Christie doesn't believe him. She still thinks he's cheating on her.

Christie passed the plate of steak to Alex, but she had a sinking feeling in her stomach. He's lying, she thought. I can't prove it, but something doesn't seem right.

Alex cut a piece of steak and put it in his mouth. "Mmm, this is delicious," he said, chewing on the steak. "So, how was your day?"

That was a false note right there. It had been so long since he'd asked about her day. She took a sip of wine, feeling the warmth of it all the way down her throat. What to say? She hadn't been able to concentrate on her artwork because of the maelstrom of emotions caused by that red rose, and so she'd barely spent more than 30 minutes at her computer all day.

"I did some work on the design for that Web site," she said. "The one for the law firm."

"Law firm?" Alex said. "I didn't know you were doing anything for a law firm. Which one?"

"Gordon & Knox," she said. Of course he wouldn't have remembered. He probably didn't know the names of more than two or three of her clients this past year.

Alex put his fork down. "Gordon & Knox? They're a competitor of ours. I don't know if I like that. Did you tell them you're married to me?"

"Of course not," she said. "And I don't use your last name, so they won't have any idea."

"Good," Alex said, taking another bite of steak. "I'm sure they'd love to know Alex Donovan's wife was working on their Web site. Those guys hate my guts, because I've taken so much business away from them. You haven't met Billy Morris, have you?"

"No, who's he?"

"My counterpart over there. Thirtyish, brilliant, great athlete -- he almost went pro as a tennis player -- all the girls love him."

Christie felt her stomach turn. She always knew Alex's ego was big, but lately it seemed to be getting bigger by the day. Comparing himself to a brilliant, handsome, ex-tennis player was almost too much. But his description of Billy Morris had piqued her interest.

"What's he look like?" she said.

The End

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