I'm in my Tesla, a half-hour outside of Miami on the traffic-choked interstate, when I get a call from the FBI agent. I turn down the Latin jazz and press a button on my steering wheel to answer.
"What the fuck, bro?"
I wince. Even the federal agents use the word bro, like David does. His words send a pang of fear through me. Even though I'm the richest man in Miami, the feds have a way of making certain muscles pucker.
"What do you mean, 'what the fuck'?"
"You went to see Justine?"
"How do you know?" I grip the steering wheel and swear softly in Spanish as an SUV cuts me off.
"Haven't you seen?"
"Seen what?" My stomach sinks because I think I have an idea.
"The photos in the Herald's gossip column. Taken this morning, it says. They didn't waste any time posting the pics. Didn't even wait for the print edition."
"Oh, Jesus Christ. How bad are they?"
"In one, you're kissing her nose. In the other, you two are canoodling. She looks like she's in love."
Where the fuck does he get these words? Canoodling? I groan. "Only two?"
"Yeah, only two. For now. The difficult part is, she looks pregnant. Not sure how we're going to explain this."
"I'm sure you'll think of something."
In a flash, I'm filled with annoyance. Rage, even. It wasn't my idea to have me go undercover. I'm the innocent one here. Let them sort this out. An urge to call Justine, then my lawyer, makes me grip the steering wheel harder. A car slides into the space ahead of me without using a turn signal. I slam my hand on the steering wheel.
"If you had told us, bro, then we would have arranged something more secure if you wanted to see your girlfriend."
"Fiancée. I had to see her. She was losing her shit about Christina."
This morning in St. Augustine, I'd assured her that the photographer was nothing. Possibly federal agents, I'd told her. She hadn't seemed to buy my explanation, probably because being in the media, Justine was skeptical of everything. She'd kissed me goodbye with only one round of questions and ran back inside the villa.
"I get it. Most women would be losing their shit right about now. And I don't have an issue with you seeing her on a limited basis. But this, what's in the paper today? Fuck, bro. It could screw everything up."
I sigh. "I thought I could slip away and see her. I should've thought it through more. What now?"
"You're having dinner with Christina tomorrow, right?"
"Yeah. Eight o'clock." The thought of grinding through several hours listening to Christina's laugh makes my stomach feel like it's filled with lead.
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Constant Craving: The Complete SeriesRomance
To save her business, she'll trade every last inch of her body... * * * Justine's passion is journalism, and she's trying to beat the odds and save her family's newspaper. With the company on the edge of collapse, she begs a private equity group fo...