Kryptonite

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That night, hours after Rafa left and after I'd picked out a mint-green blanket made from organic hemp for Diana's baby at the market, I mill around the rental villa, perusing through closets and poking in every nook

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That night, hours after Rafa left and after I'd picked out a mint-green blanket made from organic hemp for Diana's baby at the market, I mill around the rental villa, perusing through closets and poking in every nook. I'm a reporter at heart, which means that I'm insanely curious. Okay, nosy.

I find nothing of Rafa's, save for a few of his expensive suits neatly hung in one closet and some underwear and workout clothes in a bureau drawer. Of course he wouldn't have much here since he's renting the house for only a month. Why would he need more? This is a temporary stop.

The thought slays me. There isn't much time left. A couple of weeks. And now three days will be spent apart. But our earlier conversation makes me wonder if he's open to something more.

Wrapped in my favorite fuzzy bathrobe, I flop down on the sofa. I'm armed with a glass of red wine and a new novel. If we were really together, this is what it would be like. He'd be gone, and I'd be at home. Wondering. Waiting. Attending to his needs and not my own life.

Before his reappearance, I'd carved out something satisfying here. Tons of friends and acquaintances. And despite my grumpy bitching, there are so many things I love about the newspaper. It's like an eccentric family to me. Normally I have a busy schedule, serving on boards and committees and overseeing everything at the Times. But I've put everything on hold since we announced Rafa's involvement in the paper. Eventually, I'll have to reenter the world. But tonight, I'm content here in this luxury. Alone.

I sip my wine and read, enjoying the silence. After about an hour, my phone rings.

"Hey babe," Rafa says. I'm acutely aware that his voice sounds a touch different. "What are you doing? Please tell me you're at my house and not yours."

"Yes. I'm at your place. Lying on the sofa, reading and drinking wine."

He growls. "I wish I was there with you."

I beam into the phone. When he returns, I'm going tell him how I feel. It's time to be a damned grownup about this relationship.

Because I still love him.

"Did your dinner go well?"

"It went perfectly. We sold the building. David and I are going out for drinks to celebrate now. We're about to walk into the Shore Club."

I hear the click of a car door and feminine laughter in the background.

"Oh, well, that's great. Have fun, baby."

"I will—" Rafa's words are interrupted by a woman's voice.

"Rafael, are you coming?"

I swallow a lump at the sound. "I'll let you go." My throat tightens, and my voice turns murky. "You sound busy."

"Listen, I'll text you later when I'm done. I shouldn't be late," he says briskly.

"Okay. Um. Have a good night," I whisper and hang up.

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