Chapter 28

Three days later, Emily still hadn’t turned her phone back on and she hadn’t bothered to get dressed either. She showered and changed into clean pajamas. She missed seeing Baylee, but she was feeling incredibly pissed off at Brian. He had some nerve, firing her for his son getting hurt when he’s hardly ever even there to take care of him in the first place! Sure, he’s a loving father blah blah blah, but really….he fired her and she had to hate him!

She was snapped out of her mental rant against Brian by a knock on her door.

“Yes?”

“Emily Watkins?”

“That’s me.”

“I’ve got a flower delivery for you!” the man said, handing her a rather enormous bouquet of flowers.

“Thank you!” Emily set the flowers down on the table and found the card.

It read, “I’m sorry. Please call me, we all miss you! Brian.”

Emily smiled. At least he knew he was wrong and she got to enjoy some flowers out of the deal, but she still wasn’t about to call him.


Two days later, another knock on her door.

“Hmm, maybe it’s more flowers!”

She was shocked when she opened the door and saw Brian there.

“Brian, hi!” she said, sounding cheery but not letting him inside.

“Hey, um, can I come in?”

“I guess so.” Emily let him in.

“Nice outfit.” Brian said, looking at her pajamas of the day, which had turtles all over them.

“Thanks. Have a seat.” She said, sitting down on the couch. Brian sat down in the chair.

“I see you got your flowers.”

“Yes, they’re very pretty.”

“You didn’t call!”

“I know.”

Brian sighed and tried to lighten up the situation. “I’m under strict orders from my wife not to come home unless I bring you with me. We can’t take another day of Baylee playing Twinkle Twinkle; he needs to learn a new song!”

“There are plenty of piano teachers in the area.” Emily said, looking down.

“Ok, look, I’m not very good at apologizing. I know I acted like a jerk, an idiot, and an ass….stop me whenever you feel like it…”

Emily just stared at him.

“I was out of line and I had absolutely no right to blame you for Baylee’s accident. I was just scared and I felt bad that I wasn’t around and you couldn’t get hold of me and I took it out on you, blaming you instead of thanking you. Baylee misses you, I miss you, AJ misses you. Would you please come back?”

“I miss Baylee too, but I don’t think it would be good if I came back.”

“Why?” Brian was sure she would have taken her job back.

“Because I can’t work for someone who doesn’t trust me with their son.”

“But I….”

“Look, sure you trust me now when you’re rational, but if every time something happens you get all bent out of shape and blame me, that’s not trust. I deserve better than that, and I won’t put myself into a situation like that. It isn’t fair.”

“Well, you don’t have to decide now. Maybe you’d like some time to think about it.”

“No, my decision won’t change.”

“Emily, I’m really sorry. Please reconsider, for Baylee’s sake.” Brian said, right before he left.

“Damn, Leighanne is really going to get me for this.” He muttered as he got into his car.


The next day, there was yet another knock on Emily’s door.

“Yes?”

“Emily Watkins?”

“That’s me.”

“Package for you.”

Emily took the envelope, wondering what it could be. There was no return address on it and she certainly wasn’t expecting anything. She sat down at the table to open it and gasped when she saw the contents.

She picked up her phone.

“It’s Emily. Are you at home? Ok I’m coming over right now.”


Chapter 29

Emily rang the doorbell, clutching her envelope.

Brian answered quickly and let her in.

“So you did reconsider.” He said.

“No, that’s not why I’m here. I thought you would have known.” She said, feeling shaky.

“Why, what is it?” he asked.

Emily spotted Baylee watching them. “Hello Baylee, how are you?”

“I’m fine. Did you come to play with me today?”

“I promise I will play with you later, right now I need to talk to your daddy about something.”

“Ok.”

“Brian, is there somewhere private we can go? I don’t want Baylee to see this.”

Brian led her into the den. “What is it?” he asked, concern written all over his face.

Emily handed him the envelope. “Have a look for yourself.” She said.

Brian took out the paper and swore softly. “How did you get this?”

“A messenger delivered it to me right before I called.”

“Look at the date. It’s dated for Friday.” He said.

“So?”

“So this is an advanced copy. It’s not out on stands yet. Someone sent this to you, probably someone who knows you…” Brian was waiting for her train of thought to catch up with his.

Finally, she got it. “You mean, you think Kent did this?”

“I think it’s a very big possibility. Someone must have been following you around, how else would they have gotten those pictures? It was never reported in the press so it wasn’t like you were spotted by paparazzi or anything like that.”

“Oh God. This is awful!” She was on the verge of tears.

Brian grabbed her hand and squeezed it. “I know. Listen, it’s too late to get the story pulled, all we can do now is damage control. We have to start with you taking your job back.”

“How the hell would that help? Are you just trying to trick me into working for you again?”

Brian laughed. “No, it’s really just a bonus of the situation. Look, this story hasn’t technically run yet. If you say you were hired back before the story hits, it will hurt their credibility. Why would I have hired you back if you abused my son?”

“Well don’t you think they’ll question why you fired me in the first place?”

“Absolutely they will, but all they have is an unnamed source saying you were fired. Not exactly hard evidence.”

“I guess not.”

“So, what do you say?” He asked

“I say this sucks.”

