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Hell no... “Maybe, Mr. Walsh. I’m not telling.”

“Ha! I knew it! Apply this week and I’ll hire you whenever you want to start. No questions asked. I’ve told Ben from the very beginning that you were a great catch. I know you love working at that nonprofit and your technology start up, but if you joined the family business, I think you’d love it a lot more.”

“What nonprofit?” I asked.

“What nonprofit?” He laughed. “Oh, you’re so modest, Gillian. I love that about you.” He lowered his voice. “There’s no shame working for the less fortunate. I enjoy the few pro bono consults I do every year. It puts everything in perspective...Also looks very good on my taxes.”

“I bet.” I forced a smile, wondering why the hell Ben had fed his father so many lies about me and my jobs.

“Oh, oh, oh!” His mother grabbed a glass of champagne from a tray. “That’s the pop culture editor from The Wall Street Journal. I need to make sure she gets a few lines directly from me.” She gave me one last smile. “Enjoy the party, Gillian. Make sure you join us for the official toast in an hour.” She and Mr. Walsh walked away, disappearing into the crowd.

I checked my phone to see if Ben had finally texted me back, and when I saw that he hadn’t, I was more than determined to find him and insist we step out of this party to talk. Now.

Circling the room, I checked every cocktail table, every champagne fountain, and every cheese and wine station. I even checked the bathrooms. I was almost tempted to have the DJ call for him over the music, but out the corner of my eye I spotted him standing in the corner by the windows. With another woman.

I stepped closer, hoping my eyes were playing a trick on me, but with every step, his distinctive features came into clearer focus, and the same hands that touched me were caressing the ass of a brunette in a way-too-short grey dress. He was whispering into her ear as she leaned against his shoulder, as her bony fingers combed through his hair.

“Am I interrupting something?” I stopped right next to them. “Ben?”

They immediately tore apart, looking at me with wide eyes. The girl was a girl I’d seen several times before, one of Ben’s coworkers at his father’s firm.

“Um...Hi, Gillian,” she said, red-cheeked. Without waiting for me to respond, she rushed away—leaving me and Ben alone.

Ben cleared his throat. “I was looking for you.”

“Did you think I was hiding up Allyson’s ass?”

“It’s not what you think,” he said. “How was your day today, babe?”

I didn’t answer.

“Well, I’ll go first. My day was okay. I secured two new deals, thank you very much for asking. I also found a few new vacation places I’d like us to see next summer. Now, how was your day??”

I blinked.

“Okay, then.” He looked completely oblivious. “What took you so long to get here?”

“You can’t honestly think that we’re simply going to bypass the fact that you were damn near fucking Allyson in public.”

“I wasn’t fucking her, Gillian. If I was fucking her, trust me, you would know.”


“I think I would know better than to do something like that in public, don’t you think?” He scoffed. “There’s a Hilton down the street for Christ’s sake and I get free rooms. I’m pretty sure I would take her there and not here.”

I stared at him, completely taken aback.

He laughed, stepping closer and putting his hands on my shoulders. “Lighten up, Gill. Learn how to laugh a little.”

“Learn how to tell a joke.” I jerked away from him. “Why were you touching her like that?”

He shook his head, looking as if I was being bothersome. “I told you I’d take you to Hemingway’s after this to discuss whatever the hell you wanted to talk about. Do you really want to have an unnecessary conversation like this now?”

“Right now.”

He groaned and grabbed my hand, tugging me past a group of suits and up a small flight of stairs. He opened the door and led me onto the half-covered roof.

The rain had slowed to a light sprinkle, and the winds were whipping against the both of us. A man in a white tuxedo was sitting on the far side of the roof, singing aloud and lightly fingering the keys of a grand piano as if we weren’t around.

“Lovers in New York...” He crooned. “Trying to find a place alone in New York...”

“Okay, Gillian,” Ben said, standing in front of me. “I’m not going to argue with you because we’re above that. But whatever you want to talk about now and at Hemingway’s, I’m game.”

“Are you cheating on me?” The question escaped my lips before I could completely think it through. It was a question I would’ve never even thought to ask until mere minutes ago.

“Am I what?”

“Are you cheating on me?”


“It’s a simple yes or no question, Ben. Are you?”

He was silent for several seconds, slipping his hands in and out of his pockets, all while looking at me as if he wasn’t sure what to say. It wasn’t until the pianist started a new song that he finally looked right into my eyes.

“I’m not cheating on you,” he said. “Not technically.”

“Not technically?”

“Let me explain.” He stepped closer and tucked a strand of hair behind my ear. “It’s just sex, Gillian. Just sex.”