Discovering Mr. X: Chapter 28

TANNER

Dear Rachel,

The first time I heard your voice that day at the airport, I was drawn to you. You sounded so delicate. Your voice went hand in hand with your beauty. I was a nosy shit to listen in on your private conversation, but I would be lying if I said I was sorry. That day, almost two years ago now, is the day I met you. How can I ever regret a single second?

But that isn’t what made me notice you. It was your strength. Your determination to push for something your heart desired. I didn’t know your story then, not like I do now. But it was obvious to me that you were unlike anyone I had ever met before. You don’t expect to be handed anything. You want to work for it, to earn it, and I respect that about you more than you’ll ever know. You were NEVER a charity case, Rachel. I was just a stupid idiot who was so in awe of you that I had a crazy idea to invest in your business. It was a way of saying thank you for the impact you had that day. The deal with Griffin Parker only happened because of you, as I’ve told you already.

That whole year I lived in New York, and you sent the parcels to a PO Box in London—I never saw a single one until I returned. I used to look forward to your emails that accompanied them. You sounded so refreshing and upbeat. I never thought I would see you in person again. I never planned it. Please know it was never sinister. Maybe it was fate intervening when I saw you that day at the auction.

All the parcels are still sealed. Once I met you again, it didn’t seem right to open them—despite my curiosity. It felt like a betrayal to you. Only, I know that my silence was the biggest betrayal, and for that, I will be forever sorry.

Meeting you is the best thing to have ever happened to me. Penny would agree that she and the rest of the team haven’t missed ‘Grumpy Grayson’. And it’s all because a girl I call Snow came in and thawed out this wanker’s frosty exterior.

I mentioned fate before, and although I’m not a big believer in these things, I feel as though something brought us together. When I heard you say those words, “difficult roads lead to beautiful destinations,” I was selfish. I thought it was a message for me. That our paths were meant to cross for my own fortune. That fortune being you. Only now do I realize it was never about me and what I needed. This has always been for you, Rachel. Our meeting was the stepping-stone you needed to find the key to your past and what happened to your mom. Knowing that our meeting led to you learning about what happened to her and who she was makes me happy. Seeing the joy on your face when you talk to my mom about her is the most incredible sight I could wish for.

It makes me sick to think you might worry you’ve lost all that now because of my dishonesty and my absolute shit-headed stupidity. I couldn’t live with myself if I thought I caused such unhappiness to you. I’ve only ever wanted you to be happy, Rachel. If that means me being out of the picture, then I will gladly do it. I will do anything for you, Rachel.

That’s why I’m going to Las Vegas. I won’t be here to cause you any further hurt. I had a long think after the kickboxing class. Seeing the look on your face when I mentioned your mom. I just knew, Rach. I know you better than you think. This way, you can spend time with my mom and not have to worry about seeing me. I’m beginning to think she likes you way better than me, anyway! That was a poor attempt at a joke, but you know what I mean. She would miss you just as much as you’d miss her, so please keep seeing her. I know how much she loves your visits—how much she loves you. It will never be as much as I do, though.

I love you, Rachel Jones.

With my heart and soul, I will always love you.

I hope you’ll forgive me one day and we can at least be friends. I would do anything to keep you in my life.

Tan


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