If I Only Knew(8)

Parker and I sit like this, and I think about all the things he’ll miss having his father around for, and my heart aches again.

I’ll be the one to teach him how to throw a ball, which will probably be more like him teaching me. When he starts the gross things, I’ll have to find a way to navigate it, not having a clue about boy stuff. The only thing I actually can do better is the girls part. Peter wasn’t exactly smooth or romantic, so hopefully Parker will let me guide him there. Lord knows boys are dumb when it comes to women.

A knock on the door breaks the sweet moment I was having with my baby. He jumps up and runs to the door, pulling it open as I stand behind him.

“Aunt Nicole!”

“Parker on the street!”

I roll my eyes. “Stop making fun of his name.”

“You picked it,” she tosses back.

“And your son’s name is better?”

She shrugs. “Colin is a great name.”

“Like a colon, full of waste,” I smirk.

“Very mature,” Nicole deadpans.

“Parker,” I say. “Can you go watch tv in your playroom please?”

He nods and runs off. He doesn’t normally get to watch a show on the weekdays, but I don’t want him anywhere around when his sister starts her tirade.

“Thanks for this,” I say to Nicole.

“Don’t thank me yet. I have no idea if anything will make a difference,” she squeezes my arm and heads into the blast zone.

Nicole is in there what feels like a lifetime. I pace around, check on Parker twice, and then I can’t handle the waiting anymore. With my ear pressed to the door, I listen for anything. What I hear, though, is not what I was expecting.


Lots of laughter.

What the hell is so funny? Nicole is supposed to be my backup in taming the beast, not laughing with her.

I stare at the wood, wishing I had x-ray vision because surely my hearing is wrong.

Before I can register what is happening, the door opens and Nicole is standing practically nose to nose with me. “Hi,” she smiles.

“Hi, I was just . . .”

“Sure you were,” Nic cuts me off and turns back to Ava. “Don’t forget what I said, okay?”

“I won’t. Thanks Aunt Nic.” Ava’s lips turn to a smile. Something I haven’t seen in months. Something I thought the kid forgot how to do, since it’s so rare. But here she is, a small glimpse of the little girl who was once happy.

The girl I miss more than anything, and would move heaven and earth to get back.

Last night ended with Nicole telling me absolutely nothing of value. Basically, my daughter promised her nothing and I’m screwed. I’m grateful she tried, and at least Nicole was able to drive home the safe sex talk so I’m not a grandma before I’m forty.


Just that word sounds like a curse.

I pull out the mirror from my office drawer and look at my face. My dark brown hair is long and probably the only good thing about me right now. Thanks to having a little bit of natural curl, it hangs in perfect coils against my back. My eyes aren’t bad either, the blue seems to deter you away from the bags that are now covered with concealer. The rest though . . . ugh. Lines that weren’t there weeks ago are now forming, my skin sags a little, and I look tired. Fuck getting old. It sucks.

Honestly, I’ll deal with the wrinkles and sagging boobs if I could sneeze without peeing myself. It’s ridiculous that I worry so much about coughing, laughing, or anything scaring me because I don’t want to wear Depends yet.

“Mrs. Bergen, your ten o’clock interview is here,” the receptionist says.

“Send her in, Staci,” I instruct.

I had one interview earlier today that will not be getting a call back. I don’t know that she could find her way out of a paper bag let alone be my right hand.

When the door opens, I take a step back.

There stands a tall man with dark hair, green eyes, and lashes that any woman would die for. He wears an expensive suit that cuts his body perfectly. His eyes roam my body and I feel naked even though I’m fully dressed.

This is not the new college graduate who is here for an interview.

I clear my throat. “Can I help you?”

“You sure can,” his British accent fills the air. My eyes narrow as he steps forward. “You can get out of my office, sweetheart.”

“Excuse me?”

“You’re in my chair.”

Staci looks to me and then shrinks out. “Call security, Staci,” I call to her. “I’m sorry, sir, but I’m going to have to ask you to leave.”

The man sits in the seat, throwing his leg across his other. “I’m not going anywhere, but you’re welcome to call the owner. Tell the daft prick I’m here for my job.”

And then it hits me. The eyes are the same color as Callum’s. Only he has beautiful, thick dark hair but then the accent . . . I know exactly who this is and why he’s here.

Milo Huxley has come for his job—well, my job.

Chapter Four


“Your job?” she asks, her blue eyes wide.

“I asked to see the Senior Vice President of Acquisitions and Logistics.” I look back at the door for her name, but it’s missing.

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