From the Author
In her purse, her cell phone rang. Shegroaned. No. Not now. If Riley wantedher to explain, she just didn't feel like . . . Then she realized; it wasBrendan's ringtone. She let it ring until it went to voicemail and ignored itwhen it rang again. The third time, she picked up, but said nothing, justlistening.
"Open the fucking door, Tracy."
She hesitated. Open the door?
Still holding the phone to her ear,she went to the top of the stairs, looking down at the front door, but couldn'tsee anything from that vantage point.
"Open the door," he said again, hisvoice calmer this time.
The only thing that made her decide todo it was the realization that he had to have left almost immediately after shedid, or driven very, very fast. That had to count for something, surely.
He crowded his way in as soon as theinner door was open a crack, and Tracy shut it behind him, leaning against it,afraid to look up at his face.
"You make me fucking crazy, you knowthat?" he demanded.
Tracy said nothing, focusing on hisshoes. He had great taste in shoes, and they all looked very expensive. Shoesand shirts were his vices. And that ridiculously pricey car. As vices went, shesupposed that wasn't so bad. She'd definitely known worse.
"Meghan didn't come to the party withme. She came because Riley invited her. She came on her own."
Slowly, she raised her chin and lookedat him. He looked no less angry than he sounded. So he'd finally figured outwhat made her mad, huh? Or, more likely, Riley told him she was fishing aroundfor information about when he'd arrived with Meghan.
"You didn't have to go off on her likethat. If you were pissed at me, come at me. Why be a bitch to someone who'snever even done anything to you?"
Shehas done something to me, Tracy thought. The fact of her existence does something tome.
"You need to handle your shit, Tracy.Because tonight? That mess was just . . . sloppy."
"I'm sorry," she said finally.
"Why are you even here?" he continued,his voice softer. "We were supposed to meet back at my place."
"Because we ended it." she saidquietly.
"Oh you meant that?" he said, hisvoice impassive and sounding unconvinced.
Tracy said nothing. No, she didn'tmean it. She didn't mean a word of it but had been worried that he believed shedid, and that her foolish pride would prevent her from taking it back. Sheshook her head.
"I didn't think you did. So I expectedyou to go to my place." Brendan said.
"If you thought that," she said,hesitant to challenge him in his current mood, "why did you come here?"
"Because Tracy, whenever I think ofthe rational thing a person would do, you generally do the opposite."
She couldn't help it. That made her smile.