Thursday lunchtime, he comes striding out of his office just as I get off the elevator. My assistant rushes to help with the armful of fabric samples, design prints, laptop bag, and coffee I’m trying to balance.
“Thanks, Meredith,” I say, focusing on her so I don’t look at Dom. From my peripheral vision, I see him walk by me. He greets someone in a smooth tone that drips with flirtation. It’s almost seductive. I’ve never heard him use that tone with anyone… except me.
Who is he talking to like that?
Dominic is leaning next to a female intern sitting at one of the secretary desks. His face is turned toward her, his lips close to her ear. She’s blushing, her eyes lowered as a sneaky grin tugs her lips. He says something in a sexy, bedroom tone, and she laughs.
I can’t tear my eyes away.
After everything we shared—Paris, planning the gala, the intimate moments when he opened up to me—this is what he does all over again?
I swallow back my hurt. I should be glad he’s making this easy for me. I said I was moving on, and clearly, that’s exactly what he’s doing too.
“Juliet, darling. There you are.”
Lillian appears and loops her arm through mine. “Let’s chat over lunch. I’m dying to know how the renovation planning is coming along.”
An escape? I never thought of Lillian as my savior, but right now she’s giving me the perfect excuse to get away. “That sounds great.”
We walk a couple of blocks to a restaurant she loves. Lillian makes small talk, but I don’t hear much of what she says. My brain keeps replaying the scene from the office, Dom leaning in close to that girl – just like he used to do with me.
I follow Lillian up to the roof terrace and take a seat, still distracted.
Lillian flags down a waitress. “Mimosas, please. And keep them coming.” She looks back at me. “No offence, but you look like you need a drink.”
“Is it really that obvious?”
She gives me a sympathetic smile. “You’re forgetting, I’ve been on the other end of Dom’s tantrums. It’s not a pleasant place to be. Let me guess, he’s started flirting with everything in a skirt?”
Lillian rolls her eyes. “It’s so juvenile. He’s doing it just to make a point. He doesn’t mean any of it.”
“How can you be so sure?”
“Because Dominic Rexford may be many things, but a cheater isn’t one of them.” Lillian takes a calm sip of her water. “He wouldn’t screw around when he’s still in love with you.”
I stare at her in disbelief. She smirks. “I know my ex-husband. Trust me, you’re the only one he cares about right now.”
“But… why are you telling me this?” I can’t figure her out.
“You mean, I’m supposed to be a jealous bitch hell-bent on stealing him back?” Lillian gives a little laugh. “Please, darling. We’re both adults here. And I have no interest in reliving my marriage with Dom. We tried it, it didn’t work, the end.”
I’m still reeling. She seems so calm. So mature. Everything I’m trying and failing to be right now.
The waiter arrives with the mimosas. I take a gulp and look around. It’s a gorgeous terrace, with potted topiaries and fresh flowers growing along the edge of the roof.
“So… what, um, what happened with the two of you?” I ask.
Lillian shrugs lightly. “We were a good match. Our families knew each other, I saw him at a lot of the same events, and we had a good time. We were a team.”