The Bitter Side of Wynter

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Chapter 24

Lein was in the middle of a dream when he felt someone plopping heavily on the bed. That same someone yipped loudly, as if the ten million dollar sweepstakes favored by Dick Clark and Ed McMahon had been won. Faintly, in his semi-consciousness, Lein wondered if that yipping someone would ever shut up and let him complete another sleep cycle. After a moment, a pair of hands began shaking him. Then he realized that the yipping and the shaking were coming from Perion. He awoke and glanced at her. She sat on her side of the bed, wearing nothing beneath an unbelted silk robe.

She smiled at him. “Are you awake?”

He sat up and ran a hand through his sleep-tousled hair and smiled a little. “How could I not be? Who could sleep through you bouncing on the bed and shaking the shit out of me?”

She slapped his arm playfully. “Oh you, grumpy as a bear coming out of hibernation. I have some good news for you. I can hardly hold it in,” she said, still bouncing on the bed like an excited six-year-old on Christmas morning.

“Jeez, babe, would you stop that? I’m getting seasick,” he teased, trying to scrub the sleep out of his mind. He glanced at the bedside clock and groaned. It was a bit past eight-thirty in the morning. He hated to be awakened before ten when not working.

“Come on, please wake up. If you don’t, you’ll be sorry,” she sang, “I have to tell you this, you’re not going to believe it!”

Lein looked at her again. Her eyes had never been shinier, she had never looked as radiant [the royal blue robe was helping that radiance quite a bit, as was his usual morning horniness], and she seemed to be extremely happy about something. He hadn’t seen that kind of glow on her since the first night they made love.

“What is it? Did you win the sweepstakes,” he asked comically.

She slapped at him again. “Bastard,” she said in good-natured humor. Nothing could bring her down. “Oh God, I can’t believe it, I can’t believe it!”

“Perion, honey, please tell me what the hell is going on before I strangle you,” he told her in joking aggravation.

She exhaled a deep breath. “Okay, okay. I got this note from Blaine’s lawyer,” she began, holding up the piece of paper and the envelope it came out of. “And guess what?”

“He’s giving up,” he ventured, hoping that was exactly what Blaine had done.

Perion nodded. “Sort of. He’s not taking me to court. Instead, he wants the settlement I offered the other night at the club. All I have to do is meet with Blaine and his lawyer and it’s all over.”

He looked at her for a long time. “Over?”

She nodded, not believing it herself. “Over.”

He took her into his embrace. “That’s never sounded better. I guess he realized that if he plays hardball, we’re going to play right back at him.”

She laughed. “I guess so. Oh God, I can’t believe it’s finally happening.”

He kissed her then, and they both lay back on the bed. But it definitely did not lead to more sleep.

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