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His Lover's Little Secret Andrea Laurence 2022/8/3 13:54:39

Sabine just shook her head. “So...what? Do all young, rich guys know each other? Is there some kind of club or something where you all hang out and be rich together?”

“Yes, we have a support group—Rich and Sexy Anonymous,” Gavin offered with a smile. “Let’s get inside or we’ll be late for our reservation.”

They were seated at a table for four near the window. He’d known Will for several years but hadn’t connected that the Adrienne that Sabine worked for was the same Adrienne that married Will the year before. When the pieces finally clicked, he thought having dinner together would be nice. Not even Viola would have the nerve to come up to a table like this and make a fuss. They were guaranteed a fun night out with people that he already knew would make Sabine comfortable.

He had also been curious to meet Adrienne in person. He’d read about her in the newspaper a few years ago after her plane crash and the scandal that followed. She had lost her memory for weeks, and everyone thought she was Will’s fiancée, who actually died in the wreck. It was the stuff of dramatic movies, but she had made herself into quite the success story. Her clothing line had soared in the past year, and her boutique was one of the most popular destinations for the young and hip in Manhattan. He just never thought to look for his runaway girlfriend behind the counter of the store.

The waiter came to take their drink orders. “Is anyone interested in some wine?”

“None for me,” Adrienne said.

“We can order something sweeter,” Sabine offered. “I know you like a Riesling or a Moscato, right?”

“I do normally—” she smiled “—but I’m not drinking at all for the next eight months or so.”

The sharp squealing noise that followed was nearly enough to pierce Gavin’s eardrums. Sabine leaped up from her chair and ran around to embrace Adrienne. That kicked off a rapid-fire female discussion about things that Gavin would rather not be privy to. Instead, he ordered sparkling water for Adrienne and wine for everyone else.

“Congrats, Daddy,” he said to Will.

Will chuckled. “Congrats to you, as well. It seems to be going around.”

“It has. I can assure you that mine was more of a surprise, since my child was walking and talking by the time I found out about it.”

“Yeah, but you lucked out. You missed the morning sickness, the wild hormonal swings, the Lamaze classes, the birthing room where she threatens to castrate you. After the child is born there’s the midnight feedings, the colic...”

Gavin listened to Will talk for a moment and shook his head to interrupt. “I’d gladly take all that and more in exchange for the rest of what I missed. I also didn’t get to be there when she heard his heartbeat or saw his image on the sonogram for the first time. I missed his birth, his first steps, his first words.... Enjoy every moment of this experience with Adrienne. Things that don’t seem very important now will be the very stuff that will keep you up at night when you’re older. One day, you’ll look up from your BlackBerry and your kid will be in high school.”

Gavin couldn’t stop the words from flying out of his mouth. Every single one of them was true, although he’d barely allowed himself the time to think about what he’d missed. He tried to focus on what was ahead. Jared wasn’t going to drift in and out of his life like so many others, so he had no excuse. If he missed moments going forward, it was his own fault. He didn’t want any more regrets.

The waiter brought their wine, and Gavin took a large sip. “Sorry about that,” he said.

“No, don’t be,” Will answered. “You’re right. Time goes by so quickly, especially to guys like us. The priorities start to change when you fall in love and even more so when kids come into the picture. I’ll try to keep it in perspective when she’s sending me out in the night on strange cravings runs.”

“Gavin is taking us to look at apartments on my day off,” he heard Sabine say.

“There’s an apartment down the street from us that’s for sale,” Adrienne said. “A really nice brownstone. It’s on the second floor, so there’s some stairs, but not many.”

“I think I’d prefer her to be in a building with a doorman and some security. It would make me feel better.”

“It’s not like my current apartment has surveillance cameras and security,” Sabine said.

“It doesn’t matter. If you continue to refuse living with me, I want you in someplace secure. I don’t want just anyone strolling up to your door. This can be a dangerous town sometimes, and I want you and Jared protected when I can’t be there.”