Seconds Away Page 17

I looked over at Myron, who was smiling like a dope, and I realized that I probably was too. ’’Uh, thanks.’’

Even with movie stars, I remain the essence of smooth.

’’It\'s so nice to meet you,’’ she said.

’’Uh, same.’’

I had to stop wowing her like this.

’’Let\'s sit,’’ Angelica Wyatt said.

We did. Myron and I took the couch. Angelica Wyatt took the chair across from us. She crossed her legs, making an event of it. Her smile was enough to curl a man\'s toes.

’’Thank you for loaning me your uncle,’’ she said. ’’It seems that there are some who think I may need extra protection during this shoot.’’

I looked over at Myron. I didn\'t quite understand. Myron was an entertainment agent. How was he supposed to protect a famous actress?

Maybe, like my dad, Myron had some hidden talents too?

Angelica Wyatt seemed to be studying my face. ’’Your resemblance to your uncle is obvious,’’ she said. ’’But I also see a lot of Kitty in there. You have her eyes.’’

At the mention of my mother, I could feel a lump form in my throat. ’’You know my mother?’’

’’I did,’’ Angelica Wyatt explained. ’’Years ago. When she was a tennis prodigy and I, well, I guess you\'d call me a young starlet.’’

I didn\'t know what to say.

’’How is she?’’ Angelica Wyatt asked.

I glanced at Myron, but he turned away. So. He hadn\'t told her. ’’She\'s having a tough time right now,’’ I said.

’’I\'m sorry to hear that,’’ she said. ’’When I heard about your father . . .’’ She swallowed hard. ’’They were so close. I\'m just so sorry.’’

’’Did you know my father too?’’

Now she was the one who glanced over at Myron. I could feel something weighing me down, crushing my heart in a hundred different ways.

’’I did, yes.’’

’’Can you tell me how?’’

Myron squirmed a little. Angelica Wyatt looked away, and a small smile toyed with her lips. My mother was only thirty-three. I figured that Angelica Wyatt was maybe a year or two older.

’’It was a fun time,’’ Angelica Wyatt began. ’’Maybe too fun, if you know what I mean.’’

’’I don\'t,’’ I said.

’’We were young celebrities, I guess you\'d say. Your mother was getting a lot of attention for her tennis not to mention her good looks. I was starring as the college-age daughter in a TV series.’’ Her smile was wistful. ’’Your mother . . . she was so funny. She had this wonderful laugh, and this way about her. People were drawn to her. Everyone wanted to be near Kitty Hammer.’’

She stopped. Myron had his head down. I remembered my mother\'s laugh. It was a sound I had taken for granted, of course, and would now give anything to hear again.

’’And my father?’’ I said.

’’Well, he came along and changed everything.’’

’’How?’’

Angelica Wyatt considered that. ’’They say love is like a chemical reaction. Have you heard that?’’

’’I guess.’’

’’That was what happened. It was like your mother was one person before they met and like that’’ Angelica Wyatt snapped her fingers ’’she was someone different.’’ She smiled. ’’We were all so young. Too young, in fact. It was all too much, too fast.’’

’’How so?’’ I asked.

’’How old are you now, Mickey?’’

’’Almost sixteen.’’

’’By the time your mother was sixteen, she was already on magazine covers. She was being touted as the next big thing in tennis. Gossip magazines wrote about her. And then, not too many months later, she would fall in love with your father.’’

We all stopped. The room was silent. Angelica Wyatt left out the big part of the story, of course the elephant in the ’’drawing room,’’ if you will.

Not too many months later, Kitty Hammer would be pregnant. With me. She would be forced to stop training at the peak of her career. She would never play again. She would lose everything.

Why?

Because she was pregnant, yes, but also because those closest to my parents were against the marriage. They would put pressure on the new couple. They would tell them that they were too young, that they were being foolish, that there were too many things they didn\'t know about each other. They would even say horrible, scandalous things about my mother in the hopes that my father would see the ’’light.’’

I turned and glared at Myron. The old anger resurfaced.

’’Pardon me.’’

It was Niles the butler.

’’Ms. Wyatt, you have a phone interview with Variety.’’

She sighed and rose. Myron and I did likewise. She took my hand in her hands and looked at me. There was something comforting in her eyes, something warm and genuine. ’’We\'ll talk again, okay?’’

’’I\'d like that,’’ I said.

And then she was gone.

Chapter 15

Again the car ride started in silence. Again Myron had to break it.

’’So what time are basketball tryouts?’’

’’I don\'t get it,’’ I said, trying to keep my temper in check. ’’Why you?’’

’’What?’’

’’Why would you be \'watching out\'’’ I made quote marks with my fingers ’’for Angelica Wyatt?’’

’’It\'s how I land clients sometimes,’’ he explained. ’’See, Angelica Wyatt is leaving her agency. I was hoping ’’

’’I thought you sold your company.’’

’’I did,’’ Myron said.

’’So?’’

’’So it\'s complicated.’’

’’I don\'t understand. You, what, get hired out as a bodyguard?’’

’’No.’’

’’Then what?’’

We hit a traffic light. Myron turned and met my eye. ’’I help people.’’

’’Help people how?’’

’’I watch over them. I solve tricky problems. And sometimes . . .’’

’’Sometimes what?’’

’’Sometimes I rescue them.’’

Myron started driving.

’’Is that what you think you\'re doing with me?’’ I asked. ’’Rescuing me?’’

’’No. You\'re family.’’

’’So was your brother. Why didn\'t you rescue him?’’

I saw the pain flash across his face. But I wasn\'t done.

’’You could have, you know,’’ I said, and it was like a dam broke. ’’You could have rescued both of them. Mom and Dad. Right from the start. You could have understood that they were young and scared. You could have accepted that they loved each other instead of trying to break them up. Mom could have delivered me and gone back to her tennis. She could have been the great star she was supposed to be. Mom and Dad wouldn\'t have had to run away they could have raised me right here. I could have had a real relationship with my grandparents. You and I, we could have been uncle and nephew. We could have played ball together.’’


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