Andrea seemed even more stolid than ever and refused to talk to him further on any of the topics that had come up on New Year’s. The only good thing that had come of that week was that his ribs were finally healing and had stopped causing him excessive amounts of pain.

Just in time for him to start putting in long hours at the new office.

He’d decided on Cooper & Nielson. His father was right, as much as Clay begrudged him that.

Cooper & Nielson was the best firm in the city, and it was the perfect stepping-stone to getting him the experience he needed to become a judge. That would be another check mark on his to-do list to becoming attorney general.

He frowned as he thought about it while tying the knot of his pink-checkered tie. One more thing to make good old dad finally proud of him.

“Where are you off to this early?” Andrea asked. She appeared out of the walk-in closet in a knee-length blue dress. Her hair was pulled back off her face, and she looked so hot.

They’d never argued for this long before. Normally, whatever was bothering them, they would just get over—or, more accurately…fuck out. But, so far, no such luck. In fact, there’d been no fucking since the limo. Something he definitely needed to change.

“Work, baby.” He walked over and kissed her cheek. “Someone has to pay the bills.”

Her lips upturned. “We both have trust funds. No one needs to pay the bills.”

“Well, you’re the only one living off of yours.”

Andrea scoffed at him and ran her hands up the front of his suit. “For one, I earn a decent living, selling art. Something you’ve still yet to grasp. And second,” she cut in before he could laugh at her for considering her hobby a job, “this is a two-thousand-dollar suit.”

“Which is not a big deal since I just made my Supreme Court flirting bonus,” he said with a wink.

Every year, the top law firms across the country would “flirt” with Supreme Court clerks. Each justice had four, and the retired clerks even had one each to do their bidding…all of the real behind-the-scenes work. It was grueling, backbreaking work that Clay had put in during the last two years. But the average bonuses for clerks who entered into a top firm started at $250,000 on top of the salary at the firm, coming in as a third-year associate. His was getting more than that because he’d made them wait…and beg. It wasn’t a bad gig.