Read episode 6.

After the ACL concert, a bandaged Joe arrives at Sophie’s suite at the Four Seasons for the after party, but instead of a party there is only Sophie, and she’s half naked.

The next day, over breakfast, they discuss future plans, and Joe becomes interested in the money Sophie lost in a high-tech investment three years earlier. When he returns to his condo Joe receives a call from Johnson Sagebrush and learns that he is still following Joe. Later in the day Joe meets with Rose, who guesses that he’s now romantically involved with Sophie.

Joe arrives at the Four Seasons for Sophie Tyler's after party.

Joe arrives at the Four Seasons for Sophie Tyler’s after party.

Excerpt from episode 6.

My cell phone rang, an unrecognized 512 number, just like the first time Johnson called. I hoped Rico’s guys were paying attention.


“How’s your forehead?” said Johnson.

My hand clenched the phone.

“I have a lump the size of half a lime . . . thanks to you.”

“I was afraid of that, but my guy had to smack you a good one to make you go down.”

“Making excuses won’t absolve you.”

“No excuses. Only logic. As a finance type you understand logic. You wanted to catch him, and he didn’t wish to be caught, therefore . . .”

My mind raced ahead. How could I best keep him talking? I took a deep breath and tried sitting down.

“Perfectly reasonable,” I said. “Under the circumstances I might have done the same thing.”

“You would have done exactly the same thing. But what is not reasonable is Sophie seducing you afterward.”

I stood up again. How did he know I had been with Sophie? Had someone told him? Keri? Halet? Maybe he watched the Four Seasons.

“I’m not sure what you mean.”

Johnson laughed a hearty laugh.

I looked at my hand as it closed in a fist. I pulled the fist toward my shoulder to flex my bicep.

“Let’s not joke around,” he said. “I lived with the woman for ten years. I know how she operates. You showed up bandaged and bruised, but instead of an after party there’s only Sophie, and she’s half-naked. Am I close?”

“Not at all,” I said.

How did he guess this stuff? It felt like he’d been in the suite with us. Had he bugged the room?

“That’s what I thought,” he said. “She’s good. She’s really good. I have to hand it to her: No one is more aggressive at getting what she wants than Sophie Tyler.”

“What about you?” I asked. “What do you want?”

“Not that it affects me directly, but I want her to leave you alone. She is going to drag you down until you think of nothing else, not even your kids.”

I couldn’t get a handle on him. He bounced from topic to topic: Sophie, my family. My stomach tightened. I hated his talk about family.

“Why do you care about that?” I said.

“It bothers me. I told you about my dad. He was honest—I’ll grant you that. He explained exactly how the world works, but it wasn’t enough to save him in the end.”

Something tickled the top of my foot. A huge centipede crawled toward my big toe. I swatted and missed. My second swipe brushed the bug to the concrete floor; it bounced and flew over the edge. I shook off the jitters.

Read the rest of episode 6.


Episode 7 will be released on May 12, 2016.