When Jack Met Evie
The prequel to Wanting Mr Wrong...
There are three things I'll always remember about the first time I saw Evie Parker, framed in the doorway of the hotel ballroom beside my brother, Drew.
One: she was laughing, and frowning, and rolling her eyes, all at the same time - and that somehow made me happy.
Two: I wanted to touch her crazy blonde hair, so badly my fingers twitched and the prawn on my canapé dropped down the plunging neckline of Beth Milne, Chairman of Arts for Good, who was standing next to me.
Three: when Drew adjusted the collar of Evie's white shirt, simultaneously kissing her just above one of her short, straight eyebrows, I wanted to punch him.
(And okay, maybe I also noticed her boobs - hard not to when a tiny girl has a sizeable set - but that was a distant fourth on the list.)
I'd seen at least a hundred photos of Evie with Drew over the past four years, so it wasn't as though her appearance was a surprise; I just didn't expect the in-person version to be so freakishly cute or I would have cooperated with Drew on my previous visits to Sydney when he'd tried to engineer meetings between us. Although, thinking back, Evie hadn't exactly been gagging to meet me, either.
Well, whatever. Here we were. She was cute. I was curious. The time was nigh.
Drew was peering around the ballroom, keeping a hand on Evie's shoulder as though she might bolt if he loosened his grip. He waved when he saw me, then leaned in closer to Evie to point me out and whisper in her ear - and there I went, wanting to punch him again.
Evie smiled in my general direction as Drew started steering her towards me. I knew I should be smiling back the way I normally smiled at Drew's friends, but instead, I found myself smouldering at her - a heavy, eyelids-at-half-mast sort of look. Since my smoulder generally got me same-night laid, I figured my body was signalling to my one-step-behind-my-dick brain that it wanted to have sex with her. Which was probably not a good thing, given Drew loved her like a sister and might want to punch me if I went there.
While I was pretending to listen to Beth (who'd dug out the errant prawn with a forced laugh) and pondering the ethics of shagging my brother's sister-substitute, I kept track of Evie's progress - which is how I knew the instant something went haywire, halfway across the room. Evie's eyes went wide, the smile fell off her face, and she started reversing, all in one fraught second. Drew stopped her, they talked briefly, Drew looked towards me, but not at me . . . And then he released his hold on Evie's shoulder, looked around the room again, and sent her off in a different direction.
And that was that. As in, what the freaking hell had just happened?
Beth was doing her best to interest me in the event program, but my attention was riveted on Evie, making her way towards . . . towards . . . Aha! Towards Chloe, the third in Drew's musketeer gang - who I'd managed to meet three times over the past few years. A fact that suddenly irked the crap out of me. I mean, surely Evie could have arranged to tag along with Chloe just once! Chloe looked as glamorous, cool and poised as she had every other time I'd seen her, but when Evie reached her, she frowned. There was another furtive conversation, which had Chloe looking in my direction but not at me, this time. Next minute, Chloe was encircling Evie with a protective arm and positioning her so that I couldn't see her.
Huh? Did everyone in the whole damn ballroom want to hustle Evie away from me? It's not like I was standing there with an AK-47 in one hand, a machete in the other, and a set of nunchaku draped around my neck. I was wearing a freaking dinner suit. I'd shaved. I was the guest of bloody honour! And the situation was starting to piss me off.
Excusing myself to the long-suffering Beth, I strode over to accost Drew, who'd stopped to grab a champagne. 'What's going on?' I asked, low and terse.
'Well, we're at this charity dinner, and I'm having a champ -'
'I mean with your little blonde kewpie doll,' I said impatiently. 'What did I do to scare her off?'
'Oh, that,' Drew said airily. 'It's not you. Well, not you per se. It was the photographer hovering nearby. I warned you, she's got a thing about paparazzi. A phobia.'
'Yeah, the Sam thing, I remember. But she broke up with him, like . . .? When? Months ago, right?'
'Nine long, tragic, tedious months ago,' Drew said, heavy on the drama. 'It's like a pregnancy! Or it would be, if she'd eject the mutant being that's gestating inside her. Push it out, I keep telling her, claim your body back, head into the wild, and get lai- Hey, where are you going?'
I tried - failed - to dislodge Drew's sudden grip on my arm. 'To introduce myself to her before Beth Milne shanghais me again. That is the whole reason you brought her tonight, isn't it?'
