It was easier to be so drunk that he couldn’t think or see straight all weekend than to be sober and sitting around, thinking about her all the damn time.

She had proven her point. Loud and clear. He got it.

She was pissed. She’d wanted things to change, and he’d been a dick. Maybe if he had responded less like…himself, then things would look different today. But, instead, he’d told her he was going to go fuck someone else and break all the goddamn rules. After he’d just been so pissed at her for doing the same.

At least he hadn’t actually slept with anyone. Brady had filled him in on the fact that he’d flirted with half of the women at the inaugural ball before everyone at the party had lost track of him that night, but Clay knew he hadn’t slept with anyone. He wasn’t sure it would have even been humanly possible to sleep with someone with that much alcohol in his system.

Monday morning dawned bright and early. He felt and looked like shit from the long weekend. Dark circles rimmed his eyes, and despite the shower, he still smelled like he was oozing alcohol from his pores. He found it hard to give a damn.

He entered his office without a word to anyone else there. He closed the door and laid his head down on the cold hard desk. Shit, he felt horrible.

The door to his office burst open.

“What the fuck are you doing, just sitting there?” Gigi asked.

She wasn’t in a pantsuit today. Instead, she had on a pencil skirt with a button-up tucked into it. She wore black-rimmed glasses that looked hot as fuck, too.

“Just a few more minutes,” he said, closing his eyes again.

“Are you out of your mind? Do you know what time it is? Do you know what day it is?”

“Monday?” he croaked.

“Yes! Monday! Monday morning, when we have a meeting with a partner to hand over your freaking cases.”

His eyes popped open. Well, shit. With the kind of weekend he’d had, he hadn’t even thought about his meeting with the boss this morning. He needed to prove he was worth their extra three hundred grand.

Clay stood and tried to brush out the wrinkles in his suit coat.

Gigi groaned and hastily shut the door. “Christ, you’re trying to get us both fired, aren’t you?” she asked.


She stormed over to him and started straightening his jacket and shirt. Then, she barreled straight forward and ran her fingers through his hair. Normally, this would have been pretty sexual, but she was very matter-of-fact about the entire thing.

She shook her head as she fixed him. “You smell like a bar,” she said. “What the fuck did you do all weekend?”

Clay shrugged. “My girlfriend broke up with me.”

She stilled with her fingers still in his hair. Her dark brown eyes rose to meet his, and she had a sad frown on her lips. “Oh.” Then, realization seemed to trigger in her. She shoved him away from her. “If you had a girlfriend this whole time, then why didn’t you just say that? You acted like a total jackass to me when I was drunk, and all you had to do was say you were with someone.”

Clay didn’t answer her right away. He could have said that, but that was never his answer to problems. Andrea wasn’t his scapegoat. He was just an ass.


“It didn’t matter. We’d been in an open relationship for a long time.”

“Yeah. Well, that sounds like it worked out great for you.”

Clay internally winced at that comment. On the outside, he remained as stoic as ever. “Literally every woman I know hates me right now. Let’s just not.”

Gigi sighed. “You’re right. That’s not fair of me. I don’t know the details or what happened.”

“Yeah. I’m not exactly an open book either.”

“You do look like you’re thoroughly suffering though.” She bit her bottom lip and observed him.

“Thoroughly suffering is one way to put it,” he said dryly.

“You still look like a hot mess.”

“At least I’m still hot.”

“And arrogant.”

“But hot?”

“And an asshole. So, your breakup didn’t rid you of any of your less redeeming traits.”

Clay laughed softly. It felt good. “Thanks.”

“Well, if you’re ready, I think that’s all I can do for you. Cooper is normally drunk by noon most days anyway. He might not even be able to smell the alcohol.”

“I suppose alcoholism runs in the business,” Clay joked.

“It’s a tough job. Not everyone is cut out for it.”

“That’s the truth.”

“Anyway, let’s get moving, Maxwell. We have a meeting to get to.”

Clay groaned but nodded, following Gigi out of the office. She glanced over at him once they reached the elevators.


“Were you at the inauguration?”

He shrugged. “Yeah. Every year.”

“Damn. I couldn’t make it. I was stuck at work.”

“You worked all weekend?” he asked.

“Don’t have anything better to do.” She pressed the button for the fourth floor. “Plus, this case is killing me. Literally.”

“You should loosen up some, De Rosa.”

She gave him the side eye. “As if loosening up has helped you any. Perhaps you should dig in and get a little more serious here. I can tell you think this place is a stepping-stone for you.”

“Oh, yeah?” he asked curiously.

“It’s written all over you. I can’t believe they paid you a signing bonus, knowing that you’re on your way to being a district attorney or a judge. It’s written all over your résumé, all over your family,” she told him intuitively.

“So what if it is a stepping-stone?” He was very intrigued now. Of course his résumé looked like he was on an upward trajectory. He was.

Gigi pursed her lips. “You’ll move up, no matter where you go and what you do. You’re a Maxwell. Name recognition is important for a reason, but if you didn’t just slide by here and you actually worked with me instead, we could do some good things on the way up.”

“Like what?”

She sighed, as if she hated admitting this out loud. “Help people, Clay. We could help people.”