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“You said one night, Chris. One night.” There were the tears and she wasn’t going to hold them back. Not this time. “I gave you one night.” But really she knew he’d given her one.

“I didn’t mean it like that.”

“I never know what you mean.” She sucked in a breath. “Listen, I have to get to Sonia’s. I have to get the kids. I have to call Scott.” She diverted her eyes when she said it because she didn’t really care at that moment about calling Scott. What would she even say? Thanks for all the nice things you said to me and for going to the wedding, but I went to bed with my ex, but you’ll be fine with that right?

She shook off the thought and decided it wasn’t necessary to be nasty to Christian. After all, she did love him, even if she wouldn’t tell him that.

“I had a nice evening, Chris. Thank you for the ride.”

She climbed from the car, shut the door, and ran up the front steps of the house. From behind her, she could hear his car door open.

Quickly she put the keys into the door, pushed it open, and shut it just as quickly. He couldn’t come in. There was a great necessity in him driving away. Standing behind the door with her back pushed up against it, she waited. A few moments later she heard his car drive away.

The tears fell freely now. How could she have turned him away? For nearly a year she’d waited to have him back. There hadn’t been a day that she hadn’t.

Then, as if a bolt of clarity struck her, she moved away from the door. The kids. She needed to get the kids. There were responsibilities and she’d completely blown them off for a night with Christian—one more night.

Victoria raced up the stairs to her bathroom, where one look in the mirror clearly stated what she’d done all night. Her hair was a mess and her makeup smudged. And the dress Christian’s family had bought her still hung on her the second day.

She picked up her hairbrush and quickly ran it through her hair, pulling it back and capturing it into a band for a ponytail, high on her head. Scrubbing her face and brushing her teeth made her feel a little bit more human, but no less rushed. It wasn’t until she’d stripped off the dress and pulled on a pair of yoga pants and her old worn out university T-shirt that she realized the car seats were in Scott’s car.

She fell to her bed and sobbed before finding her cell phone and calling Sonia.

“Where are you? You’re scaring me,” Sonia answered the phone, her voice shaky.

“I got home and realized Scott has the kids’ car seats in his car.”

“And where is Scott? Didn’t he stay with you?”

Victoria swallowed hard. “No. He got called away on business. I don’t know where his car is.”

“Craig can take the kids. I’ll bring yours home and we are going to talk. Get a pot of coffee ready. I want to know what is going on with you.”

Victoria wanted to argue, but she knew better. She agreed, hung up the phone, and quickly got into the shower so Sonia had less ammunition to fire with when she saw her.

Forty-five minutes later Victoria poured Sonia a cup of coffee and set it on the table as the kids settled in front of the TV to watch Brave for the millionth time. She’d already zipped up Ali’s Merida dress, as that was the uniform for when the movie was on.

She sat down at the table and looked up at her best friend whose face already wore the look begging her to spill about her night.

Victoria took a sip of coffee and set the mug back on the table. “Scott had to fly out yesterday. One of his clients got into some trouble.”

“And you stayed at the wedding?”

She nodded. “Those people were supposed to be family to me. They invited me, bought my dress, and I wanted to be with them.”

“Them?”

“Yes, them.”

Sonia sat back in the high backed wooden chair and crossed her arms over her chest. “Christian?”

She cleared her throat. “He was there.”

“And?”

Her mouth was growing dry. “And he asked me to dance after we had a few glasses of champagne.” She thought a moment. “Or ten.”

“So you got drunk at Ed’s wedding and danced with your ex?”

“Yep.”

“And common sense had you staying at the hotel?”

Or lack of, she thought. “Mmm-hmmm.” She sipped her coffee again.

“You stayed the night with Christian at the hotel.” Sonia’s eyes had grown wider and so had her knowing smile.

“Don’t be like that. I was drunk.”

“And he took advantage of you?”

Victoria thought about the night and how she’d given into him so completely and how comfortable it had been.

“Not exactly.”

Sonia leaned in over the table. “Tori, you’re still in love with him. What were you doing?”

“Having one more moment,” she said softly.

“And Christian?”

One more night.

Victoria stood up and paced the floor. “I made a mistake. I just miss him so much.”

“And did you tell him that?”

“No. I know this is too much for him.”

“A year ago it was too much. Maybe now…”

“No.” She shook her head and sat back down as to not draw the kids’ attention. “Scott seems very interested in starting something serious. He’s good with the kids. He can provide for all of us. Nothing that has happened before this weekend bothers him. Christian is still too wounded—emotionally.”

“So are you.”

That was certainly the truth. Not a day went by that she didn’t think about the accident, the kids, the house, her sister, and of course Christian.

“I have too many people counting on me and I’m just going to forget about last night. Thank you for taking the kids and for bringing them back.”

Sonia nodded. “I left the seats on the porch. We have multiple sets. Use them until Scott gets back.” She stood and waited until Victoria did the same. Then she pulled her into a hug. “It’s okay to want him and to love him. Maybe he needs this.”

“I can’t feel that kind of pain again.”

Sonia kissed her on the cheek and said goodbye to the kids. As she let herself out, Victoria sat back down at the table and cried. She already missed him so much it hurt. She didn’t want that anymore.

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