I glanced at it, half hoping it was Luc-ass, but it wasn’t.

I gulped because the person calling was a blast from my past, like my way early past before Lucas, before the guy I was using Lucas to get over, before even him. That far back, and while the person calling me was a guy, he wasn’t a romantic guy. At all. It was more the group of people he represented, a group that I left in my dust years ago.

So, hence the gulp, because none of them had called for at least six years. Give or take.

While both those events were hitting me at once, the third was what shirt Newt was wearing—my Reese Forster shirt.

I pointed at him. “You stole my shirt!” And because I was getting flooded with everything happening, the question blurted out of me. “If an owl could talk, what accent would it have?”

My neck was getting hot, furiously hot.

Newt was the one in front of me, so I was dealing with him first.

Who did he think he was?

A thief, that’s what.

I loved that shirt. I lived in it. Slept in it. Drooled even. I did so many things in that shirt. And there was no way he could claim it wasn’t because the collar was ripped. I put it there, one time in frustration when I watched Forster get the ball stolen from him during the West Conference Finals.

Reese Forster was the Seattle Thunder’s star point guard. They had other star players too. In fact, their team was stacked this year, but it was Reese.

It was my shirt of him.

I got it the first year he was drafted, when he was nineteen, and while my obsession with basketball had waned over the years, my obsession with him had not.

I kept up on his stats. He was lined up to have one of his greatest years this next season.

Goddamn. I’d have to get a new shirt. Maybe a jersey even?

“Is that a no on the revenge sex?” Newt countered.

“I hope your dentures get glued to the bottom of someone’s saggy ass and you have to go to the emergency room to get them removed. You old fuck!”

I stormed off after that, but my phone kept ringing.


Looking down, seeing a name I never thought I’d talk to again, I faltered in my storming away. I couldn’t lie, even to myself because I wasn’t sure how to proceed.

Too many things were all converging at once.

But Luc-ass.

Was I devastated? No.

Was I annoyed? Yes.

Lucas and I bonded over our love of Reese Forster and he’d been the first guy I could tolerate in over a year so I was using him. The whole mantra of getting under someone else to get over someone—well, I’d been trying to test that theory out with him.

It hadn’t worked.

So no, I wasn’t crushed about Luc-asshole’s cheating. I mean, it made sense. In a way. I could never bring myself to practice human corkscrewing, as he’d put it. He’d tried selling me on role-playing opening a bottle of wine.

I’d be the wine bottle, and…


Okay. It kept ringing.

In the past, the very distant past, if they tried calling, it was only once.

They’d call. I wouldn’t answer. They’d leave a voicemail, which I usually deleted. There’d been a few I had kept saved in my mailbox and depending on how much I wanted to suffer, I might listen to them over a box of wine and Cheetos.

This was different.

He called. He called again.

He kept calling.

Oh boy.

Taking a breath for courage, my thumb lingered over the accept button. I mean, why not? The day had already gone to shit. Might as well add another to the pile.

But if I was going to answer it, I was going to do it my way.

“If you had to pick an alcoholic drink to be the title of your autobiography, what would it be and why?” Pause. A breath. Then, “Heya, Trent.”

* * *