When Ally was within earshot, Hudson started to speak but she lifted her hands. “Before you say anything,” she said quickly, “I know I shouldn’t be here, but you wouldn’t take my calls. I just wanted to stop by and apologize for how I behaved the last time we were together and thank you…for everything you did to help me settle my parents' estate.”
Hudson narrowed his eyes. “O-o-k-kay.” He dragged out the word, bracing himself for whatever she was up to. He didn’t trust her. Hadn’t in years.
“I know I put you in a tough position and took advantage of your kindness, but I want you to know that you won’t have any more problems out of me. I’m leaving town, but before I left, I wanted to say thank you. You and your family have gone beyond the call of duty to be there for me. I’m sorry if I ever made you feel uncomfortable.”
Hudson eyed her skeptically, slow to believe that that was the only reason she’d stopped by.
“Why now?” he asked. “You could’ve said all of this months ago when I told you again that there could never be anything between us. Why now, Ally?”
“I wasn’t in a good place emotionally then. I was lonely and…anyway, I’m here now.”
She’d gotten so good at lying, he wasn’t sure if she was being straight with him or not. He wanted like hell to believe her, but…
“Where are you going?”
“Back to California,” she said, glancing down at her shoes before returning her attention to him. “My old boss is expanding and asked me to oversee a team of graphic designers.” She gave a slight shrug. “It was an offer I couldn’t resist.
“It’s just the change I needed. So you never have to worry about me showing up on your doorstep.” She chuckled, but tears welled up in her eyes. “I hate I have to leave, and I’m going to miss you.”
Hudson sighed. He didn’t like that things had turned out this way for them. They should be able to live in the same town without things getting weird or without him threatening a restraining order.
“Well, that’s all I came to say.” She slid her purse strap onto her shoulder then closed the distance between them. This time she gave him one of her sweet smiles, which softened the worry lines on her pretty face.
“I hope you can forgive me for making your life a living hell in the past.”
Hudson chuckled, finally relaxing some at the lightness in her tone. “Come here. You’ve been making my life a living hell since you were five,” he joked and pulled her into a hug. “I only want the best for you, Ally. I hope you know that. Take care of yourself and…”
He stopped short of saying “keep in touch.” His life was with Erica and Nakia now, and he didn’t want anything or anyone to come between what he had with them.
He hugged her tightly before releasing her.
“Thanks. I’ll see you around.” She waved before walking out the front door.
Hudson really did want the best for her. He just hoped she was indeed moving on.
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