I’ve been worrying about her all day because I know she’s meeting her useless father tonight, and I have a bad fucking feeling it isn’t going to go well.
“Did Julia ever tell you about how Grace’s mom died?”
Cooper snaps his head in my direction again and Cade stops what he’s doing to listen.
Jaxson shakes his head, “No, but I did try getting it out of her. She wouldn’t budge; said she didn’t want to betray her trust.”
I understand where Julia is coming from and if it were anyone else in this room with me I wouldn’t share this either. “She was raped and murdered.”
“Holy fuck, are you serious?” he asks with a mixture of shock and rage. Cade’s eyes go dark too, which I knew would, since that shit is already a touchy subject for him.
Cooper though, doesn’t seem all that shocked. “You knew,” I state to him.
“Yeah I did. I knew before the girls. When Kayla told me she suspected Grace was alone, and something had happened, I looked into it. It’s not hard to find, anyone could Google it. It was fucking splashed all over the news for months, so there’s a lot of information out there. But I was able to see the case file.”
Jaxson snaps his head now in Coop’s direction. “That’s what you were looking at, that day when I first came back.”
He confirms with a nod.“Do you know who she lived with after?” I ask him.
“From what I could gather some Uncle who lives in Virginia. Why?” he asks suspiciously.
I shrug, “Just wondering.” I decide not to share that piece of information, at least not yet.
They all know I’m lying but they let it drop. “What exactly are your intentions with her, Evans?” Jaxson asks.
Well now, if that isn’t the million dollar fucking question. “I still don’t know, but I’m working on figuring it out.”
“Well whatever you do, don’t fuck her around. Not only because she doesn’t deserve it, but also because it will upset Jules. Then I will have to kick your ass for that alone.”
“If my intention was to fucking hurt her I’d have already fucked her and been done with it, asshole.” Everyone’s gaze snaps to me at my outburst. I take a deep breath, “Look I like her a lot, all right. But I don’t want to fuck anything up, not only for the two of us but also you and Julia, so don’t fucking worry about it. I’m treading carefully.”
Jaxson and I glare off for a minute longer before he shrugs, “All right, just make sure you do.”
I grunt, “Whatever. Where is your woman anyway?” The last few months he hasn’t left her side, not that I blame him.
“She’s over at Grace’s with Kayla, helping her get ready for the meeting with her father tonight.”
“Do you know who her father is?” Cooper asks me.
I shake my head. I guess I should have asked her, she did say he was a big deal.
His expression turns serious. “He’s a political figure: John Weston Jr., the Lieutenant Governor.”
Well fuck me; that’s not fucking good at all. “What are you telling me, Coop? Are you trying to say this isn’t going to go well tonight?”
He shrugs, “I don’t know the guy personally, but I talked with Kayla about this last night. Grace doesn’t think he knows about her mom. The guy has powerful resources, I’ll bet he not only knew about her mom, but also, has probably always known where Grace is. He has a family of his own, kids that are close to her age. His reputation is a big deal to him, so if I had to guess… no I don’t think it will go well.”
Yeah pretty much what I fucking thought too.
Lord, I have never been so nervous in all my life. I link my cold, clammy fingers together tightly to stop from shakin’, and my heart pounds like a drum in my chest.
I’m sitting in the back seat of the most expensive car I have ever seen; being chauffeured to the restaurant by a driver who is not all that friendly. From the moment the older, grey-haired man picked me up he did not smile when I did, he barely said hello and he looked at me like he knew I didn’t belong in the dress I was wearin’. This did not help my already jumbled nerves. His mood became even more disapproving when Kayla cracked her joke: “You make sure you bring her back in one piece to us, Alfred, no secret visits to the bat cave, ya hear?”
I held in my chuckle, he did look like Alfred from Batman, just not as friendly, unfortunately he did not find this as funny as the rest of us.
A sudden ping of a text pulls me out of my thoughts. It’s probably Kayla and Julia. Even though they tried to hide it I’m pretty sure they were more nervous than me. But to my surprise it wasn’t either of them… it was Sawyer.
