Julka_15

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Meghan March - (Real Duet 2) Real Good Love -(ang)

Dodano: 10 miesiące temu
R E K L A M A

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Dodano: 10 miesiące temu
Rozmiar : 1.0 MB
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Odsłony: 289
Pobrania: 45

Meghan March - (Real Duet 2) Real Good Love -(ang).pdf

Julka_15 Dozwolone od lat 18-stu w języku angielskim
Użytkownik Julka_15 wgrał ten materiał 10 miesiące temu. Od tego czasu zobaczyło go już 289 osób, 45 z nich pobrało dokument.

Komentarze i opinie (7)

Julka_15 • 3 miesiące temu

Niestety jeszcze nie mam

Gość • 3 miesiące temu

Można prosić o tłumaczenie 2części

marcin • 7 miesiące temu

Julka - zorganizuj proszę swoje katalogi. 2 tyś plików w jednym katalogu to naprawdę katorga. Poza tym jeszcze troche i zablokujesz w ten sposob swój profil na doci...

Julka_15 • 7 miesiące temu

niestety jeszcze nie wiem

Patalopata • 7 miesiące temu

Kiedy po polsku ?

Julka_15 • 9 miesiące temu

Niestety jeszcze nie wiem. pozdrawiam :)

Loveforever11 • 9 miesiące temu

Hey, wiadome jest kiedy bedzie po polsku do pobrania?;)

Transkrypt ( 25 z dostępnych 135 stron)

Rea l G ood L ove Book T w o o f t h e R ea l D uet Meg h an M arc h

C opyrig ht © 2 017 b y M eghan M arc h L LC A ll r ig hts r e se rv ed. E dit o r: P am B ere hulk e, B ulle tp ro of E dit in g w ww.b ulle tp ro ofe dit in g.c om C over d esig n: @ b y H ang L e w ww.b yhangle .c om C over p hoto : @ R egin a W am ba, M ae I D esig n w ww.m aeid esig n.c om I n te rio r D esig n: S ta cey B la ke, C ham pagne F orm ats w ww.c ham pagnefo rm ats .c om N o p art o f th is b ook m ay b e r e pro duced o r tr a nsm it te d in a ny f o rm o r b y a ny m eans, e le ctr o nic o r m echanic al, in clu din g p hoto copyin g, r e cord in g, o r b y a ny in fo rm atio n s to ra ge a nd r e tr ie val s y ste m w it h out th e w rit te n p erm is sio n o f th e a uth or, e xcept f o r th e u se o f b rie f q uota tio ns in a r e vie w . T his b ook is a w ork o f f ic tio n. N am es, c hara cte rs , p la ces, a nd in cid ents a re e it h er p ro ducts o f th e a uth or’s im agin atio n o r a re u se d f ic tit io usly . A ny r e se m bla nce to a ctu al p ers o ns, liv in g o r d ead, e vents , o r lo cale s is e ntir e ly c oin cid enta l. T he a uth or a cknow le dges th e tr a dem ark ed s ta tu s a nd tr a dem ark o w ners o f v ario us p ro ducts r e fe re nced in th is w ork o f f ic tio n, w hic h h ave b een u se d w it h out p erm is sio n. T he p ublic atio n/u se o f t h ese tr a dem ark s is n ot a uth oriz e d, a sso cia te d w it h , o r s p onso re d b y th e tr a dem ark o w ners . V is it m y w ebsit e a t www.m eghanm arc h.c om .

Tab le o f C on te n ts Tit le P age Copyrig ht About T his B ook Chapte r 1 Chapte r 2 Chapte r 3 Chapte r 4 Chapte r 5 Chapte r 6 Chapte r 7 Chapte r 8 Chapte r 9 Chapte r 1 0 Chapte r 1 1 Chapte r 1 2 Chapte r 1 3 Chapte r 1 4 Chapte r 1 5 Chapte r 1 6 Chapte r 1 7 Chapte r 1 8 Chapte r 1 9 Chapte r 2 0 Chapte r 2 1 Chapte r 2 2 Chapte r 2 3 Chapte r 2 4 Chapte r 2 5 Chapte r 2 6 Chapte r 2 7 Chapte r 2 8 Chapte r 2 9 Chapte r 3 0 Chapte r 3 1 Chapte r 3 2 Chapte r 3 3 Chapte r 3 4 Chapte r 3 5 Chapte r 3 6 Chapte r 3 7 Chapte r 3 8 Chapte r 3 9 Chapte r 4 0

Chapte r 4 1 Chapte r 4 2 Epilo gu e Dir ty B illio nair e — Chapte r 1 Als o b y M eghan M arc h Ack now le dgm ents Auth or’s N ote About t h e A uth or

Abou t T his B ook I ’ v e h ad m y f a ir s h are o f b ad b oys, b ut n o th in g p re p are d m e f o r w hat i t w as l ik e to b e w ith a r e al g o od m an. L ogan B ra ntl e y c hanged e v ery th in g. S om ew here a lo ng th e w ay, w hat s ta rte d a s a f lin g b ecam e th e b est p art o f m y l ife . H e m akes m e w ant a ll t h e th in gs I ’ v e n ev er h ad , l ik e f o re v er a nd h ap pily e v er a fte r, b ut n o th in g w orth h av in g c o m es e asily . E very o ne i s b etti n g o n u s to f a il, b ut I ’ m r e ad y to f ig ht f o r th is r e al g o od l o ve. R ea l G ood L ove is th e c o nclu sio n o f th e R eal D uet a nd s h o uld b e r e ad f o llo w in g Rea l G ood M an .

Chap te r 1 B re a kin g n ew s t o nig ht f r o m c o untr y s ta r H olly W ix ’s h om eto w n o f G old H aven , K en tu cky. A lth ough a s m all v illa ge o f o nly a bout t w o t h ousa nd r e sid en ts , i t h as b een p la gued b y t h e m eth am pheta m in e e p id em ic t h at h as i m pacte d m uch o f r u ra l A m eric a . S ourc es i n G old H aven r e p ort t h e e xp lo sio n o f a t h ir d m eth h ouse i n a m atte r o f w eeks, a nd w e’re t o ld t h is o ne i s l o ca te d n ea r a r e sid en ce W ix o w ns a nd s till v is its o n o cca sio n. Even m ore d eva sta tin g t o t h e t o w n, a n u nid en tifie d b ody h as b een d is c o vere d i n sid e. N o n am e h as b een r e le a se d y et, p en din g n otific a tio n o f t h e f a m ily . We’ll h ave m ore a s t h e s to ry d evelo ps. W e’re s e n din g o ur t o p i n vestig ativ e r e p orte r, M em phis L ockw ood, t o G old H aven t o d ig f o r a nsw ers. S ta y t u ned f o r h er r e p orts c o m in g l iv e f r o m K en tu cky. B anner B y th e ti m e m y f lig ht to uches d ow n i n N ew Y ork , I f in d m yse lf f e elin g a nxio us. I t’ s h ard to b elie v e I o nly l e ft h ere a c o up le o f w eeks a go . T he c ity th at h as b een m y h o m e a lr e ad y f e els f o re ig n. As I c lim b i n to th e b ack o f a c ab a t J F K , I r a ttl e o ff th e a d dre ss o f m y o ld a p artm ent b uild in g. I c rin ge a s th e d riv er s la m s o n th e b ra kes, h o nks h is h o rn , a nd y ells o ut th e w in d ow a t a M erc ed es th at c ut h im o ff. I t’ s n o th in g l ik e d riv in g th ro ugh th e o ne b lin kin g r e d l ig ht i n G old H av en. T he p eo ple a nd c yclis ts c utti n g a cro ss th e s tr e et f o rc e y et a no th er a b ru p t s to p, a nno yin g m e. Afte r th e n ause ati n g h o ur-lo ng r id e, I f in d m yse lf w ond erin g w hy I ’ v e a lw ays c o nsid ere d M anhatta n t h e o nly tr u ly l iv ab le c ity o n th e p la net. M ayb e b ecause i t’ s a ll I ’ v e e v er r e ally k no w n, b ut L ogan h as s h o w n m e a c o m ple te ly d iffe re nt p ers p ecti v e. N ew Y ork m ay b e th e c ente r o f th e w orld i n a l o t o f w ays, b ut i t’ s n o l o nger th e c ente r o f my world . When I c lim b o ut o f th e c ab i n f r o nt o f th e b uild in g, th e d oorm an’s e yeb ro w s s h o ot u p . “M s. R egent. W e’v e m is se d y o u. I h o pe y o u’re d oin g w ell.” “T hank y o u, J o e. I ’ m d oin g g re at.” The l in es a ro und h is e yes d eep en a s h is q uic k s m ile d ie s a w ay. “ I a ssu m e y o u’v e h eard a b out M rs . F ra nces p assin g.” “T hat’ s w hy I ’ m h ere .” T ears b urn m y e yes, b ut I b lin k th em a w ay. “S he a lw ays l ik ed y o u. M ay n o t h av e a cte d l ik e i t, b ut s h e d id . D o y o u n eed m e to c all u p to th e a p artm ent, o r a re th ey e xp ecti n g y o u?” I s h ake m y h ead . “ S ofia a sk ed m e to c o m e. I te xte d h er o n th e w ay h ere .” He g la nces to w ard th e e le v ato r. “ Y ou k no w th e w ay th en.” With a s m all s m ile , I d ra g m y s u itc ase to w ard th e s h in y g o ld d oors a nd p re ss th e c all b utto n. W hen i t f in ally a rriv es, I s te p i n sid e a nd s e le ct m y o ld f lo or. As th e d oors s lid e c lo se d , a m an s h o ves h is b rie fc ase b etw een th em to s to p th em . Typ ic a l N ew Y o rk . H e a nd a w om an b ustl e i n sid e. H e r e aches f o r th e b utto n p anel b ut y anks h is h and b ack a lm ost i m med ia te ly w ith o ut p re ssin g o ne. Are t h ey t h e n ew t e n ants i n m y f o rm er a partm en t? M y q uesti o n i s a nsw ere d w ith in m om ents w hen t h e m an s p eaks. “Y ou m ust b e h elp in g c le an o ut th e a p artm ent a cro ss th e h all. W e h eard th e o ld l a d y p asse d a w ay.” My h ackle s r is e a t th e w ay h e r e fe rs to M yrn a, e v en th o ugh I ’ v e c alle d h er th e o ld l a dy p le nty o f t i m es m yse lf. B ut s ti ll, th at w as a fte r y ears o f th e p riv ile ge o f k no w in g h er. T hese p eo ple d on’t k no w

