My Almost Ex (The Greene Family #2) - Piper Rayne

Hank and Marla’s Kid

Rylan Greene (11)

“Did that woman just call you babe?” my new girlfriend, Alicia, asks with a ‘what the hell’ tone.

My mouth is too dry to answer her question. I can’t stop staring at “that woman,” aka Lucy, and my thoughts are racing faster than an Indy car.

Before you assume I’m an asshole who cheats on his girlfriend, know I’m not. A year ago, the woman who just called me babe—my wife—walked out on me without any explanation. Now, after I’ve pulled myself from the depths of depression and tried to move on with my life, she approaches me at my brothers’ brewery as though we’re still married. I haven’t seen or spoken to her since she left.

If you want to be technical, she is still my wife. She never sent divorce papers, and it wasn’t until last week that I went to the town lawyer and asked him to start the process of drawing up papers.

Alicia clutches my arm because I still haven’t taken my eyes off of Lucy. My estranged wife is flitting around my family, hugging everyone and conveying how much she’s missed them, pausing at my brother Cade’s new fiancée, Presley. We’re supposed to be celebrating their engagement right now. Good thing Cade’s used to plans never going the way we expect—as often happens with a family as big as ours.

I spot Lucy’s mother, Susan, push through the crowd of gawkers in the brewery. Everyone’s whispering and staring at us. There couldn’t be a worse time for Lucy to show up out of the fucking blue.

“Susan?” I say because I’m hoping she has an answer as to why Lucy’s acting as if we’re still happily married. She doesn’t answer immediately, her concerned gaze focused solely on her daughter. The look is alarming enough to suggest there’s a missing puzzle piece that makes my stomach clench. “What the hell is going on?”

Susan’s gaze flickers to mine. She scolds me with her narrowed eyes, but her shoulders fall. “She suffered an accident and… she lost her memory, Adam. She has amnesia.”

“So?” I ask.

Alicia’s breast brushes along my bicep as though she’s afraid I’m going to get away.

“She thinks you’re still happily married.”

My stomach clenching turns to full-on nausea. Married we are, but definitely not happily.

“You’re married?” Alicia asks, her arm winding out of mine.

I run a hand through my hair, looking to my father to somehow fix this for me. “Technically, yes.”

“And you failed to ever mention this to me?”

The last person I have time for conflict with right now is Alicia. We’ve barely begun dating. Seeing her has been my first attempt to put myself out there since Lucy left.

“Excuse me.” Lucy comes back over and nudges between Alicia and me. She always was good at making sure people knew I was hers. If I wanted to go down memory lane, I’d remember that it was something I loved. “Who’s this girl?” she whispers in my ear.

“Lucy, we should go.” Susan takes Lucy’s hand and attempts to pull her along.

“Why would I leave? Look, I found Adam.” Just as Lucy’s gesturing toward me, her smile dims and she looks at her mom. “Wait… you mean…”

“You and Adam are no longer together,” Susan says.

A strangled cry leaves Lucy and she removes herself from me. “Oh.”

Lucy looks at Alicia as though she’s the reason we’re not together, causing fury to build in my chest. She should look in the mirror if she’s wants to see who is to blame.

My entire family stands there speechless, a small miracle in itself. I guess it takes a woman with amnesia to silence them. Maybe not the best time for a joke, but I have no idea how to handle this situation. The despair in Lucy’s eyes is killing me. A huge part of me wants to fix it for her, tell her she can have me if she wants. But what would that solve? The damage was done a year ago and there’s no coming back from it.

She points at Alicia. “Are you Adam’s?”

“We need to go. I’m so sorry.” Susan urges Lucy to her side. “Have a good night.”

I open my mouth to say something, though I don’t know what, then shut it, watching them leave. Alicia cuddles up to my side again as though we’re going to carry on with our night as planned. It all feels wrong now.

“I’ll be back,” I say, dislodging myself from Alicia.

“I thought he was just going to stand there.” Cade says it as