Sexy Sawyer: Good luck tonight, Cupcake, I’ll be thinking about you. Text me when you get back and tell me how it went. If you find yourself getting nervous just think about me naked, then a whole different feeling will hit you. ;)
Smiling, I shake my head… typical Sawyer. A warmth fills me like no other, and settles my nerves.
Grace: How am I supposed to picture you naked if I’ve never seen you without clothes on?”
I’m starting to get a little better at this flirtin’ thing with him, which gives me pride since he’s the king of it.
Sexy Sawyer: Believe me, Cupcake, I’m fucking hot. But you’re right; you won’t be able to picture it, because even your wildest imagination couldn’t dream up my perfection.
A quiet giggle escapes, he’s probably telling the truth; I’ll just bet he looks all sorts of delicious naked.
Grace: I’m picturing you right now, dancing to ‘I’m Sexy and I Know It’ kissing each of your biceps. That calmed my nerves right down, so I will continue to picture it. Have a good night, Sexy Sawyer, I will text you later.
Sexy Sawyer: Touché, my little Cupcake… touché. I will be waiting for your text.
I put my phone back in my purse, and soon the warmth that Sawyer just filled me with is replaced with anxiety when we pull up to the restaurant.
Oh gosh I think I’m going to be sick. What do I do when I see him? Do I hug him or shake his hand? Should I start by tellin’ him about Mama, or wait?
I get confused when we pull into the back of the restaurant. “Why are you parkin’ here?”
“Mr. Weston prefers his privacy,” Grumpy Alfred replies stonily.
Oh well… I guess that makes sense. Coming around, he opens the door for me; I can tell this is only because it’s what is expected of him, not because he is a gentleman. Sheesh, I wonder if he’s like this with everyone or just me.
I step out shakily and smooth my hands down the black, satin dress Julia lent me. I have to say, even though I don’t feel it, I definitely look like I could fit in with this place. The girls did wonders on my hair and make-up.
The back door swings open, displaying a man in a suit with an earpiece, lookin’ like he’s from Men In Black. He looks back and forth as if expecting trouble any minute. “Miss Morgan?” I nod my head, too nervous to speak. “This way, Mr. Weston is waiting.”
I walk inside and follow him in a zigzag motion as we dodge any other customers. My stomach begins to sink with dread when I see that we are headed towards a private room where no one can see us.
Don’t jump to conclusions, Grace; he’s the Lieutenant Governor. Like Grumpy Alfred said he likes his privacy.
My little self-talk comes to an abrupt halt when I enter the room and see my father in person for the very first time. Time stands still as we both take each other in. He’s pretty much what I expected, since I have seen him in articles and news feed. He’s dressed in a crisp grey business suit that screams money. His dark salt and pepper hair is slicked back from his face, revealing hazel eyes. He’s your typical tall, dark and handsome. I really don’t look too much like him; there are some resemblances but not much.
He seems just as nervous as me, which makes me feel marginally better. He clears his throat, “Well, you sure do look like your Mama.”
Still too nervous to form any words, I offer him a shaky smile and nod.
He gestures to the table, “Come and have a seat. I already took the liberty of ordering for us; our food should arrive shortly.”
Oh, that’s a little strange. How does he know if I will like it or not? Maybe that’s how rich people do things? I shake off my thoughts and take the chair opposite him. I try not to let it sting that he doesn’t offer his hand or a hug.
As soon as I sit down the waiter asks what wine I prefer. He lists things I’ve never heard. “Oh, uh, anythin’, white is fine. Thank you.”
The waiter rudely quirks a brow at me before walking away. The room is filled with awkward silence; especially since Grumpy Alfred and the Men In Black guy are standing by the door watching us intently.
“So, Grace, what can I do for you?” my father asks, looking at me with expectation.
“Pardon me?” I ask, thinkin’ I’m misunderstandin’ him.
“You contacted me with a letter, so I’m curious what it is that you want from me. What is it you’re looking to get from our meeting?”