Pru rubbed her aching stomach. She was starting to feel sick. “Maybe we should postpone this for another day. When I haven’t eaten my weight in pizza.”
Elle didn’t break eye contact with her. She didn’t budge a muscle, not even to blink.
Pru sighed. “Fine. Maybe something’s happened between me and Finn, but it’s not going to keep happening.”
Willa grinned. “So you did sleep with him.”
“Past tense,” Pru said, her gaze still held prisoner by Elle’s. “Even if I wish it wasn’t.” Dammit. “Where did you get this super power?” she demanded. “I need it.”
Elle smiled. “I’d tell you but—”
“—But she’d have to kill you,” Willa finished on a laugh. “Love it when you say that.”
“Except you never let me say it,” Elle pointed out.
Pru’s stomach turned over yet again and she put a hand on it. “I really don’t feel so good.”
“Because you’re holding back on your new BFFs,” Willa said.
“I like you for Finn,” Elle said to Pru. “He hasn’t chosen anyone in a long time. I’m glad it’s you.”
“Oh, no. That’s the thing,” she said. “It’s not me. I mean, it was great. He was great. And when I was with him, I felt . . .” She closed her eyes, the memories washing over her. “Really great.” She could still hear his low, sexy voice in her ear telling her what he was going to do to her, and then his even sexier body doing it, taking hers to places it hadn’t been in so long she’d nearly forgotten what it was like to be in a man’s arms and lose herself.
“So why is it over then?” Haley asked. “Do you realize how rare ‘really great’ is? I haven’t had ‘really great’ in so long I don’t even know if I’ll recognize it.”
“You’ll recognize it,” Elle said, looking at Pru, waiting on her answer.
But Pru didn’t answer. Couldn’t. Because she hated the reason why. “It’s . . . complicated.”
“Honey,” Elle said with surprising vulnerability and wistfulness in her voice. “The best things always are.” She paused. “You’d be really good for him.”
Elle wasn’t a woman to say such a thing unless she meant it so Pru felt herself warm a little at that. Even if it wasn’t true. She wasn’t good for Finn. And when he found out the truth about her and who she was, she’d in fact be very bad for him.
“He hasn’t dated since Mellie,” Willa said thoughtfully. “And she turned out to be—”
“Willa,” Elle said quietly. Warningly.
“I’m sorry,” she said, not sounding sorry at all. “But I hated her for what she did to him. To him and Sean.”
“It was a long time ago,” Elle said firmly.
“A year. He liked her, a lot. And he got hurt,” Willa said. “And you hated her for it too, admit it.”
Elle gave a slight head nod. “I would have liked to kill her,” she said casually in the way most people would comment on the weather.
“And it changed him,” Willa said. She turned to Pru. “Mellie had the dressy boutique here in the building for a while before she sold it. She was wild and fun and gregarious, and she was good for Finn. At first. Until—”
“Willa.” Elle gave her a long look. “You’re telling tales. He’s going to kill you.”
“Only if you tattle,” Willa said. “Pru needs to know what she’s up against.”
“What am I up against?” Pru whispered in spite of herself, needing to know.
“Mellie and Sean got drunk one night. And they . . .” She grimaced.
Pru gasped. “No,” she breathed. “She slept with his brother?”
“Well, apparently when Finn walked in on them they hadn’t quite gotten to home plate but it was close enough.”
“Finn walked in on them?” Pru asked, horrified, trying to imagine. She didn’t have a sibling, but in her fantasies, if she’d had a sister or brother, they would stand at her back, always. “How awful.”
Willa nodded. “It caused a big fight, but they’ve always fought. Sean had had way too much to drink that night, he was really out of it, and later he kept saying he’d never have made a move on her if he’d been in his right mind. But Mellie wasn’t drunk. She knew exactly what she was doing.”
“But why would she do that to Finn?” Pru asked.