Page 20

I nodded slowly as every memory I had of a boy named Greyson East came rushing back to me. “At least I used to. It was ages ago, though.”

“Well, maybe that’s a good thing!” Claire remarked. “Hopefully it comes in handy. Now wait here while I go update Greyson. Then I’ll come back and grab you for the next step.”

She headed out of the room, and the ponds of sweat beneath my arm became oceans.

Greyson East.


He had kids—two girls, to be exact. A family.

He was a CEO!

I wondered what he looked like after all this time. I wondered if those grayish-blue eyes were still as striking as they had been. Did he have the same laugh? The same smile?

My heart pounded rapidly against my ribcage at just the thought of Greyson. When I looked back on the defining moments of my life, he was near the top of the list. He’d come into my life when I had needed him the most, and he’d left sooner than I had hoped he would. Now, I was supposed to walk into an office with him to interview for a nannying position for his children.

I couldn’t wrap my mind around that idea.

“He’s ready for you, Eleanor,” Claire said, peeking her head back into the room. She nodded me toward her, and I stood up, smoothing out my tight skirt. “And don’t worry, I left out your name. I thought it would be a pleasant surprise for him to see you.”

I hoped so.

She walked me down the hallway, and we turned into an actual library.

There was a library in this home, one with actual ladders. I was blown away by the concept. In my dream home, there would be a room just like this one.

“Good luck,” Claire whispered once I stepped inside, and then she left, closing the door behind her.

Greyson’s back was facing me as he stared out the window. He was wearing what looked like an expensive suit tailored to his body. His arms were massive, shoulders broad; he was much more built than he had been way back when. He stood straight with no curve to his body. His arms were crossed, and still he hadn’t moved an inch.

Had he heard me enter the room? Did he know I was there?

I just wanted to see those eyes.

I cleared my throat, feeling my body shake. “Well, this is crazy, right?” I choked out.

“Interviewing for a job?” he asked, his voice monotone.

“Yes—I mean, no. What I mean is…it’s crazy for us to cross paths again after all this time.” I took a step forward, feeling the knot in my stomach tightening. “It’s just crazy.”

“Do we know each other?” he questioned, still staring out the window, still sounding completely uninterested in my existence.

My gosh, Greyson. Just turn around.

“Grey, it’s me…Ellie.”

He straightened his shoulders just a bit, reacting to my words.

With a slow turn on the heels of his loafers, he looked my way. When we locked eyes, I took two steps back, a little thrown off. His were still the same gray, but unlike before, his stare was so cold, like ice. Those eyes I’d once adored were filled with a hardness I hadn’t known they could ever hold.

Those beautiful eyes.

The harshness they projected in that moment made me want to retreat from his space as soon as possible, but also, oddly enough, that same stare kind of made me want to hug him and tell him everything would be all right. This new Greyson stood there with a very Eeyore vibe to him. It was almost as if a raincloud was sitting above his head.

He didn’t have the carefree personality I remembered, that was for sure.

But, the longer I looked, the more I realized what I was seeing.

It wasn’t coldness from anger. It wasn’t harshness from annoyance.

His stare was sadness.

Sadness didn’t come with words; it ran across a person’s body. It swam in the eyes. It swept across the wrinkles in one’s forehead. It pushed down shoulders and sat uncomfortably at the corners of lips.

No human ever had to speak of their sadness for it to be seen. Others just had to take the time to truly notice someone to see it.

All we truly had to do was slow down and look.

Greyson’s sadness was clear as day, and that was heartbreaking.

He kept staring, saying nothing at all.

I shifted around in place and gave him a tight smile. “Like, Ellie Gable, from high school. We were…”


We were friends, Grey.

We were so much more than friends.

How could he not remember? He was the one who’d gotten me through the hardest period of my life.

My words drifted because the harder he stared at me, the more uncomfortable it all became. Did he truly not remember me? Could that even be possible? Was it even the same Greyson I’d known?

Of course it was. Eyes never lie.

“I’m sorry, this is uncomfortable.” I chuckled because that was what I did when I was nervous—I laughed awkwardly. “I just thought…” I paused, giving him an opportunity to dive into the conversation.

