Chapter Twenty-one

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"Have you lost your mind? You can't live together?" Elena said.

"They are grown adults, Elena. They can do whatever they want. Besides, it's better than her marrying him."

"Marry?" Elena stared at her husband like he had lost his mind. "Marry?" she asked of Billie, wanting her to explain.

"It was one of the things on the table," Billie admitted.

"You let them bet over getting married?!" Elena smacked her husband as he passed her to put his poker chips away. "How can you let this happen?!"

"Me? I didn't do anything. They did it themselves."

"Billie, please be reasonable. This is no way to go about getting a man," Elena tried to reason.

"I already have him, Elena. Now I'm just trying to figure out if I should keep him."

Quentin grinned at this assessment of their relationship. Okay, so she's accepted his feelings for her, but the jury was still out on whether Billie had feelings for him.

"You ready to get going?" he asked.

"Ready whenever you are," Billie replied.

"No, no, no," Elena said. "Stop them, Carlos. You know this will only end in tears."

"It is their lives, Elena," Carlos said putting the cards away.

Quentin took Billie by the hand and led her back into the house. He was still stunned that she was here but of course, Carlos and Elena were aware that Billie was coming. Very sly of them to make excuses as to why he should stay. He owed them one.

"Goodnight Carlos, Elena. Thank you for the iced tea, dinner, well everything," Quentin said.

"Billie?" Elena made her name into a plea.

"I'll be fine. I promise," Billie said kissing the woman's cheek.

"I'll follow you?" Quentin asked since they came in separate cars.

"Yes," Billie said although she wished they didn't have to separate so soon.

"This is all your fault!" Elena said to Carlos when they got into their cars and drove away.

"Isn't it always?" Carlos said dejectedly as he closed the door.

***

They parked in the garage and walked to the co-op together hand and hand. Before they got into the building, however, Quentin stopped them.

"Everything okay?" Billie asked. Quentin looked like he was pondering something.

"Yes, it's all good," Quentin said and continued walking. They entered the building and waited for the elevator.

Once inside the elevator, Billie heard Quentin say, "No, it's no good."

"It's not?" Billie asked concerned.

"No, I can't do this," Quentin said turning her so she had to look at him.

"You can't?"

"It's nearly impossible," Quentin said.

"Are saying you want out of our deal?" Billie asked. She should have known it was too good to be true.

"What?" Quentin was confused. "No, why would you ask that?"

"You just said..."

"No, I just meant that it's impossible to be this close to you and not want to do this." Quentin pulled her into his arms. His lips descended upon hers. Billie didn't even put up a fight. Her hands wound in his hair, her whole body pressed against him. His arms gathered her up, gripping the clothes at her back, pressing her even closer.

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