Home > To Hate Adam Connor(13)

To Hate Adam Connor(13)
Author: Ella Maise


Aiden’s version of swimming was sitting on the second highest step, splashing water, playing with his toys, and pretending to be swimming for a total of ten seconds as he kicked and punched the water. Our old house—the house that was now Adeline’s—didn’t have a pool, so when he first came to stay with me and saw one, he was ecstatic. Learning how to swim, however…he didn’t like that at all.

Five minutes into our pool time, Dan came out.

“Dan, look at me! Look!” Aiden yelled, pumping his arms furiously as he showed off his swimming skills to our longtime bodyguard and friend. At least I had gotten him out of the divorce.

“Look at you go, big man,” Dan said as he came to stand next to us.

“Slow down, Aiden,” I said, helping him sit down on the steps before he hit his chin. He glanced up at Dan and gave him a big grin.

“Did you see me? Did you see how good I was?”

“I did. Well done, big man.”

“But did you see how fast I was?”

Dan nodded. “You’re practically a fish now.”

Aiden doubled over and laughed, his eyes big and happy. “I’m not a fish, Dan.” He got up and lifted his arms. “I’m a boy, look!”

As his laughter died down, he focused on his toys and made all kinds of noises as he dipped his plane in and out of the water.

Leaving Aiden with his toys, I moved to Dan’s side. “Something wrong?”

Frowning, he looked over his shoulder then turned back to me. “No. Michel has been lighting up your phone for the last hour. I thought you’d want to know.”

“Fuck,” I groaned. “I forgot about him.”

“You want me to handle it?”

“No, it’s okay. I need to ask him something first.” Turning away from Dan, I dragged a complaining Aiden out of the pool and took off his arm floats. “Dry yourself off, then you’re going in to help Anne.”

“But I just got in, Daddy. Please! Five more minutes.”

I crouched down in front of him and wrapped him in a big towel.

“You’ll have more time next week, okay? I’ll teach you how to swim without the arm floats.”

The closer we got to the time I’d have to drop Aiden off at Adeline’s, the moodier I got. I’d spent my entire morning closed up in a studio, going over some voiceovers the director wanted me to redo. The second Matthew had said he had what he needed from me, I’d raced back home so I could be with Aiden for the last few hours I had him. Since our divorce had been finalized, all I’d been doing was running around, trying to make enough time for Aiden while juggling all the shooting and promoting. Thankfully, we were getting closer to wrapping things up for The Only Hour, and I was looking forward to taking a breather and spending some time with Aiden. First I had to do something about the custody issue that was always in the back of my mind.

Aiden was a good kid. He’d always been that way, even before the divorce, but lately the mess we’d made was starting to get to him. He didn’t act out, didn’t throw crying fits like other kids would’ve done, but every time I dropped him off at Adeline’s place, he’d get this scared look on his face, as if I was leaving him there for good and this would be the last time he’d ever see me. Every night I made sure to call him so he could hear my voice before he went to sleep, and every single time he broke something in me by asking if I would promise to come get him soon.

Especially hearing those unsure words, thinking about an entire week where I wouldn’t have him with me…fuck, but it was starting to get to me.

Trusting Aiden would listen to me and follow us inside, I headed back in with Dan.

When I saw Anne in the kitchen with her phone in her hand, I reminded her that we would have to leave soon. She nodded and walked past me toward the backyard.

“Give me five. I’ll check the front gate to see if there are any paparazzi hiding around—I flushed out three this morning. Then I’ll get the car ready,” Dan said and walked outside.

Nodding, I returned Michel’s calls.

“Where have you been? I’ve been trying to reach you since this morning, Adam.”

“What do you need, Michel?”

“I talked to your parents and they think it’s a better idea to go ahead with the press release to cut off the rumors about the custody issue, Adam. We need to deny it, and we need to deny it today. You should consider doing this their way.”

Michel was the head of the publicity team that had handled the Connor family business for the last ten years, but our time together had come to an end. It would’ve been better if I’d had the time to handle it face to face, but I didn’t have time to go to his office and fire him there in person. I gritted my teeth and listened as he explained what they had come up with.

“Michel, I’m done doing things the way my parents want. I’ve told you that a thousand times. Look where they got me with their plans.”

“I understand where you’re coming from, Adam. Still, think about it and get back to me.” Either he was ignoring my words or just dismissing them entirely. “If you think a press release won’t be intimate enough, we’ll secure you a few interviews on a few select shows. With the amount of requests we’re getting, you can have your pick of them. Let me see who’d be the best choice in this situation.”

“Michel—”

“Give me one second. How about James Holden? He just took over the late night show and his numbers are going strong. We’ll provide him with the questions so things won’t get out of hand.”

“Michel,” I started again as he fired more names at me. I opened the fridge and reached for a water bottle. Michel had been a family friend even before becoming the head of the PR team, which was why my parents were okay with him knowing almost every secret they were trying to hide from the media. It wasn’t that the guy wasn’t good at his job; actually, he was one of the best in the industry. He already had a long list of clients waiting for him to take them on, and I was about to make someone’s day by opening up a spot for them. “With everything that’s been going on, I forgot to ask—are you still representing Adeline?”

The line went quiet for a beat. “What do you mean am I still representing your wife?”

I ground my teeth. “Ex-wife.”

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