cra p . “H er n am e w as M yrn a F ra nces.” M y to ne i s f r o sty a t b est, d rip pin g w ith a n u nsp oken l a yer o f go f u ck yo urse lf . The w om an p re sse s a h and to h er c hest. “ A re y o u f a m ily ? W e’re te rrib ly s o rry f o r y o ur l o ss. S he se em ed . . . l o vely .” My h o ld o n m y te m per s n ap s, w eakened b y g rie f a nd h o urs o f tr a v el. “ I l iv ed a cro ss th e h all f r o m h er fo r f iv e y ears , w hic h i s a h ell o f a l o t m ore th an y o u c an s a y. D on’t f e ed m e y o ur b ulls h it s y m path y. Y ou did n’t k no w h er.” Guilt s e ttl e s i n b oth th eir e xp re ssio ns a s th e w om an’s h and l o w ers to h er r o und ed s to m ach. “ W e’re so rry a b out th at. I ’ m d ue i n f o ur m onth s, a nd w e r e ally n eed ed a b ig ger p la ce. I t w asn ’t p ers o nal. I t w as ju st . . . w e n eed ed th e s p ace m ore th an y o u d id .” Her w ord s d on’t m ake s e nse . . . a t f ir s t. B ut th en th e p ie ces s n ap to geth er. I o pen m y m outh a nd c lo se i t a gain b efo re f in ally s p eakin g. “ A re y o u . . . a re y o u te llin g m e th at yo u so ld m e o ut to th e a sso cia ti o n b oard a nd g o t m e e v ic te d s o y o u c o uld have m ore s p ace ?” The w om an r e co ils a t m y h ars h to ne. “ N ot u s p ers o nally . A f r ie nd i n th e b uild in g w ho k new w e co uld n’t s ta y i n o ur p la ce w hen th e b ab y c am e. I ’ v e f e lt r e ally g uilty e v er s in ce, th o ugh.” A r u sty l a ugh e sc ap es m y th ro at. “ Y ou’v e f e lt guilty ? F or m akin g s u re I e nd ed u p h o m ele ss? ” I l o ok dow n a t h er s to m ach a nd b ack u p to h er f a ce a s th e e le v ato r d oors s lid e o pen. “ G od h elp y o ur k id . I h o pe yo u’re n o t a s s h itty o f a p are nt a s y o u a re a p ers o n.” I s ta lk o ut o f th e e le v ato r a nd d ow n to M yrn a’s d oor, w ra th f u elin g m y e v ery s te p . O ne o f th e te ars I’ v e b een h o ld in g a t b ay s n eaks th ro ugh a nd l a nd s o n m y c heek. I s w ip e i t a w ay, e v en m ore f u rio us. I’ v e s p ent a ll th is ti m e b ein g a ngry a t M yrn a, th in kin g s h e r a tte d m e o ut, b ut i t w as s o m e a ssh o le tr y in g to g et a b ig ger p la ce f o r a f r ie nd . T he k no w le d ge o verw helm s m e, a nd a no th er te ar f a lls . My f is t l a nd s o n th e d oor h ard er th an I i n te nd , b ut I h av e to g et o ut o f th is h allw ay b efo re I l e t th em s e e me c ry . I d on’t tu rn to s e e i f th ey’re f o llo w in g o r a re w is e ly c ho osin g to w ait i n th e e le v ato r u nti l I ’ m o ut of s ig ht. Thankfu lly , S ofia o pens th e d oor a nd th ro w s h er a rm s a ro und m e. “ I’ m s o g la d y o u’re h ere .” I h ug h er b ack h ard a s s h e b egin s to s h ake. P ullin g a w ay, I m eet h er te ar-fille d g aze , w hic h m atc hes my o w n. “ M e to o. I ’ m s o s o rry .” “It’ ll b e b ette r n o w . Y ou’re h ere , a nd I d on’t h av e to d o th is a lo ne.” S he s n iffle s a s a no th er te ar tr a cks dow n h er c heek. “ M rs . F ra nces’s d aughte r j u st c alle d a nd s a id s h e’s n o t c o m in g.” “W hat? ” R age a nd g rie f ta ke tu rn s s la m min g f is t a fte r f is t i n to m y g ut. “ W hat d o y o u m ean, s h e’s n o t co m in g? H er m oth er d ie d . S he h as to c o m e.” Sofia s h akes h er h ead . “ I d on’t u nd ers ta nd e ith er. S he w as s o a ngry . S he j u st y elle d a nd y elle d a nd hung u p o n m e.” Myrn a’s r e la ti o nsh ip w ith h er d aughte r i s a b out a s g o od a s m in e w ith m y m oth er. A nd y et I s ti ll d on’t und ers ta nd h o w s h e c o uld d ecid e s h e’s o pti n g o ut o f th is r e sp onsib ility . I f s h e’s s e rio us . . . th at’ s tr a gic . But m ayb e th at’ s h o w m y m oth er w ould r e act i f s o m eth in g h ap pened to m e. I c an p ra cti c ally h ear h er. “N ow i s n ’t a g ood t im e. I ’m n ot a ble t o l e a ve u ntil t h is s e g m en t o f t h e r e se a rc h i s c o nclu ded .” Not. A ccep ta b le . I w ra p a h and a ro und e ach o f S ofia ’s s h o uld ers a nd s q ueeze . “ I’ ll c all h er. T here ’s g o t to b e s o m e kin d o f m is ta ke. M ayb e s h e j u st d ela yed h er f lig ht b ecause s h e h ad s o m eth in g g o in g o n.” I p ull o ut m y p ho ne a nd f in d D ee B ooker’s c o nta ct i n fo rm ati o n. S he a nsw ers o n th e s e co nd r in g. “H i, th is i s B anner R egent. Y ou k no w , I u se d to l iv e a cro ss— ” “A re y o u c allin g to te ll m e I s h o uld ’v e v is ite d m ore w hile s h e w as a liv e, a nd m ayb e s h e w ould n’t hav e s c re w ed m e o ver s o h ard i n d eath ?” S he s p its th e a ngry w ord s a t m e, n o t s o und in g a t a ll l ik e a co ngre ssw om an.

“I’ m s o rry , M s. B ooker. I k no w th at th is i s n ’t e asy. M y m oth er a nd I h av e a . . . d iffic ult r e la ti o nsh ip to o, b ut I w ould — ” “A m I s u p pose d to c are th at y o u h av e m om my i s su es? I f th at’ s w hat y o u th in k th is i s , y o u a re w oefu lly mis ta ken.” Her j a b a b out m om my i s su es h its h o m e, a nd I s ti ffe n. M yrn a w ould b e s o e m barra sse d , a nd I ’ m em barra sse d f o r h er. “Y eah, I d o h av e m om my i s su es. A ctu ally , I h av e s h itty , d is c o nnecte d p are nt i s su es. B ut th at’ s n o t what th is is a b out. W ho d o y o u th in k i s g o in g to h and le M yrn a’s e sta te a nd a p artm ent i f y o u d on’t s te p u p ? She d id n’t a sk a w ho le l o t f r o m y o u w hile s h e w as a liv e; th e l e ast y o u c o uld d o i s g iv e h er s o m e co nsid era ti o n n o w th at s h e’s g o ne.” I a lm ost e xp ect l ig htn in g to s tr ik e m e d ow n b ecause s o m eo ne c o uld s a y th e s a m e th in g to m e i f m y mom d ie d to m orro w . G rie f f o r a p are nt I h av en’t e v en l o st y et r is e s u p , a nd th o se f e w te ars f r o m e arlie r multi p ly . Dee B ooker i s s ile nt f o r a b eat a fte r I s to p s p eakin g. “ Y ou d on’t e v en k no w , d o y o u?” A b itte r l a ugh co m es o ver th e l in e. “ I d on’t n eed to s p are a m om ent o f c o nsid era ti o n f o r m y m oth er b ecause s h e d id n’t hav e a ny f o r m e. A fte r a ll, s h e l e ft e v ery d am n th in g to y o u.”

