Chapter 10

Emily went straight to bed, knowing she had to get up very early again. The next morning, she woke up early and got herself dressed and packed before going to see if Baylee was awake yet. She knocked softly on their door. Yup. He’s definitely awake. She said to herself as she heard running to answer the door.

“Baylee I said let Mommy get it!” Leighanne opened the door.

“Hi Emily!”

“Hi! I was just checking to see what the schedule for the day was.”

“We were just going to go down for breakfast and figure that out. Would you like to join us?”

“Oh that’s alright; I was just going to grab a bagel or something.”

“Nonsense! If you’re going to chase after this little monster you’ll need your strength!” Brian said.

“If you’re sure, then I’d love to.”

“Hi Miss Emily!” Baylee came running up to her. “I made you something!”

“You did?! What is it?”

Baylee held up a piece of paper with something drawn on it. “That’s very lovely, Baylee! Thank you!”

“It’s a picture of you and me.”

Emily smiled. “Thank you! When we get home, I’m going to hang this up on my wall.”

The four of them went down for breakfast. Emily learned that they were eating in the private ballroom so that they could have some privacy. Brian went over to greet Kevin and Kristin. AJ smiled and waved hello to her. She spotted Nick looking grumpy in the corner. Emily got Baylee situated at their table and helped him pick out what he wanted to eat for breakfast, then he helped Emily decide what she was going to have.

Brian came back over to their table and leaned over to Emily. “Kevin told me about what you did to AJ last night.”

Emily was afraid he might be mad or something. “Oh yeah?”

“Yeah, he said I should give you a big raise for it.” Brian smiled.

Emily had to laugh. “Believe it, it was all my pleasure!”

“AJ is a pretty hard guy to trick. Kevin said you really had him going.”

“Yeah, he totally bought it.” Emily and Brian laughed and looked over at AJ, who spotted them looking back and him and laughing.

He walked up to their table. “Look Brian, this nanny of yours is really mean. Is that really the kind of thing you want her teaching Baylee?” AJ winked at her.

“Absolutely.” Brian said.

“What are we teaching our son?” Leighanne asked.

“How to trick AJ.” Brian re-told the story and Leighanne laughed.

“It would be a proud day for me as a mother if my son could pull that off.”

Chapter 11
The rest of the week went on exactly like AJ said it would. Same chaos, different city. Emily never did get the chance to go out again. The one night that she actually had free, she had a horrible migraine and stayed in bed. Honestly, she didn’t mind. The further away she stayed from AJ, the better. Finally, it was time to go home.

“Are you ok, Emily?” Leighanne asked on the plane.

“I’m fine, just incredibly exhausted.”

“I promise you’ll get used to it.”

“I hope so!”

“Listen, take tomorrow off. We’ll both be home resting, so we won’t really need you.”

“You know, normally, I’d offer to let you rest, but I’m so tired, I’m not even going to bother.” Emily laughed.

Their plane landed and they headed back to Brian’s house, where Emily’s car was. She hugged Baylee goodbye and climbed into her car to head back to her apartment. She climbed up the steps to the second floor where she lived and was surprised to find that her door wasn’t locked.

“My God, did I leave my house unlocked this whole time?” she scolded herself.

She opened the door and stood there, shocked at what she saw. The place was practically destroyed. Her stuff was thrown about, all her electronics were missing. Most of her things were either broken or laying on the floor.

“Son of a bitch!” she yelled.

She walked through her apartment, shell-shocked at what she saw. They had been through absolutely everything, down to her underwear drawer. She found her precious scrapbook lying open next to her bed. She picked it up and was relieved to discover it hadn’t actually been damaged.

Emily walked over to her phone and called the police.

“Yes, I’ve been gone for a week, and I just came home to find my apartment has been robbed!” she explained to the operator.

“We’ll send someone out right away. Is there anyone inside?”

“No, it’s just me.”

“Ok, go lock your door and someone will be there as soon as possible.”

Emily went to lock her door but found that the lock was busted and she couldn’t. Instead, she settled for blocking it with a chair. It wouldn’t stop a robber, but at least it would make noise if someone wanted to come in uninvited.

The police showed up an hour later and took a report.

“You’ve been gone all week?” the officer asked her.

“Yes, I’ve been away on business.”

“Do you have any idea when this happened? Was anyone watching your apartment for you? A neighbor or something?”

“No, I’ve only lived here a month, I’ve never even met my neighbors.”

“We’ll ask around, maybe someone heard or saw something. We got some finger prints off the door; hopefully we’ll come up with a match.”

“That’s it?” Emily asked.

“I’m afraid so, Miss. Contact your insurance company right away, and we’ll let you know if we get any leads. You might want to stay somewhere else until you can get that lock fixed.”

“Ok, thank you for your time, Officer.”

“Any time, Miss.”

After the police left, Emily sat down and cried. All she wanted was to go to bed, and now she had to go stay in yet another hotel. She was in the middle of packing an overnight bag when her phone rang.

“Hello?” she answered.

“Emily? It’s Brian. I just wanted to make sure you got home ok and to thank you for all your help on the trip.”

“Oh. Yeah, I got home alright. I was just getting ready to leave, actually.”

“I’m surprised you have the energy to go out! I’m beat!”

“Well, actually, I don’t but I came home and my apartment has been robbed and ransacked, and they broke the lock on my door and the cops said I should stay somewhere else until it was fixed so I was going to find a hotel to crash at.”

“Oh my God! I’m so sorry! Are you ok?”

“I’m ok; I’m just pissed and sad. They got a lot of my stuff, and what they didn’t take they broke and threw on the floor. They even sliced up my furniture. The cops said they were looking for money.”