'Um, no,' Drew said. 'That's just a side benefit. And you will not go anywhere near her until that photographer has finished snapping your pretty face, Jackson J. Stevens. Otherwise, she'll bolt and my cunning plan will be foiled.'
'What cunning plan? It's a simple "hello, nice meeting you".'
'No, that's not - Ooooh, gotta go. I see someone scrumptious over there who might be exactly what I'm looking for. Please, God, let him be a neuroscientist. Go and sign autographs or something - we'll catch up later.'
And Drew was gone. Checking out Drew's good-looking quarry a minute later, I wondered if my brother's gaydar needed a tune-up, because the guy looked straight to me. Not that my brother's sex life was any of my business.
I figured I'd be better served doing a quick reconnaissance of the area (AK-47-talk for taking a look around) to see what all the fuss was about. And what I spotted was . . . one photographer. One! Seriously? Anyone could handle one lousy snapper. Nasty break-up with publicity-hungry celebrity journalist ex-boyfriend notwithstanding.
And on that basis, I decided to get a close-up look at Evie, which would hopefully reveal a more resistible level of adorability so I could be done with ethical quandaries and return to not wanting to punch my brother.
But it seemed the night was doomed to endlessly suck, because before I could take more than two steps, Beth reappeared beside me, looking frazzled but determined. As she took my arm and led me to Table One, front and centre of the event, I started to feel like I was in a Jean-Paul Sartre play: a gala-dinner version of No Exit.
I craned my neck trying to locate Evie, and found that she, Chloe, Chloe's boyfriend Marcus, Drew and the mystery gay-or-straight guy he'd picked up were all converging on Table Twenty. Nineteen whole tables away from me.
I waited. And waited. And waited. As that one photographer became two photographers, then three, then . . . crikey, did an event like this really warrant eight photographers and three television crews? And did they all have to train their lenses on me? Not that media attention was anything out of the box in my line of work, but it made a quick dash over to Table Twenty an impossibility.
Table Twenty . . . where all ten guests appeared to be having an uproarious time. Unlike Table One, where neither I (brooding over Table Twenty) nor poor prawn-down-the-cleavage Beth (trying to un-brood me) were whooping it up.
Beth looked almost suicidal by the time the main course was served, and I didn't blame her. As for the guy on my other side? Bored rigid. I'd spared him only a single comment and perhaps two eyelid flickers throughout the meal, two speeches (not including my own), and a performance by an opera singer. Which was more than I'd managed for the other people at the table. I had a shrewd suspicion my fan club was about to lose nine members.
By the time the event-standard execrable coffee and petit fours made an appearance, I was almost beyond hope of a cross-ballroom dash. But at last, my Hallelujah! moment came, courtesy of a drunken altercation at the silent auction table that had the whole phalanx of photographers and television cameras rushing over to capture the action. Murmuring an 'Excuse me, I'll be back' (as though anyone at Table One would want me back!), I was out of my seat and zooming towards Table Twenty.
Discovering not one vacated seat on arrival - despite every other bloody table in the room shedding a person or two during the night as people circulated - I was forced to hover behind Drew, who was sitting between Evie and Chloe.
'How are you guys enjoying yourselves?' I asked, all hail-fellow-well-met, exactly how I wasn't feeling.
Drew edged his seat back, forcing me in the wrong direction - towards Chloe, not Evie - and made some response that I didn't listen to. Chloe got up to kiss me on the cheek. Marcus shook my hand. Five of the other people at the table stared at me, starstruck. But Evie and Drew's gay-or-straight guy beside her were too absorbed in conversation to look up.
It took Drew patting Evie's hand to get her attention. 'Evie, stop talking and meet Jack while he's paparazzi-free,' he said. 'Frankie, give her back for a moment, will you?'
I got one glance from Evie before she started checking out the surroundings for lurking paparazzi. But 'Frankie', mouth forming a stunned 'O' as recognition hit, couldn't take his eyes off me.
Drew laughed. 'I guess you'd better meet Frankie while you're at it, Jack,' he said, and thrust a cloth table napkin at me. 'And why don't you sign this for him? Here, use my pen.'
