She ignores me and turns back to Charly. “A stunner like you could pull Brad Pitt.”

“Brad Pitt’s old!” I scoff. “He’s well over fifty.”


Amazing actor though.

Sasha throws me a dirty look. “Brad Pitt is hot. He’s a hot older man. No way will you look that good when you’re fifty.”

“Love you, too, sis.” I scratch my forehead with my middle finger.

“Right back at you, bro.” She sticks her tongue out at me, and then she comes over and hugs me. “I missed your ugly face,” she tells me, patting my cheek as she lets me go.

Then, she’s back to Charly, who looks like she’s just been hit by a whirlwind. Well, she has. Whirlwind Sasha. Wait until she meets Meg. Meg is like Santa on ecstasy.

“My dress is in here?”

“It is.” Charly smiles. “Do you want to try it on now and make sure everything is okay for you? And, if any more alterations are needed, I can do them tonight.”

“You’re the best.” Sasha picks up the garment bag. “Will you come upstairs with me? Help me get into it?”

“Sure,” Charly says, following her out of the kitchen, giving me a smile before she goes.

“I love your hair,” I hear Sasha saying to her. “I’ve been thinking about getting some color put in my hair, but I don’t know if I’m too old.”

“How old are you, if you don’t mind me asking?” I hear Charly ask.

“Thirty-five,” Sasha groans, her voice trailing off as they head upstairs.

A cell phone starts to ring.

“Ooh, that’s me,” Gran says, picking up her phone and disappearing out of the kitchen.

I suspiciously eye her. I wonder if that’s her boy toy on the phone.

It’s weird, Gran having a boyfriend. She’s not had anyone since my granddad passed ten years ago.

“Charly seems really nice,” my mom says.

“Yeah, she is.” I sit up on a stool and start picking at the grapes in the fruit bowl. I pop one in my mouth and chew.

“And so damn pretty,” my mom adds.

“Yeah.” I smile.

She’s more than pretty. She’s beautiful. Stunning.

“So, you guys are dating?”

“Mmhmm.”

“Well, she must be good for you. You look a lot better than the last time I saw you. You look happy.”

My mom…well, my whole family was worried about how I was dealing with Cain’s betrayal, which obviously wasn’t well.

“I was hurting back than. I needed to get it out of my system.”

“And it’s out now?” she checks.

“Yep.” I put another grape in my mouth.

“Good.”

I watch my mother move around the kitchen, chopping up vegetables, which I’m assuming are for tonight’s dinner.

“So, you brought Charly home; that’s a first,” she says.

I was wondering how long it was going to take her.

“She must be special.”

“She is. But don’t go getting carried away, Mom.”

“What? I’m not,” she protests innocently.

“Sure you’re not.” I laugh. “Charly and I are having fun together. I like her a lot. But I’m not looking to get married anytime soon.”

“That’s good. But you don’t fool me, Vaughn.” She points her chopping knife in my direction.

I put my hands up in surrender. “I have no clue what you mean.”

“I was watching the way you looked at her.”

“And how do I look at her?”

“The way your father looks at me. And the way your grandpa used to look at your gran. The way Greg looks at Sasha. And Vic looks at Meg. Like there’s no one else in the room when they’re there.”

My mother is too damn observant for her own good.

“Did you know that Gran has a boy toy?”

“Nice subject change. And he’s hardly a boy toy.” She laughs.

“Gran is ten years older than him!”

“How old is Charly?”

“Nice switch back.”

“Thanks.” She grins.

“She’s twenty-five,” I tell her.

“You’re nearly five years older than her, Vaughn. You’ll be thirty soon. Does that make you her sugar daddy?”

“What the hell, Mom?” I groan. This conversation is seriously going in entirely the wrong direction. “I’m twenty-nine, for crying out loud, not fifty-nine. I’m not old enough to be anyone’s sugar daddy.”

My mom is doubled over, laughing, at this point. She thinks she’s hilarious.

“It’s not funny,” I grumble.

“It kind of is.” She wipes her eyes with the back of her hand. “And be happy for your gran. This is the first man she’s shown any interest in since your granddad passed. It’s been ten years, Vaughn.”

“God, it has, hasn’t it?”

I was away, working on my first movie, when he passed. He never even got to see my first film. I’ve always regretted not being there when he died. My granddad was the best kind of man. His family was everything to him.

He was the kind of man I aspire to be. Just like my dad is.

“Your granddad was and always will be the love of your gran’s life. She’s just having some fun in the time she has left. We can’t begrudge her that.”

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