Dedicated because I absolutely love her book How to Turn a Good Girl Bad and hope she uploads soon!! :)

 Chapter 18

He pushed away from the wall and pulled the cigarette from his mouth, tossing it on the ground as I’d seen him do so many times before. Still littering, I noted.

“Holly…” He stood rigid, mouth open, as emotion after emotion crossed his face. I could read every one of them easily: surprise, excitement, realization, guilt, shame, hope. They were all there.

I didn’t know what to say so I just stood there, silently taking in his familiar form. There was so much about him that hadn’t changed. He was still the tall, slender, slightly awkward guy I met outside of Joan Whittaker’s office nearly two years ago. In his suit – dark gray pants and jacket over a black button-up- with his unkempt hair, he was still the sexily disheveled man-boy I took care of and brought back to life when no one else could. The top few buttons on his shirt were undone and I could see the little bit of hair he had on his chest, reminding me of how as his assistant I used to button his shirts for him before he went out… and how as his lover I had unbuttoned them.

His eyes, which hadn’t left my face once, finally took in the rest of me, travelling down my silver dress to my tall black heels and back up. He did so slowly, making me momentarily forget where I was and what had happened as a deliberate chill slid achingly slow up my spine. I shivered slightly, looking away and trying to forget how he made my body feel.

“You look beautiful,” he whispered into the faint wind.

I stayed mute, trying to keep my face neutral.


I shook my head faintly and refused to acknowledge him, hoping that if I ignored him he would disappear. The sound of his approaching footsteps didn’t falter my resolve, but the cold tingles in my cheeks when he cupped my face, turning it towards him, did.

“Look at me, please Holly,” he pleaded.

When my eyes met his, only a foot apart, I couldn’t figure out what he was thinking or feeling. It looked like love, but it had before as well. It was the one expression I’d seen on his face that I didn’t have a real name for anymore.

Despite my best efforts internally, I waited to hear what he would say.

“You just left. One minute you’re there and the next you just… you’re gone,” was what quietly came out of his mouth.

I had expected an immediate apology, groveling even… or maybe to be ignored, but this was different.

The car pulled through the gate, up to near us and I thought about making a run for it, but decided to deal with this once and for all so I could have some closure.

Taking in a shaky breathe, I replied, slightly confused, “I did what was best for everyone. I did what was best for you. I always did… It was my job.”

“That’s rubbish; you didn’t even let me explain!” His voice had gone from a whisper to nearly a shout and he threw his hands up in exasperation.

Was he yelling at me? As if I did something wrong?

“What I saw was explanation enough, I’d say,” I spouted, mockingly at him.

He went on as if I hadn’t spoke, “You disappear and leave Trudy to take care of everything. That poor girl was not cut out for this business! And then I find out you changed your number and had Trudy giving you a ring whenever she needed help… What about me? I needed you, too! Everyone thought you were made redundant and I looked like a right arse trying to explain where you were and what happened!” He finally stopped his rant and tried to catch his breath, looking entirely frustrated.

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