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“Is he really that attractive?”

I nodded.

“And that good in bed?”

“Yes.” I hated that the very thought of him kissing me again made me bite my lip.

“Regardless, no more chances until he apologizes, Gillian. And only one more chance after that. Promise me that. You’re too good to be tied down to another asshole.”

“Okay. I promise.”

“Good.” She stood up and picked up a stack of envelopes from our coffee table. “Oh and by the way, the new mail has changed faces a bit since you’ve been away. Let’s see what we have.” She flipped through the envelopes. “James Patterson, Stephen King, Janet Evanovich and as always—Kimberly B. So, the bill collectors are hoping you’re a fan of big name authors now?”


“You know, I was actually getting used to the fictional characters.” She shrugged, tossing the envelopes into the corner. “One day you’re going to tell me how the hell you got them to treat you this way. Unless you tell ‘Jake’ first, that is.” She headed toward the kitchen. “I need a dinner date and I choose you. You want pancakes?”

“No, thank you.”

“What about crepes?”

“That’s the same thing, Mer.”

“Okay, so what about blueberry crepes and pancakes? With syrup?”

I laughed, giving in. “Okay.”

“Now, please tell me more about the sex because it better be off the Richter scale phenomenal for someone like you to ever put up with this type of guy.”



Denver (DEN)

Subject: Us...

Jake, I’m not sure what happened to you, or why you’ve been acting like you have lately, but I don’t like it and I want us to talk. I want “us” to go back to how we were.


Subject: Re: Us...

I’m trying to determine if this message is about fucking or not. Does your “us” refer to the original agreement we made in the hotel stairwell?


Subject: Re: Re: Us...

It refers to the “us” where you actually talked to me, where I could consider you my friend. I miss that...


Subject: Re: Re: Re: Us...

Tuesday in Charlotte. E28.




Charlotte (CLT)—> San Francisco (SFO)—> France (CDG)

Don’t cry...Don’t you dare cry...

I stood inside the bookstore in Charlotte International, flipping through another Grisham novel—hating that my flight today was delayed by two hours. As I pinned my thumb between chapters twenty-five and twenty-six, I heard the sound of someone approaching me from behind.

“Gillian?” Jake’s deep voice turned me on instantly, but I didn’t bother facing him. “Gillian, this is not E28.”

“I know it’s not E28. It’s Charlotte Daily News, a bookstore.”

“Did you come here hoping I would search the airport for you?” he asked. “Are you waiting on me to buy the book?”

“No, Jake.” I felt a pang in my chest. “I think you know exactly what I’m waiting for you to do.”

“I’m not fucking you in here.”

“What?” I spun around, tears pricking at my eyes. “Are you being serious right now?”

“My flight is in two hours. I would prefer if we fucked sooner than later.”

“You are...” A tear fell down my face. “Jake, you’re not being you. What happened? We were fine and you just flipped the switch...You haven’t said anything at all to me this week.”

“I just texted you an hour ago, Gillian.” He kept his voice low. “Yet, once again, you’ve chosen to ignore where I told you to meet me so we can argue for no reason.”

A woman suddenly darted between us, quickly grabbing a book from the shelf before moving away.

“You like me, Jake,” I said. “As much as you want to deny that fact, you like me and regardless of whatever the hell has happened to you, I deserve to be treated better than this.”

“Is this the part where you demand an apology?” He was struggling to hide his anger. “Is that all I have to do to get you to fuck me today?”

“No,” I said, setting my book down. “This is the part where I finally walk away. For good.” I rushed past him, slipping into the terminal—letting my tears fall as I blended between travelers.

I felt my phone vibrating against my pocket, saw his name cross my screen when I finally pulled it out, but I simply turned it off.

If he could act as if we never meant anything, I could, too.


Several days later, I stared at my reflection in the restroom in San Francisco—failing to get my mascara to stay on my eye lashes. Each time I brought the wand up to my face, tears fell or a lump formed in my throat.

Groaning, I snapped the cap shut after the fifth attempt. I pulled out my foundation, in desperate need of color, but the tears cracked through every coat.


I looked at my watch—a cheap, “I Love New York” one since I refused to wear the one Jake gave me anymore, and realized I had three full hours before I’d need to board for Paris. Only three full hours before I needed to get myself together.

Grabbing a paper towel, I froze when I saw Miss Connors walking into the restroom.