When I Was Yours (Page 37)

“I really am sorry that I don’t have my credit card with me. It’s in my wallet at home, and I left in a rush with Casey.”

“Like I told you before, Mr. Taylor, it’s not a problem.” It sounds like the lady from before. “Just make the payment whenever you can. You can come in and make it, or just call, and we can do it over the phone. And here’s the leaflet that I was telling you about. It describes the available payment plans. It might be worth looking into them with the level of care that Casey might need.”

“Thank you.” My dad’s voice comes closer toward us, so I duck behind a partition wall with Adam following me.

Payment plan. I didn’t even think about the cost for Casey’s treatment.

We’re barely managing to get by as it is. This is going to break us.

I close my eyes, releasing a sigh.

“Your dad doesn’t have insurance, does he?”

I shake my head. Then, I open my eyes. “No. He had it when he was working, but after that, he didn’t get any. Casey’s first round of treatments wiped us out, and we couldn’t afford to get insurance after that, as the premium was higher because she was already diagnosed with the illness. I don’t know how we’re going to manage the payments for her treatment now.”

“Let me help.”

My eyes flash to his. “No.”

He puts his coffee down on the floor. Then, he takes both the cups from me, putting them next to his.

He takes my face in his hands. One hand is warmer than the other from the coffee he was holding.

“You don’t need to struggle or worry about this. I have the money to pay for whatever treatment Casey needs. Then, you can just focus on being there for her.”

“It’s not your money. It’s your parents’ money.” That came out sounding way harsher than I’d intended.

He drops his hands from my face and takes a step back.

“I’m sorry.” I blow out a breath. “I didn’t mean that the way it sounded.”

“You’re right. It is their money. And they do nothing good with it. I never have. Let me do something good. Let me help Casey and you and your dad.”

“We’re not a charity case, Adam.”

“I didn’t mean it that way, and you know it.”

“I know. God, I’m sorry.” I press a hand to my head. Everything I’m saying to him right now keeps coming out wrong and bitchy.

I reach for his hand, and he lets me take it.

“I appreciate your offer to help. I love you for it, but I can’t accept it—not just me, but my dad, too,” I say quickly when he parts his lips to speak. “He’s a proud man. It’s hard enough for him that I work to help us make ends meet.”

“Accepting help isn’t a weakness, Evie.”

“I know, but…just let me handle this.”

Letting go of my hand, he stares down at the floor, his fingers pinching the bridge of his nose. Then, he looks back up, a determination on his face, and steps into my space, pressing his body to mine, holding my face with his hands. My hands go to his waist.

“Okay, Evie. We’ll do this your way…for now. But if things get too hard, then I’m helping, no matter what you or your dad say, you hear me?”

I curl my fingers into his shirt. “Okay,” I say.

But as his lips touch softly to mine, I know I just lied to him for the first time because there is no way I’ll take his money.

This is my family, and it’s my problem to solve.

“Adam?” Mark’s voice comes through on the intercom. “A woman in reception is claiming to be…well, she says she’s your wife, and she’s demanding to see you. As far as I know, you aren’t married, but I wanted to call you first before I have security escort her from the building.”

“Is she blonde, tiny, and goes by the name Evie?”

“One minute. I’ll check with Serena.”

He’s back a few seconds later. “Yes to all three.”

I can’t help the smile that crawls onto my lips. Evie telling people that she’s my wife, demanding to see me, can only mean one thing. She’s pissed. She always was feisty when she got going. Guess that hasn’t changed.

“Let her up. And, Mark, I don’t want this being public knowledge. Tell Serena that if I hear one word about this from anyone else or see anything in the press, she’s fired, without references, and I will personally make sure she never works in this town again.”

“I’ll relay the message.”

I release the button on the intercom and lean back in my chair.

I’m not ashamed that Evie is my wife. God, the day we got married, I wanted to shout it from the rooftop.

But Serena is a fucking gossip. She could rival Perez Hilton. And she’s made it more than clear that she wants me to fuck her. I never have for two reasons. One, she’s blonde. And two¸ I don’t fuck my staff. Too messy.

The reason I want it kept quiet is because I don’t want Ava finding out. Not for me though. I couldn’t give a shit. I’m protecting Evie. If Ava finds out that Evie and I are still married and on our way to divorcing, she’ll go after Evie.

On principle, Ava won’t like that I’m giving Evie my money, but she’ll let that go. What she won’t let go of is the studio. And I know the way her mind works. She’ll see Evie as a threat to that. According to the State of California, Evie is legally entitled to fifty percent of my assets because we got married without a prenup, which would put the studio in some jeopardy if Evie decided to go after half of everything I owned.

But she never would. I know that. However, Ava judges everyone by her own standards, which are pretty low. So, she would hurt Evie in any way she could to keep the studio.

So, I want Ava to stay blissfully ignorant until the divorce is finalized, and then I can have the pleasure of telling her about giving Evie the money as a side bonus to telling her that I’ve signed the studio over to Richard.

The fact that Evie’s here and pissed means she’s found out about the terms of the divorce settlement.

I confirmed the details with my lawyer yesterday, much to his grievance—he nearly fainted when I told him of my plans—so I knew Evie would be hearing about it soon enough.

And I knew if she was the same Evie I knew all those years ago, then she’d be pissed that I was giving her all my money. I guess I was right on that count.

Why am I giving it to her?

Well, partly, if she is the same person I knew, then at least I’ll get to piss her off, in the biggest way possible, one last time.

The main reason though began, as I sat in the office with my lawyer, talking over the divorce settlement and my finances, with my life laid out on paper in front of me. It was then I realized that was all I was—money.

I have nothing to show for my life in twenty-nine years, except for a handful of hit movies under my belt and my parents’ money.

They’re still controlling me even now.

I haven’t done any of the things I wanted to do.

I’m running a business I don’t give a shit about. I’ve been living day to day, one fuck to the next fuck, and I’m just tired.

The last time I was happy, truly happy, was with Evie, and for that, I owe her.