One Secret Night, One Secret Baby(12)

By: Charlene Sands

Today was all about the kids.

She opened the door and was immediately yanked out of her noble thoughts as she took one look at Dylan standing on her doorstep. She’d expected his driver. But there Dylan was, in the flesh, his bandage gone now, the scar on the side of his head that would eventually heal only making him appear more manly, more dangerous, more gorgeous. Dressed in new jeans and a tan jacket over a white shirt, he smiled at her. “Morning. You look great.”

She didn’t feel great. She had woken up pale as a ghost and feeling boneless from tossing and turning all night. But his compliments could get to her, if she put stock in them. He was smooth. He was the consummate lady-killer. He knew which buttons to push to make females fall at his feet. And with her, she was sure, he wasn’t even trying.

“Thank you. Is Brooke with you?”

He shook his head. “Brooke cracked a tooth this morning. She called me in a panic and said she had to get it fixed right away. I guess it’s because of your event tomorrow, but she bailed. She’s got a hot date with the dentist in twenty minutes.”

Or rather a hot date with Royce next week and she couldn’t go toothless. “Oh. Poor Brooke.”

“She didn’t call you?”

Emma lifted her phone out of her purse and glanced at the screen. “Oh, yeah, she did,” she said. “Looks like a voice mail this morning. I was probably in the shower.”

Dylan’s eyes flickered and roamed over her body. Gosh, he was Flirt Central without even knowing it.

“I’m ready. Or would you like to come in?” Oh, boy, had she really invited him in? The last time he’d been here, they’d...

He glanced behind her and scanned her apartment as if seeing it for the first time. It was clear he didn’t remember coming here.

She put those thoughts out of her mind and wondered what he would think of her two-bedroom apartment tucked into an older residential area of Santa Monica. There were no views of the ocean, no trendy, glamorous furnishings or updated kitchen. But it was all hers. And she loved having...stuff of her own.

“Maybe some other time,” he said politely. “We should probably hit the road.”

After she locked up her apartment, Dylan took her arm and guided her through the courtyard to the limousine parked by the sidewalk. “Here you go,” he said as the driver opened the door. She slid in and Dylan followed. “I haven’t gotten clearance to drive yet,” he explained as he settled into the seat across from her by the window.

But it wasn’t as if being carted around in a limo was foreign to him.

“Thanks again for coming with me today.”

Again, she was struck by his sincerity. “You’re welcome. Actually, I’m looking forward to it.”

He stared at her, waiting for more.

She shrugged. “It’s just that my own childhood wasn’t ideal. If I can do something for these kids, even just as a bystander, I’m all for it. But how are you doing? This is your first venture out in public since the...”

“Accident?” His lips tightened and he sighed. “Let’s just say, I’m glad you’re here.”

“Even though you’ll have your team waiting for you there?”

“My agent and PA are great, don’t get me wrong. But they see me one way. I don’t think they get how hard this has been for me. Losing those days of my life, and losing Roy, has put me at a disadvantage I’m not used to. There are missing pages in my life.”

And she could fill in some of those blanks if she had the courage.

He reached for her hand and laid their entwined fingers on the middle seat between them. “Brooke had good reason to jump ship today. I’m just glad you didn’t bail.”

“I wouldn’t.”

“I know. That’s why I asked you to join me. I can count on you.”

They reached Children’s West Hospital, a beautiful building with white marble walls and modern lines. The limo slowed to a stop right in the circular drive that led to the entrance.

“Ready for the show?”

Several news crews were waiting like vultures, snapping pictures even before the driver got out of the limo. Dylan made headlines everywhere he went, and his first time out in public since the accident was big news. She recognized Darren, his agent, and Rochelle, his prim assistant, also waiting along the lineup. “Ready.” Emma gave off much more confidence than she was feeling.