Almost Married(10)

By: Kylie Gilmore

“Yeah, sure,” Griff said. “Looking forward to it.”

“You are? Great!” Bill blew out a breath, muttering to himself, then louder, “I knew you’d come through when it counted. You’ve got until Saturday; then we need you back here for The Bridgette Show.”

They had a gig on the popular late-night talk show. “No problem.”

“Thatta boy.”

Griff hung up and headed over to the pool. “Hey, gorgeous, I gotta leave town. I’ll call you, okay?”

The woman stood and grabbed her bikini top. “I’ll wait by the phone,” she said dryly with no accent.

“Michaela!” he said triumphantly. Her eyes flashed, and he quickly realized he should’ve kept that to himself.

“It’s Taylor, asshole.” She turned on her heel and stalked toward the house.

“Don’t let the door hit your pretty ass on the way out, Taylor,” he called after her.

She flipped him the bird and left.

He dropped his briefs and dove into the crystal blue water, thinking of his young bride, Steph, feeling younger already himself.

~ ~ ~

Steph dragged through work at Clover Park Elementary School the next day. She hadn’t slept at all last night. She was afraid things were over with Dave before they really had a chance. Not surprisingly, she hadn't heard from Griffin.

“I don't care how upset you are, you still need your sleep,” Amber was saying as they headed toward the school's exit at the end of the day. She’d filled Amber in on all the latest over lunch in the teachers’ lounge. Her friend taught art. “You have to take care of you. Don't make me get you into bed tonight.” She paused and cocked her head to the side. “Wait. That didn't come out right.”

Steph smiled weakly.

Amber opened the door and stopped short. “Uh, Steph, there's a limo. You don't think—”

Steph pushed past Amber and stared. The stretch limo looked incongruous sitting in the front parking lot of Clover Park Elementary next to the sea of minivans. Her stomach dropped. “No,” she muttered like a curse.

The back limo door opened—black Converse sneakers followed by long legs encased in black leather, a black leather jacket, black aviator sunglasses. And that hair, that beautiful thick, wavy black hair. She'd always envied his hair.

“Omigod, it's Griffin Huntley!” Amber shrieked.

Steph's head whipped around to stare at her usually mellow, easygoing friend.

Amber shrugged. “It just slipped out. I've never seen a celebrity up close.” Her voice dropped to a hushed whisper. “He's coming over.”

Steph turned as Griff swaggered over. He smiled, revealing dazzling white teeth. Someone visited a Hollywood dentist. She didn't smile back.

He hugged her anyway. “Good to see you again, Steph.”

“What are you doing here?” she demanded.

Amber elbowed her and said under her breath, “Introduce us.”

“This is my friend Amber,” Steph said automatically. “Amber, Griffin.”

Amber went all shy. “Hi. I love your music.”

Griff angled his body toward Amber and gave her friend a slow, sexy smile. “Thanks. It's always nice to meet a fan. Love the pink streaks.” He indicated her hair.

Amber nodded and smiled, nodded and smiled. She looked like a bobblehead doll.

Steph waved a hand in front of Griff's face. He was always looking for an audience. He slowly pulled off his shades, blinked, and turned to her with those hazel eyes that matched her own. Her throat felt tight. She’d always thought their kids would’ve had hazel eyes.

He gave her that same sexy smile meant to charm.

She was long immune to his charms. “I hope you're here with the signed divorce papers.”

“Is that any way to greet your husband?” He looked to Amber for her reaction to this puzzling event.

Amber took a step back. “I'd better go. Call me if you need anything, Steph.”

Steph nodded.

Griff spoke in a silky whisper. “Shall we go?” He gestured to the limo.

She didn't move. “Do you have the signed papers?”

“I want to talk about it first. Come on, Steph, just give me a little time. I'll drive you home.”

“My car's here.”

“Then I'll follow you to your place.”

She stood there for a moment, noticing the curious looks of her coworkers and parents as they made their way to their cars. “Fine.”

She got into her sunny yellow VW Beetle and made the short drive home. What in the world could Griff possibly want to talk about after all these years? And why did he have to come in person? She knew exactly why she'd fallen for him when she was in her twenties—hello, hormones!—but now at thirty-two, her priorities had changed. It wasn't all about gorgeous hair and a killer bod. She wanted more—stability, faithfulness, children. She’d always wanted children. That kind of life was one thing she knew she could get with Dave.

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