She squealed and jumped up and down. “Mine!” she cried.

Andrea laughed and gave her a hug.

Brady and Clay both held their hands up.

“Now, wait one minute.”

“Savi…I don’t think…”

“You’re too young for any of that.”

“Andrea, maybe try one more time.”

“Hey!” Savannah snapped. “It’s mine! And I’m next anyway, right? We’re going in order.”

Brady shook his head. “I think I see some serious conversations with this boyfriend of yours in the future.”

Savannah rolled her eyes. “What. Ever.”

“We should probably cover Tweedledum, too, just as a precaution,” Clay teased.

“Whoa now!” Andrea said, breaking them up. “Leave poor Savannah alone. She can be up next without you two interfering in her love life!”

“Thank you, Andrea,” Savannah said. “So, butt out, jerks!”

Brady grabbed Savannah around the shoulders, and they were jabbing at each other in good nature.

Andrea shook her head and turned back to Clay just as Gigi walked up. She gave Andrea a huge hug and then one for Clay.

“Congratulations! Both of you! I’m so happy for you.”

“Thanks, Gigi,” Andrea said.

“I’m so glad you could make it,” Clay added.

“Me, too. It’s been fun…erm…awkward but fun.”

“Awkward?” Andrea asked.

Gigi’s eyes darted to Chris’s and then back to her in a second.

“Oh, because you slept together?” Clay said.

“Clay!” Gigi snapped. “Will you give it a rest?”

“Well, did you?” Clay asked.

Andrea put her hand to her head. Tactless.

“For your information, we didn’t. I don’t think he’s interested in me like that. So, if you could stop the interrogation about it, it might be less awkward…since I guess I’ll probably have to be around him a lot more.”

Clay held up his hands. “All right, all right.”

“But, for the record,” Andrea said, taking Gigi’s hand, “Chris would be crazy not to be interested in you like that.” Sometimes Andrea still have trouble being around Gigi, but the more she interacted with her, the more she realized how misguided she had been. Clay and Gigi were very similar people, and they really were just friends.

“Thanks,” she said softly. With a small frown, she cut her eyes back over to Chris.

The night wore on. Soon, people were retiring to their respective hotel rooms, and Andrea knew that she and Clay should head back to their own hotel room. But she just wanted to waste the night away here with Clay forever.

Clay’s father approached with a tin of cigars.

Clay’s eyebrows rose. “For me?”

“Of course for you!” Jeff said with a smile. “Andrea?”

“No, thank you. I’ll stick to my champagne.”

“Good choice.”

The guys lit their cigars, and Andrea watched them—father and son—having their moment. She had always wanted a better relationship for Clay with his father. Since she had sworn off her family, she had taken up the Maxwells as her own. She hated that Clay had never been able to talk to his dad the way she knew he wanted to. He had been intimidated and put off and afraid for so long, thinking Brady was the favorite. But she knew that his father was just reticent with affection. As they stood together, she could see the bond forging now.

“I wanted to give you two this before your mother and I headed to bed for the night,” Jeff said, passing over an envelope to Clay and Andrea.

Clay opened the envelope, and when Andrea saw what was inside, her eyes widened as big as saucers. Inside was the deed to Andrea’s parents’ beach house. How the hell did he get that?

“This is too much,” Clay said at once.

“No, it’s not. I know you two already bought a house together, but I thought this would be a good addition.”

“How?” Andrea asked.

“I bought it years ago,” he admitted. “Your mother didn’t want to keep it, but…you were family, Andrea, even then. I couldn’t let you lose that home, too. I always figured, one day, I would give it to the two of you. And today is that day.”

Tears came to her eyes, fresh and hot. She walked forward and hugged Jeff tightly. “Thank you so much. It means more than you’ll ever know.”

He patted her on the back. “I know, honey. Thank you for making my son so happy.”

Clay laughed, as if he were trying to reel in all of his emotions. Andrea leaned back against the railing on the deck and stared at her husband and the father she never had.

“I guess, now, all I have to do is become attorney general to keep you proud of me,” Clay said with a false laugh.

“What do you mean?” Jeff asked, taking another deep pull on his cigar.

“You remember,” Clay said like he was desperate for his dad to remember…to know what always ate at him.

Oh, how she hurt for him then because it was clear on his father’s face that he didn’t remember.

“You were right here, in this house, and you said Brady was good enough to become president and that I’d be an attorney general…because it worked for the Kennedys.”

Jeff scratched the back of his head. A habit that both of his sons had acquired from him. “I honestly don’t remember that, son. You should know…I’m proud of you, and I always have been. I hope you never thought that you couldn’t be whatever you wanted to be. If attorney general is your dream, then you’re doing a fine job at getting there. If it’s not, then being the best lawyer in D.C. is pretty damn good, too.”

Clay opened and closed his mouth. In the matter of one conversation, his father had just shattered every preconceived notion Clay had had about him.

“I thought you preferred Brady,” Clay muttered, as if he’d been holding the words in for too long.

“How could a father choose one child over another? I think Brady and I just had more similar interests. You always took after your mother, and I respected that. And, since you always did your own thing, I just felt like you needed my guidance less. Maybe I was wrong for thinking that,” Jeff said. He looked down and then back up at his son, as if struggling for the right words. That didn’t happen often to a politician. “Clay, I’m sorry if you ever thought that I wasn’t proud of you. I’ve always been proud of you.”