One Secret Night, One Secret Baby(5)

By: Charlene Sands

“I don’t mind.”

After the two left, Emma couldn’t contain her laughter. She knew for certain Callista Lee Allen hated to be called Callie, yet she let Brooke get away with it because she was Dylan’s sister.

What a day it had been. Selfishly, Emma was glad it was over. She didn’t like walking around with a cloud of guilt over her head. She hoped “out of sight, out of mind” would work on her. As soon as she left Dylan’s house, maybe her head would clear and she’d be free of this grating bug gnawing at her to tell Dylan what happened between them.

Finished with her duties, the house clean and back to normal, thanks to Maisey and her efforts, Emma took a seat on one of the many white leather sofas in the living room. A pastel pop of color fading on the horizon grabbed her attention as she looked out the window. The sunset was beautiful on Moonlight Beach. She leaned back, closed her eyes and listened to the sound of the waves breaking on the shore.

“Mission accomplished,” Brooke said, clapping her hands. “She’s gone.”

Emma snapped to attention as Brooke sat down beside her. “You’re a regular Mama Bear. Who knew?”

“Normally, Dylan can take care of himself, but right now, he needs a little help. What else are meddling little sisters for anyway?”

“To keep conniving women away from him?”

“I try my best.” Brooke propped her feet on a cocktail table and sighed. “I’m getting excited about the celebrity golf tournament coming up. This is one of the biggest events we’ve ever booked. And we got it all on our own. No intervention from Dylan. They don’t even know he’s my brother. Dylan doesn’t play golf.”

“I don’t?” Dylan walked into the room looking adorably rumpled. It was the five-o’clock shadow, the mussed-to-perfection hair and those deep blue bedroom eyes that did Emma in. He wore a pair of black sweats and a white T-shirt.

“No, you don’t,” Brooke said, eyeing him carefully.

He grinned. “Just joking. I know I don’t play golf. At least I have memories of tanking every shot. Never did get the hang of it.”

“Brat. What are you doing up?”

On a long sigh, he ran a hand down his face. “I can’t sleep. I’m going for a walk. I’ll see you guys later. Thanks again for everything.”

Brooke’s mouth opened, but he was out the back door before she could stop him. “Darn it. He’s still having dizzy spells. Will you go with him, Emma? Tell him you’re in the mood for a walk, too. He already thinks I baby him enough.”

Emma balked. She was three minutes away from escaping to go home. “I, uh...”

“Please?” Brooke begged. “If you’re with him, he won’t get it into his head to start jogging. I know he misses it. He’s been complaining about not doing his daily runs. It’s almost dark on the beach. He could collapse and no one would know.”

It was true. The doctor said he shouldn’t overdo any physical activity. How could she deny Brooke the peace of mind? She’d been worried sick about her brother lately. “Okay, I’ll go.”

“That’s why I love you.” Brooke sounded relieved.

Emma bent to remove her heels and rose from the sofa. “You better,” she said. “I don’t chase handsome A-list movie stars for just anyone.” With that, she walked out the back entrance of Dylan’s mansion, climbed down the stairs, searched for signs of him and took off at a jog when she’d seen how far he’d already traveled.

“Dylan,” she called, her toes squishing into wet sand as she trudged rapidly after him. “Wait up.”

He turned around and slowed his pace.

“Would you like company?” Her breathing ragged, she fibbed, “I feel like a walk, too.”

“Let me guess. Brooke sent you.”

She shrugged. “Maybe I just felt like taking a walk?”

His mouth lifted in a dubious smile. “And maybe the moon is green.”

“Everyone knows the moon is made of cheese, therefore it’s yellow.”

He shook his head, seeming to relinquish his skepticism. “Okay, let’s walk. Actually, I would like your company.”