her? If it wasn't me crying with her, it was Janine. Do you have any idea how much she loved and adored you?"
    Thinking of what I'd thrown away without realizing its value, I clenched my jaw but remained silent. What was there to say? Had I come to my senses before she met Don, she and I might have managed the happy ever after ending Am was so desperate for us to have. Hell, who was I kidding? Had I not blown it, I would have wanted that ending too. But I knew there was no going back for us.
    "You knew how she felt. Didn't you?"
    I nodded, knowing I was only dooming myself to further condemnation from her.
    "Then why didn't you ever give her a chance?"
    "What the hell would you have had me do, Am? Yes, I knew how she felt, but the feeling wasn't mutual and I had other interests. Should I have used her and pretended to feel something I didn't? Would that have made either one of you happy?"
    "You could have done then what you just did—give her a chance."
    "And look how well that worked out for us."
    "It didn't work out because—"
    I cut her off. "You don't know why it didn't work out, Am, so give it a damned rest. Despite what she might have felt in the past, she's not in love with me now."
    "And whose fault is that?"
    Maybe it was my fault. More likely, the fault lay in the fact that she was still in love with Don. And probably always would be. Lucky bastard. In any case, I'd only been trying to avoid doing what it appeared I'd done—hurt her. I shrugged and released her. "I did my best not to hurt her. You must know that." Hell, I wasn't even sure why she was hurt since she wasn't in love with me anymore.
    "I do, but—"
    "Then make her believe it too. Please. Please, Am. I don't want her to think I don't care how she's feeling." Even though she clearly didn't care how I felt.
    "Just tell her that for me. Things might be a little unpleasant for her at the moment, but she'll fall in love again." And maybe…eventually so would I. "I know she's hurt and you're angry with me, but I really need you to try to understand that I'm not…"
    "You're not what?"
    I took my time deciding how much I should say before I spoke again. "Unscathed." I swallowed and looked away. "I'm far from unscathed, Amber."
    "Oh, Thomas, I didn't know."
    "You didn't know what? What do you think you know?"
    She touched my arm. "You should tell her how you feel."
    I shook my head. "There's nothing to tell."
    "How can you say that when you're both hurting?"
    Clearly, I'd already said too damned much. "Just because I'm not unscathed doesn't mean there's anything between us that can or should be rekindled. We had a brief fling. I can't give her what she wants and she's unwilling to give me what I want and need."
    She squeezed my arm. "What you want and need? That sounds like…Oh, Thomas. Have you finally seen the light? Are you in love with her? Because if you are—"
    "No." I still wanted her physically more than I'd ever wanted any other woman but I was not and never had been in love with her or anyone else. And that's the way it was going to stay. Had I been in love with Sherlyn, her total disregard for how I'd feel when she dumped me would have hurt like hell. "I'm not in love with her."
    She stared at me.
    I stared back and sighed. I could see she'd convinced herself I wasn't being truthful. "I am not in love with her, Am, so please don't say anything to her that might make her think I am."
    "Are you sure? Because you look and sound as if—"
    "I'm positive. It's over between us. She and I have accepted that."
    "That's only because you didn't give each other enough time to really realize you're both in love."
    "I'm not in love with her, Am, and trust me; she sure as hell is not in love with me anymore."
    "Then why was she reduced to tears by the way you spoke to her at the restaurant?"
    I sighed and ran my hand through my hair. "I regret that more than you know, but she's not in love with me. I know because she made sure to tell me she

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