“Yeah, you. I heard you’ve been very brave. Braver than any superhero I know.”
Piper and Liam’s mom exchanged a look, both clearly touched by that answer.
“Pretty good answer for a wife stealer.” Liam looked over his list of questions. “Which would you rather be, a fish or a bird?”
“Bird. Who doesn’t want to fly?” Sawyer answered first.
“Me,” Piper said. “I would be a fish. I hate flying.”
“You would make a lovely mermaid.” Sawyer made her blush when he said things like that.
“Which cookie is the best—Oreos or chocolate chip?”
“Oh, come on, peanut butter is the best! You’re not even going to make that a choice?” Piper had a peanut butter cookie obsession. They were the only thing on her tour rider that she actually ate.
“My sister makes these peanut butter and bourbon cookies for the Sundown that you would die for,” Sawyer told her. “Remind me to text her later. I’ll have her send some to one of the next stops on the tour.”
Why did he have to be so nice? He’s playing the part of the devoted fiancé, she had to remind herself.
Liam ran through the rest of his questions and then announced he had one more important one.
“Lay it on me,” Piper said.
“I know you probably give lots of money to charity, but I wanted to know if you would be willing to support my charity, the Super Liam Foundation, to fight childhood cancer?”
Piper didn’t hesitate. “Of course I would.”
“So you are a superhero. I knew it,” Sawyer said.
Liam looked like he’d won the lottery. Liam’s mom had brought several items that they planned to auction off at an event they were having for the Super Liam Foundation a couple weeks from now, and she asked Piper and Sawyer to sign them. Sawyer finished first and took Liam to fill up a candy bag.
“Thank you so much for doing this. It really does mean a lot to him,” his mom said.
“We’re happy to do it,” Piper said as she signed some CDs. “He’s awesome.”
“You and Sawyer are really good with kids. You’ll be great parents someday.”
Piper’s hand slipped and she smudged her signature. Would they? She’d spent so much time working out how they were going to convince the world their engagement was real, she hadn’t thought to talk to Sawyer about how they’d parent their child once the engagement was called off. Maybe they’d parent tag-team style, one at a time. That wasn’t very traditional.
“Hopefully,” she said, wanting to talk about anything other than babies. “We’re just looking forward to the wedding.”
“I bet. The way he looked at you when you were talking with the fans was really sweet. You can tell how much he loves you.”
Correction—Piper wanted to talk about anything other than babies or how well Sawyer was faking his feelings for her.
* * *
WHILE PIPER AND Liam’s parents chatted about what else she could do to help, Liam hit the candy table with Sawyer.
“Piper definitely thinks I’m cuter than you,” Liam said as he filled up his bag with gummy bears, which were supposedly his little sister’s favorite.
Sawyer laughed. “You might be right.”
“But she loves you, so you’re pretty lucky.”
“Very lucky.” Sawyer scratched the nape of his neck.
“Maybe I can come to your wedding. I could be the ring boy.”
The knot in Sawyer’s stomach tightened. One, there was never going to be a wedding and two, even if there was, Liam probably wouldn’t be alive to see it.
“I don’t see why not,” Sawyer answered. He swallowed hard, trying not to think about how this kid would never grow up to be the big man he wanted to be. He wouldn’t fall in love and get that first kiss. He wouldn’t get to go to prom or marry the girl of his dreams. Or hold his own child in his arms.
Lucky. Sawyer had been lucky enough to do many of those things, but he took others for granted. He was about to become a dad. It was one of those things he’d thought he wouldn’t get to experience since he had sworn off marriage. Meeting Piper had changed all that. For the short time they’d been together, he’d started to believe marriage wasn’t the dirty word he’d built it up to be. Of course, he’d never imagined those feelings would lead to them having to pretend to take the plunge. Now, he wasn’t sure where he stood on the idea of spending his life with someone.