Chap te r 2 L oga n T his ti g ht d ead lin e o n th e m ost i m porta nt p ro je ct I ’ v e e v er h ad i s a ll th at’ s k eep in g m e f r o m g etti n g o n a p la ne to N ew Y ork to tr a ck B anner d ow n a nd g et a nsw ers f r o m th e s o urc e. I c an’t s to p f u ckin g th in kin g a b out th e b ox o f p re gnancy te sts I f o und i n th e b ath ro om . As m uch a s I w ant to c all o r te xt h er to d em and a nsw ers , th is i s n ’t th e k in d o f c o nv ers a ti o n th at’ s h ap penin g o ver th e p ho ne. Befo re I c an g et l o st i n w re nchin g o n th e c ar, J o ck y ells o ver th e b eat o f B oone T hra sh er’s l a te st a lb um p la yin g i n th e g ara ge. “C op w ants to ta lk to y o u, b oss.” I j e rk m y h ead u p a nd l o ok i n h is d ir e cti o n. S ure e no ugh, C ody R eev es i s s ta nd in g i n th e d oorw ay b etw een th e w aiti n g r o om a nd th e s h o p. Fuck . I to ss th e w re nch i n to th e to p o f m y to olb ox a nd y ank th e r a g f r o m th e b ack p ocket o f m y c o vera lls to w ip e m y h and s. A fte r tu rn in g d ow n th e s te re o , I h ead i n h is d ir e cti o n. “W hat c an I d o f o r y o u, C ody?” I a sk a s h e b acks u p i n to th e w aiti n g r o om . H av in g a c o p s h o w u p i s n ev er a g o od s ig n i n m y b ook. “ Y ou h ere a b out J e ff? B ecause I h av en’t s e en h im o r ta lk ed to h im .” “N o. I g o t a f e w q uesti o ns a b out a f o rm er e m plo yee o f y o urs .” “W ho ?” “R oy P la nte r. I u nd ers ta nd y o u f ir e d h im a f e w m onth s b ack.” My s u sp ic io ns r is e . Roy? What th e f u ck i s g o in g o n w ith R oy? “ Y eah, I f ir e d h im .” He p ulls o ut h is c o p n o te p ad . “ D o y o u r e m em ber w hen th at w as? ” “I’ d h av e to c heck m y r e co rd s. I d on’t r e call th e e xact d ate .” “C an y o u te ll m e w hy y o u f ir e d h im ?” “H e s h o w ed u p d ru nk o ne to o m any ti m es, a nd I c o uld n’t h av e th at k in d o f l ia b ility i n m y s h o p.” Cody m akes a n o te a nd l o oks u p . “ W hen’s th e l a st ti m e y o u s a w h im ?” “W hy a ll th e q uesti o ns a b out R oy? W hat th e h ell i s g o in g o n?” “I n eed to k no w th e l a st ti m e y o u s a w h im , L ogan.” “A t P ig gly W ig gly . H e w as c heckin g o ut a head o f m e a c o up le w eeks a go . H av en’t s e en h im s in ce.” “H is d aughte r s a ys y o u n ev er l ik ed h im .” I l o ok u p a t th e c eilin g, tr y in g f o r p ati e nce b efo re I a nsw er. “ I f ir e d th e g uy. I t w asn ’t p ers o nal; i t w as b usin ess. R achel’s f e elin gs o n th e m atte r d on’t c o unt. S he a nd e v ery o ne e ls e i n th is to w n k no w R oy n eed s t o h av e h is a ss i n a s e at a t A A i f h e w ants to g et s o m e h elp .” “T hat’ s n o t g o nna h ap pen. H is b ody w as i d enti fie d th is m orn in g b y h is d enta l r e co rd s.” Sho ck s q ueeze s m y c hest l ik e a v is e . “ W hat th e f u ck a re y o u ta lk in g a b out? ” Cody c lo se s h is n o te p ad a nd s h o ves i t i n h is f r o nt p ocket b efo re h e a nsw ers . “ R oy P la nte r i s d ead . S eem s h e b le w u p h im se lf a nd th e o ld N ig el p la ce e arly th is m orn in g.” I s ta rt p utti n g th e p ie ces to geth er. “ I h eard a b out i t o n th e r a d io o n m y w ay to w ork . H e w as c o okin ’ m eth ?” Cody g iv es m e th e c o p s h ru g. “ A lle ged ly . T he c re w i s s ti ll g o in g th ro ugh th e s tr u ctu re , b ut i t w as d efin ite ly a l a b . C hie f T im mons f in ally d ecid ed to ta ke th is s h it s e rio usly n o w th at th e n ati o nal n ew s i s r e p orti n g o n G old H av en, s o w e’v e b een to ld to i n v esti g ate a ll p ossib le a v enues. W e’re g etti n g f a m ous a gain , b ut th is ti m e f o r a ll th e w ro ng r e aso ns.”

I j a m m y h and i n to m y h air. “ S hit. W hat a f u ckin g m ess.” “D am n r ig ht i t i s . T hanks f o r a nsw erin g m y q uesti o ns.” C ody tu rn s to w alk to w ard th e d oor, b ut pause s w ith h is h and o n th e m eta l b ar th at s tr e tc hes a cro ss th e g la ss. “ Is i t j u st m e, o r d oes i t s e em l ik e yo u’v e g o t c o nnecti o ns to a l o t o f th e p eo ple I ’ m i n v esti g ati n g l a te ly ?” I g iv e h im a h ard l o ok. “ W hat a re y o u tr y in g to s a y, m an? T his i s a s m all to w n. Y ou c o uld c o nnect j u st ab out a nyo ne to e v ery o ne e ls e .” “I’ m n o t tr y in g to s a y a nyth in g, j u st m akin g a n o bse rv ati o n. H av e a g o od o ne, L ogan.” He p ush es o pen th e d oor, l e av in g m e s ta nd in g i n th e w aiti n g r o om w ith a p unch o f g uilt. M y h and s cle nch i n to f is ts . This i s n ’t m y f a ult. Fuck. * * * Six h o urs l a te r, m y s to m ach i s g naw in g o n m y s p in e, a nd I s tr a ig hte n f r o m u nd er th e h o od o f B oone Thra sh er’s O ld s 4 42. T his r e sto ra ti o n i s te sti n g m y l im its , i n clu d in g th is s tu b born c arb ure to r. I b ack a w ay fr o m th e c ar a nd w ip e m y h and s. M y b ack a nd s h o uld ers a re a chin g, a nd th e o nly th in g I w ant r ig ht n o w i s a s h o w er, a b urg er, a b eer, a nd B anner. N ot n ecessa rily i n th at o rd er. I s ti ll h av en’t c alle d h er. I g o t a te xt f r o m h er to l e t m e k no w s h e m ad e i t to N ew Y ork , a nd I r e p lie d with a s im ple Good t o h ea r. B e s a fe . Mayb e I ’ m n aiv e f o r e xp ecti n g h er to b rin g u p th e s u b je ct o f th e p re gnancy te sts n o w th at s h e’s hund re d s o f m ile s a w ay, c o nsid erin g s h e d id n’t b oth er to m enti o n i t w hen w e w ere i n th e s a m e b ed l a st nig ht. E ith er w ay, h er l a ck o f r e sp onse i s g ra ti n g o n m e. My p ho ne r in gs a s I f in is h s c ru b bin g u p w ith F ast O ra nge, a nd I d ry m y h and s a nd r e ach f o r i t. Not B anner . “W hat u p , m an?” Gra nger R yan, m y b est f r ie nd a nd G old H av en’s f ir e c hie f, s a ys, “ It’ s b een a s h it d ay. Y ou w anna m eet fo r a b eer a t P in ts a nd P in s? ” “I h eard a b out th e f ir e a nd th e b ody. D efin ite ly a s h it d ay. Y ou g et i t h and le d a ll r ig ht? ” “Y eah, b ut I d on’t w ant to s it h o m e a nd d rin k b y m yse lf. Y ou u p f o r i t? ” “S ure . G iv e m e f o rty -fiv e m in ute s a nd I ’ ll b e th ere .” M ayb e th is w ay I ’ ll b e a b le to k eep m yse lf f r o m callin g B anner to d em and a nsw ers . “C ool. S ee y o u th en.” I h ang u p a nd l o ok a ro und m y s h o p. Som ed ay, th is p la ce w ill b e o n th e m ap , a nd I w on’t h av e to h ustl e s o f u ckin g h ard to m ake s u re i t sta ys s o lid ly i n th e b la ck. I c ro ss th e r o om to h it th e l ig hts a nd l o ck u p . Today j u st i s n ’t th at d ay.