Still nothing but silence from him.

Say something, Greyson.

“I just… It’s been years, Grey. You look great! Really nice. I see you grew into your height.” What, Eleanor? What did that even mean? The palms of my hands were a swamp and I was having a hard time thinking straight. “Claire mentioned you have two daughters, huh? That’s crazy. I mean, it’s not too crazy, seeing how you’re a grown-up and that’s what grown-ups do—they have families. I mean, except for me. Still single as a daisy,” I rambled, holding my ring finger up in the air like a freaking fool.

What did that even mean? Single as a daisy?

Pull yourself together, Ellie.

I cleared my throat. “Funny how life happens, right?”

Still. No. Words.

“Well, I mean, do you want to ask me anything about the nannying position? I know this is probably weird, but I really would love the job—like, really love it. Life has been pretty crazy lately, and I could really use this position. I don’t want to give you my sob story or anything, but—”

“Thank you, that’s all,” he said. His voice was low and deep with a newfound smokiness to it. He definitely wasn’t a boy anymore, that was for sure.

I raised an eyebrow. “I’m sorry, what?”

“I have everything I need.”

He was so dry with his words that I truly wished he had kept with saying nothing at all. He spoke in such a monotone way that it was almost as if he weren’t really even there.

I gave him my forced smile, and he responded with a grimace.

He turned away from me once more and went back to staring out the window.

Gosh, this was so awkward.

There were a million questions running through my mind, a million things I wanted to ask him. How had he become the CEO of his father’s company? How long had he been married? How was he dealing with the loss of his wife? Oh, my gosh, he lost his wife…

Oh, Greyson. I’m so, so sorry.

I stood there for a while, uncertain of what to do. It seemed as if he wasn’t going to say anything else to me any time soon, and the way he stared at me as if I had never meant anything to him kind of stung. So, I cleared my throat. “Well, okay. I’ll get going now. It was really nice to see you again, Grey. I hope everything…works out…” I dragged out my words and waited a few seconds to receive a reply, but nothing came, so I nodded. “Okay, well, goodbye.”

I turned toward the door, opened it, and felt my whole body relax. I hadn’t known how tense I’d been inside that library. I was certain I had completely forgotten how to breathe for a few seconds.

How was that even possible?

How did I run into Greyson East after sixteen years only to have him look at me as if there hadn’t been a time in our lives when we’d meant so much to each other? How had he not felt the things I’d felt in that intense moment?

And how could someone stand so tall while being weighed down by so much heaviness?

Claire looked at me, surprised. “That was quick. How did it go?”

“That was…an experience.” I gave her a sad grin. “Thanks for the opportunity, but I don’t think I’m what he’s looking for.”

“Oh. Well, I’m sorry to hear that. I was hopeful.”

“Yeah, me too.”

I thanked her one last time and walked out of the house, taking my nerves and disappointment with me. I pulled out my phone to let Shay know about the failed interview then I heard the sound of heels click-clacking against the ground.

“Eleanor! Eleanor! Wait!”

I turned to see Claire rushing my way.


She was breathing heavy. “It’s yours.”

“What’s mine?”

“The job,” she said, standing up a bit straighter. “I just spoke to Greyson, and he told me to cancel the remaining interviews for the day because the position is yours. His assistant, Allison, will be in contact with you via email and will be the one to show you around Greyson’s home over the weekend. And—”

“I’m…wait, what?” I was completely baffled by her words, because there had been nothing whatsoever that’d just happened during my interaction with Greyson that pointed to me landing a new job. “I’m hired?”

“Yes, sweetheart.” She grinned. “You’re hired.”



I stared through the windowpane of the library as Eleanor walked out of the house. Claire was still speaking to her, updating her on being hired for the position, and when they embraced, I turned away for a second. When I turned back, Eleanor was climbing into an old beat-up car. As she turned it on, the engine sounded like it had been a chain smoker in a past life, and she drove off in that death trap.

Eleanor Gable.

I hadn’t thought of her name in years, except in passing. Now, though…now she was cruising through my mind, flashbacks of the kids we had been when we’d first found one another infiltrating my thoughts.

She had stood in the library as if she knew me.