One Secret Night, One Secret Baby(3)

By: Charlene Sands

“It’s not as if the Fashion Police are trolling. Roy deserves better. This day isn’t about her.”

Emma grinned. “Tell me how you really feel, Brooke. At least she talks to you. I’m invisible to her.” Being a friend of Dylan’s sister didn’t rank high enough on Callista’s status scale to award Emma an iota of her attention.

“Be grateful. Be very grateful.”

Emma stood back from the arrangement, giving the presentation scrutiny. They’d draped the dessert table with tablecloths in varying colors and edged each platter with flowering vines. This is what they did. And they did it well.

“It’s none of my business, but Dylan’s on-again, off-again relationship with her isn’t good for him,” Brooke said.

Emma shot them another glance. Callista’s eyes flashed on Dylan’s bandage, one hand possessively on his arm as she reached up with the other to touch the injury. Emma watched the scene play out. Dylan was deep in conversation with Callista’s father and didn’t seem to notice her unabashed attention.

Sucking oxygen in, Emma glanced away and tamped down pangs of jealousy swimming through her body. She’d be ten times a fool to think she’d ever have a chance with Dylan. He was her friend. Period. “He’s a big boy, Brooke.”

“I never thought I’d say this, but thank God my brother doesn’t commit. She’s all wrong in so many ways.” Brooke lifted her hands in a stopping motion that was her signature move. “But like I said, none of my beeswax.”

Emma smiled at her friend and put the finishing touches on the dessert table. Maisey had made coffee and there was hot water and a sampler box of teas available.

Dylan approached, gorgeous in a tailored dark suit and tie. He’d changed his clothes from the jeans and black silk shirt he’d worn this morning on the yacht. “Do you two have a minute?” he asked quietly. His brows were gathered in question. Brooke and Emma nodded and he guided them to the far side of the kitchen, out of earshot of anyone. It was all so curious.

“You girls have done wonderful today. Thank you,” he began and then shook his head. “I’m figuring you’d give it to me straight. Callista and I...are we a thing again?”

Emma held her breath. She wouldn’t comment on her thoughts about the bottle blonde. Dylan didn’t exactly confide in her about his love life, but his earnest question made her stomach ripple in guilt. She had a truth to tell him, too, and maybe it would help spark his memory, but it could also make things weird between them, which was the last thing she wanted.

Brooke seemed eager to answer, but shook her head as if formulating her thoughts. “You don’t remember?”

“No. But she’s acting like we’re ready for the altar. From what I remember, that wasn’t the case. Am I wrong?”

“No, you’re certainly not wrong,” Brooke shot back. “Not even close. Before...before your accident, you told me you were going to break it off with her for good.”

“I did? I don’t remember.” Poor Dylan was struggling. His gaze lifted to the wide windows that opened out onto the sea, as if he were searching for answers there. He seemed lost right now, not his usual self-confident, always-one-step-ahead-of-everyone, charming self.

“If she says it’s more, Dylan, I’d be careful,” Brooke offered. “She’s banking on your amnesia to worm her way back into your...”

Dylan turned to his sister, his brows lifting and a crooked smile emerging. “My what?”

“Your good graces,” Emma finished for her.

Dylan slid her a knowing look. “Always the diplomat, Em. But somehow, I don’t think that’s what Brooke was going to say.” He began nodding. “Okay, I get the picture.” He glanced at Callista, who was now surrounded by a few other actors in the film. She was deep in conversation yet constantly casting him furtive glances at every opportunity, sizing him up and staking her claim.

Brooke was right—Callista was all wrong for Dylan. How difficult it must be for him not to remember some things, not to have a grasp on his feelings. “You’re the only ones I can trust,” he said. He rubbed his brow, just under his bandage. “I can’t tell you how bizarre this feels. I see some things clearly. Other things are fuzzy at best. And then there’s a whole chunk that I don’t remember.”

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