“I thought we discussed the assistant,” I say, giving him a stern look. The last thing I need is a scandal chasing my coattails as I leave the company.
“I know, and I’m sorry. After you left in such a hurry, I didn’t have any back-up. There haven’t been any issues of what we talked about.” He looks over at Molly and then back to me. “I don’t foresee any turmoil, but I’ve got my eye on it in case there need to be changes made.”
I nod, understanding that it’s his decision to make.
Ryan goes to his phone and hits a button. “Cary, can you bring me the file for Mr. Tanner to sign?” He clicks off without waiting for an answer, and I’m glad to be getting this closed up.
“Okay then. Let's get this signed so we can be on our way.”
Moving to take a step forward, I feel Molly’s hand tug behind me. I look back at her and see her staring at the couch. Her eyes narrow, but she won’t look away from it. Before I can ask her what’s wrong, Cary walks in with a folder in her hands.
Molly looks up at Cary, and then to the couch, and all the color drains from her face. It looks as if she’s seen a ghost, and her knees start to buckle.
“Molly!” I shout, bending to catch her before she hits the floor.
Cradling her in my arms, I walk her over to the couch and sit down with her in my lap, looking her over to make sure she’s okay.
She starts to shake a little, and I open my mouth to tell someone to call an ambulance when her hand comes out and slaps me hard across the face.
To stay the sting is a shock would be a vast understatement.
“What the hell?” I say, looking down at her.
“You,” she says and glares at me with so much hate and anger. It’s a look I’ve never in my life seen on her sweet face. Then she turns to Cary, who is standing dumbly a few feet from us, and points to her. “With her.”
“It’s not what you think,” Cary says, taking a step towards the two of us.
“Don’t you come near me,” Molly spits at her and tries to scramble from my lap. “Let me go, Phillip. Let me go or I swear to God, I will scream this place down.”
“Scream all you want. I’m not letting you go. Now tell me what’s wrong.” I hold her tighter, showing her how true my words really are. “Be careful, Molly. Think of the baby,” I plead, not wanting to hold her too tightly.
My worry makes her stop moving instantly, the fight going out of her. She’s breathing heavily like she’s been running, and she shoots daggers at me. I can’t remember a time she’s looked at me like this. It’s breaking my heart.
“Molly. Talk to me. What is going on?”
She lets out a laugh that lacks humor. “I saw you that night. I remember everything.”
My stomach tightens at her words. Her memory coming back is not something I want yet. I need more time, but hearing her say she saw me…I’m confused.
“You saw me…what?” I narrow my eyes on her. If she remembers, she can tell me the very thing that’s been driving me crazy. The why. “Why did you leave me?”
Tears fill her eyes as she grits out the words. “I walked in this office and saw the whole thing.”
Chapter Twelve Molly
The barrage of emotions is almost more than I can stand. It all came tumbling back, flooding my memory. I want to rip myself from Phillip’s arms and the firm hold he has on me, but I equally want to burrow myself into him for comfort. The feeling of loneliness hits me again, worse than ever before. The last week has been… A sob tries to escape my throat, but I swallow it down, not wanting to let that emotion out. That was the whole plan, wasn’t it? To get away? Get myself together so I didn’t come back here a mess and look like some crazy woman, but I can’t seem to control myself with them both standing in the room together. The same room that... I chase away that thought, knowing that if I don’t I won’t be able to stop the next sob.
A pained book crosses Phillip’s face. It’s like he can feel my hurt. Or maybe he just knows he’s been caught. No more faking it. Pretending we’d been together all along. That I’d never left, that he hadn't just swept this all under the rug, something my father and mother liked to do. I knew about sweeping things under the rug for most of my life, and that wasn't supposed to happen with us. It was supposed to be so different. Maybe I’m just as naïve as I thought I was. But how could he treat me so sweetly and do these things to me? It just doesn't add up. I can’t make the pieces fit.
“Why’d you do this to me?” He just stares at me as if he doesn’t know what to say. I push on. “This week. I…” I struggle for the words. “Everything felt so perfect, but it was a lie just like before.” I try to jerk again, but I get nowhere. One of his hands comes to my stomach in a protective hold.
This doesn’t make sense. Why did he do all this? He could have been with her. She’s clearly still around… Maybe they are still together.
The baby. He hasn’t let me out of his sight. Hell, he hasn’t even let me out of the condo. He’d said it was because of the reporters. Everyone knew I’d been hurt and they wanted their story, but that was all a lie. They would have asked where I’d been for the last four months, not about some weekend getaway with my loving husband. He would have been busted right there. But no, he took me home and, hell, I don’t even know what he was doing.