Wild With You(8)

By: Layla Hagen


"Say it."

"What?"

"You're fidgeting. What is it? If Amber tried to talk budgets with you again—"

"No, no. It's not that. I was thinking about the best man speech. Have you ever given one before?"

"No, but I've done plenty of speeches, so I'm sure I'll come up with something good. Some fun stories, some jokes."

This was my opening. Here went nothing. "About that... not all jokes are good ones. I've been at plenty of weddings where the best man mentioned divorce stats, jokingly adding that he's sure the couple will make it, and so on. It leaves a sour taste."

"What makes you think I'd do that?"

"Back at the coffee shop, you seemed like you’re not a big fan of weddings."

"That obvious?"

"To me, yes. I'm a wedding planner. I pick up on these things." I also found out from Jace that he’d been divorced for two years, which made me think my gut had been right.

"I won't let that spoil Amber and Matt's day. Promise. Can I tempt you with some wine?"

"No, I'll head out in a few minutes."

"You can come back after you give them your car keys. We'll enjoy a glass or two of wine, and then I can drive you into the city."

"No can do. I promised my son we'll make it in time for his evening TV show."

Graham went very still. I realized it was the first time I'd mentioned Milo. I braced myself for the flicker of interest in his eyes to disappear. I hadn't planned to act on it, but it had been very flattering.

"I didn't know you had a son," he said eventually in a cool, calm tone. He looked down at my hands then back up. His jaw ticked. What was going on? "Is he with your boyfriend now?"

"No boyfriend," I clarified. "Just the two of us."

"His dad isn't in the picture at all?"

I shrugged. "We're better off without him."

"Still, I can imagine it's not easy."

I shrugged again. "The worthwhile things never are."

"How old is he?"

"Seven. And I promised him I'd watch his favorite show with him tonight, so I have to go."

"There is plenty of pasta left. Want me to pack some for him?"

Something funny happened to my insides. They seemed to melt altogether.

"Thanks, but he's at Valentina's house, and he ate there." Since I didn’t know how late I’d be staying out with Amber and Matt, I’d asked Will to pick up my son from school, and they’d joined Val for dinner.

"Ah, I see. The second best chef."

I pointed a finger at him. "Hey! I said your pasta was better than hers. That's it. Don't go drawing hasty conclusions."

The corners of his lips twitched, then gave way to a grin. "I'll walk you out."

"Thank you for dinner."

"Thank you for keeping me company."

We walked to my car side by side. A sizzle rushed through me, tightening my nipples. My body hadn't felt so alive in years, and he wasn't even touching me. I dealt with the tow service quickly, then hopped into an Uber. This evening had been fun. A little intense too, but a whole lot of fun.

I wondered if Graham cooked for women often. I bet there was no shortage of candidates banging at his door.

***

When I arrived at Val's house, Will was still there. He and Milo were throwing darts at a target my sister had set up in one corner of her living room.

"Mommy, please, can Uncle Will and I finish this round?" Milo asked.

"What about your show?" I countered, ruffling his hair. It was on Netflix, so we could stream it anytime.

"We can watch tomorrow."

"Okay, finish your game."

I left the boys to their dart game and sat on the couch next to my sister.

“Why did you come with an Uber?” Val asked.

“My car wouldn’t start, so I had it towed away.”

"Wine?" She pointed to the glass she was nursing.

"Yes, please. I'll get myself a glass." I wasn't driving, so why not? I took a glass out of her cabinet and sank on the couch again once Val had poured some wine.

"Will looks a bit down," she said.

"My thoughts exactly."

As a little girl, I'd dreamed my brother would become an actor. He certainly was handsome enough, but then again, all my brothers could pass as movie stars without a problem, and I wasn't saying this because I was related to them. No, sir. I had photos with the family everywhere in my office, and more than a fair share of bridesmaids—and even the occasional bride—had sighed at the sight of my brothers.

But Will had never had Hollywood dreams. Still, he hadn't seemed like the type to join the force. In fact, he'd had a few run-ins with the police as a teenager, after our parents passed away. Despite his adventures, he'd also been a responsible older brother. He'd fit the devastatingly handsome but troubled bad boy profile. Now, the devastatingly handsome part still held true, but he'd grown from a bad boy into a badass man with a dangerous job.