Home > While We Were Dating (The Wedding Date #6)(6)

While We Were Dating (The Wedding Date #6)(6)
Author: Jasmine Guillory

   Was she talking about the pitch?

   “We did? What do you mean, I did?”

   “They loved you today. So much so that they said we get the ad campaign, but only if you’re the lead on it. From what they said to Roger, apparently Anna Gardiner was a big fan.”

   Anna Gardiner was a big fan of . . . him? A wide smile spread across his face. He’d better be able to tell this part to his brother.

   “Wow. That’s . . . wow. How did Roger take it?”

   Lisa chuckled.

   “Good question. He definitely seemed . . . bemused. He’s very happy we got it, though, that’s for sure. Tomorrow’s meeting is to announce it to the team, and to plan for everything—I’m sure he’s going to want you on set every day—just prepare for that.”

   Hmmm, that would not be a problem.

   “Thanks for calling to let me know, Lisa. I’m thrilled. And don’t worry, I’ll be appropriately surprised in the meeting. See you bright and early tomorrow morning.”

   He got off the phone and turned on the TV but didn’t pay any attention to what was on-screen. He would get to be the lead on this ad campaign? He’d only gotten to lead small, relatively low-budget ones so far. Holy fucking shit.

   He picked up his phone again and checked his work email, and Roger, in true Roger style, had had his assistant send out a calendar invite for the meeting in the morning, without saying what it was for. If he’d seen that without talking to Lisa first, he would have freaked out. Thank God she’d called.

   He glanced at his email to see if there was anything else he needed to know before he went to bed, and stopped cold.

To: Ben Stephens

    From: Anna Gardiner

    Re: Congratulations!

Hi Ben: I hope you’ve heard the news by now—I loved your presentation today, very glad you’ll be in charge. (If you haven’t heard, pretend to be shocked when what’s his name who got there late tells you, I have a feeling you can handle that). One quick request: can you make sure whoever is doing the lighting for the shoot has worked with brown skin before? I’ve had some poorly lit disasters in the past few years.




   Was that really her? No, it couldn’t be. Anna Gardiner had not just sent him an email. Impossible.

   But no one else would have these details, other than the partners who were at the meeting, and they wouldn’t try to prank him like this. Holy shit. It must actually be her.

   He hit reply so fast he almost sprained his finger.

To: Anna Gardiner

    From: Ben Stephens

    Re: Congratulations!

Thanks so much, Anna. Very much looking forward to working with you. Don’t worry, I know just the right people to do the lighting. You can count on me. Email or text if there’s anything else you need.



   He hit send. He could not believe he’d just emailed Anna Gardiner. And given her his phone number, because why the hell not? Holy shit.

   He skimmed the rest of his inbox. Oh, here was some random person emailing him; they must be trying to get his help getting a job or something, from the Looking to connect subject line. He got those frequently at this job, because of the big clients this agency represented, and he tried to help people out if he could. Well, he wasn’t doing anything right now; he’d click on this email and see what he could do.

   He skimmed it. And then read it again. He put his phone down, but after a few minutes of staring at the wall, he picked it back up and read the email again.

From: Dawn Stephens

    To: Ben Stephens

    Re: Looking to connect

Hi Ben,

My name is Dawn Stephens. And I’m sorry if this is out of the blue, but I think I might be your sister. Sorry for not leading up to that, it felt easier to just get it over with as soon as possible. Anyway, Melvin Stephens is also my father. I did one of those DNA testing things a few years ago, and I was just poking around on it and it told me there was someone else out there with my same father, and after some research I think it might be you. You look like him, anyway.

Here’s a little about me—I’m twenty five, I live in Sacramento, I work with kids, and I just got into grad school to get my master’s in education. I’m sorry if it’s weird to email you at work—there were a lot of Ben Stephens on Facebook, so I didn’t know if I’d find the right one. Anyway, I’d love to hear back from you and find out about you—I’m an only child, or, I guess, I thought I was, so it’s both weird and exciting to find a brother. Or maybe other siblings too—are you also an only child?

You can email me back or text me if you want.

I hope you’re doing well,



   He’d wondered at points over the years if his father had had another family out there. If that’s why he’d left Ben and Theo and their mom, to start something new, because they hadn’t been enough for him. He’d left so suddenly, all Ben could do when he was a kid was try to figure out why. Ben had moved past all of that, even gone to therapy about it. He hadn’t thought about that for a long time.

   Dawn. She worked with kids. That was nice. He wondered how—as a preschool teacher, or nanny or something? If she wanted to get her master’s in education, maybe the former?

   No. No, he wasn’t curious about this woman; he didn’t want to be. He had a brother, a perfectly fine brother, a great brother, actually, who was on the point of bringing his girlfriend Maddie into the fold to be his sister. He didn’t need this Dawn.

   He had to tell Theo.

   Wait. No. She clearly didn’t even know Theo existed. Theo didn’t need to know about any of this. Theo had yelled at him for doing that DNA test in the first place—gave him a big lecture about private companies having your personal data and you don’t know what they do with it and blah blah blah. He hated when his brother was right. Theo would just give him another lecture about that, and then . . . and then what?

   Maybe this was just some kind of a scam. Someone trying to get money from him. Someone who knew his dad—that sounded like the kind of thing some friend of his dad would do. This woman probably wasn’t even related to him at all. If she even existed.

   When he glanced at his phone again, he had a new email.

From: Anna Gardiner

    To: Ben Stephens

    Re: Congratulations!

Knew I could rely on you, Ben. Nice to meet you today, and glad that this all looks like it’s moving quickly.

Looking forward to working with you too,



   Ben pushed away all thoughts of the email from Dawn. Anna Gardiner was looking forward to working with him.

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