Union of Sin
at her. “There’s nothing to say. I didn’t want to believe he was serious about the divorce, but after tonight, I think it’s clear he can’t get over the past. He’s never looked at me in anger before.”
    She sipped her wine, uncomfortable in the silence with these women who were practically strangers. The chatter of people in the distance was all she could hear until footsteps echoed up the Vault staircase, the pounding getting louder.
    “Quick,” Shay blurted. “Put the wig back on. The mask too.”
    Cassie’s heart throttled to high speed. Although T.J. knew she was here, she didn’t want anyone else to find out.
    As Shay straightened and Zoe turned to face the stairway, Cassie hitched the fake hair back into position and slid the mask into place. She was still straightening the stray strands of hair sticking out at odd angles when the footsteps stopped.
    “Ladies.” Leo’s honeyed tone filled her belly with nerves. “There seems to be a misunderstanding that I need to get to the bottom of.” The pounding of his shoes against the floor sounded again, getting closer and closer. “T.J. is under the impression someone paid an escort to seduce him.”
    What? Cassie’s gaze snapped to Shay, hoping to gain some understanding while she kept her back to her business partner.
    “I thought you said he knew you were here,” Zoe muttered under her breath.
    He did. T.J. had whispered her name as they’d kissed. Right before he’d demanded she leave.
    “Shay.” The name was a deeply masculine growl. “Please tell me you don’t know anything about this. I assured T.J. my adorably sweet girlfriend wouldn’t be stupid enough to risk her job by getting involved.”
    Shay released a nervous chuckle. “Honey, you say the nicest things, but your tone implies you don’t think I’m that sweet.”
    “Yeah,” he grated. “I should work on that.”
    Shay strode around the bar and sauntered toward Leo. Cassie swiveled in her stool, keeping her face shadowed by her hair as Shay stopped in front of her boyfriend and leaned to whisper something in his ear.
    As the faint hint of her words drifted forward, Leo’s scrutinizing gaze snapped to Cassie. His frown deepened, the wrinkles increasing with each passing second until Shay stepped back.
    “What’s going on here?” Leo approached, shoving his hands in his pockets in a vain attempt to appear nonchalant.
    Zoe scooted to the side of her stool, turning her knees into Cassie. “If you want to leave right now, no questions asked, just tell me. I’ll escort you out. You don’t need to speak to him. We can go somewhere else and talk about this.”
    We. Such a simple word, yet the friendship behind it brought an explosion of warmth through Cassie’s body. “Thank you, but I think he deserves to know why I caused the scene downstairs.”
    Zoe inclined her head. “It’s up to you.”
    Cassie removed her mask and checked her reflection in the mirror across the bar. There wouldn’t be any beauty awards heading her way in the near future, and even without the mask, she was still barely recognizable.
    She pushed from the stool and straightened her shoulders as she faced Leo, a man she’d met numerous times but didn’t claim to know well enough to anticipate how he’d react. She gave him a sad smile and pulled off her wig, exposing the blonde hair beneath.
    He squinted at her, his gaze raking her face, then lower, all the way to her high-heel-covered toes.
    “Fake nails.” She placed the wig on the bar and wiggled her fingers. “Fake tan.” She indicated her body with a wave of her hand. “Contact lenses.” She pointed to her eyes. “All of it’s fake.”
    “Oh, shit.” His voice was barely audible. “Cassie? Is that really you?”
    She gave a regretful nod. “Hi, Leo.”
    “ Jesus Christ .” He massaged his forehead and began to pace. “I need to tell him.”
    “No.” Cassie scooted forward, her heels tapping frantically along the floor.

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