“I prefer to think of it as incentive. We owe our marriage a fair shot before we relegate it to the history books. You come back to me, we try and make it work, I pull Carmichael out of its financial difficulties before it becomes a footnote in a list of great American dynasties. It’s a win-win.”

A win-win? She stared at him, disbelieving. “You would really hold that over my head?”

“You didn’t play fair when you walked out on me, tesoro. You just cut and ran. So yes, I will use whatever means required to make you see the light. To do the right thing.”

“I asked you to go to counseling. I begged you to. I tried to save our marriage and then I left.”

He ignored the stab of guilt that piece of truth pushed through him. “You expected us to solve things overnight. It doesn’t happen that way.”

Her fingers curled tight around the delicate stem of her champagne flute. “Putting the two of us back in a marriage where we’ll destroy one other is not doing the right thing.”

“We are both older and wiser. I think we can make it work.”

She shook her head. “That’s where you’re mistaken. That’s where you’ve played the wrong card, Lorenzo, because I will never become your wife again.”

She turned on her heel and left. He let her go, because he knew she’d be back. He’d never gambled on a deal he couldn’t win.

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