Some Sort of Love (Happy Crazy Love #3)(5)


by Melanie Harlow

“In this area?”

I nodded. “Yes. In Traverse City. I’m really close to my family, so I was happy about that. Now catch me up more with you,” I said, tucking my hair behind my ear. “If memory serves, you were at State—but there’s a good chance it does not, since I believe there may have been some liquor consumed the night we, um…met—”

“Uh, yeah. A lot of liquor, as I recall.” Levi laughed. “Sometimes I’m amazed my liver survived undergrad. OK, let’s see. I think I met you my senior year, when I was at State, and then I ended up in Boston for grad school. Scotty was born during my final year there.”

I blinked. “Wow. That must have been tough, trying to finish school and care for a wife and baby.”

He hesitated. “Actually, Scotty’s mom and I were never married.”

“You weren’t?”

He shook his head. “No. I offered to marry her when we found out she was pregnant, but she didn’t want that. She said she couldn’t handle grad school and marriage and pregnancy all at once. Sometimes I wonder if she knew then she was leaving.”

“She left?”

He nodded, lifting his drink again. “Shortly after Scotty was born. Said she wasn’t cut out to be a mother and she’d made the wrong choice.”

“My God.” I tried to imagine what that must have been like for Levi, suddenly on his own with a newborn baby. “So you’re raising him alone?”

“He’s my son. For me, there was no choice.” He rotated his glass slowly on the table, staring into it. “She wanted a career in finance, so she went to New York, and I moved back to Charlevoix so my family could help out. My uncle had an architectural firm and offered me a job.”

“Do you ever see her or hear from her?” I hoped he didn’t think I was being too nosy, but I was so curious about him.

“No, and that’s how I wanted it. That’s how we both wanted it.” He met my eyes and lifted his broad shoulders. “The relationship wasn’t good to begin with. I definitely got the best part of it—in fact, as far as I’m concerned, I got everything. She walked away with nothing.”

My heart thumped hard. “I bet you’re an amazing father.”

He smiled, but he shook his head. “Actually, most of the time, I have no idea what I’m doing and I’m just trying to get through the fucking day.” After another big swallow of whiskey, he squared his shoulders and set his glass down hard. “But you know what? I rarely get out on Saturday nights—in fact, I can’t even remember the last time—so let’s talk about something more fun.” His dark eyes glittered. “Like broom closets.”

I laughed, shaking my head. “That was fun. I still can’t believe I did that.”

“Are you saying you didn’t make a habit of luring innocent college boys into your lair with your blue eyes and long legs and sexy Harry Potter t-shirt?”

“Ha! No, I certainly did not. And you were not that innocent.” I tossed back the last of my champagne, the bubbles tickling my tongue.

“I wasn’t?”

“No. You knew exactly what you were doing, and you did it very well.”

“Thank you.” He looked pleased with himself.

“And very fast.”

His face fell as he groaned. “God, don’t tell me. All I remember thinking is, ‘oh fuck don’t come oh fuck don’t come oh fuck I came.’”

I couldn’t resist. “That’s pretty much what you said, too.”

“Is it?” He groaned even louder and slammed the rest of his drink. “I need more whiskey. Want something?”

I bit my lip and looked at my empty glass. What number was that? I felt light-headed, but I didn’t know if it was the champagne or the flirting. I felt light-hearted too. “I shouldn’t.”

“Why? Are you driving?”

“No.”

“Are you married?”

“No.”

“Are you worried I’m going to get you drunk and drag you into a closet for round two?”

I smiled coyly. “Maybe.”

He leaned in closer, so close I felt his breath on my lips. “Good.”

Before Levi came back with our next round, Skylar and Sebastian appeared on the patio. Noticing I was by myself, Skylar tugged on her new husband’s hand, whispered in his ear, and left his side to join me at the table.

“Hey, you.” She fanned her face, which was dewy and flushed, but other than the fact that her lipstick had faded, she looked just as radiant and flawless as she had at three o’clock this afternoon. “What are you doing hiding out all alone over here?”

“I’m not hiding, and actually, I’m not alone.” I gave her a cryptic little smile, and her eyes widened.

“What’s that mean?”

Over her shoulder, I saw Sebastian and Levi greet each other with a handshake and a back-thumping man-hug. I knew I’d only have a minute before they came over here, so I spoke fast. “OK, remember the guy I told you about, the one in the dorm closet?”

“Pine Sol?”

“Yeah. He’s here.”

“Pine Sol is here?” Her jaw dropped, and she craned her neck to look over her shoulder as I shushed her.

“Yes. He’s talking to Sebastian right now.”

She faced me again, her eyes huge and sparkling. “Pine Sol is Levi Brooks? The architect? I don’t believe it!”

“Shhhhhhh!” I flapped my hands between us to get her to quiet down. “Will you hush, please? I don’t want him to know I told you about the closet.”

“I’m sorry, I can’t help it. Oh my God, this is amazing. I can’t wait to tell Natalie.” She shook her head and moved around the table to make room for the guys, who were headed our way with drinks. “Wait, isn’t he married? He’s got a kid, I think.”

I shook my head. “Nope. Not married. But yes, one son.” There was no time to get into everything he had told me. “Do you know anything else about him?”

“Not really,” she said, frowning. “Sebastian never gossips about anyone, it’s so annoying.”

“OK, quiet now. Here they come.” Meeting Levi’s eyes as he approached, I smiled, my heart tripping faster.