'Frankie,' I said, which was my version of a truncated 'hello, nice to meet you', used for people to whom I'd taken an inexplicable dislike. Well, maybe my dislike of Frankie wasn't inexplicable; I'd simply realised he was unequivocally not gay, nor was he in any danger of being turned by Drew, and I therefore didn't like the fact that he'd been talking to Evie all freaking night. I took Drew's pen, half-hoping a conscientious employee would wander past and put a stop to this wanton destruction and imminent theft of hotel property before I could do the autograph.
But, continuing my No Exit experience, I was stuck signing the napkin, handing it over, then fielding questions from six strangers about my movies, while the only person I wanted to talk to ignored me in favour of casting anxious glances around the ballroom.
Evie finally seemed to understand I had not been followed over by a media entourage and pushed herself back from the table. She stood, waited for a suitable lull, then offered her hand. 'It's so nice to meet you at last, Jack. I liked your speech.'
I may have shook Evie's hand, or I may have just held it - I really don't know what I did, because that first touch scrambled every thought in my head except one: that I wanted to kiss her. I was dimly aware of Drew and Chloe chatting, but their voices sounded far away. I was completely fixated on how Evie's small, cool hand felt in mine, how her mouth looked like a crushed berry, wondering how she would taste . . . Very possibly, I was looking like a cross between a stunned mullet and a fuckwit, but for once in my life I was helpless to control what my face was doing.
And then a waiter dropped a tray a few tables away, which shocked Evie into snatching her hand back. Something flashed across her face. Fear, panic. And I knew she'd felt it, that thing between us. She looked at her chair, put her hand on the back of it. She was going to sit down and cut me off, I knew it.
'No big deal,' I blurted out. Just something, anything, to stop her sitting back down next to Frankie. 'The speech, I mean,' I added, because she was looking confused. 'The speech was no big deal.'
'Of course it's a big deal,' Evie said, looking so taken aback, I wondered if I'd said the innocuous thing I thought I'd said, or something really stupid like, 'Can I lick you?'
But then she added, 'Children, teenagers, killing themselves - that's a very big deal. It's why we're here raising money, isn't it?' and I realised that what I'd said was actually worse than asking if I could lick her. Because I was remembering what Drew had told me about her family of brilliant, philanthropic medicos and scientists, none of whom would ever throw out a facile remark anywhere near an issue like youth suicide.
Shit. Rewind. 'That's not what I meant.'
'So what did you mean?' she asked.
'I mean, I'm not a big deal, the issue is.' Which I thought was a nice save - not that Evie looked impressed. 'It's why I'm a major donor,' I embellished, hurriedly. 'Why I volunteered to give the keynote speech tonight.'
Still not impressed.
'In fact, Beth Milne - do you know her? - asked me to be guest of honour,' I said, playing one last desperate card. And I almost cringed, even as I said it - because, really? That was the best I had to offer a girl whose family was on a mission to save the world?
'I thought you said you weren't the big deal?' she said dryly, a masterful slap-down.
It was a new experience, having a woman I was trying to fascinate make me feel like a worm, and I wasn't sure how to deal with it. My encounters with girls I wanted usually went along the lines of me saying, 'There's a great view from my apartment,' followed by the girl saying, 'I'd love to see it,' followed by me saying, 'So come home with me,' and when we arrived, the girl basically asking me what position I'd prefer and . . . there, done!
Contrast that with me standing there uninvited, my brain lodged somewhere in the region of my gonads, big-noting myself for doing nothing much, finding a girl who was verballing me all the hotter because she was verballing me.
I cleared my throat, racked my brain. 'The thing is, Evangeline . . .' I started, but my brain, notwithstanding the merciless racking it was undergoing, didn't seem capable of coughing up any words that would show me in a good light without simultaneously making me look like a wanker.
'Evie,' she corrected. 'And I think I've monopolised you enough. These guys -' gesturing to the No Exit folks sitting at the table, who were clutching napkins and bits of paper in nervous fingers '- want you to sign things, which is a much bigger deal than giving a speech, right?'
And with a curl of her lip, she took her seat and twisted towards Frankie, no doubt intending to continue her interrupted conversation.
Unfortunately for Evie's conversational prospects, Frankie now appeared more interested in boggling at me, a truth that jolted her. As she looked from his O-mouth, then around the table, then to me, watching as I signed autographs one after the other and handed them back to titters and squeals, I doubted she could have been more appalled if she'd been told the people she'd been sitting with all night were infected with the Ebola virus. And judging by the look of extreme disgust she reserved for me, it seemed I was carrying the most virulent strain.
