Not Quite Over You
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Pallas beamed. “This is so why I hired her.”
Everyone laughed except Carol.
“But what about the trailers?” she asked, worrying her lower lip. “Can we talk to someone else or do a GoFundMe or something?”
Silver sipped her nonalcoholic mimosa. “Yes, well, I have that covered. I’m taking on a business partner. Drew bought the trailers and he’s going to be a minority owner in the company.”
Those who didn’t know her history with Drew looked relieved. Pallas and Natalie, on the other hand, stared at her with identical looks of disbelief. Wynn’s smile was a combination of smug and I-told-you-so.
Renee groaned. “I hate being the new girl. What am I missing?”
“Drew and I have a past.” Silver shrugged. “We dated some in high school.”
Pallas rolled her eyes. “Dated some? Is that what we’re calling it? You didn’t date some. You two were the hot item. You nearly set the town on fire.” She sighed. “It was so romantic. And then Drew went to college and was a total butthead.”
“We broke up before he went,” Silver said mildly. “Although I appreciate the name-calling.”
“He wasn’t supposed to fall for someone else, but he did. He brought that snooty bitch home and everything.”
“There was a snooty bitch?” Carol asked. “Why didn’t I know about that?”
“Welcome to my world,” Renee murmured.
“She was awful,” Pallas continued. “I can never remember her name.”
“Ashley Lauren Grantham-Greene.”
“She sounds very hateable,” Natalie said.
Pallas nodded vigorously. “She was so awful. They were engaged and I can’t for the life of me figure out why. When Drew broke things off, she set his house on fire.”
“It was his car,” Silver corrected, trying not to smile at the memory. The engagement had been hard on her, but the fire had gone a long way to easing her broken heart. “Pallas, you always say the house, but it was his car.”
“Whatever. I still hate her.”
“Serves him right,” Natalie announced. “How could he not stay in love with you?”
“It’s a mystery.”
Renee looked at her. “It’s nice that you’ve moved on and become good enough friends that you can work together. He will bring a business acumen that balances nicely with your creativity and knowledge about the industry.”
Before Silver could respond, one of the gazelles walked toward them. She was slim and beautiful with huge eyes. She seemed to study them for a second before moving away.
“That was Bronwen,” Carol said. “She’s pretty tame, but she’s never gotten this close to us before. I wonder if it’s something we’re eating.”
“Or drinking,” Wynn said, waving the mimosa. “These are delicious.”
Silver watched the gazelle disappear into the bushes and wondered how to tell her friends the rest of the story. Not that it was complicated, she just wasn’t sure how to begin.
She sucked in a breath and told herself they would love her regardless. Wynn already knew and had never judged her. Just as important, her friends might have some good advice for getting through the mess she’d sort of, maybe created.
“I got pregnant,” she blurted.
Everyone turned to look at her. Several gazes dropped to her stomach. Only Wynn didn’t look surprised.
“When?” Pallas asked.
“Back in high school.” Silver told herself to just get it out there. “I knew Drew was heading off to college and that everything would be different for him when he was gone. I didn’t want him to think he owed me anything, so I broke up with him. I think I was secretly hoping he would quit school in a couple of weeks and come home to be with me.”
“Which didn’t happen,” Wynn said gently.
“No, it didn’t. About a month after he’d left, I figured out I was pregnant. I told my uncle and he asked me what I wanted to do. I decided to go see Drew and tell him face-to-face.”
“Because you thought he would say he loved you and wanted to marry you,” Renee said softly.
“Something like that.”
Carol’s eyes widened. “And?”
“And I told him and he proposed.”
Pallas’s mouth dropped open. “How could I not know this? You married Drew and you never told me? OMG! I can’t believe it. When? Where? You have a baby?”
Silver held up her hand. “We didn’t get married. I could tell he’d only proposed because he thought he should. He didn’t love me anymore and he certainly didn’t want to marry me.”
She told herself she could say the words without feeling anything. Time had passed and she was a completely different person now, as was Drew. She’d grown up, moved on, and he wasn’t on her radar as anyone but a business partner.
“What did you do?” Natalie asked, her voice soft.
“I told him I would have the baby and give it up for adoption. He signed the paperwork and that was that.”
No one looked convinced by that last statement. Wynn made a circular “go on” sign with her hand.
“My uncle helped me find a nice couple in Los Angeles who wanted to adopt. I went to meet them and liked them a lot. In fact I moved in with them my last few months.”
“That’s where you went!” Pallas sounded triumphant. “I knew you were off doing something but I always assumed you joined a biker gang.”
“Really? A biker gang? Have you ever seen me on a motorcycle?”
“No, but you’d look good on one.”
Silver laughed. “Thank you. Anyway I had the baby and came back here, only I couldn’t seem to get my life together.”
“You were still in love with Drew,” Carol said.
“I was. Eventually I got over him.” She smiled. “Ashley Lauren Grantham-Greene helped. Or maybe it was the car fire. Regardless, I moved on, but...”
She wasn’t sure how to explain what had happened. “Before I figured it all out, I was pretty lost. I ended up going back to LA and living with the couple who adopted Autumn. They eventually divorced, but I stayed close to Leigh, Autumn’s mom. Drew knows about the baby and that I gave her up, but nothing else. Not that I’m still in touch with her.” She paused. “She’s eleven.”
Pallas’s eyes widened. “Oh no, no, no. Your daughter being eleven isn’t the big deal, is it? That’s not why you’re telling us this.” She stared at Renee. “The Great Gatsby wedding.”
Renee’s mouth dropped open. “No way.” She spun to stare at Silver. “Seriously?”
“What are you talking about?” Carol demanded.
Pallas pressed a hand to her chest. “I can’t believe it, but I’m right, aren’t I?” She drew in a breath. “A couple of weeks ago, we had a couple cancel their wedding. It’s too late to do much in the way of refunding them money. Too much had already been ordered. The theme is The Great Gatsby—not my favorite book, but the era is gorgeous and they had such cute ideas for the event.”
“Did they break up?” Bethany asked.
“No. She got pregnant and they eloped. They had thought there would be fertility issues so they were thrilled to be having a baby. Not twenty-four hours later a woman called and asked if there was any chance she could have a wedding this fall. I told her about the cancellation and she was all in.” Pallas returned her attention to Silver. “Her name is Leigh and she has a daughter named Autumn and they’re coming here.”