Mira narrowed her eyes and studied me. “No wonder you and Hudson are so good for each other.”
My mouth curled up at her unexpected comment. It was exactly the reason I’d thought I wasn’t good for Hudson. Interesting that she had a different perspective.
“Anyway, you don’t do that stuff now, do you?”
“See? And you now is who I know, so don’t correct me again.” She grinned as she snagged another piece of cheese, this time sans celery, thank god. “Plus, I was in that bathroom. You didn’t harass her in the least. I told Hudson that, by the way.”
She was the second person to have defended me to Hudson. While I was glad for the support, I wished I didn’t need it.
Still, I was dying to know. “Did he believe you?”
“Of course, he did.” Her brown eyes widened. “Is that what this is about? You don’t think he knows you didn’t do that stuff? He totally does.”
“Because of what you told him?”
“That’s what I thought.”
Her face flushed. “I mean, maybe it wasn’t me. He probably believed you without…” Her sentence trailed away. “Shit.” She ran her hand through her short hair. “He would have figured it out if you weren’t avoiding his calls.”
“My phone’s broken.”
“And the times he’s called at the club?”
“Okay, I’m avoiding those.” I folded my arms over my chest, suddenly feeling defensive. “It’s not because I don’t want to talk to him. It’s…it’s complicated.” I chewed the inside of my lip. Was it really that complicated? I loved Hudson, and Hudson…well, I knew he loved me, too. Was that enough? There was no way of knowing without talking to him.
And I’d been avoiding that like the plague.
I sighed. “There’s more than this. I did some things that I shouldn’t have done. And he did some things that he shouldn’t have done. There’s a lot of fixing and stuff to be said and I think the things we need to say need to be in person.”
“So go to him.”
I arched a brow. “To Japan?”
“Why not? What you’re saying makes sense. Big things need to be face-to-face. It’s easier to be honest. Harder to run away. Yeah, you should go to him.” Mira’s whole face transformed with her enthusiasm.
Though adorable, her notion was insane.
“Isn’t he going to come back soon?”
“It doesn’t sound like it. The people he’s dealing with are dragging their feet.”
“Oh.” My heart dropped into my stomach. If it truly was Sunday, it had now been five days since Hudson had left. I didn’t think I could stand many more.
But the alternative was crazy. “I can’t go to Japan. I don’t have that kind of money.”
“I’d foot the bill.”
“Oh, no. I’m not letting you pay for me to go to Japan. Get real.”
Mira scowled and put a fist on what was probably once her waistline. “I have about as much money as my brother, you know. A trip to Japan is a drop in a very large bucket, and I’m not trying to brag. I’m trying to be clear.”
I opened my mouth to continue my protest.
“But if that’s really an issue,” she said before I had a chance, “then charge it to The Sky Launch. Hudson’s money. He wanted you out there to begin with.”
It wasn’t a bad idea necessarily. Not the best, but not bad.
Except what if he didn’t want me there?
Or maybe that’s why he’d sent his sister. I eyed Mira suspiciously. “Did he send you to convince me to go to Japan?”
“No!” She seemed appalled. “Uh-uh. Do not give him credit for my idea.”
But I’d wanted to give him credit. It would make it less scary to show up unannounced.
“Think about it,” Mira said, her eyes all dreamy. “Wouldn’t that be an awesome surprise?”
I imagined the roles reversed, if he showed up and surprised me. “Yeah. It kind of would be.” More than kind of. “I miss him.”
That was all Mira had to hear. “Laynie, he’s dying without you! I can hear it in his voice. He’s a basket case. He can’t eat, he can’t sleep—”
“He told you this?”
“I can tell!”
I popped a piece of cheddar in my mouth to keep from laughing. “Has anyone ever told you that you’re a hopeless romantic?”
“It doesn’t mean I’m wrong about Hudson.”
“Maybe not.” Though I couldn’t imagine the calm, collected Hudson ever being anything close to a basket case.
Mira sighed. Then her eyes brightened. “You know, he told Celia he doesn’t want her in his life anymore.” She said it nonchalantly, but she was an easy read—she knew this was big news.
“What?” It was hard to hear myself talk over the pounding of my heart. “Are you serious?”
“Why didn’t you lead with that?”
“I guess I probably should have.”
Holy shit! This changed everything. Everything. “What else? Tell me all the details.”
“I don’t know what else. I wasn’t there. It was here, that day that everything else happened. Dad told me about it. Said she was crestfallen.”
“So this was before he believed that I was innocent?”
“Then why did he tell her he didn’t want her around?”
Mira leaned in—as far as she could anyway, with the round ball at her belly—her expression animated. “This is so third-hand gossip, but Dad said that Hudson told Celia that she was obviously not good for you and so he expected her to stay out of your life from now on. No phone calls, no stopping by the club, no stopping by the penthouse, no family functions. Completely out of your life.” She tapped her finger on the table enunciating completely, out and life. “And he said that since your life was his life, that meant he couldn’t be around her either.”
“No. Way.” She totally had me captivated. The girl certainly did have a flare for dishing out the dirt.
“Yes, way. Of course way. Why would you even doubt way? I keep telling you he loves you. You hang the moon for him. He’ll do anything to keep you. Can’t you see that?” Her hands flew as she talked, but I stayed glued to her face.