Okay, so I wasn't making poverty history or curing a disease, and I certainly hadn't covered myself in glory up to that point, but I was hardly evil incarnate just because people wanted my autograph, so what was up? It was almost as though she actively wanted to find fault, to disapprove of me. She was even rubbing her hand, the hand I'd held, against her skirt, like I'd given her germs. Like I'd . . .
Ahhh. It all became beautifully clear. I threw her off balance.
And at that moment of realisation, Evie's disdain for celebrity, her paparazzi-phobia, and her need to push me away, became something for me to prove, something to fix, and something to win. My hunting instincts leapt like an adrenaline-fuelled bungee jumper, leaving Jack-the-fumbling-fuckwit on the platform and sending Jackson J. Stevens, the guy who always got what he wanted, flying off the edge.
I handed over the last of the autographs, then leaned down to ask her, 'Do you want my autograph too, sweetheart?'
Evie didn't miss a beat. 'Oh, I'd love an autograph, darling,' she gushed. 'But all the spare napkins seem to have been claimed, and I'm afraid mine . . .' picking it up and rubbing it across her mouth hard enough to split a lip '. . . is dirty.'
'I like "dirty",' I said silkily. 'But to be honest, underwear is my real specialty, not napkins. If you'd care to divest yourself of a piece, I can sign that instead.'
I thought her eyes were going to leap out of their sockets and smack me in the face for a moment, and had to bite my lip against a delighted laugh. But nope, she got it all together and one-upped me beautifully by leaning across Frankie to the girl on his other side and saying, 'Hey, Talia, did you hear that? Jack's keen to put pen to panties. Got some underwear you'd like signed?'
'Hell, yeah,' Talia said enthusiastically.
Before I could draw a hang-on-a-minute breath, Talia had dropped her hands below the tabletop and was squirming in her seat. In a sickeningly short time, she held a tiny white scrap aloft. A thong. It just had to be a thong. I took it carefully (oh, for a pair of surgical gloves!), positioned it as hygienically as I could, and wrote my initials on the tiny triangle.
Evie, the wretch who'd landed me in this position, was trying to pretend she wasn't scandalised; Drew was wearing his 'meh' expression; Chloe was tossing her hair in disapproval; Marcus was looking very beam-me-up-Scotty; and I was going for 'bland' - yeah, I do this every day. Everyone else at the table was giggling.
I barely repressed a shudder as I handed Talia's underwear back to her. But right after I'd done that, I found myself wanting to laugh. And a look at Evie told me she did, too. It was in her eyes, the way she was biting her lip, the way her shoulders were starting to shake.
'So, Evangeline,' I said, and raised an eyebrow at her. 'While I've got the pen out, what can I sign for you?'
I expected a pithy rejoinder, a little sparring, something I could use to swing her my way; instead she jumped up out of her chair. A lightning change, with Drew swearing, then leaping to his feet, Chloe scrambling up beside him.
'Jack, you'd better take off,' Drew said, with a wild-eyed look to the side. And I knew, without needing to see for myself, that the photographers were on their way. I was back on the paparazzi clock.
Goddammit, not yet. 'But I have - I need -' Jesus, get it together. 'Look, they've given me a room, kind of like a green room, next to the ballroom - it's got my initials on a board outside. Take Evie there, get her a drink and wait for me. Okay?'
A quick nod, and Drew turned to the table. 'Guys, the dancing is about to start, so Evie and I are skipping out. People to see, places to go, you know how it is.'
Chloe was already moving into position to block Evie from the cameras, which made me wonder how often this kind of manoeuvring was required. Even the way Chloe hustled her football-star boyfriend Marcus close to me for a photo, knowing the two of us together would divert all the media's attention, suggested a well-oiled machine swinging into action.
And it worked. Even before Marcus was in place, Drew and Evie had disappeared.
By the time I'd washed my thong-hands and tracked down Beth for an apologetic, harried farewell, I was convinced Evie would have taken the opportunity to flee the scene. So I almost sagged with relief when I entered the green room to find her sitting in a lounge chair, holding a glass of champagne. I told myself she was waiting for me, when the truth was probably that Drew had finagled a way to keep her there because I'd asked him to.
