“Smile, darling. I hate seeing you so sad.”
“I’m smiling.” I force one showing way too much teeth.
She gives me a sad look but doesn’t push on it. “Which one would you like?”
She holds up both bars of chocolate, unaware of my internal turmoil over that chocolate, which is raging on like a bitch.
And because I’m a masochist and I really feel like torturing myself, I take the Galaxy.
I try not to cry when I snap off a piece and put it in my mouth.
As soon as the chocolate hits my tongue, all I can think of is the last time Carrick kissed me. It was before his race in Singapore, and I could taste the chocolate on his tongue.
And now, all I can think about is how it felt to be kissed by him, to have him make love to me.
My body starts to ache for him. And I’ve got this pain in my chest, like someone’s standing on it.
Will this pain of missing him ever go away?
What? Did I say that out loud?
I flash a glance at my mum, but she’s looking at her phone.
She sees me staring. “Sorry, darling. Your Aunt Clara wants to borrow a pair of my earrings again. But I’m telling her no as I didn’t get the last pair back. She went out, got drunk, and lost them!” she exclaims.
That makes me laugh, and I giggle at the thought of Aunt Clara drunk.
The doorbell rings.
We both look at each other.
“You expecting anyone?” Mum asks.
“I wonder who is calling at this hour.”
Could it be Carrick?
My heart lifts and then deflates just as quickly when I realize I’m being stupid. He doesn’t know where I live, for starters, and it’s not like he has a reason to come see me. It’s been two days since I bumped into him outside his hotel and nothing. If he wanted to see me, he would have come by now.
“It’s only seven o’clock, Mum.” I chuckle. “And we won’t find out unless you answer the door.”
“Guess I’m answering the door then.” She gives me a look. Using the remote, she pauses the DVD, lifts my legs off her, and gets up from the sofa.
“Look through the peephole before you open the door,” I call after her.
I don’t want her to open the door to an ax murderer. But then, that might not actually be a bad thing. He could put me out of my misery.
I listen for voices to see who it is. I can hear low murmuring but nothing I can make out.
I’m just about to get up from the sofa when Mum comes back in the living room.
“You have a visitor.” She moves aside to reveal Owen Ryan standing behind her.
“Owen—Mr. Ryan, what are you doing here?” Scrambling to sit up, I touch a hand to my hair, well aware of the mess I am. I can’t remember the last time I showered, my hair is tied in a messy knot, and I’m wearing my Still Plays with Cars ratty old pajamas.
I’m looking less than awesome while Owen Ryan is standing here in his Savile Row suit.
But then, it’s not like I have to impress him anymore. I no longer work for him, not that I ever impressed him when I did work on the team.
“I was hoping to talk to you,” he says to me.
“Oh.” I look at my mum.
“I’ll make some drinks,” she says. “Coffee okay, Owen?”
“Yes, thank you.” He moves into the living room as my mum disappears down the hall to the kitchen. “You mind if I sit down?” He gestures to the chair.
“No, of course not.” I’m forgetting my manners.
I’m just stunned to see him here. And I’m thrown because Owen’s the closest thing to Carrick, and him being here is making me hurt all over again. Well, not that the hurting has ever stopped.
There’s that awkward moment of silence there always is when you have no clue why someone’s arrived at your home, unannounced.
So, I decide to break it with the most obvious. “Is Carrick okay?”
“No?” The panic in my voice is evident. I sit up straighter in my seat.
“Oh, right. Okay. Good.”
“But Carrick is the reason I’m here.”
I’m not sure if I want to have any conversation with Owen Ryan about anything, let alone Carrick. Maybe he’s here about my dad’s car. Maybe he’s found out that Carrick wants me to keep it, and he thinks it’s too much money to give to me. And he’d be right. It is.
“Before you start, can I ask, how did you know where I live?” I tuck my hands under my thighs. “Did my Uncle John tell you?”
He’d better not have, or he and I will be having words.
“No. I didn’t ask John because I didn’t want anyone to know that I was coming to see you.”
“Because I don’t want Carrick to know.”
“Oh.” I free my hands and wrap my arms around myself. “So, how did you find out?”
“It wasn’t difficult. There’s only one Wolfe listed as living here in Santos.”
I freeze. He notices.
“Carrick didn’t tell me about your father.”
“I had you looked into when you started working for Rybell…well, the moment I knew my son was interested in you for more than a roll in the hay.”