Fade Away Page 21

“Here,” she said. She handed him a glass and sat down.

“Thank you.” Myron took a sip.

“So what’s next on your agenda, Myron?”


“Another comeback?”

“I don’t understand.”

Emily gave him the smile again. “First you replace Greg on the court,” she said. “Maybe next you’ll want to replace him in the bedroom.”

Myron almost gagged on his lemonade, but he managed to smother the sound. Going for the shock. Classic Emily. “Not funny,” he said.

“I’m just having a little fun,” she said.

“Yes, I know.”

She put her elbow on the back of the couch and propped up her head with her hand. “I see you’re dating Jessica Culver,” she said.


“I like her books.”

“I’ll tell her.”

“But we both know the truth.”

“What’s that?”

She leaned forward now and took a slow sip from her glass. “Sex with her isn’t as good as it was with me.”

More classic Emily. “You’re sure about that?” he said.

“Very sure,” she replied. “I’m not being immodest. I’m sure your Ms. Culver is quite skilled. But with me it was new. It was discovery. It was impossibly hot. Neither of us can ever recapture that rapture with anyone else. It’d be impossible. It would be like going back in time.”

“I don’t compare,” Myron said.

With a smile and a tilt of the head, she said, “Bullshit.”

“You don’t want me to compare.”

The smile was unfazed. “Come, come now, Myron. You’re not going to give me that spiritual crap, are you? You’re not going to tell me it’s better because you share a deep and beautiful relationship and thus the sex is beyond something physical? That line would be so unbecoming on you.”

Myron did not respond. He didn’t know what to say and he didn’t feel very comfortable with the conversation. “What did you mean before?” he asked, shifting gears. “When you said you wouldn’t help me.”

“Exactly what I meant.”

“What won’t you help with?”

Again the smile. “Was I ever stupid, Myron?”

“Never,” he said.

“Do you really think I believed that comeback story? Or the one about Greg being”—she made quote marks in the air—“ ‘in seclusion’ for an ankle injury? Your visit here just confirms my suspicion.”

“What suspicion?”

“Greg is missing. You’re trying to find him.”

“What makes you think Greg is missing?”

“Please, Myron, don’t play games with me. You owe me that much at least.”

He nodded slowly. “Do you know where he is?”

“No. But I hope the bastard is dead and rotting in a hole.”

“Stop mincing words,” Myron said. “Tell me how you really feel.”

The smile was sadder this time. Myron felt a pang. Greg and Emily had fallen in love. They’d been married. They had two children. What had torn that all apart? Was it something recent … or was it something in their pasts, something tainted from the beginning? Myron felt his throat go dry.

“When was the last time you saw Greg?” he asked.

“A month ago,” she said.


“In divorce court.”

“Are you two on speaking terms?”

“I meant what I said before. About him being dead and rotting.”

“I’ll take that as a no.”

Emily nodded a suit-yourself.

“If he was hiding, do you have any idea where?”


“No summer house? No place he liked to get away?”


“Do you know if Greg had a girlfriend?”

“Nope. But I would pity the poor woman.”

“Have you ever heard the name Carla?”

She hesitated. Her index finger tapped her knee, an old gesture so familiar to him it almost hurt to watch. “Wasn’t there a Carla who lived on my floor at Duke?” she asked. “Yes, Carla Anderson. Sophomore year, wasn’t it? Pretty girl.”

“Anything more recent?”

“No.” She sat up, crossed her legs. “How’s Win?”

“The same.”

“One of life’s constants,” she said. “He loves you, you know. I wonder if he’s a latent homosexual.”

“Two men can love each other and not be gay,” Myron said.

She arched an eyebrow. “You really think so?”

He was letting her get to him. Bad mistake. “Are you aware that Greg was going to sign an endorsement deal?” he asked her.

That got her attention. “Are you serious?”


“A big one?”

“Huge from my understanding,” Myron replied. “With Forte.”

Emily’s hands tightened. She would have made fists had her nails not been so long. “Son of a bitch.”


“He waited until the divorce had been finalized and I got squat. Then he signs the deal. That son of a bitch.”

“What do you mean, squat? Greg was still wealthy.”

She shook her head. “His agent lost it all. Or so he claimed in court.”

“Martin Felder?”

“Yep. Didn’t have a penny to his name. Son of a bitch.”

“But Greg still works with Felder. Why would he stay with a guy who lost his money?”

“I don’t know, Myron.” Her voice was clipped and annoyed. “Perhaps the son of a bitch was lying. It wouldn’t be the first time.”

Myron waited. Emily looked at him. Tears welled in her eyes but she bit them back down. She stood and walked to the other side of the room. Her back was now to him. She looked out the sliding glass doors into the fenced-in yard. The pool was covered with a tarp; random sticks and leaves clung to the aqua. Two children appeared. A boy of about ten chased a girl who looked to be eight. They were both laughing with faces wide and open and a little rosy from either cold or exertion. The boy stopped when he saw his mother. He gave her a big smile and wave. Emily raised her hand and gave a small wave back. The children ran on. Emily crossed her arms like she was hugging herself.

“He wants to take them away from me,” she said in a remarkably calm voice. “He’ll do anything to get them.”

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