Copyright © 2019 by Vi Keeland and Penelope Ward
“I cannot believe we are doing this.” Devin and I took the C train to Columbus Circle and stopped at Starbucks before walking over to the carousel. My partner in crime came dressed for surveillance, wearing head-to-toe black, dark sun- glasses, and a wool cap . . . in July. We were lucky it was New York or she might look like the weirdo she is. I, on the other hand, had on jeans and an Aerosmith T-shirt. Because . . . you know . . . Steven Tyler and those lips. I didn’t even care he was probably pushing seventy. I’d still suck on those babies.
We took a seat on a bench located to the right of the carousel—not directly in front of it but where we could still see everyone who walked in and out. As we got into position, I started to feel really bad about what we were about to do—invade little Birdie’s privacy.
“Maybe we shouldn’t do this.”
Devin put her hand on my shoulder and applied pressure—just in case I tried to get up. “We’re doing this. Don’t even try to make a run for it.”
I slouched back onto the bench. “Fine.”
We sat for the better part of an hour, sipping coffee, gossiping about work, and looking around for a little girl and her dad. When I caught the time on my phone, I said, “It’s after eleven. I don’t think they’re coming.”
“Let’s give it until eleven thirty.”
I rolled my eyes. But screw it, we were in this far—I might as well go along with the rest of the ride. Otherwise, Devin would never let me hear the end of it. At eleven thirty on the dot, I stood. “Let’s go, Lacey.”
“Cagney & Lacey. It was a show my mom used to watch when I was little. It had two women detectives.”
“Well, which one was hotter? Maybe I don’t want to be Lacey.”
I laughed. “You can be whichever one you want to be.”
I turned to throw out my coffee cup in the basket next to the bench and was just about to start to leave when I spotted a little girl and a man who had just turned into the entrance of the park. They were pretty far off, but I thought it could be Birdie. “Oh my God. Sit! Sit! I think that’s them.”
The two of us planted our asses back on the bench at the same exact time. Devin leaned forward and squinted. “Are you sure?”
I grabbed her arm and pulled her to sit back. “Don’t be so obvious.”
We watched, while completely failing at looking casual, as the man and the little girl moved closer. The man was tall, broad-shouldered, and had on a pair of jeans and a T-shirt. He was holding the hand of the little girl. And she had on . . . a bodysuit and tutu. It was definitely Birdie!
“Oh my God. It’s them!”
Neither of us said a word as the father and daughter approached the carousel. When they got close enough so I could finally see their faces, I gasped. “Oh my God. He’s . . .”
Devin grabbed my hand. “I call dibs. I want to have his babies.”
I couldn’t believe my eyes. While I was expecting a modern version of my dad twenty years ago, the man standing before me was anything but. For the record, my dad is awesome, and he’s not too shabby-looking. But this man . . . was . . . drop. Dead. Gorgeous. Wow. Just . . . yeah. Wow.
Sebastian Maxwell had dark hair, bone structure to die for, and full, beautiful lips. I’d joked how Devin thought the guy was a super- model, but this man could actually be a supermodel. He had that longish, messy hair—the kind that he could drag a hand through, and it would look like he’d been both thoroughly fucked and just finished a photo shoot. Yeah, that was him. I was absolutely, positively speechless.