Chap te r 3 L oga n “ T his s h it i s e no ugh to m ake m e h ate m y j o b. D o y o u k no w h o w m uch i t f u ckin g s u cks to tr ip o ver a c harre d b ody?” I d ro p th e l a st b ite o f m y b urg er i n th e r e d p la sti c b ask et o n th e ta b le i n f r o nt o f m e. T he th o ught a nd v is u al o f R oy P la nte r’s r e m ain s h as o ffic ia lly k ille d m y a p peti te . Gra nger l ifts h is b eer a nd ta kes a s w ig . “ P oor, s tu p id m oth erfu cker. S ho uld a k no w n b ette r. G ot m y a ss o ut o f b ed a t th re e a .m . to d eal w ith h is m ess.” I r e ach f o r m y b eer. “ C ody c am e a ro und a sk in g q uesti o ns th is m orn in g. W anti n g to k no w w hy I f ir e d R oy.” Gra nger s e ts h is b eer o n th e ta b le b etw een u s. “ B ecause h e w as a d ru nk, a nd e v ery o ne k no w s y o u l e t h im s ta y o n w ay to o l o ng.” “T hat’ s w hat I to ld h im .” “M akes y o u th in k a b out h o w f ic kle o f a b itc h th is l ife i s . O ne m in ute y o u’re d oin g s o m eth in g s tu p id , a nd th e n ext y o u’re d ead a nd y o ur f a m ily f in d s o ut y o u’re c o okin g m eth .” “A ny c hance y o u’re w ro ng a b out th e m eth ?” Gra nger s h akes h is h ead . “ N o. T his i s m y th ir d m eth h o use i n th e l a st f e w w eeks. T he s ig ns a re i m possib le to m is s. W hen w e w ent to L exin gto n th re e y ears a go to tr a in o n th is , I n ev er th o ught I ’ d h av e to w orry a b out a ll th e e xtr a s te p s w e’v e g o tta ta ke, b ut n o w i t’ s w ay to o f a m ilia r.” “D o y o u th in k th ey’re r e la te d ?” He s h ru gs. “ I d on’t f u ckin g k no w . I t’ s n o t m y j o b to f ig ure o ut w ho s e t ’ e m , j u st to p ut ’ e m o ut. B ut d am ned i f th ey’re n o t p is sin g m e o ff. N o o ne th in ks a b out m e a nd m y g uys p utti n g o ur a sse s o n th e l in e e v ery ti m e w e r id e o ut to a c all. I f th is s h it g ets o ne o f u s k ille d , I ’ m g o nna te ar th is to w n a p art u nti l I f in d o ut w ho ’s b ehin d i t. I d on’t n eed to b e m akin g a c all to s o m eo ne’s w ife o r p are nts te llin g th em s o m e a ssh o le c o okin ’ m eth i s r e sp onsib le f o r p utti n ’ o ne o f m y g uys i n th e g ro und .” “H ey, g uys, c an I g et y o u a nyth in g?” R osie , th e c o ckta il w aitr e ss, a sk s a s s h e s to ps a t o ur ta b le . B anner f ille d i n f o r h er o n o ne o f h er f ir s t n ig hts i n G old H av en. Gra nger’s g aze s h o ots a cro ss th e r o om a s a g ust o f w in d b lo w s th ro ugh th e d oors , f o llo w ed b y a f a m ilia r l a ugh. I g la nce o ver to s e e J u lia nne c o m in g i n w ith o ne o f h er s a lo n g ir ls , M ary s o m eth in g. “ B ette r g et m e a no th er b eer.” “I’ ll ta ke o ne to o.” Gra nger’s a tte nti o n s h ifts to J u lia nne a s s h e c o m es to w ard u s. J u lia nne b ra ces a s s o on a s s h e s e es h im , b ut d oesn ’t s lo w h er s tr id e. “W here a re y o u h id in g B anner to day? S he w as s u p pose d to c o m e i n f o r n ails , a nd s h e c ancele d .” J u lia nne p in s h er g aze o n m in e, c o m ple te ly i g no rin g G ra nger. “S he h ad to g o b ack to N ew Y ork to h and le s o m eth in g.” “S he’s c o m in g b ack h ere , th o ugh, r ig ht? ” The q uesti o n c ra sh es i n to m e w ith th e s a m e f o rc e a s th e b alls s la m min g i n to p in s o nly a d oze n f e et a w ay. M y a nsw er i s f a st a nd d efin ite . “F uck y es, s h e’s c o m in g b ack.” I n m y h ead , I a d d, esp ecia lly i f s h e’s p re g nant w ith m y k id . “I l ik e h er. I t’ s n ic e to s e e a t l e ast o ne m an c an r e co gniz e a g o od th in g w hen h e h as i t.” T he ta unt i s p oin te d , a nd J u lia nne s p in s o n h er h eel a nd c o nti n ues to th e b ar.

Gra nger c hugs th e r e st o f h is b eer b efo re s h o oti n g a no th er l o ok a t J u lia nne’s b ack. “ W om en a re a fu ckin g tr a p .” H e tu rn s b ack to m e. “ W hat th e h ell a re y o u d oin g g etti n g ta ngle d u p w ith o ne f r o m N ew York , a nyw ay? I s th at s h it s e rio us? ” I d on’t i n te nd to s a y i t, b ut th e w ord s c o m e o ut. “ It m ig ht b e r e al f u ckin g s e rio us i f I k no cked h er u p .” Gra nger’s e yes w id en a s h e l e ans b ack i n h is c hair a nd c ro sse s h is a rm s o ver h is c hest. “ W hat th e h ell are y o u ta lk in g a b out? ” “I f o und a b ox o f p re gnancy te sts i n h er b ath ro om th is m orn in g, a nd o ne w as m is sin g.” “A nd ?” “A nd n o th in g.” He l e ans f o rw ard , d ro ppin g h is e lb ow s o n th e ta b le , a nd I ’ m g ra te fu l h e k eep s h is v oic e l o w . “ Y ou did n’t d em and a nsw ers r ig ht th en? W hat th e h ell, m an? Y ou k no w h o w w om en a re . L ookin g to tr a p y o u any w ay th ey c an.” This w ho le s itu ati o n h as b een e ati n g m e a ll d ay, b ut I r e co gniz e th e tr u th w hen I s p eak. “ B anner i s n ’t lik e th at. S he’s n o t l o okin g to tr a p m e.” Gra nger’s g aze n arro w s a s h e l e ans a f e w i n ches c lo se r. “ H ow d o y o u k no w ? S he’s g o t a j o b a nd money o f h er o w n? D oesn ’t n eed y o ur p aycheck?” “S he h as h er o w n b usin ess.” “S uccessfu l? ” I r e ach f o r m y b eer. “ N ot y et. B ut s h e’s w ork in g o n i t.” “S o s h e d oesn ’t h av e a j o b th at a ctu ally b rin gs i n m oney, a nd y o u’re s ti ll s u re s h e’s n o t tr y in g to l o ck yo u d ow n?” H e l e ans b ack i n h is c hair a gain , a n e xp ecta nt l o ok o n h is f a ce. Even w ith th e f a cts o bje cti v ely s ta ckin g u p a gain st h er, th ere ’s n o w ay I c an p in th at m oti v e o n B anner. The m ore I th in k a b out i t, th e m ore I r e aliz e s h e’s e xactl y th e o pposite o f th e w om en I ’ v e d odged i n G old Hav en. M y N ew Y ork C ity p rin cess w ould r u n f a r a nd f a st i n th e o pposite d ir e cti o n i f s h e th o ught s h e w as tr a p ped i n K entu cky b ecause s h e g o t k no cked u p b y a m echanic . O r i n th is c ase , s ta y i n N ew Y ork . . . Fuck. “S he’s n o t l ik e th at. Y ou’ll s e e w hen y o u m eet h er.” E ven th o ugh m y w ord s s o und c o nfid ent, I w ond er what th e h ell I ’ m g o in g to h av e to d o to m ake s u re B anner d oes c o m e b ack. I ’ll d riv e m y a ss u p t h ere a nd haul h er h om e i f I h ave t o . “W hate v er y o u s a y, m an. I ’ m d one w ith w om en e xcep t f o r a q uic k f u ck th ese d ays.” Rosie c o m es b ack w ith o ur b eers , a nd w e c hange th e s u b je ct to c o lle ge b ask etb all. As I ’ m w alk in g o ut o f P in ts a nd P in s, m y p ho ne b uzze s i n m y p ocket, f in ally , w ith a te xt f r o m th e wom an w ho s e em s to b e c o nsta ntl y o n m y m in d . B AN NER NYC : I t’s b een a l o ng c ra zy d ay. I h ave a t o n o f s tu ff t o t e ll y o u, b ut I ’m d ra in ed t o nig ht. Ta lk t o m orro w ? I c lim b i n m y tr u ck a nd ta p o ut m y r e sp onse . L OGAN : Y e a h. W e n eed t o s ta rt t a lk in g a bout a ll o f i t. B AN NER NYC : W e w ill. N ig ht. x o L OGAN : N ig ht, B ru ce. I f ir e u p m y tr u ck a nd tu rn i n th e d ir e cti o n o f m y e m pty h o use , f r u str a te d th at I ’ m n o t g etti n g a ny re so lu ti o n o n th is s u b je ct to nig ht.

