Gemi backtracks to us. Is she hurt? At Avery’s thumbs-up, Brenda turned back into her office.

He would take her. Make her his in truth.

She frowned. Dad’s firm is a real boys’ club. I don’t think he even took me seriously when I majored in marketing. I spent a lot of time trying to impress him and gain his approval. I’m done with that, though. He was never going to make room for me at Freemont and Associates.That’s ridiculous, I told her, feeling overprotective. I knew a little bit about parents disappointing you.

Her dad sounded like a grade-A asshole, which went a long way toward explaining why she was packed up and headed for LA. How on earth her father couldn’t take her seriously was beyond me. I could see the frustration and disappointment in her eyes. Charlotte might have been trying to play it cool, but I could see the wound was still fresh.And your gain, Mr. Wilder, she said playfully.Is it ever. I rose up enough in my seat to lean over the table and plant my lips on hers. You taste like maple syrup.

When I flicked my tongue across her lips, she lifted her eyebrows. You wanna take that bottle up to your room and have a little fun?That sounds like a real good idea. But didn’t you say something about needing to check in with Wayne?

Oh, yeah. She deflated a little, looking disappointed. I totally forgot about my car.

I wished I’d forgotten.After dropping my bag on the floor, I sat in the chair, stiff as a board. It was just a bad day.

My first instinct was to say no, but that wasn’t what these sessions were about. So I told him what had happened with Sebastian. Not all the details because, seriously, that would be way too awkward. When I finished, I already felt exhausted and emotionally spent, and I’d barely even really started.Do you think Sebastian is wrong for wanting to move on?

Yes. No. I wanted to bang my head off the table. I don’t know. I mean, no. He’s not wrong. He gets to move on. He gets to—And you don’t get to move on? Dr. Perry interrupted.