The Wall of Winnipeg and Me(14)

by Mariana Zapata

That big handsome face went thoughtful for a second before he nodded. “Did Rob cancel the signing?”

I almost winced from thinking of the conversation with his agent, another asshole I wasn’t fond of. Honestly, I wouldn’t be surprised if his mom wasn’t fond of him either. Rob was that much of a dick. “I told him to, but he never called back to tell me if he did or not. I’ll find out.”

He nodded again, crouching that massive six-foot-four frame to pick up his duffel bag. “Make sure you do that.” He paused. “Leslie’s birthday is this month. Send a card and a gift card over, would you?”

“Your wish is my command.” In the entire time I’d worked for him, Leslie was the only person who got a gift from him. I couldn’t even be remotely jealous that I didn’t get at least a verbal “happy birthday” on mine. Not even Zac received anything, and I’d know, because if he did, I’d be the one buying the present. “Oh, I made those granola bars that you like in case you want to take some with you,” I added, pointing at the plastic container I’d left by the fridge.

He headed to where I’d indicated, opening the container and pulling out two wax-paper-wrapped bars before shoving all his snacks into his duffel bag. “Come by the gym tomorrow with the camera and my breakfast. I’m going in early and staying until lunch. ”

“Sure.” I had to make a mental note to set my alarm for half an hour earlier than usual. Most days when he was in Dallas during the offseason, Aiden did cardio at his house, had breakfast, and then left to do his weightlifting and other kinds of workouts with whatever trainer he’d deemed to honor with his presence. Some days, he woke up earlier and went straight to the gym.

The facility was located on the opposite side of town, so I’d either have to make him breakfast at my house and go straight there, or wake up even earlier to drop by his house, which was out of the way, and then head over there. No thanks. I barely survived on my usual four to five hours of sleep most nights. I wasn’t about to lose what little I had left.

I stepped back from the counter and grabbed the gallon of water I’d refilled earlier, holding it out for him, locking my gaze on his thick neck before forcing myself to look him in the eye. “By the way, I talked to Trevor about me leaving, and he said he’d start looking for someone else.”

Those dark orbs met mine for a second, only just a split second, cool and distant like always, before he looked away. “Okay.” He took the jug from me as he threw his bag over his shoulder.

Just as he reached the door that connected the garage with the kitchen, I called out, “Bye.”

He didn’t say anything as he closed the door behind him, but I thought he might have wiggled a finger or two. I was probably imagining it.

Who was I kidding? Of course I was imagining it. I was just being an idiot for even thinking there was a possibility he’d done otherwise. While I wasn’t the bubbliest person in the world, Aiden had me beat by a landslide.

With a resigned sigh, I shook my head at myself, and started making my way around the kitchen when my personal cell phone started ringing. Taking a quick peek at the screen, I hit the answer button.

“Herro,” I said, slipping the phone between my ear and my shoulder.

“Vanny, I don’t have time to talk. I have an appointment in a minute,” the bright voice on the other line explained quickly. “I just wanted to tell you Rodrigo saw Susie.”

Silence hung between Diana and me on the phone. Two moments, three moments, four moments. Heavy and unnatural. Then again, that was what Susie did best—messed things up.

I wanted to ask if she was sure it was Susie that her brother, Rodrigo, had seen, but I didn’t. If Rodrigo thought he saw her, then he had. She didn’t have the kind of face that was easy to mistake, even after so many years.