Chap te r 4 B anner I w alk i n to M yrn a’s l a w yer’s o ffic e th e n ext m orn in g, n o t k no w in g w hat to e xp ect. “B anner R egent to s e e G re go ry L ow enste in ,” I te ll th e r e cep ti o nis t w hen I w alk u p to th e d esk . “O f c o urs e , M s. R egent. H e’s e xp ecti n g y o u. L et m e te ll h im y o u’re h ere .” As th e y o ung b lo nd e p ic ks u p th e p ho ne to c all to a nno unce m y p re se nce, I ta ke a f e w s te p s to w ard th e w in d ow , s ta rin g o ut a t th e N ew Y ork s k ylin e. I t’ s g ra y a nd c lo ud y, w hic h f its m y m ood p erfe ctl y . “M s. R egent? ” I tu rn , a nd th e r e cep ti o nis t i n d ic ate s th at I s h o uld f o llo w h er. I tr a il b ehin d h er to a n o nd esc rip t c o nfe re nce r o om w ith a l a rg e w ooden ta b le m atc hin g th e p anele d w alls . I t’ s a ls o e m pty . “M r. L ow enste in w ill b e r ig ht i n ,” s h e s a ys. “ Ju st o ne m om ent. C an I b rin g y o u s o m eth in g to d rin k?” “E sp re sso w ould b e g re at.” “O f c o urs e .” Mom ents a fte r s h e s h uts th e d oor b ehin d h er, i t s w in gs o pen a gain . “W ell, M s. R egent, s o m eho w y o u c harm ed m y c lie nt. I ’ d l o ve to k no w h o w y o u d id i t.” A m an o f a v era ge h eig ht w earin g g la sse s, w ith a s h in y s p ot i n th e m id dle o f h is g ra y r in g o f h air, s m ile s a nd h o ld s o ut h is h and . “ I’ m G re g L ow enste in , a nd I ’ v e b een M s. F ra nces’s l a w yer f o r tw enty -s o m e y ears .” Tw enty y ears o f b ein g a t M yrn a’s b eck a nd c all? I ’ m n o t s u re I c o uld h and le i t. “It’ s a p le asu re to m eet y o u. I w ould n’t e xactl y s a y I c harm ed h er. M ore l ik e I d ro ve h er a b so lu te ly i n sa ne.” Low enste in h o ld s u p a h and . “ F or h er, i t w as k in d o f th e s a m e th in g. S he w as a g re at o ld l a d y, s h arp a s a ta ck, b ut h er to ngue w as to o, a s I ’ m s u re y o u w ell k no w . I h eard e v ery th in g a b out e v ery o ne b ecause s h e c alle d o nce a w eek to c hange h er w ill. T hat v ib ra to r i n cid ent a lm ost c o st y o u a c hunk o f c hange.” Oh m y G od. S he t o ld h er l a w yer a bout t h at? P eekin g a t th e c o nfe re nce r o om ta b le , I w ond er i f t h ere ’s r o om to c ra w l u nd er i t. “A s m uch o f m y ti m e a s M yrn a to ok u p , I ’ m s in cere ly g o in g to m is s h er. W ell, m y b illa b le h o urs a re g o in g to m is s h er, a nd m y s e cre ta ry i s g o in g to h av e to f in d a n ew s o urc e o f e nte rta in m ent. S o, h o w a b out w e g et s ta rte d ?” H e o pens a f ile a nd s ta rts r u nnin g th ro ugh th e e sta te p la n a nd h o w th in gs w ork . I z o ne o ut a lm ost i m med ia te ly a t a ll th e l e gal j a rg o n. W hy d on’t l a w yers j u st u se r e gula r w ord s? D o t h ey g et p aid m ore f o r u sin g th e b ig o nes? I r a is e a h and l ik e a s e co nd g ra d er to s to p h im . Ple a se , G od, s to p . Thankfu l w hen h e ta kes a b re ath to p ause , I j u m p i n . “ I g et i t. M yrn a’s e sta te p la n w as s u p er f a ncy b ecause y o u c harg ed h er a c ra p to n o f m oney to w ork o n i t a nd k eep c hangin g i t. B ut b otto m -lin e i t f o r m e, G re g. W hat d o I r e ally n eed to k no w ?” He ta kes o ff h is g la sse s a nd l a ys th em o n th e ta b le . “ T hir ty .” “T hir ty w hat? ” I a sk , w ond erin g i f th ere ’s s o m e l e gal d efin iti o n f o r i t th at I ’ m n o t a w are o f. “T hir ty m illio n. T hat’ s w hat y o u’v e i n herite d i n v ario us i n v estm ent a cco unts , n o t i n clu d in g th e a p artm ent o r o th er p ro perty . F or th o se , w e c an o nly g o f r o m m ark et- v alu e e sti m ate s— ” I r a is e m y h and a gain , th is ti m e l ik e a r e ally r ic h s e co nd g ra d er. “A re y o u s h itti n g m e?” I s a y a s I l o w er m y h and . “N o, M s. R egent, I ’ m n o t, i n y o ur v ern acula r, s h itti n g y o u.” “H oly f u ckin g s h it.”

“In d eed .” I d is c re etl y s lid e o ne h and u nd er m y a rm a nd p in ch m yse lf. Cra p, t h at h urts . N ot d re am in g. O kay, th en . . . I w hip m y h ead a ro und to c heck f o r c am era m en j u m pin g o ut to s u rp ris e m e. None. “Y ou’re n o t j o kin g.” Mr. L ow enste in s h akes h is h ead . “ N o. I d on’t j o ke a b out l u nch o r m oney.” I h o pe h e m eant l o ve a nd m oney, b ut I d on’t a sk . I ’ m s ti ll tr y in g to w ra p m y h ead a ro und th e f a ct th at Myrn a’s d aughte r w asn ’t c o m ple te ly f u ll o f i t w hen s h e to ld m e M yrn a l e ft m e e v ery th in g. “W hy w ould s h e d o th is ? I t m akes n o s e nse a t a ll.” “S he l ik ed y o u.” I m eet h is g aze . “ S he l ik ed h er d og. S he to le ra te d m e.” “S peakin g o f th e d og, y o u’re th e tr u ste e o f th e J o rd ana F ra nces P et T ru st, a lth o ugh y o u d id n o t i n herit her.” “P le ase te ll m e i t w as S ofia .” “In d eed .” So I d id n’t i n herit every th in g , b ut holy s h it . I p ay a l o t c lo se r a tte nti o n to w hat L ow enste in s a ys f o r th e r e st o f th e m eeti n g, w hic h m eans m y b ra in fe els l ik e i t’ s g o in g to e xp lo de b y th e e nd o f i t. Part o f m e e xp ecte d D ee B ooker w as e xaggera ti n g, s o e v en th o ugh I w as r e ad y f o r s o m e k in d o f in herita nce f r o m M yrn a, I w asn ’t e xp ecti n g th is . I w alk o ut o f th e o ffic e a nd b are ly n o ti c e th e c ro w ds o f p eo ple a ro und m e a s I w and er i n th e d ir e cti o n of m y h o te l, s ti ll r e elin g w ith s h o ck. Out o f h ab it, I p ull o ut m y p ho ne to c all G re er a nd te ll h er th e n ew s, b ut s h e d oesn ’t a nsw er. H er n ew life i s ta kin g o ff i n L A , a nd w hile I c o uld n’t b e h ap pie r th at m y f r ie nd h as f o und h ap pin ess, I s e lfis h ly mis s h av in g h er a ro und . I m is s M yrn a to o. L ast n ig ht, I c o uld n’t h and le s ta yin g i n h er a p artm ent s u rro und ed b y h er th in gs, s o I haule d m y s u itc ase to th e P ark er M erid ia n a nd s a nk i n to th e b ath tu b . . . a nd c rie d . Grie f b atte re d m e a s I r e calle d o ur e xchanges, a nd h o w m uch i t b oth ere d m e th at I d id n’t c le ar th e a ir with h er o n th e p ho ne. S he h ad n o c lu e I l e ft N ew Y ork u p se t w ith h er. M ayb e i t’ s a p lu s th at s h e d id n’t die th in kin g w e h ad u nfin is h ed b usin ess. A lth o ugh, i f s h e’d k no w n, m ayb e s h e w ould h av e h ung o n a h ell of a l o t l o nger. Why d id I j u m p t o c o nclu sio ns? I s h o uld h av e j u st a sk ed h er. M yrn a w as n o th in g i f n o t b ru ta lly h o nest with m e. I to aste d h er w ith a lm ost th e e nti r e c o nte nts o f th e m in ib ar, w hic h s h e’s i r o nic ally n o w p ayin g f o r, a nd passe d o ut o n a te ars ta in ed p illo w . When I w oke u p th is m orn in g, m y h ead h am merin g, I r o lle d o ver l o okin g f o r L ogan, b ut th e h o te l deco r r e m in d ed m e I w as a l o ng w ay f r o m G old H av en. I l e ft K entu cky a b ro ke-a ss C EO , a nd n o w I ’ m a le git b alle r. Well, I w ill b e a fte r w ho k no w s h o w m any m ore m eeti n gs w ith l a w yers a nd f in ancia l p eo ple w ho will f in aliz e a ll th e d eta ils a nd w in d d ow n M yrn a’s a ffa ir s . Not to m enti o n, I h av e to f ig ure o ut w hat to d o w ith a ll o f h er s tu ff. S he w as a p ack r a t o f th e f ir s t ord er, a nd to s a y I ’ m o verw helm ed b y th e th o ught o f d ig gin g th ro ugh a ll o f i t i s th e u nd ers ta te m ent o f th e centu ry . I w ra p m y c o at a ro und m e ti g hte r a s I p ause o n th e c o rn er o f F ifth A venue. F or th e f ir s t ti m e i n l o nger th an I c an r e m em ber, I h av e z e ro u rg e to g o i n sid e a ny o f m y f a v orite s to re s a nd s h o p. Whic h i s i r o nic , c o nsid erin g I c o uld s n ap m y f in gers a nd d em and o ne o f e v ery th in g n o w . M y n ew

