But she did. She deserved that very much, and she had held the power to change her circumstances all along.
Once the pan was heated and she had the sandwich sizzling, she pounded out Lucas’s number. When he picked up the call, she immediately said, “I’m selling the boat.”
“Yeah, yeah, I heard you before. You’re selling, but not to me.”
“I changed my mind on that.”
There was a pause. “Are you teasing me?” he finally asked.
“No. I want to find my happy, and my happy involves a hot shower and a full kitchen. And your happy is this boat.” She paused and rolled her eyes at herself. “And we both deserve our happy.”
Another pause. “Who are you, and what have you done with my bitch ex-wife?”
She sighed. “Fine, if you’re not interested—”
“Hey, whoa, I didn’t say that! I’m interested. I’m more than interested. Consider it sold for fair market value.”
“And you’ll pay me up front?”
“Hell, I’ll even add in your car, free of charge.”
“Wow,” she said, and flipped her sandwich, the scent of melting cheese making her mouth water. “Look at you, going soft in your old age.”
“Bite your tongue, woman. So…this have anything to do with you bumping uglies with Jacob Kincaid?”
She’d just taken an unfortunate sip of her chocolate milk and choked on it.
“I’ll take that as a yes,” he said. “You know that being with him is like going from the pan into the fire, right? Because if you think I can’t keep it in my pants—”
He let out a low laugh. “Okay, touché. But the last single male Kincaid, Sophie? Seriously? It’s like you want to be hurt. It’s like you want to be your dad, constantly down and depressed—”
She felt her spine snap straight. “You don’t know what you’re talking about,” she said stiffly. “I’m nothing like my dad. And it’s not like he chooses to be sad, Lucas. It’s a chemical imbalance—”
“Sophie,” he said quietly. “I didn’t mean to start a fight and hurt your feelings. I’m just saying, I’m…worried about you.”
“I was an asshole,” he said. “There’s no doubt. Hell, I’m still an asshole. But why are you going after another asshole? Do you want to get hurt again? Is that it?”
She opened her mouth and then closed it. “Jacob’s not like you,” she said. “When he’s with someone, he’s with someone.”
“Okay, so maybe he’s not going to cheat on you with another woman,” Lucas said. “But he’s not going to be able to make you happy. He’s not relationship material, and that’s what you want. That’s what you’re looking for.”
No way was she going to admit to him that she’d learned that already, the hard way. “I’ll be okay,” she said.
He was quiet a moment. “I’ll have the accountant come up with an offer for the boat and get it to you tomorrow.”
“Thanks,” she said, and then paused. “Wait a minute. Did we just have a relatively decent conversation in which neither of us skewered the other?”
“Yeah,” he said, sounding as surprised as she. “Do you think it means the apocalypse is coming?”
“Maybe it means we’re growing up,” she said.
“Don’t tell anyone.”
She found a laugh and disconnected, and when she did, her laughter stuck in her throat and switched to tears. Dammit. Dammit, she still couldn’t find her happy. Because her happy was leaving with Jacob, like one of those duffel bags over his shoulder.
She turned back to the grilled cheese and gasped at the black smoke billowing out from beneath the pan. And in the next second, the sandwich burst into flames. It caught the kitchen towel next to the pan, and that also burst into flames.
“Oh, my God!” She whirled, mind blank. She ran to the sink, but only a trickle of water came out.
By this time, the fire had spread to the window shades. She raced over to the table and ducked down, reaching for the fire extinguisher that she always bumped her legs on.
It was heavy and she’d never used one before, which made her mad. She always hated the stupid chick, the one who in the movies didn’t know how to save herself. Don’t be the stupid chick! She yanked harder. “Come on, you motherfu—”