Trapped(5)

By: Beverley Kendall



“Oh yeah, you know Josh, Mr. Charm himself. He asked about you. He asked about Bree. Asked how you guys were doing.”

I nod as I secure the Velcro diaper tabs in place and plop Bree into a sitting position. She’s busy shaking her rattle and babbling away to herself.

“I asked him when was the last time he saw his deadbeat best friend,” Erin states, her voice growing caustic as it always does at any reference to my ex.

I groan in despair. “Erin, why did you say anything? If he says anything to you-know-who, he’ll think I put you up to it.” And the very last thing I want is for my ex to think I give a rat’s ass about him. I don’t. I’m so over him it’s not even funny. And I got the best part of the deal when it comes to our defunct relationship because I have Bree. She’s the only good thing that came out of it.

“Oh I made sure he knew I was the one asking and not you. I told him you’ve moved on and that you’re dating someone.”

Oh dear God.

“What?”

At the pitch of my voice, Bree goes silent, her gaze snapping to my face, her big green eyes wide. I immediately smile to indicate to her that everything’s okay with mommy. Her babbling resumes. All is well and as simple as it should be in her baby world.

“You did what?” I ask in a hushed voice.

“Well you do have a date today, which means you’re dating someone.”

“I am not dating Craig. He is my study partner. We’re going to be studying, not making out.”

“Study date, date-date, they’re all the same. You will be meeting a member of the opposite sex away from school or work. If this was just about studying, you’d be meeting at the school library,” she reasons with the kind of logic that suggests she may be better off studying criminal law than journalism.

I make quick work of dressing Bree while I continue to argue my point. “We are going to Starbucks. This isn’t a date.”

“Sounds like a date to me,” she replies airily.

“It’s not.”

“Wait a minute, why are we even arguing about this? You should be thanking me. If playboy goes back to deadbeat and tells him you’re dating, it’ll prove you’re over him. I’m doing you a favor here,” she states in justification of her lie.

“I am over him,” I reply with a fierceness in my voice that surprises me. “I don’t need to prove it to anyone, least of all him.” Yes, him who’s name shall never be spoken. Exceptions to this rule—and yes it is a rule—are made only for members of his family.

There’s a long pause on the other end of the phone. I hear something rustling and then, “Well consider this a bit of reinforcement.”

Erin’s right. What do I care what Josh says to his friend. What do I care what my ex thinks period. I don’t.

“Okay. Whatever. Look, I’ve got to finish getting Bree ready and Trent should be here in a few.”

“Okay. I’ll talk to you later. Tell Trent to give me a call if you’re not home by seven and he’s looking for some adult company,” Erin says with a giddy laugh. Honestly, she’s all bark and very little bite.

“Don’t worry, I will,” I say smiling, thoughts of my ex pushed to the back of my mind. My mood immediately improves when that occurs.

“Hahaha. Bye.”

“Bye.”

I stand there a moment, staring down at my daughter. Sensing she now has my undivided attention, she peers up and stretches her arms out to me.

I haul her up and pepper a string of kisses on her cheek and down her neck. Squealing happily, she clutches my hair as I cart her to my room and place her on the floor with two of her favorite toys before I go about finding something nice to wear on my study date.



* * *

Trent arrives fifteen minutes early looking as gorgeous as ever. Jeans, fitted t-shirt, they suit his body well. If you want to get an idea of what Trent looks like, picture Henry Cavill and Theo James. And I didn’t pick them because I’m a sucker for guys with British accents. Trent’s the best mix of the two with his dark hair, light-brown eyes, great smile, chiseled features and dimpled chin. I may not be attracted to him in a sexual way, but I do have to concede he is hot.

When I was younger, whenever we were out together, girls were constantly hitting on him. That’s when I realized what a big flirt he is, but according to his mom he hasn’t had many relationships. Although I do know he dates a lot.

“How’s my girl?” At his question and broad grin, Bree makes a sound of delight and launches herself from my arms into his.

He catches her easily, nuzzling her on the neck and then spinning her above his head. Drool hits his forehead as she lets out a high-pitched squeal.

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