bank a cco unt w ould n’t e v en b lin k. Tw o w om en b urs t th ro ugh th e d oors o f a s to re , l a ughin g a nd c arry in g a rm lo ad s o f b ags. I s te p o ut o f th eir w ay, b ut c an’t h elp b ut o verh ear th eir c o nv ers a ti o n a s th ey tu rn to w ard S ta rb ucks. “T hat to p y o u g o t w ill b e p erfe ct f o r th e c lu b o penin g to nig ht. Y our ti ts w ill l o ok a m azin g. I c an’t w ait to p ost p ic tu re s s o e v ery o ne w ho c an’t g et i n w ill b e j e alo us.” They b oth g ig gle — anno yin gly , I m ig ht a d d— befo re th e o th er r e sp ond s. “ G od, I ’ m d ue f o r a g o od f u ck to o. I ’ m ta kin g h o m e th e h o tte st g uy I s e e.” “D am n, g ir l. G et i t. B ut b uh-b ye i n th e m orn in g, r ig ht? ” “O bvi. Y ou k no w h o w I a m .” The tw o w om en d is a p pear i n to S ta rb ucks, a nd s o m eo ne k no cks i n to m e f r o m b ehin d . T he s ig nal h as changed , w hic h m eans I n eed to m ove m y a ss a cro ss th e s tr e et. S hakin g m yse lf o ut o f m y m om enta ry eav esd ro ppin g s e ssio n, I s tr id e f o rw ard , b ut th eir w ord s s ta y w ith m e. Not s o v ery l o ng a go , th at w as m e. How c rin ge-w orth y a nd s u perfic ia l. Who w ould h av e th o ught a g uy f r o m K entu cky I w as n ev er s u p pose d to m eet w ould c hange my l ife . I h av en’t b een g o ne l o ng, b ut I l e giti m ate ly m is s L ogan. I s te p i n to a d oorw ay a nd p ull o ut m y p ho ne to te xt h im . H e’s b usy w ork in g o n B oone T hra sh er’s c ar, b ut I c an’t h elp i t. O th er th an G re er, h e’s th e o nly pers o n I w ant to te ll a b out a ll o f th is s tu ff. I n f a ct, I w ante d to te ll h im l a st n ig ht, b ut I k ep t m y m essa ge vague i n c ase M yrn a’s d aughte r w as f u ll o f s h it. But s h e w asn ’t. B AN NER: Y o u k n ow h ow I s a id I h ad b ig n ew s? I r e a lly n eed t o t e ll y o u a bout i t. Not e xp ecti n g a n i m med ia te r e p ly , I s lid e m y p ho ne i n to m y p urs e , b ut p ause w hen i t v ib ra te s. Excep t i t’ s n o t L ogan. I t’ s m y o b-g yn, w ho a ls o h ap pens to b e m y c o lle ge r o om mate ’s o ld er s is te r. D R. L AD Y L IP S: D o y o u h ave a ny q uestio ns a bout a nyth in g? I d on’t c la im to b e m atu re w hen i t c o m es to m y c o nta ct- n am in g s k ills , b ut a t l e ast I ’ m n o t c o nfu sin g her w ith a nyo ne e ls e . A ls o , sh it . B AN NER: C ra p! I l e ft b efo re i t c a m e, b ut I ’m i n N YC r ig ht n ow . D R. L AD Y L IP S : I c a n s q ueeze y o u i n a t n oon t o m orro w , b ut y o u b ette r b rin g m e s u sh i. B AN NER : I ’ll b e t h ere . B TW , I s till l a ugh e very t im e y o u t e xt m e. D R. L AD Y L IP S: Y O U T O LD M E Y O U C H AN G ED M Y C O NTA C T I N FO RM AT IO N. B AN NER: I l ie d . D R. L AD Y L IP S: N o s u sh i f o r y o u.

Chap te r 5 L oga n B AN NER NYC : Y o u k n ow h ow I s a id I h ad b ig n ew s? I r e a lly n eed t o t e ll y o u a bout i t. I’ v e b een s ta rin g a t th e te xt f o r f iv e m in ute s, w ond erin g w hy i n th e h ell s h e th in ks th is i s th e r ig ht w ay t o te ll m e s h e’s f u ckin g p re gnant. B ut th is i s B anner, a nd s h e d oesn ’t d o a nyth in g th e n o rm al w ay. I f in ally ta p o ut a r e p ly . L OGAN : S hould n’t w e t a lk a bout i t i n p erso n? I w ait, p ho ne i n h and n ext to th e 4 42, f o r a r e sp onse . B AN NER NYC : I c a n’t w ait t h at l o ng. I h ave t o f ig ure o ut w hat I ’m d oin g, a nd I w ant y o ur i n put. What i n th e a ctu al f u ck? She h as to fig ure o ut w hat s h e’s d oin g ? Som eho w o ver th e l a st tw enty -fo ur h o urs , I ’ v e g o ne f r o m s h o ck a nd d is b elie f to a ccep ta nce a nd e v en . . . e xcite m ent o ver th e p ossib ility o f B anner b ein g p re gnant. The i d ea th at s h e m ig ht d ecid e n o t to h av e th e k id g uts m e. It’ s n ev er b een m y g o al to b e a d ad , e sp ecia lly r ig ht n o w w hen m y b usin ess i s s ti ll i n th e e arly s ta ges, b ut s h o ckin gly I ’ m o kay w ith th e i d ea w hen th e w om an i n q uesti o n i s B anner. I k new I w as i n d eep b efo re , b ut th is s e als i t f o r m e. A nd s h e’s f u ckin g r ig ht th at s h e’s n o t m akin g a ny d ecis io ns b efo re w e ta lk . L OGAN : C all m e. B AN NER NYC G iv e m e t w en ty m in ute s. I ’ll c a ll w hen I ’m b ack a t m y h ote l. Her h o te l? I th o ught s h e w as s ta yin g a t th e o ld l a d y’s p la ce? Gra nger’s w ord s f r o m l a st n ig ht r u n th ro ugh m y h ead . So s h e d oesn ’t h ave a j o b t h at a ctu ally b rin gs i n m oney, a nd y o u’re s till s u re s h e’s n ot t r y in g t o l o ck y o u d ow n? Why w ould B anner d ro p m oney s h e d oesn ’t h av e o n a h o te l w hen s h e c o uld s ta y s o m ew here f o r f r e e? E ven th o ugh i t h asn ’t b een l o ng, I ’ m g etti n g to k no w h o w B anner w ork s. W here v er s h e p ic ked to s ta y c an’t b e c heap . I ’ m n o t s u re a ny p la ce i s i n N ew Y ork . Rig ht n o w , n o th in g m akes a ny f u ckin g s e nse . The n ext tw enty m in ute s a re th e l o ngest o nes i n m y g o ddam ned l ife .

