one. my little white lie.

Start from the beginning

"You look great," I told her.

Quinn scoffed, waving a perfectly manicured hand. "Hardly. I look ragged." My sister couldn't accept a compliment to save her own life. It went way beyond humility, well into false modesty territory.

"Where's Adam?" 

"He had to duck out to take an important call with an investor." She added, "Not optional, unfortunately." I wasn't sure whether she was trying to convince me or herself. "What are you doing hanging out at the bar all by yourself?"

"I was just getting a refill before coming to find you." False, but now I could get credit for pretending.

"I haven't seen your sister in ages," Millie said to Quinn like I wasn't standing right in front of them. She turned back to me and touched me on the arm, sizing me up once more. Looking for, I knew, signs of injectables, fillers, or nips and tucks. Bonus points for spotting roots or grey hair. But too bad for her, I had my balayage touched up and toned yesterday.

"What have you been up to, Thayer?" She asked. Code for, why did you drop off the face of the planet? But nobody knew that, and nobody needed to.

"Oh, you know." I waved airily. "I've been super busy with work."

"That's all she does," Quinn chimed in with a sing-song voice. "All work and no play, this one." As my business partner, you'd think she would have seen this as a positive thing.

Millie made a faux sad face. "That doesn't sound like fun. You should come out with us one night. We can be your friends." To be clear, I had plenty of friends; I just chose not to subject them to this particular form of torture. In fact, I was meeting my best friend Lola for brunch tomorrow, if I ever escaped this lions' den in one piece. And my friends didn't polish their knives while my back was turned.

"Maybe when things calm down at work," I said. "Things have been really hectic lately with preparing our quarterly financial statements, not to mention tracking the budget for our new build-out." Quinn clearly wasn't going to keep track of where all the money was going, so someone had to do it.

"Aren't you excited about your sister's big news?" Millie beamed, revealing slightly-too-big whitest-white veneers. Her face was long and thin, which made the overall effect equine.

"So excited," I said, trying to sound like it.

"I mean, look at that rock!" She grabbed Quinn's left hand, showing off the cushion-cut 3-carat yellow diamond proudly, like it was her own. My sister at least had the decency to feign embarrassment at the attention.

"I'm familiar."

"And don't fret about not having a date for the engagement party." Quinn withdrew her hand, tilting her head sympathetically. "I know the dating scene is rough these days. Not many good fish left in the sea."

It wasn't clear how Quinn would know about the dating scene when she'd barely ever dipped her toe into it. She was a serial monogamist who'd been on three first dates that resulted in three long-term boyfriends, the last of which was her fiancé, Adam. Unlike me, she'd never combed the dregs of Tinder, trying in vain to find a decent date. It was more than rough, it was a nuclear wasteland.

"Fortunately, there will be lots of eligible bachelors at the party," Millie said. "Ocean Heights' most desirable."

Unlike Millie, who was perpetually trying to sink her talons into a well-to-do white collar business bro, I wasn't interested in any of them. More of the same? No thanks. I had zero interest in my own Adam 2.0. I had vibrators in my nightstand that were better company than that. Better conversation, too.

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