I ink it into his skin. When I’m done, I hold up a mirror so he can see it.
He frowns. “Well, that’s not very original,” he says. He looks at me.
I take the mirror away so that he has to look down on it from above. “Oh, holy hell,” he says.
When he looks down, he sees the anagram from the other direction, and it reads my real name. Only he can see it, and that’s how I want it. Janet. When he looks down at it, he sees the name Janet, but when everyone else looks at it, they’ll see Friday, which is what I want them to see. Paul is the only one who knows all my secrets, and I want it to stay that way.
He grabs me and kisses me hard. The crowd goes wild. “I love you so fucking much,” he says against my lips. “Thanks for letting me love you.”
Now Kelly is gone from his body. She’ll never be gone from his life, since they share a daughter, but she now knows that we’re rock-solid and we always will be. It’s not because of the tattoo; it’s just because of the way I love him. And the way he loves me.
Paul takes someone to his table and I take someone to mine. I grin at him and he winks back at me.
All I had to do was let him fucking love me, because my loving him was unavoidable.
Four hours later, we get the call. The call that has the potential to change our lives forever.
Sam. Sam, who was going back to get ready to play ball. Sam, who stayed long enough to see Pete married, when he should have gone back two days ago. Sam. Their brother.
We pack up as quickly as we can and go to him. All we know is that his future is not certain, and we’re scared senseless. Sam.
Paul’s knee jerks in the cab. We left Henry to return the vehicles to the rental company and to return the kids he came with.
Paul’s a nervous wreck. His phone rings. His hand is shaking too much to answer it. I take his phone, answer it, and listen for a minute. “He’s okay,” I say over the top of the phone. My heart stutters.
Paul lets his head fall back against the seat and blows out a breath.
“He got a nasty bump on the head and broke something.” I hang up the phone when I lose the connection. “Terrible fucking signal out here.”
He jerks his head up. “What did he break?”
“They didn’t say. And the call dropped.”
“You didn’t ask?” he barks at me.
“I was too busy counting my blessings that he’s alive, asshole,” I say. I throw his phone at him.
He reaches over and takes my hand and squeezes it. I let him, because I know he’s hurting. And he’s scared.
But we don’t know anything about what happened, yet. We won’t know anything until we get there.