Chap te r 6 B anner I l e t m yse lf i n to m y h o te l r o om a nd d ro p m y s tu ff o n th e d esk b efo re f lo ppin g b ackw ard o nto th e f lu ffy w hite d uv et w ith m y p ho ne i n h and . When I c hecked i n l a st n ig ht, I w as a ti n y b it w orrie d a b out h o w I w as g o in g to p ay th e b ill i f D ee B ooker w as f u ll o f c ra p , b ut th at’ s o ne w orry I n o l o nger h av e. I ta p o n L ogan’s c o nta ct to c all h im , a nd h e a nsw ers b efo re th e f ir s t r in g i s c o m ple te . “Y ou’re n ev er g o in g to b elie v e w hat I ’ m a b out to te ll y o u,” I s a y i n l ie u o f a g re eti n g. “Y ou’d b e s u rp ris e d w hat I ’ d b elie v e,” L ogan s a ys, h is d ra w l s o und in g m ore p ro no unced , o r m ayb e i t’ s j u st th e f a ct th at I ’ v e b een h earin g o nly c lip ped N ew Y ork ers to day. “Y ou k no w h o w I th o ught F ra u F ra nces g o t m e e v ic te d f r o m m y a p artm ent b ecause s h e w ante d to g et r id o f m e?” “Y eah . . .” C onfu sio n c o lo rs h is to ne. “I w as w ro ng. I t w as a ctu ally th is c o up le w ho s tr a ig ht- u p a d m itte d th at th ey n eed ed m ore r o om b ecause th ey’re h av in g a b ab y. T ota l a ssh o le s. B ut th at d oesn ’t m atte r a nym ore , b ecause i t tu rn s o ut th at M yrn a d id n’t w ant to g et r id o f m e. S he a ctu ally l e ft m e e v ery th in g. T hir ty m illio n d olla rs a nd th e a p artm ent a nd a b unch o f o th er s tu ff th at I h av en’t to ta lly g ra sp ed y et.” “W hat? ” L ogan s o und s l ik e h e’s c ho kin g. “I k no w , r ig ht? ” “S he l e ft y o u e v ery th in g?” I n o d, e v en th o ugh h e c an’t s e e m e. “ E very th in g.” “W hat a b out h er d aughte r? ” Every ti m e I th in k a b out h o w s h o cked D ee B ooker m ust h av e b een w hen s h e l e arn ed h er m oth er l e ft e v ery th in g to a f o rm er n eig hb or, m y h eart d oes th is p ain fu l c le nchin g th in g, b ecause I c an a lm ost p ic tu re i t h ap penin g to m e. T he c all f r o m m y m om ’s l a w yer s a yin g th at h er l a st th o ught o f m e w as . . . n o th in g. “S he d id n’t l e av e h er a nyth in g.” “H ow i s th at e v en p ossib le ? I th o ught y o u s a id s h e h ate d y o u?” I s it u p o n th e b ed a nd r is e to m y f e et to s ta rt p acin g th e r o om . “ I w as w ro ng, I g uess. T he l a w yer m ad e i t s o und l ik e s h e c hanged h er m in d a ll th e ti m e.” Menta lly , I ’ m k ic kin g m yse lf a gain f o r n o t c le arin g th e a ir b efo re s h e d ie d . I h ate th at w e l e ft s o m any t h in gs u nsa id . A nd s h e d id n’t g et a c hance to s e e th e f in al s e x-to y l in eup o f B lu sh . “T hir ty m illio n . . .” A l a yer o f a w e h as s lip ped i n to L ogan’s v oic e. “ H oly f u ckin g s h it.” “T hat’ s b asic ally w hat I s a id . I h av e to m eet w ith h er l a w yer a gain , a nd h er f in ancia l p eo ple , to s o rt a ll th is s tu ff o ut a nd tr a nsfe r i t a ll o ver, s o I ’ m g o in g to b e h ere l o nger th an I p la nned . I h ad n o i d ea F ra u F ra nces h ad s o m uch s h it, w hic h m eans n o w I h av e th at m uch s h it, a nd I h av e to f ig ure o ut w hat I ’ m g o in g t o d o w ith i t.” I p ause to ta ke a b re ath . “ B ut b efo re y o u a sk , I ’ m n o t s ta yin g i n N ew Y ork . I ’ m c o m in g b ack.” “G oddam ned r ig ht y o u’re c o m in g b ack. I d on’t c are h o w m uch m oney y o u’v e g o t, I w ill d riv e u p th ere a nd — ” Logan’s a d am ant to ne c atc hes m e o ff g uard , a nd I i n te rru p t. “C alm d ow n, W olv erin e. N o n eed to g et th e c la w s o ut. Y ou w on’t h av e to c o m e d ra g m e b ack. I r e aliz e d a f e w th in gs.”

I ta ke a no th er b re ath , p re p arin g m yse lf to g et r e al w ith h im . T his i s n ’t a ty p ic al B anner a cti v ity , s o I ’ m pro bab ly g o in g to s c re w i t u p . “E ven th o ugh M yrn a j u st h and ed m e th e o pportu nity to s ta y i n N ew Y ork a nd g o b ack to th e l ife I h ad , I d on’t w ant th at l ife . B efo re , I th o ught N ew Y ork h ad e v ery th in g, b ut n o w I k no w i t d oesn ’t h av e th e o ne th in g I r e ally w ant. Y ou.” My h eart h am mers a t m y d ecla ra ti o n. T his i s a s c lo se a s I ’ v e g o tte n to a d m itti n g th at I ’ m k in d a c ra zy in l o ve w ith L ogan, a nd e v en th o ugh I ’ v e p ro m is e d m yse lf I w asn ’t g o in g to s a y i t f ir s t, I n eed h im to kno w th is . When a ll I g et i s s ile nce, p anic c re ep s i n . “ Y ou c an s a y s o m eth in g n o w . R eally , a nyti m e.” “I’ m w aiti n g f o r y o u to te ll m e th e r e st,” L ogan s a ys, h is to ne l e ss h ars h th an b efo re , b ut th ere ’s so m eth in g i n i t I c an’t i d enti fy . “T he r e st o f w hat? ” Logan ta kes a b re ath b efo re h e s p eaks. “ T hat y o u’re p re gnant.” I s p in a ro und a nd s la m m y s h in i n to th e b ed f r a m e. “ S hit! ” I y ell, j u m pin g b ack o n o ne f o ot a nd l o sin g my g rip o n m y p ho ne. I t l a nd s p erfe ctl y o n th e c o rn er b efo re s lid in g a cro ss th e f lo or. I d iv e a fte r i t, sn aggin g i t j u st b efo re i t h its th e d re sse r. But I ’ m to o l a te . T he s c re en i s s h atte re d . “F uck!” I s it u p , w ra p o ne h and o n m y s c re am in g s h in b one, a nd s ta re d ow n a t m y p oor p ho ne. B ehin d th e sh atte re d g la ss, th e s c re en i s b la ck. T he c all i s d ro pped . I h it th e p ow er b utto n a nd w ait f o r i t to c o m e back o n, b ut n o th in g h ap pens. “Y ou’v e g o t to b e s h itti n g m e,” I s a y to th e e m pty r o om . “ T here i s n o w ay m y l u ck i s th is b ad .” But tw o m in ute s o f p re ssin g b utto ns w ith a b so lu te ly n o s ig n o f l ife f r o m m y p ho ne te lls m e o th erw is e . I r e ach f o r th e h o te l p ho ne a nd th en r e p la ce i t i n th e c ra d le . I d on’t k no w L ogan’s n um ber. I d on’t kno w a nyo ne’s f r e akin g n um ber a nym ore . Shit. S hit. S hit . Lap to p. G oogle . I’ll f in d t h e n um ber f o r h is s h op. I ta p m y n ails o n th e d esk a s I w ait f o r m y l a p to p to b oot u p , a nd b y th e ti m e I c o nnect to th e h o te l W i- Fi a nd p ull u p m y b ro w se r, I ’ m r e ad y to te ar m y h air o ut. P ati e nce h as n ev er b een o ne o f m y v ir tu es, a nd th at’ s n o t c hangin g to day. Thankfu lly , G oogle p ro vid es th e n um ber to h is s h o p, a nd I c all i t. No a nsw er, a nd th e v oic e m ail i s f u ll, s o I c an’t e v en l e av e a m essa ge. “L ogan, y o u n eed to c heck y o ur g o ddam ned v oic e m ails !” I c all a gain . A nd a gain . A nd a gain . Fin ally , s o m eo ne p ic ks u p . “ H ello ?” I c an b are ly h ear h im o ver th e s o und o f c o untr y m usic . “ W hy i n th e h ell d o y o u th in k I ’ m p re gnant? ” “W ho i s th is ? ” th e m an a sk s, a nd I r e aliz e i t’ s n o t L ogan. “I n eed to ta lk to y o ur b oss. N ow .” “L ogan?” “Y es!” “H old o n. H e’s b usy.” “H e’s d efin ite ly n o t to o b usy f o r th is c all, s o y o u j u st m arc h o ver th ere a nd h and h im th e p ho ne.” “C alm d ow n, l a d y. I ’ m w ork in g o n i t.” I b are ly r e str a in m yse lf f r o m r ip pin g i n to th e g uy f o r b ein g r u d e, b ut I ’ v e g o t m ore i m porta nt m atte rs to deal w ith . T he m usic i n th e b ackgro und g o es s ile nt f in ally , a nd I c an h ear th e m an s a y, “ T here ’s s o m eo ne on th e p ho ne f o r y o u, b oss, a nd s h e s o und s p is se d . Y ou k no ck s o m eo ne u p ?” Logan’s v oic e f in ally c o m es o n th e l in e. “ B anner? ”

