Untamed

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Eventually I man up and call Christina

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Eventually I man up and call Christina. Normally I'm not this reluctant to face potential confrontation, but something about Christina's persistence doesn't sit well in my gut.

With a sense of dread in my throat, I tap her digits into my phone.

"Rafael!" she squeals. "Good morning! How are you?"

"Christina. I'm great. You?"

"Wonderful. I'm in Miami right now, planning to do a little shopping with my mother in Coral Gables today."

Her voice is so casual that I feel like a dick for not calling her back. My gut must've been wrong. "I'm so sorry I've been out of touch and haven't returned your calls. I'm up in St. Augustine for a month, working on acquiring a company. It's taking up a lot of my time."

There's a pause. "St. Augustine?"

"Yeah, it's about four hours north of Miami, the oldest city in Florida. Quite charming." I'm on the sidewalk in front of the newspaper, and I fiddle with my collar. It's gotten cool here, much cooler than Miami, but I'm sweating a little.

"Isn't that where June lives?" Christina asks, her voice suddenly frosty.

"June? Huh?"

"Your ex."

"Justine. Her name's Justine." I clear my throat. "And yes. It is. I'm actually acquiring her company. Her newspaper."

"I see. Well, good luck with that. Anyway—" her voice turns to a purr "—the reason I called is because I'd love to have dinner with you. When will you be back in civilization?"

I frown. This offer sure is out of the blue. "Possibly sometime this month, but I'm not sure yet. I'm headed to Spain in March on business, and I'm not sure I'll be in Miami much before then."

"Perfect! Well, let's catch up there. I'd like to tell you about something I'm sure you'll be interested in."

"You can tell me now. Or does it have to wait?" I look down at my polished, black-alder leather derby shoes. They're from a top designer and new, but I'm not sure I like them.

"I think it should wait. It will take a while to explain."

Just then, I see Justine coming out of the building with Diana. She's looking heartbreakingly beautiful today in a simple black wrap dress and black flats. Her hair is loose, and something about her looks soft and girlish. She and I lock eyes, and she turns to Diana. As they head toward me, slow because Diana's not moving fast these days, I rush to get off the phone.

"Sure, sure," I tell Christina. "First week of March in Madrid. I'll put it on my calendar."

"Perfect. Can't wait to catch up! Ciao ciao, Rafael!"

 Can't wait to catch up! Ciao ciao, Rafael!"

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