“Listen, don’t go to a hotel, come over here and stay. I promise you can still have the day off tomorrow!”

“That’s ok, I’m getting used to hotels!”

“Emily, what’s the point of having guest rooms if no one ever stays in them? Please? Leighanne will probably be mad at me if I let you go to a hotel!”

“I’m too tired to argue. Thank you so much. I’ll be there soon.”

Emily finished packing and drove back to Brian’s house. Leighanne met her at the door and hugged her.

“I’m so sorry about your apartment!” she said. “Do you know who did it?”

“They said they got some fingerprints, but they didn’t give me the impression that they would be able to catch anyone.”

“Did they take a lot of valuables?”

“Electronics mostly. My computer is probably the biggest loss. I didn’t have any fancy jewelry or anything to take.”

Brian took her bag and carried it up to the guest suite.

“You can stay here as long as you want to.” He said.

“Thanks. I’ll have to call the rental office tomorrow about that lock. I wonder how long it will take them to fix it.”

“Well, there’s no rush to leave here. Why don’t you take a hot bath and relax?” Leighanne offered.

“That sounds really nice right now.”

Leighanne showed Emily into her private bathroom, complete with a whirlpool tub.

“Towels are in here, and the bubble bath is under the sink. If you need anything, don’t hesitate to ask.”

“Thanks, Leighanne.”

Emily took a good, long look at herself in the mirror as she waited for the tub to fill. She was having one of those moments where she didn’t recognize her life at all, and she needed to make sure she was still her. The long, wavy blonde hair was still there, blue eyes; still a bit shorter than average and those damn hips were still there that only accented her small waist. Ok, so it is still me. Just checking she muttered. She spent about an hour in the bath. She got out when she realized she kept falling asleep. She wrapped herself up in the robe she found hanging on the door and crawled into bed. She fell asleep as soon as her head hit the pillow and didn’t wake up until eleven the next morning.

Chapter 12

The house was abnormally quiet as Emily rolled out of bed and got dressed. She looked out her window and saw Leighanne and Baylee playing on the swings together. She smiled to herself as she went down to the kitchen to find some breakfast.

“Morning sunshine!”

“Oh Brian! I didn’t see you sitting there!”

“Sorry. Can I get you something to eat?”

“I think I’m just going to have a bowl of Baylee’s Lucky Charms.”

“Good choice. I had some myself. Coffee?”

“I’d love some!”

“Want to read the comics?” he offered.

“Sure! I could use a laugh or two.”

They were still sitting there reading the paper and sipping coffee when Baylee came running inside.

“Baylee, what did Daddy say about running inside the house?” Brian looked up.

“Oh…sorry Daddy. Mommy said we could go swimming! Wanna come play with us?”

“I’d love to! Let’s go track down our swim suits.”

“Daddy, can Miss. Emily come too?”

“If Miss. Emily wants to go swimming, she is more than welcome to!”

“Please, Miss Emily?”

“Alright. But I get a turn on the waterslide!”

“YAY!” Baylee shouted, right into Brian’s ear. He just grinned at her and went to get dressed.

The four of them spent the rest of the afternoon hanging around the pool. Baylee taught her how to play tidal wave, which was really just a game where he splashed whoever was closest to him. They had all gotten out of the pool and were getting changed for dinner when Emily heard the phone rang. Brian was just hanging up when she went back into the kitchen. He looked angry.

Emily decided to stay out of his way and go sit on the deck.

Brian came out and sat across from her.

“Bad phone call?” she asked.

“Something like that. Listen Emily, that was AJ. He wanted to let me know that there’s a picture of you in one of the tabloids.”

“WHAT? Why? What’s the picture of?”

“It’s a picture from the restaurant the night you went out to dinner with AJ and Kevin. Someone must have had a camera phone. It’s a picture of AJ feeding you from his plate, and the headline calls you AJ’s new fling.”

“But he was just feeding me fish! I hate fish! I’m not his fling, I’m his latest practical joke gone bad!”

“I’m sorry, Emily. I feel really badly about this.”

“You shouldn’t feel bad; it’s not your fault.”

“Well I promised I’d try and protect your identity and here it is, the second week you’ve worked for me and they’ve already got your picture in the paper.”

“Do they know my name?”

“No, not yet but it’s only a matter of time.”

“Well, I don’t really see any harm done. Except for my face being plastered across the nation.”

“Unfortunately, that just means that you’ll be recognized whenever you’re out with us.”

“Oh…” Emily thought maybe he was more concerned with Baylee’s safety with her now that people thought she was AJ’s girlfriend.

“It just means that you’ll want to have security escort you whenever you go places. You never know what might happen if some angry AJ fan recognizes you. His fans tend to be the most brutal ones out there!”

“Oh that’s comforting!”

“In the meantime, I’ll talk to our management and see if they think we should make a release about who you really are, or just ignore it. It’ll probably be better to just ignore it and let people forget about it.”

Leighanne came out with the phone. “Emily, its AJ. He’d like to speak to you.”

“Again, I’m sorry Em.” Brian said, going inside to let her talk to AJ.

Emily took the phone. “Hello AJ.”

“Hey, Em. Listen, I just called to apologize about the whole tabloid thing.”

“Don’t apologize, AJ. I’m the one who should be sorry!”

“Why should you be sorry?”

“Well, you know, everyone’s going to think I’m your girlfriend now!”

“Would that be so bad?”

“Well, your real girlfriend probably thinks so.”

“I don’t have a real girlfriend.


“Hey I’m not bothered that people think you’re my girlfriend, I just felt bad that your privacy has been invaded.”

“Well, thank you AJ.”

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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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