“If th ere ’s a q uesti o n o f w heth er y o u k no cked u p m ore th an j u st m e, w e’re g o in g to h av e a s e rio us pro ble m , L ogan B ra ntl e y.” “W hy th e h ell d id y o u h ang u p o n m e? A nd j u st f r e akin g te ll m e— are y o u p re gnant? ” “I d ro pped m y p ho ne a nd i t b ro ke. I d id n’t h ang u p . A nd n o ! O f c o urs e n o t. I to ld y o u I ’ m o n b ir th co ntr o l. I ’ v e b een e ati n g h o m e c o okin g f o r tw o f r e akin g w eeks, b ut I ’ m n o t f a t, s o w hat th e h ell? ” Logan r e le ase s a l o ng b re ath . “ T hen w hy d id y o u h av e a b ox o f p re gnancy te sts o n th e c o unte r i n y o ur bath ro om w ith o ne m is sin g?” Every th in g f in ally f a lls to geth er, a nd I p in ch th e b rid ge o f m y n o se . “ B ecause m y o b-g yn w as p ro bab ly bre akin g s o m e l a w s w hen s h e s a id s h e’d m ail m e th e b ir th c o ntr o l s h o t to g iv e m yse lf, b ut I h ad to ta ke a pre gnancy te st f ir s t to c o nfir m I w as g o od to g o .” “Y ou’re f u ckin g k id din g m e.” F ro m th e to ne o f L ogan’s v oic e, I c an te ll th is i s n ’t th e r e sp onse h e exp ecte d . “W hy d id n’t y o u j u st a sk ?” “B ecause th is i s n ’t th e k in d o f s h it y o u ta lk a b out o ver th e p ho ne. T his i s th e k in d o f s h it y o u ta lk a b out in p ers o n.” He h as a g o od p oin t. “ S o y o u w ere g o in g to w ait a nd w ond er u nti l I g o t b ack?” “Y eah, b ut w hen y o u s a id y o u h ad to d ecid e w hat y o u w ere g o in g to d o, I c o uld n’t w ait.” Realiz a ti o n d aw ns. “ Y ou th o ught I ’ d h av e a n a b orti o n? W ith o ut e v er ta lk in g to y o u a b out a nyth in g? Je su s, L ogan, th anks f o r th e v ote o f c o nfid ence.” “L ook, i t’ s y o ur b ody a nd y o ur c ho ic e, b ut y o u b ette r b elie v e I w ould ’v e h ad s o m eth in g to s a y a b out i t if y o u w ere g o in g to g o th ro ugh w ith s o m eth in g l ik e th at.” “I’ m n o t p re gnant, s o w e c an s to p r ig ht h ere . B ut f o r th e r e co rd , th ere ’s n o w ay i n h ell I w ould d o th at. I c o uld n’t.” “W ell, th at’ s g o od to k no w .” The r id ic ulo usn ess o f th e w ho le s itu ati o n h its m e h ard , a nd l a ughte r r is e s u p i n m y c hest. “ I c an’t belie v e y o u th o ught I w as p re gnant.” “Y ou b ette r n o t b e l a ughin g a b out th is r ig ht n o w . I f I c o uld r e ach y o u, I ’ d s p ank th at a ss o f y o urs f o r makin g m e w ond er.” “Y ou h av e to a d m it th at i t i s k in d o f f u nny.” I p ause a s te ars s tr e am d ow n m y f a ce. “ O r m ayb e I ’ m j u st an e m oti o nal f r e akin g w re ck b ecause o f e v ery th in g e ls e .” M y l a ughte r d ie s, b ut th e te ars c o nti n ue. “F uck, b ab y. I h ate h earin g y o u c ry . E sp ecia lly w hen I ’ m n o t c lo se e no ugh to h o ld y o u. S hhh, i t’ s go nna b e a ll r ig ht. I p ro m is e .” I w alk to th e b ath ro om to g ra b a ti s su e a nd s n iff b ack a no th er w av e o f te ars . “ I’ m s o rry . I t’ s b een a littl e b it o f a n e m oti o nal r o lle r c o aste r l a te ly .” “A l ittl e b it? B ru ce, I th in k y o u’re m akin g a h ell o f a n u nd ers ta te m ent th ere .” “It’ s j u st . . . G od, y o u s h o uld h av e h eard h er d aughte r. S he w as s o p is se d . I t’ s l ik e s h e h ate d h er.” “N ot e v ery o ne g ets a lo ng w ith th eir p are nts ,” L ogan o ffe rs . “I’ m w alk in g p ro of.” I p ause . “ B ut I ’ d l ik e to th in k th ere ’s n o w ay I ’ d b e s o c o ld i f s o m eo ne c alle d me to m orro w a nd to ld m e m y p are nts w ere d ead .” “S he’s p ro bab ly d ealin g w ith i t h er o w n w ay. E very o ne d oes.” “I k no w . B ut I f e el s o rry f o r h er, a nd I d on’t e v er w ant s o m eo ne to f e el s o rry f o r m e l ik e th at.” “T his m ay n o t b e a s u ggesti o n y o u w ant to h ear, b ut h av e y o u th o ught a b out g o in g to s e e y o ur p are nts while y o u’re th ere to tr y to m end f e nces? ” I th in k a b out i t b efo re r e p ly in g. “ I d on’t k no w i f I ’ m r e ad y y et. T hey d id n’t th in k tw ic e a b out l e av in g me to f a ce b ein g e v ic te d b y m yse lf.” “T hat’ s s h itty , b ut i f th ere ’s a nyth in g I ’ v e l e arn ed l a te ly , i t’ s th at w e’v e g o t n o g uara nte es i n th is l ife . You m ig ht h av e to s te p u p a nd b e th e b ig ger p ers o n.”

“M ayb e y o u’re r ig ht.” “E ven a b lin d s q uir re l f in d s a n ut n o w a nd a gain .” “I m is s y o u,” I b lu rt o ut. Logan c huckle s s o ftl y i n to th e p ho ne. “ I m is s y o u to o, B ru ce. D o y o u h av e a ny i d ea h o w l o ng i t’ s go in g to ta ke to g et e v ery th in g i n o rd er u p th ere ?” “N ot r e ally . I n eed to c le an o ut th e a p artm ent a nd f ig ure o ut w hat to d o w ith M yrn a’s s tu ff, a nd th at’ s alo ngsid e s tr a ig hte nin g o ut a ll th e f in ancia l a nd l e gal th in gs, w hic h i s w ay e asie r to d o h ere i n p ers o n, I th in k.” “I b elie v e y o u. T ake th e ti m e y o u n eed to g et i t s o rte d o ut. Y ou k no w I ’ v e g o t p le nty o f w ork to k eep me b urie d u nti l th is p ro je ct i s d one, a nd I ’ ll b e w aiti n g h ere w hen y o u g et b ack.” Relie f th at L ogan u nd ers ta nd s th e p ositi o n I ’ m i n s w eep s th ro ugh m e. “ H ow d id y o u g et to b e s o am azin g?” Logan l a ughs, a nd I l o ve th e s o und o f i t. “ I’ m n o t a m azin g. Y ou a re , B ru ce.” “C an I c all y o u l a te r? I ’ v e g o tta g o b uy a n ew p ho ne a nd c o m e u p w ith a p la n o f a tta ck f o r th e ap artm ent s o I c an w ork th ro ugh th is a s q uic kly a s p ossib le .” “Y ou c an c all m e a nyti m e. I ’ ll e v en g iv e y o u m y n um ber a gain .” “L ogan B ra ntl e y’s g iv in g m e h is n um ber,” I p urr. “ I f e el s o s p ecia l.” “T hat’ s b ecause y o u a re . N ow , y o u f e el f r e e to r e m in d a ll th o se N ew Y ork g uys th at y o u’v e g o t a m an at h o m e, a nd h e d oesn ’t s h are .” I l a ugh, b ut th ere ’s s o m eth in g a b out h is w ord s th at f ills m y c hest w ith w arm th . G old H av en a nd L ogan are h o m e f o r m e n o w . “ H e d oesn ’t, h uh?” “M y p ie . I d on’t s h are m y p ie .” “Y ou s o und l ik e— ” “A m an s ta kin g h is c la im ?” L ogan i n te rru p ts . “ T hat’ s b ecause I a m . Y ou b ette r n o t h av e a s in gle d oub t ab out th at.” “T hen y o u b ette r m ake s u re a ll th o se w om en i n G old H av en k no w th at L ogan B ra ntl e y’s g o t a ll th e p ie he n eed s b ecause h e i s ta ken.” I e m phasiz e th e l a st th re e w ord s, a nd i t f e els g o od to s ta ke m y o w n c la im . “F air i s f a ir, b ut th at g o es w ith o ut s a yin g. C all m e l a te r, B ru ce.” H e r a ttl e s o ff h is n um ber, a nd I j o t i t dow n b efo re g iv in g h im th e o ne to m y r o om . I l o ok u p i n th e m ir ro r a fte r I h ang u p , a nd I ’ m n o t s u re I ’ v e e v er s e en th is b ig o f a s m ile o n m y o w n fa ce b efo re . I’ m i n d eep .