Goodnight Tweetheart
quaver in Abby’s voice or the promise of Dom Pérignon that had lured Margo away from her weekly pedicure.
    Margo wrested the bottle from Abby’s hand and hefted it in a toast, sloshing champagne down the front of her lavender silk cardigan. “Here’s to all the bastards who ever let us down! Screw ’em! Screw ’em all, I say! At least the ones we didn’t already screw.”
    Margo could toss back tequila shots like a grizzled California biker, but she had always been a lightweight when it came to wine. A few more swallows and she’d be singing Lady Gaga and demonstrating cheer routines from her high school pep squad for anyone she could get to stop and watch her.
    Abby gently plucked the bottle from her friend’s hand, setting it on the ground next to her feet before Margo could notice. “That’s the worst part of all this. I don’t even have the satisfaction of being angry at them for dumping me. They didn’t let me down. I let them down.”
    Draping an arm around Abby’s shoulder, Margo gave her a bone-crunching squeeze. “You’ve never let me down.”
    “You’ve never paid me a lot of money to write a book I didn’t finish.”
    “But you were going to finish it, weren’t you?” Margo nudged the leather portfolio resting against the leg of the park bench with the gleaming patent leather toe of her pump. “You’ve got the proof right there.”
    “Do I?” Abby asked. “Or was I just using that to con myself into thinking I could do it? To make myself believe lightning really could strike twice in the same place?”
    Margo sighed and rested her head on Abby’s shoulder, no easy feat since she towered over Abby by at least half a foot. “I don’t give a damn if you’re not a bestselling author. You’ll still be my best friend.”
    Abby rested her cheek against Margo’s head. “And I don’t give a damn if you’re drunk on your ass. You’ll still be mine.”
    Margo sat up abruptly, her eyes widening as she smothered a burp behind her cupped hand. “I don’t feel so good all of a sudden.”
    “C’mon,” Abby said, rising and tugging her friend to her unsteady feet. “I’d better get you up to my apartment before you puke all over your Prada pumps.”
    “Do you have any tequila?” Margo asked hopefully as Abby left her swaying on the walk just long enough to retrieve her portfolio and sling it carelessly over one shoulder.
    “No. But I have something even better. Coffee and ice cream.”
    They’d barely taken three steps before a man in a long, dirty beard and a faded army jacket staggered out from behind a tree to claim what was left of the bottle of Dom Pérignon.

Chapter Nine
    Monday, May 30—9:24 P.M.
MarkBaynard: What are you wearing?
    Abby_Donovan: Coffee-stained sweatpants and Phoebe Cates’s red bikini top from FAST TIMES AT RIDGEMONT HIGH.
    MarkBaynard: If you’ll excuse me, I think I need a moment of privacy in the bathroom.
    Abby_Donovan: So what are you wearing?
    MarkBaynard: Burt Reynolds’s hat from SMOKEY AND THE BANDIT and John Cusack’s black coat and tie from GROSSE POINT BLANK.
    Abby_Donovan: Good. Maybe you could use a fork to kill me like he killed the president of Paraguay.
    MarkBaynard: Would this be a bad time to ask how your lunch went?
    Abby_Donovan: Let me put it this way—like you, I am now on sabbatical. Only in my business, we call it “fired.”
    MarkBaynard: Your publisher FIRED you? Can they do that?
    Abby_Donovan: They can if you’re late on your deadline and they threaten to declare you in breach of contract.
    MarkBaynard: So maybe you should start with the appetizers.
    Abby_Donovan: It all began with the murmur of discreet conversation followed by the sound of my heart breaking.
    MarkBaynard: When did you realize something was wrong?
    Abby_Donovan: The minute I saw my agent and editor. Their air kisses were too tragically tender.
    MarkBaynard: Was there tongue involved? Because that’s never a good sign with an air kiss.
    Abby_Donovan: No

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