But since she couldn’t be sure he felt the same, she desperately wanted to hold on to each moment, including this one.
Unfortunately, she had to leave for location in twenty minutes. “You know I can’t.” She relished in his pout, then leaned over the bed to give him a swift kiss. “So, lover boy, what are you going to do with your day off?”
“Actually…” He paused, stretching his beautiful na**d body.
Maddie’s eyes widened as they wandered to the delicious V of his lower torso that peeked above the sheets. She was so distracted she almost missed his answer.
Lulu? Did he say he was spending the day with his mother? “Excuse me, what did you say?”
“My mother. She’s coming in this morning. Fudge is picking her up from the airport after he drops you off on the set.”
“Oh.” Micah’s mother was flying in. And this was the first she was hearing about it. “Oh,” she said again, straightening.
She turned to the mirror and redid her hair’s ponytail, even though it looked fine already. “How long is she going to be here?” Maddie hoped her voice didn’t sound as choked as it felt.
In the mirror, she saw him sit up and lean back against the headboard. “Today. Then I’m sending her off to a spa in Estes Park first thing tomorrow morning.”
She watched her reflection’s brows furrow. “That’s not very long. You won’t get to spend any time with her.” But what she meant was that she wouldn’t get to spend any time with Lulu. And as her interest in Micah was growing exponentially every day, she had a strong desire to meet his mother. She didn’t even know much about Micah’s mother except that she’d been a former actress and that she’d helped push his career. There was so much more to glean from knowing her.
And she wasn’t going to get the chance.
“I have all of today with her. Believe me, that’s enough.”
Realizing that she couldn’t pretend to fuss in the mirror forever, Maddie sat in the room’s arm chair and tugged on her sneakers. Still unable to meet his eyes, afraid he’d see she was upset, she kept her focus strictly on her shoelaces. “How long have you been planning this?”
“Um, a couple of days. I’m taking her to the fundraiser thing tonight.”
He meant the Evening with Joss Beaumont, a charity event sponsored by the Denver Film Society. Beaumont had decided to wrap early that day and bought tickets for all of the cast and crew. Actually, it had been Bree’s idea, but the director took the credit. Though all of the crew had been invited, the focus would be on the VIPs. Bree had arranged for a red carpet at the theater for their entrances and publicized their attendance, hoping to draw more interest in the event.
Maddie stood but sat back down to redo her shoes when she realized her laces were too tight. Or maybe that was her chest. Everything felt tense and off. “Maybe I should go to Beaumont’s thing after all.”
“I thought you decided last week that you didn’t want to go.” Even Micah’s voice sounded tense. Had he picked up on her vibe?
She heard him moving and she turned to see his backside as he climbed out of the bed. “I don’t want to.” She didn’t. Not with even an ounce of her being. Sit through a night listening to the ass**le talk about himself while a room full of people ooo’d and ahh’d? She’d rather shoot herself.
Besides, she hadn’t packed any dresses for Colorado. Bree had overnighted one to her for the event, but it was more formal than she was used to. Though dressing up for Micah had almost changed her mind. He’d never seen her in anything but tanks and jeans and sweats. And naked. He’d definitely seen her naked.
“Then don’t go.” He walked over to where she sat and pulled her up to stand in front of him. Then he ran his hands up and down her arms. “Stay home, take a bath. Enjoy the night off.”
Now that sounded like a good time. Except, not so much without Micah there. And was he trying to keep her away? “Do you not want me to go?”
“I didn’t say that.” He sighed and pulled her into his arms. “It’s just, like you said, why would you go to honor a man you hate?”
“That’s why I wasn’t going to go.” Even as he comforted her, she could feel the truth in her fear. He didn’t want her there. She didn’t like that. She wanted him everywhere with her. That he didn’t feel the same—was that an indication that he didn’t feel the same about where there relationship was going as she did?
She couldn’t think about that now. It was too big. One day at a time. And this day, his mother was coming into town. “But now your mom is going to be there.”
“Why does that change anything?”
Maddie pulled back to study him. Was he really going to pretend that his mother’s visit was insignificant?
He met her eyes then sighed. “Look, I don’t want to go either. But I have to go, because I don’t know, somehow people will give more money if I’m there. And you and I decided no press events so I thought it would be easier to take Lulu. It was either that or go as Heather’s date.”
“No way.” She brushed past him and busied herself with gathering her computer into her bag.
“And that’s why I invited my mother.” His voice changed, as though he suddenly understood. “Does that bother you, Maddie? Did you want me to ask you?”
“No, no that’s not it.” She zipped her bag and spun to face him. “It’s that you didn’t tell me you invited your mother. You’ll be at that all night and I’m going to be on set all morning and then she’s going to be gone. I won’t even have a chance to…”
And then it clicked.
He’d planned the timeline of Lulu’s visit on purpose. He didn’t want them to meet.
The tightness in her chest increased tenfold, like a boulder was crushing against her. “Oh. I see.”
He stepped toward her, but she stepped back. “No, it’s fine.” God, how had she been so stupid? They weren’t committed to each other. Why would he want her to meet his mother? “It’s a big deal. Introducing someone to a parent. I get it. Seriously. I wasn’t thinking. It’s fine.”
“Yes. Totally fine.” Though the tears gathering in her eyes would beg to disagree. She turned back to mess with her bag so he wouldn’t notice.