Hot Single Dad(4)

By: Mia Madison

And then I remember, like a punch in the gut, some guy of Holly’s that Frank mentioned last year, but thankfully never since. Is he still on the scene? Suddenly, no matter how ill-advised it is to poke around asking questions about her love life, I have to know.

“No boyfriend pining for you here when you go away to France? I thought your dad said you were bringing someone home last holidays?” Why don’t I just shut up? She probably thinks I’m like an annoying uncle—the kind that says “aren’t you married yet?” and “haven’t you grown?”

“That didn’t work out.”

“Oh.” I hope she dumped him. I can’t imagine it was the other way around.

“He thought it would be a good idea to date another girl from my dorm as well as me. As if I would be too stupid to find out.” She rolls her eyes.


“Exactly.” She takes a sip of her wine. “I found out just in time. I don’t know what it is with guys in college. So many jerks. It’s like they were giving out certificates for it and they were all trying to get a higher grade average than each other.”

“There were plenty of assholes around when I went to college, too. I don’t think it’s a new thing. I was probably one of them.”

She smiles. “Maybe they’ll all grow out of it. But I’m not betting on it with that bunch.”

“So, no one captured your heart, then?”

“Not even close.”

I don’t know why that makes me happy. I’m as much of a jerk as I always was, I guess.

I should do some work, like I’d normally do in the evening when the kids are in bed, but I don’t want to drag myself away from Holly.

With Iris living around the corner, she was never here for more than a few minutes after I got home, so adult conversation has been lacking around here since… well, since forever, because Mercia was rarely home either.

It’s a wonder my ex got pregnant at all. It wasn’t on her agenda. I suspect her birth control pills failed because she threw up one day, but she always said it was my fault, as if I got her pregnant deliberately. That was just the start of the list of things that she blames me for.

But it’s not just that I like having someone over the age of five around to talk to. I like having Holly here, because she’s Holly, even though I can’t seem to think straight when it comes to her.

“The kids are really excited having you here.” I tell her. “Jack wanted to make sure you’ll still be here in the morning when I kissed him goodnight. I promised him you would be.”

She laughs. “They’ve grown so much since I saw them last. It must be six months or something. Is this their last summer before school?”

“They just finished kindergarten. Sorry, but you’ll have them all the time now that’s done for the summer.”

“I don’t mind that.”

I get up and fill up her glass. I’d like to sit beside her, but that would be dangerous, so I sit back down where I was. “Watch whatever you want on TV. I hope you won’t find it dull here.”

“I’m sure I won’t.” She glances up at me with her long lashes and blue eyes and dammit if she doesn’t blush again. I could swear a look passes between us, but I must be mistaken. I’m just her dad’s friend. She’d never look at me like that.

But I think she just did. Or did she?

Fuck! This is only her first night here and I’m like some kid in high school with a crush.



I thought he just did a double take when I looked at him. And now I can’t look him in the eye. I can’t let him see how much I want him. The remote control is on the couch beside me and I grab it and start flicking though the channels again, not really caring what comes up on the screen.

I’ve wanted Reid as long as I can remember. No other guy has ever turned my head because none of them matched up to him.

It was agony going to his wedding and watching him get married to Mercia Blane. I should have been enchanted by the big affair, the romance of the event, the beautiful dresses and flowers and people, the elegant meal and sophisticated toasts. The gossip magazine taking pictures for an exclusive scoop on the wedding.

At fifteen, it was the only celebrity occasion I’d ever attended but I couldn’t enjoy it because he was marrying her. And then they had that very public divorce, and I couldn’t feel triumphant about that either because those poor kids, and he wasn’t exactly happy about it either.

I flick, flick, flick, getting more and more agitated by his closeness, until he comes over to me and takes the remote out of my hand.

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