Trey’s mouth curved in a sad smile. “Yeah, I see your point. Would you stay with him if you found out he’d knocked someone else up? Someone he was sleeping with while dating you?”
“I thought about that. It’s hard for me to imagine not being with Gideon. If we weren’t exclusive at the time and the woman was in his past, if he was with me and not her, maybe I could handle it.”
I watched a woman hang yet another bag of purchases onto the overburdened handle of her kid’s stroller. “But if he was mostly with her and seeing me on the side . . . I think I’d walk.”
It was tough being honest when the truth was the opposite of what Cary would want me to say, but I felt like it was the right thing to do.
“For what it’s worth, I wouldn’t think less of you if you toughed it out with Cary. It’s not weak to stand by the person you love when they’re trying to fix a big mistake, and it’s not weak to decide to put yourself first. Whatever decision you make, I’ll still think you’re a helluva guy.”
Leaning into me, he rested his head on my shoulder. “Thanks, Eva.”
I linked my fingers with his. “You’re welcome.”
“I’LL go get the car and pull it around,” Raúl said, as we entered the lobby of my apartment building.
“Okay. I’m just going to check the mail.” I waved at the concierge as we passed the desk. I turned into the mailroom, while Raúl headed to the elevator.
Sliding my key into the lock, I pulled the brass door open and bent low to peer inside. There were a few postcard advertisements and nothing else, which saved me a trip upstairs. I slid them out, tossed them in the nearby trash can, then shut and locked the mailbox.
I headed back into the lobby just in time to catch a woman exiting the building. Her spiky red hair caught my attention and held it. I stared hard, waiting for her to turn onto the street, hoping I’d catch a glimpse of her profile.
My breath caught. The hair was familiar from a Google image search. The face I remembered from the shelter fund-raiser Gideon and I had attended a few weeks back.
Then she was gone.
I ran after her, but when I reached the sidewalk she was already sliding into the back of a black town car.
“Hey!” I shouted.
The car sped off, leaving me staring after it.
“Everything all right?”
I turned to face Louie, the weekend doorman. “Do you know who that was?”
He shook his head. “She doesn’t live here.”
Going back inside, I asked the concierge the same question.
“A redhead?” she asked, looking perplexed. “We haven’t had any visitors who came in without a tenant today, so I haven’t really paid attention.”
“Hmm. Okay, thank you.”
“Your car’s here, Eva,” Louie said from the doorway.
I thanked the concierge and headed out to Raúl. I spent the ride between my place and Gideon’s thinking about Anne Lucas. By the time I stepped out of the private elevator into the foyer of the penthouse, my spinning thoughts had me distracted.
Gideon was waiting for me. Dressed in worn jeans and a Columbia T-shirt, he looked so young and handsome. Then he flashed me a smile and I almost forgot the world altogether.
“Angel,” he purred, crossing the black-and-white checkerboard flooring on bare feet. He had that look in his eye I knew well. “Come here.”
I walked right into his open arms, cuddling up tightly to his hard body. I breathed him in. “You’re going to think I’m crazy,” I mumbled against his chest, “but I could swear I just saw Anne Lucas in the lobby of my building.”
He stiffened. I knew the shrink wasn’t his favorite person.
“When?” he asked tightly.
“Twenty minutes ago, maybe. Right before I came over here.”
Releasing me, he reached into his back pocket and pulled out his smartphone. His other hand caught mine and pulled me into the living room.
“Mrs. Cross just saw Anne Lucas in her apartment building,” he said to whoever answered.
“I think I did,” I corrected, frowning at his hard tone.
But he wasn’t listening to me. “Find out,” he ordered, before hanging up.
“Gideon. What’s going on?”
He led us to the couch and sat. I settled next to him, putting my purse down on the coffee table.
“I saw Anne the other day,” he explained, holding on to my hand. “Raúl confirmed that the woman who spoke to you at the fund-raiser was her. She admitted it, and I warned her to stay away from you, but she won’t. She wants to hurt me and she knows she can do that if she hurts you.”
“Okay.” I processed that.
“You need to tell Raúl the moment you see her anywhere. Even if you just think it’s her.”
“Hold on a minute, ace. You went to see her the other day and didn’t tell me?”
“I’m telling you now.”
“Why didn’t you tell me then?”
He exhaled roughly. “It was the day Chris came over.”
I gnawed on my lower lip a minute. “How would she hurt me?”
“I don’t know. It’s enough for me that she wants to.”
“Like would she break my leg? My nose?”
“I doubt she’d resort to violence,” he said dryly. “It would be more fun for her to play mind games. Showing up where you are. Letting you catch glimpses of her.”