Nina Clark POV
Ethan took us out of the Gym as the principal tried to keep everyone calm. This must have been the scoop of the century for them. I just really hope that everything stays here, within the privacy of this school. Being a celebrity doesn’t give me this privilege, but I really hope they’ll honor it.
He took my hand and led me into his classroom. The kids were holding each other’s hands as they followed us in the room.
I let go of his hand and walk forward in the room, almost feeling like pacing.
‘Oh boy.’ Lilly says, ‘What?’ Lukas answers, ‘Look.’ I hear her answer her brother. I don’t want to face the music; I mean, can I? I don’t want to look him into the eye and see what kind of damage I’ve done. I can’t help but feel like this. I know I screwed up and I hope he’ll be there for the kids’ sake.
After all these years the first thing he said was that he loves me. It took him years to say it, will he stay? What will he do?
‘Mummy.’ I hear in the distant, but will he stay? Or will he take the kids away from me? ‘MUMMY!!!!!’ That snapped me out of it alright. ‘What?!’ I kind of snap.
‘You were pacing and mumbling.’ Lukas says in a scared voice. God, what did I do? I hurry over to him. Hoping, I didn’t scare him. Lord, Nina don’t overreact like this. You never talk to them like this.
‘Oh, baby. I’m sorry, I shouldn’t have snapped at you.’ I crunch down, ‘Come here.’ I say gesturing for him to come to me. He sneaks his arms around my neck. ‘Daddy is really here.’ He states surprised but at the same time you can hear in his voice, he’s scared. I know these kids never expected this to happen, neither did I If I’m being honest. But it happened.
‘I know.’ I whisper back. ‘Are you happy?’ He nods his head against me.
‘Nina.’ Ethan says urgently, I look up to him and see nothing but sadness in his eyes. No anger to be detected. I stand back up Lilly is standing next to Ethan looking at me with those big blue eyes of hers. ‘Yes?’ I say looking away.
He doesn’t say anything but taking my wrists and pulls me against him, wrapping his arms around me. I just stand there, not knowing what to do.
After getting over the initial shock, I wrap my arms around him.
‘I’m sorry.’ He says against my skin in my neck, making a shiver go over my spine. I jerk back, completely surprised. ‘Why are you sorry? I didn’t tell you. I’m so sorry, Eth. I’m so sorry, I screwed up.’
He shakes his head, ‘I know exactly why you didn’t tell me. You reacted out of fear, a fear that could’ve been taken away by me if I would’ve been just honest with you. Lord knows, how many times I should’ve listened to my subconscious.’
‘What does subconscious mean?’ Lukas asks, as a very welcome distraction at this time. We both turn to him, as I was about to answer him, Lilly jumps in.
‘That’s the little voice in your head, that feeling you get, when you did something wrong or should be doing something else. Right mum?’ Lilly answers.
Ethan shakes his head, looking back and forth between Lilly and me. ‘What on earth just happened?’ He states proudly. ‘You are very right, Lil. And which book taught you that? Which book of mine did you read?’ I ask in a stern voice whilst crossing my arms before me. Lilly has this great gift of stealing my books, when she's out of her own. The kid loves to read, but she shouldn't be reading that.
She looks away, ‘Uhm, the one of Freud.’ ‘Did she just say Freud? Nina, is she reading Freud?’ Ethan asks, I sigh.
‘Apparently. Lilly, you know what I think of you reading those books. If your books are all read, just ask me for new ones. Freud, Nietzsche, … Those are not for you, baby girl. I’ll get you some books, which ones do you want?’ 'Classics?' I ask, knowing the answer very well. She nods.
‘I really want to read “The Scarlet Letter”, but also “Great expectations” and “Wuthering heights”, ooooh and “Harry Potter” but the extended version.’ She says shrieking. I shake my head in disbelieve.
That girl loves her books.
Ethan is just standing there with his mouth dropped on the floor. He shakes his head, ‘She’s six, right?’ He asks stunned making me laugh. I nod, ‘She likes to read, I taught her to read a couple of years ago. She loves the classics. She’s going to be that annoying kid in English class that read all those books before the year even started.’
Ethan nods, ‘She can have mine. I have the first editions of all those books.’
Lilly’s eyes widen, ‘Fi- - first ed.. editions?’ She stumbles, she looks like she’s about to faint.
Instead, she starts jumping up and down like she just got the best present in the world. She sprints over to her dad attacking his legs, ‘Thank you so much daddy!!’ She turns back to me, ‘Mum, did you hear that. First editions!!’ She shrieks whilst I shook my head, seeing my little girl running through the classroom with her hands in the air.
‘God, what did you do. I’ll never see her anymore.’ He starts laughing, ‘Then she’ll be with me. You must remember that I love reading as well.’ He says and I nod, ‘Just wait until you see our house daddy. I have a reading room, with thousands of books, a sofa and a pillow fort where I can read every day. Not the entire day though…’ She says sticking her tongue out to me.
‘I think I created a monster.’ He says, ‘That we did, she can only read a couple of hours during the morning and evening. I want her outdoors as much as possible. I want her to have a life. Luke is not much better.’ I say pointing to my son.
