"Yes. Let's talk tomorrow when she's gone. And we're alone." He pulled his calling card with private contact numbers from his pocket. Maybe he could salvage tonight for tomorrow. Warner slipped his number inside her bronze purse and returned it to her. And similar to her hand, he didn't want to let go of her bag either. He didn't have a choice. Red wasn't his to keep. Not yet.
Her arms extended, ready to catch-and leave. "Your future wife is determined."
"We're not engaged anymore."
Red's tone had chilled, eyes stoned, face mannequinesque. "Maybe you two can get back together and work it out before the kid arrives." She lowered her voice. "Hopefully she'll quit smoking before the baby is born."
"I'd like to explain everything to you tomorrow. Please. I put my card in your-"
Raising her hand, Red cut him short. "I left crazy back home." Her once-captivated eyes unlocked from his with disinterest. "I sure as h.e.l.l have no interest in your St. Barth's drama."
Red never looked back at him. She didn't acknowledge her Big Daddy when leaving.
He kept his eyes on Red as she turned the corner. Her russet hair cast a black veil over her perfect face in the night. Her tuberose scent lingered behind as if to say, "I should be in your arms tonight."
"I've missed you terribly." Reeking of gin, she extended her arms for capture.
She c.o.c.ked her head and twisted her featureless face. "For what, honey?"
"You've always possessed such a gift-" He didn't finish. He was too busy staring at his hands. They were bleeding from the amber-colored gla.s.s embedded in his palm. Warner hadn't even noticed-until now. Taking a handkerchief from his pants pocket, he dislodged the bits from his skin and then wrapped his hand tight to stop the bleeding.
Intoxicated, she slurred, "I have many gifts, sugar. So do you." Rielle hurled her desperation on him.
Warner held Rielle by her shoulders, dodging her hot breath. After meeting such a wonderful woman as Red, this contact created an instant sour pucker in his throat. Hatred, he tasted hatred. Lowering his head to meet her at eye level, he informed her, "What I was going to say was-you have such a gift-for ruining the best moments in my life." It hurt him to say this to the woman he once thought he loved. From the outside, Rielle was still beautiful. Her insides were what made her ugly to him now.
"What?" Rielle stepped back. Her eyes narrowed into black slits trying to sober in hopes she'd heard him wrong.
He advanced with rea.s.surance. "Get the h.e.l.l out of my life and away from me for good."
"Warner, honey." She tried to stand tall.
"I have to hand it to you. Being a b.i.t.c.h at your level requires enormous energy."
Whack! Rielle's pink nails tore across his face. "How dare you! I fly down to this floating French sand dune
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