Drew promptly poured me a champagne. 'I'm glad you're here,' he said, handing it to me. 'Back me up. Tell Evie that that -' waving his glass at her torso '- is a business shirt, not evening attire.'
'The skirt is evening attire,' she said, looking mutinous.
'So . . . what? You come half-formal to a formal event?' Drew sighed. 'It's time Chloe took you shopping again.'
'I hate shopping,' Evie said.
'And it shows,' Drew retorted.
'She looks fine,' I said, because I was in danger of becoming irrelevant if their sartorial disagreement escalated.
They both looked at me as though I'd lost my marbles.
I gestured to her ankle-length skirt as I settled into an armchair, making myself part of the scene. 'Red velvet is always formal.'
Evie stared at me for a long moment, and then turned to Drew. 'You win. I'll call Chloe tomorrow.'
What the -? 'Why does he win, when I was saying you look good?'
She snorted. The sound was a real kick in the guts, putting me right in my place. 'Jack, look at your dinner suit.'
'What's wrong with it?' I asked, but I suddenly felt overdressed and deftly undid my bow tie, one-handed.
'Nothing - that's the point,' she said. 'You obviously shop in a whole other stratosphere, and I'll bet you have a stylist too. Which means you know nothing about my clothing requirements.'
'I don't have a stylist,' I said. 'And I know all sorts of things about women's clothing.'
'Yeah, how to remove women's clothing,' she threw at me.
'I could certainly help you get that shirt off. Blindfolded. Using only my teeth.'
She blushed and, oh my God, it was perfect. Two pink circles, smack bang in the middle of her cheeks.
'Talking about ripping shirts off people, I need to go,' Drew put in, seemingly clueless about my rampant desire to toss his friend on her back. 'I met someone tonight - a doctor. And you know how I loooove playing doctor.' One could only hope Drew had tuned his gaydar to the correct frequency during dinner.
'The doctors are supposed to be mine,' Evie grumbled.
'You don't have the necessary body parts for this one, my love,' Drew said, and threw back the rest of his champagne. 'But next time, wear a dress like that silky blue number Chloe had on and we might manage to find you one.' He slapped his empty glass on the table. 'Jack, can you see Evie home?'
Evie straightened her spine, which I was sure she wouldn't have done if she'd known how it popped her breasts out and made my mouth water. 'I am perfectly capable of getting myself home, Andrew.'
'Yes, I know, but so what?' Drew said. 'Jack lives close to you, he can take you. Simple.'
'I don't care if he lives in the attic. I'm not going anywhere with a guy tailed by a mile of paparazzi.'
'Not a mile,' I said.
'A mile and a half,' she tossed in.
Drew held up a hand. 'Okay, guys -'
'I know a secret way out - does that help?' I asked.
'Guys,' Drew tried again.
'If I go on my own, I won't need a secret way out,' Evie retorted.
'Guys!' Drew yelled, holding up both hands. 'Thank you! Now I don't give a flying fuck who drives who or who leaves whom where, just let me say goodbye and sort it out when I'm gone.' He came over to Evie, kissed her, and, with a jaunty wave, he left.
Silence. A long one. During which Evie started to fidget with her hair. Reminding me how much I wanted to touch it.
'Why are you nervous?' I asked her.
'I'm not. I'm just . . .' She trailed off, shrugged, and took a sip of champagne.
'You just don't like me. Because of my job.'
'It's not . . . that. I don't know you.'
'That can be fixed, can't it?'
Another shrug, but no response.
'Okay,' I said. 'What did I do wrong tonight?'
Evie laughed disbelievingly. 'Um, hello, signing girls' underwear?'
'You're the one who gave that a kick along,' I said.
'That doesn't mean you had to do it.'
'Ah, but you see, I always accept a challenge, which is what that was, wasn't it?' Tiny pause, to make the point. 'And I thought you were going to offer me yours. Which would have been a whole different proposition.'
She snorted (that was snort number two, by my reckoning) and muttered something about not being a witless groupie.
She looked at the door.
Oh no, Evie, not yet. 'So . . . What's the deal with Frankie?' I asked, part pluck-out-of-nowhere, part how's-your-love-life.
'What do you mean?'
Snort. (Okay, snorting was a habit.)
'No?' I pushed.
She didn't answer. Instead, she said, 'Where's Monica tonight?'