“I agree. Now will you take the job back or not?”

Emily thought for a moment. “Yes. Under one condition.”

“What’s that?”

Emily smiled. “Well, Baylee’s constant calls to you and Leighanne are killing my cell phone bill. If you agree to pay my phone bill, I will come back to work for you.”

Brian laughed. “Why didn’t you say something about that sooner?”

“Well, I figured you were paying me plenty, I could afford it. But since we’re negotiating here, I figured what the hell?”

“Ok, you have a deal. I’ll call and have the number transferred to my account if you just leave me all the information.”

“And one other thing.” She said.

“What’s that?” he asked.

“A new car.” She was trying not to smile because she didn’t want him to know she was just kidding.

“Done.” He said. “What kind would you like?”

Emily’s jaw dropped. “I was just kidding!”

“So? Look, if you’re going to be driving around with Baylee all the time, you should have something reliable. That way, whenever we’re close by, you can just drive instead of flying all the time.”

“No, I was seriously kidding, I don’t want you to buy me a car. You certainly pay me enough that I can afford to get one on my own.”

“Ok, then how about I add you to my auto insurance and let you drive our cars when we’re gone? They just sit in the garage anyway.”

“Ok, I can manage that.”

“Now are we all set?” he asked.

“Yes. You are now free to call yourself my boss again.”

He reached across the desk and shook her hand. “Welcome back!”

“Thank you!”

“I’m going to make some calls about this article, call the PR people and the other guys. Why don’t you go tell my wife you’re back so she’ll talk to me again?”

“Tired of being in the dog house?”

“You got it.” He said, dialing the phone.

Chapter 30

Leighanne was thrilled with the news that Emily accepted her job back.

“What made you change your mind?” she asked.

“Well, I think Brian will fill you in on that when he gets off the phone.”

Leighanne went to see what was going on while Emily joined Baylee in a game of go-fish. Brian had just called AJ when Leighanne walked into the den.

“Hey AJ. Listen, I have some news for you.”

“Did Emily take her job back yet?” he asked.

“Well, yes, but unfortunately, not for all the right reasons.” He admitted. Leighanne raised her eyebrows and Brian passed her the tabloid article. She gasped as she read it.

“What’s up, Brian?” AJ asked.

“Someone sent Emily an advanced copy of the Tattletale tabloid this morning. She’s on the cover and they’re claming that she abused Baylee. There’s a picture of her taking him inside the hospital, and they have a source from the ER who supports the story and claims she was fired on the spot.”

“Fuck.” AJ said. “Double fuck. What are you going to do?”

“Well, part of our damage control was to hire her back. That way we can claim that she was working for us before the tabloid story runs on Friday. I’ve already called Bill over at PR and he’s on it right away. We can’t stop it from running but we can at least be prepared.”

“How’s Emily?”

“Holding her own for now.”

“You think Kent did this?”

“Absolutely. He’s probably been having her followed this whole time, just waiting for something to happen.”

“I want to talk to her. Is she there?”

“She’s playing cards with Baylee. Hang on a second.”

“Emily! Pick up the phone!” he called.

“Hello?” he heard her say before he hung up his end.

“So you blackmailed her into taking the job back?” Leighanne didn’t look thrilled.

“She agreed to it, I didn’t have to convince her.” He defended himself, or at least tried to.

“This is a nightmare.” Leighanne sighed. “The poor girl, she just wants to be a nanny, and here this is her third run in with the tabloids. If we don’t employ her for life, she’ll probably never get another job!”

“Hi AJ. How are you?” she said, knowing it would be him before he spoke.

“How’d you know it was me?”

“Who else would it be?”

“I don’t know. Someone.”

Emily laughed. “How can I be of service to you? Are you in need of a nanny?”

“Only when I’m being a bad boy.” She could hear the twinkle in his voice.

“Keep in mind that Baylee is in the room.” She said, laughing. “And I think that it would take a corrections officer to keep you in line, not a nanny.”

“Believe me; you’d do one hell of a job.” AJ said.

“Really, what do you want?” she asked.

“I just wanted to check on you and make sure you’re ok with this whole mess happening around you.”

“I’m fine. For now, at least. Listen, I have to go. Baylee and I are playing cards.”

He could hear Baylee in the background saying, “Hi Uncle AJ!”

“Let me talk to him for a second.” He said.

Emily handed Baylee the phone.

“Baylee, how are you Little Dude?

“Good. Miss. Emily came over today!”

“I see that. Does she look pretty?”

Emily saw the way Baylee was looking at her and knew that AJ must have been asking Baylee something about her.

“Not as pretty as Mommy, but she does look very pretty.”

Emily laughed.

“Does she look sad?” he asked.

“Yeah, I think she’s a little sad because I beat her at Go Fish.”

Emily took the phone back from Baylee. “That’s enough phone, Baylee. AJ, stop grilling the boy. You might damage him for life or something.”

“Call me later, ok?” he said.

“We’ll see.” Was her answer.


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"Never Gone" is a work of fiction.
The characters and events portrayed are fictitious.
Any resemblance to real people or events is purely coincidental.

Copyright 2006
All Rights Reserved
No part of this text may be copied or reprinted
without the author's permission.

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