He watched them. His boss and his woman. How long had this been going on? How could she do this to him? He thought she loved him. Was she playing him all along? Never once did he suspect that there was anything going on between those two yet there they were all over each other. He had a good mind to march over there and confront them but he had his pride. He wasn’t about to make a fool of himself.

It hurt though. He trusted her. Hell, he loved her. Lately, he had been seriously thinking about spending the rest of his life with her. How could he marry a woman who was cheating on him? A cheating wife was far worse than a cheating girlfriend.

He stood there, watching them and then, he turned and walked away. Toni was right. She had warned him about Valerie but he hadn’t listened. He thought it was just Toni being spiteful because he had left her for Valerie. She told him that she had seen Valerie and Gianni together several times but he didn’t believe her. Now, he had seen for himself that what she had told him was true.

He pulled out his cell and speed dialed a number. “Toni, you were right about Valerie. I just saw her with Gianni. They didn’t even notice me.”

“I’m sorry, Brian. I didn’t tell you to be malicious or anything like that. I still care about you even though you dumped me for that two-timing–Ohh, don’t get me started on her. I don’t know what you saw in her. So, what are you going to do now? Dump her, I hope.”

“We’re supposed to meet later for a drink. I will confront her and then I will end our relationship.”

“What about your boss? Are you going to let him have it?”

“No, I’m going to resign. I can’t work for a man I no longer respect and who’s been sleeping with my woman.”

“Where are you now?”

He told her.

“Stay there and I’ll meet you. We can go somewhere and talk over a couple of Lattes.”

“All right. I’ll wait here.” He ended his call. He leaned against the wall, his heart aching.

Valerie reached up and touched Gianni’s face. “I’ll see you tomorrow,” she said.

They kissed. “Call me later.”

“I will. Bye, Baby.”

“Ciao, Bella.” He returned to his penthouse while she stepped out into the bright sunshine.

She was heading to the parking lot where her car was when she spotted Brian. There was no way she could avoid him now. He had seen her. Taking a deep breath, she walked over to him. “What are you doing here?” she asked.

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“I was on my way to see you,” he replied coldly.

She looked warily at him. “Why? We’re supposed to meet later for a drink.”

“What’s the matter, Valerie? Aren’t you happy to see your man?”

“Brian, we need to talk but not now and not here.”

“I’ll save you the trouble. I saw you with my boss a few minutes ago.”

She swallowed. “I’m sorry, Brian.”

“Sorry? Is that all you can say to me? You’re sorry?”

“I never meant to hurt you but when I met Gianni, I knew that he was the man I wanted to be with.”

“And what about him? Are you the woman he wants to be with?”


“So, you really think he’s going to leave his wife for you?”


“Oh, he didn’t tell you? Gianni’s married, Valerie.”

“You must be mistaken, Brian. I’m sure he would have told me something as important as that.”

He stared at her. Was she for real? “I’ve known this man longer than you. He’s married. I met his wife.”

“But he isn’t wearing a ring.”

“So? I know lots of married men who don’t wear their rings.”

She looked distressed. “Why wouldn’t he tell me that he’s married?”

“Maybe that’s something you need to ask him.”

Obviously distraught, she leaned against the building. “I had no idea.”

Brian’s expression darkened. “Even if you didn’t know that he was married, the fact is that you were in a relationship with me.”

“I’m sorry, Brian. I didn’t mean to fall in love with Gianni but I did.”

“So, you love him.” Hearing her say was like a punch in the stomach. “Does he love you?”

“Yes, he does.”

“Enough to end his marriage?”

“I hope so.”

“And what are you going to do if he doesn’t want to divorce his wife? Are you going to continue seeing him because you would rather be a white man’s mistress instead of a black man’s wife?”

She looked at him then. “What? You mean…?”

“Yes, I was actually thinking about asking you to marry me until someone told me about you and Gianni. I didn’t want to believe it because I trusted you and honestly believed that you loved me. Man, was I wrong.”

“Who told you about Gianni and me?”

“Does it matter? The fact is she was right.”


Just then Toni walked up. She gave Valerie a very nasty look before turning to Brian. “Are you through here?”

He gave Valerie a look mixed with hurt and disgust. “Yes, I’m through.”

“Good. Let’s go.” Toni slipped her arm through his and led him away.

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