“I don"t.” Something in her voice put him on edge. “But obviously you do.”
“Aw, did the lovebirds have a fight?”
“Morgan.” At her breezy laughter, his shoulders tensed even more. “Where"s Rachel?”
“On her way out of Cali as we speak. Which you should know.”
He dropped into his high-backed leather chair, swiveling until he faced the blue pencil sketches he"d tacked up on the wall. They were his preliminary ideas for a new project, a high-rise office complex to be erected on the prime site Griffin Industries had purchased in Encino a few months ago.
Shawn pressed his thumb and forefinger to his nose, pinching to relieve the sudden pressure. He"d agreed to submit them to his father by nine today, and his father didn"t push back deadlines unless the reason involved arterial blood.
Thanks for the advance notice, Rach.
Morgan"s curiosity finally overtook her need to taunt. “Didn"t she tell you she was going to the city?”
“She told me.” He rose, again moving to the windows. “What time is the plane supposed to land in New York?” he asked, already returning to his desk.
“Early afternoon, I think. There"s a layover in Chicago.”
Shawn flipped pages in his day planner. He had two staff meetings scheduled, another with dear ol" Dad. “Thanks, Morgan.” His thumb was about to hit the End button when her voice stopped him.
“Shawn, wait. Don"t you think it"s a mistake, her going to see Ryan?”
He withdrew his wallet, and after a quick check of the contents, decided a trip to the ATM was in order before he headed to LAX. “I"m going to ensure it"s not.
“She can handle herself, I know that. But—” Her short pause told him his statement had just registered. “How?”
“She"s getting herself a chaperone.” With a grim smile, he crossed to the door.
“Whether she wants one or not.”
“I"ll talk to you later, Mor.” He ended the call before she could object.
He had a plane to catch.
* * *
Rachel hadn"t been to New York in years, not since her parents had taken her and Morgan to see the Christmas spectacular at Rockefeller Center. She"d been nine, Morgan eleven. The trip had dazzled her enough she"d almost been afraid to return, as if the mental photographs she"d snapped would be tarnished if the city didn"t arouse the same reaction in her now. Which was one of the same reasons she"d been reluctant to accept Ryan"s invitation. One of many, actually.
Rachel sighed as she paged through a magazine containing a glossy ad for his new novel, Unmasked. She"d been nearly seventeen when she"d fallen for him, and her memories were sharp and vivid, frozen pictures untouched by time. It took Insatiable
courage to risk disturbing those images, especially since that had been the happiest period of her life.
Despite that, she"d willingly said no to coming to New York with him a decade ago. Even when she"d discovered she was carrying his child, she hadn"t picked up the phone. She"d turned to Shawn. As always.
He"d been shocked when she told him she was pregnant, but he hadn"t lectured her. Much. He"d even concocted a scheme to act as if the kid was his, though she"d lost the baby before he"d had to go through with it. Even all these years later, she couldn"t believe how far he"d been willing to go to save her ass.