Good retaliatory shot. 'Not here.'
'Hence the "special" autograph, I suppose. Not even any photographers around at that moment to catch the action and tip her off via the press.'
I hunched a shoulder. 'Monica wouldn't get her panties in a twist over that.'
'Panties,' she muttered under her breath, with accompanying eye roll (hmm, was it another habit, the eye roll?), as she set her glass on the table. 'Right, then. Let's say goodbye so you can go home and tell Monica all about it.'
'Monica doesn't live with me.'
'Then go to her place.'
'Make a special trip to tell her I was goaded into signing some random girl's thong? She'd send me for a head X-ray if I did that.'
'I suppose it happens so often it's regarded as commonplace among you lot.'
'"You lot"?' I asked with a laugh. 'Even if it were commonplace among "my lot" - and it's not - that's not the reason I wouldn't tell her. I wouldn't tell her because I don't owe her any . . . I mean we don't have that kind of . . . I mean she's not my . . .' Nice time to realise I wasn't exactly sure what Monica was or was not. 'Not my . . . girlfriend.'
Evie snorted again as she got to her feet, picked up her evening bag and slung it over her shoulder.
I stood, too. 'She's not my girlfriend,' I said, more definitively, before Evie could make a run for it. 'We're just . . . seeing each other. When I'm in Sydney, or she's in LA. Casually.' I stopped to clear my throat. 'Kind of like . . . an open relationship.'
'Oh, just . . . seeing each other. Casually. In an open relationship.' She mimicked my throat clearing, and then rolled her eyes. (Yep, definitely a habit.) 'You movie stars!'
'It's got nothing to do with being a movie -' Nope, I could not call myself a movie star. Not with a straight face. 'An actor.'
'Or maybe it's just part of being a narcissist. Girls up the yin yang chasing you.'
'Not every girl, it seems,' I said dryly.
She looked uncomfortable, as if she knew what I meant but didn't want to.
I went to stand in front of her, close enough to touch. 'You know that Drew wants us to be friends.'
'Yes. I - I know,' she said, all breathy.
'Can we try that?'
Long moment. She swallowed, then slowly nodded.
'Good. And in that case, I can do this,' I said and reached out a hand to touch her hair.
'What are you -?'
'You've got some fluff in your hair,' I lied, as I twisted one of her ringlets around my finger.
'Oh,' she said, as her breathing faltered.
My own breathing wasn't behaving, either. It felt like there was some electric current running from her hair along my fingers, into my hand, up my arm, through my body, right to my groin, where it burst in a sudden dazzle and gave me a raging hard-on. I wanted to pull Evie into my arms so badly, I wanted to be inside her so badly, it was almost painful to let that curl of her hair slip through my fingers, as I knew I had to do. For now.
Her mouth opened, just the tiniest bit, and she blinked at me. Her eyes were so round, so big, so . . . blue.
'And a smudge,' I said, just above a whisper. 'Here.' Touching two fingertips to her unsmudged cheekbone. Letting them rest there for a moment. Feeling something shiver through her. I would have given anything for her to want me to kiss her. Let me kiss you, please, let me. The words were there, locked inside me, clamouring to get out.
She shook her head, as though she'd heard them, and stepped away from me. One of her hands went to her cheek, cupping there, where I'd touched her. The other was performing a similar duty where I'd touched her hair.
'I have to go,' she said, and walked quickly to the door. She stopped there, and turned to me. Licked her lips nervously. 'And about . . . before. I really did like your speech.'
There were three things I knew as I watched Evie sail out of the room that night.
One: whatever the hell I had going on with Monica Farraday, it was about to be officially over.
Two: I wasn't leaving Sydney any time soon.
Three: Evangeline Parker was about to drive me fucking insane.
NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR
This story - which I hope you enjoyed - is a prequel to my book Wanting Mr Wrong, which picks up the action three months later, and is told from Evie's point of view.
If you want to read the first chapter of Wanting Mr Wrong, please click HERE!
One of the things I loved about writing Wanting Mr Wrong is the relationship between the three friends - Evie, Chloe and Drew. That relationship picks up again in Chloe's story, Escaping Mr Right, which won the Romance Writers of Australia RUBY Awards for Best Long Romance and overall Romantic Book of the Year! and you'll see it again when I write Drew's story (fingers crossed for 2019).