“Your degree isn’t required for this job, and the pay isn’t really fitting with your degree or experience.”

I figured I should negotiate for more, but I didn’t need the money. “Let me show you what I can do, and you can give me a raise from the profits I help you earn.”

She quirked a brow and then smiled. “I like your confidence.” She studied me. “You’re at the top of my list, Leah. I do have a few more candidates to interview, but if you could stay through the weekend, I’d like to have you back on Monday to meet others on the team.”

Inside I was jumping up and down, but I tried to hide that when I answered. “I can stay.”

“Excellent.” She stood and extended her hand. “I look forward to seeing you Monday.”

I shook her hand. “Thank you.”

Back at my hotel, I texted Niall a thumbs up, and then called my dad.

“Congratulations honey. I knew you’d knock their socks off.”

“I just hope it works out.”

“I know it will. What are you going to do over the weekend?” he asked.

“I don’t know. There’s lots to do here. Maybe I’ll go to the beach.”

“Just be safe.”

“I will. What are you going to do?”

“I’m planning on golf with Sebastian, if he doesn’t cancel on me again. Something’s up with him. Any idea what?”

My elation immediately turned to pain. “No.”

“That boy has so much potential if he’d just get out of his own way.”

“He’s pretty successful dad.”

“I don’t mean in business. I mean in his personal life.”

I agreed with that, but didn’t say anything.

“Well you have fun and be good, Leah. Give my grandbaby a little tummy pat.”

I laughed, and my heart filled with love and gratitude to have such a wonderful father. “I will. Love you dad.”

I got a drink of water and looked out over the evening horizon of Los Angeles. I had an urge to call Sebastian. Until a week ago, he’d have wanted to know about my interview. He would have helped me prep for it. But those times were gone.

I ordered room service for dinner and finally decided to figure out how and when I’d tell Sebastian about the baby. However he responded wouldn’t matter. I had my father, and I was well on my way to establishing myself in the business world. I didn’t need him. I was sad that my baby might not have him in his or her life, but my father would fill that spot.

Feeling good but tired, I went to bed. Life wasn’t perfect, but I wouldn’t hide or settle for less, as Sebastian did. No, I was going to reach out and grab life.

Chapter 26


I couldn’t come up with a good excuse to cancel golf with Henry without making him worry about me. So, I stood at the tee on the sixth fairway going through the motions of having a good day, when inside I felt completely dead.

“When we’re done today, why don’t you come over for a beer. You can stay for dinner.”

“I don’t want to intrude. I know you have a lot going on with Leah’s graduation party.” Just saying her name felt like a stab in the heart. What the fuck was wrong with me. Instead of getting easier, being away from her felt like I was falling into an abyss.

Henry swung his club and took his shot. “Leah’s in Los Angeles right now. If all goes well, it will be graduation and job celebration.”

How many pieces could a heart break into, I wondered as the idea of Leah moving to Los Angeles tore me apart. “Good for her.”

“I’m so proud of her, Sebastian, I can’t even tell you.”

I nodded as I set my ball in place and took my shot. “I can see that. And you have reason to be. She’s a smart woman.”

“She could definitely use some good news in her life now.”

“Oh?” We walked together up the fairway toward our balls.

“The last few weeks have been stressful. This job will be ideal. It’s with a baby clothing designer.”

“A lot different from lingerie and sex toys.” I tried to be light, but acting wasn’t my forte.

“True, but in some ways it’s kismet. It will be ideal for raising a baby.”

My world completely stopped. “Baby?”

Henry’s gaze jerked to mine in surprise and then remorse. “Hell, I’m not supposed to say anything.”

What the fuck was he talking about? “Leah’s having a baby?”

“Yes, but Sebastian, you can’t say anything. Jesus, she’d kill me if she knew I blabbed. The timing isn’t ideal, and the father is MIA, but I can’t tell you how excited I am to be a grandfather.”

Fuck, fuck, fuck. My brain scrambled, and I felt like I was having a heart attack. “Did she say who the father was?”

Henry shook his head. “Someone from school.”

A part of me was relieved, and another part of me was pissed. Had she been with other men while she was with me? The image of Niall with his hand on Leah’s ass flashed in my brain. Maybe he was the father.

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