‘What did I do?’ He asks pulling his arms up defending himself. ‘Tell daddy what you love to do.’ His eyes lit up, ‘I love to play the piano and paint, but I can’t do it the entire day. But when we are in the garden, Lil and I go in our treehouse. Mom and granddad build it.’ He says, ‘Granddad?’ Ethan asks looking surprised at me.
Oh, right. In his reality, I don’t have a dad.
‘Lilly, we have to go get him.’ Lukas says pulling her out of the room.
And there we are, just the two of us. ‘I’m really sorry.’ I tell him again. ‘I’m angry, you know.’ I nod, ‘You’d be an idiot if you weren’t.’ He laughs, that beautiful deep throat love. ‘Yes, I would be and believe me. I’ll show you in time how angry I am.’ He says warning me.
‘You’re not going to take them away from me, do you?’ I ask in a tiny voice, he shakes his head. ‘God, of course not. I see you haven’t changed one bit, always assuming the worst. Do you remember what I did back in the day when you did something that made me “angry”?’ My eyes widen and cheeks flush.
‘Oh God.’ I say with a moan, clasping my hand around my mouth immediately. I can’t believe I let out a moan, this is embarrassing but, in my defense, it’s been 7 years since I had sex.
‘What was that?’ He asks jokingly stepping closer to me. The heat pools down right in my panties. ‘Nothing, well….’
And just like that ‘Look granddad, that’s daddy!!’ Lukas shrieks as he jumps into Ethan’s arms. I let out a laugh.
‘Ethan…’ Dad states with shock in his eyes. Ethan looks up from Lukas and the shock is also noticeable in his eyes. ‘David?’ He wonders, ‘Dad?’ I ask. But dad can only move forward as the tears stream down his face and pulls Ethan in a hug.
‘God, do you have any idea how worried everyone has been?’ He scolds him. Ethan shakes his head, ‘I don’t care, David.’ He says in a stern voice. ‘Well, I guess I should be angry with you for knocking up my baby girl. But she warned me if I do, I’ll regret it and the last time I did something like that, well let’s say it took me almost half a year before I heard from her again.’ Ethan turns back to me, cocking an eyebrow. ‘What?’ He shakes his head, ‘I always knew you were stubborn, but knowing you are David’s girl. I’m not so shocked actually.’
‘Hey!’ Dad pushes him back a bit, ‘That’s not how you talk about your godfather you know.’
‘Yeah, yeah, sorry uncle David.’ I must’ve been imagining this, there’s no other way this could be happening, right? ‘Uncle?’ ‘Godfather?’ ‘Oh my God?!’ I say flipping midsentence.
Just like that it hit me, ‘You don’t have any siblings.’ I tell him turning back to him. Dad laughs, ‘That’s true, his father is my best friend. You know Uncle Killian?’ My eyes widen.
‘You mean the uncle Killian who helped me through every fucking thing?’ Dad rolls his eyes, ‘Well, when I wasn’t there, yes.’ ‘You know my dad?’ Ethan asks shocked. ‘Yes, he took care of me after my music career took off. I had him handle he legal side of everything. Dad couldn’t so Killian did. He took me to the hospital when….’
‘When?’ I sigh.
‘When Nin, called me in the middle of the night.’ Dad starts, ‘I was in freaking Japan at the time, she called and said “Daddy, something is wrong. I’m bleeding, there is something wrong with the babies.” I called Killian immediately, without him. Lord know what could’ve happened with these two.’ Ethan pulled me in a hug. ‘Sorry.’
‘Why do you have everyone worried?’ I ask him directly; I remember him telling me that his father didn’t respect his career choice. He didn’t really talk with him; he didn’t tell me more.
‘I cut all thighs with my family after…’ ‘After he disowned you because of your career choice.’ He nods, dad rolls his eyes. ‘Well, when I found out about that. Like 2 months after you left, Eth. I punched some sense into him; He’s been looking for you for like 15 years.’
‘I was just here; he didn’t have to look hard.’ He spits. I shake my head.
‘Ethan, Uncle Killian lives in New York. He has been living there with his wife and daughter for 15 years.’ I tell him. ‘New York, my dad?’ I nod, ‘He expanded his business there and fell in love with the place.’ He rolls his eyes, ‘And let me guess Emmy is spoiled rotten?’ He says, there is venom in his voice.
I shake my head, ‘No, he’s very strict on her. She has to work hard, crazy hard to gain even a little bit of his respect. She’s a doctor now. She never wanted to be that, but she felt like that was what he wanted from her and she didn’t want to disappoint. She’s actually a pediatric surgeon.’ He shakes his head.
‘Emily? A doctor? She wanted to be an orchestra pianist.’ He says stunned. ‘After you left, all the hope fell on Emily. That was until Nina. Nina kicked his ass, when she saw how he was treating her. She took Emily out of the house and into hers, so the girl could breathe. Now she loves her job, more than anything. But she does tell me that she misses to play the piano.’
‘Shit.’ He hisses, ranting his hands through his hair. ‘Well, since I don’t really plan on staying here. I guess we go home?’ He says coming back to me. ‘I live in New York as well. But just outside of New York. I like the peace and quiet.’
‘Okay, so what now?’ Dad asks me. I check the time and look at the twins. I show them my watch, ‘What time is it?’ ‘It’s birthday time time – to the pancake hall!’ They shriek and pull us out of the building.