Yvonne scowled. "Appearances are important in my business!" she said defensively.
"I thought we discussed that! You're beautiful the way you are!" Chase assured her. "I love every laugh line and wrinkle! I love you!"
Yvonne grumbled a bit, embarrassed to have been caught. Looping her arms around his neck, she attempted to change the subject. "How about we slip back into bed and you can show me exactly how much you love every wrinkle," she teased.
Chase groaned. "I wish I could! I have rehearsal and then a performance tonight. You're able to watch the kids tonight right?"
Yvonne chewed her lip. "I was hoping to meet with Melvin Wolff to sign that contract."
"You heard back from him?" Chase asked in surprise.
"Not yet. But I'm sure I will... soon..." Pasting a smile on her face, she added, "I'll arrange for a babysitter if I need to leave."
"Sounds like a plan," Chase said as he hopped in the shower.
Agitated, she attempted to re-read the email. Surely she must have misread it. Who had he signed with?
She'd spent weeks ironing out the details and then he dropped her with little notice!
"Melvin! Sugar! How nice to see you!" she called out, hurrying over to him before he could dart off.
"Oh, I know, sugar! I just wanted to congratulate you on your new contract! I was just a mite curious what terms the other firm offered you!" she said smoothly. "Although, you should've known I would've been willing to entertain any counter-offer!"
"Other firm?" Melvin asked. "Didn't Felix tell you?"
Melvin looked around desperately as though looking for escape. "Look, you should talk to Felix, not me."
Melvin sighed. "Look, don't take this the wrong way, but he was right. You lost your edge. You had that baby clinging to you..."
Yvonne felt sucker-punched. Felix thought she'd lost her edge?
Oh, I'll talk to Felix all right! she thought bitterly.
"Too maternal..." she sputtered. "For crying out loud... Why didn't you correct him and send him back to me! You did this deal behind my back! You did it to get back at me!"
"It always comes back to you, doesn't it, Yvonne?" Felix said wearily. "Well, for your information, I just signed a record deal with Melvin Wolff..."
"That you stole from me!" Yvonne cried.
Felix ignored her outburst and continued on, "...and I just got promoted to a regional position. I'm moving," he finished. "I thought it was best to put... distance... between us..."
Felix took in her maternity clothes. "Looks like congratulations are in order for you, as well," he said dryly.
Yvonne shrugged. "All part of being maternal, I guess. And losing my edge."
Felix had the grace to flush guiltily. "I'm sorry about that. I'm sorry about it all."
"I wish..." she said abruptly.
Felix nodded, understanding what she wasn't saying. "I know. I guess we'll never know what could've been."
Felix watched her walk away and let out a pent-up breath. He'd felt guilty for going after Melvin behind her back, knowing how angry and upset she'd be. But, he'd needed that promotion. Getting over her wouldn't be easy, but it would be a helluva lot easier when he wasn't around her every day.