Ember Rains (Book 1)

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Chapter 14: Car

The next day I kept track of Myra’s actions through Jacob’s mind link while I made preparations for the best date she had ever had. Which if I was being honest, the bar was probably set pretty low.

However if I was going to change her mind about me, this had to be perfect.

At 3:45pm, I was parked outside her apartment building. I was wearing my nicest dark wash jeans and a white button up T-shirt. I paired this with my favorite black leather jacket, as well as my black combat boots.

I nervously climbed out of the car and headed up the stairs. Her apartment was on the second story of the complex. After a deep breath I knocked quietly on the door.I

“One second!” I heard Myra call through the door.

“I’ll get it, mommy,” Tyler said, opening the door.

“No!” Myra called, but it was too late.

“Hey Tyler, how are you doing today?” I asked.

“Good. I got cereal and milk for breakfast!” Tyler exclaimed, jumping up and down.

It struck me once again how things most children took for granted, Tyler thrived on. He had already had so little in life that even the little things were monumental to him.

“That sounds so good!” I exclaimed.

I was unsure as to whether I should come in. On one hand, the door was open; on the other, Myra had told Ty not to open it. Before I could get too awkward about it, Myra appeared in the hall across the living room.

“Ty, you don’t just open the door when someone knocks.” She said, smiling shyly at me.

All my nervousness vanished at the sight of her. Her hair had been curled and now hung loosely down her back. She wore only a small amount of eyeliner and mascara that made her warm brown eyes pop. She wore a red v-neck blouse that hung loosely over her torso, making my imagination run rampant, and a pair of dark blue jeans and wedge heels. She looked absolutely stunning.

“Wow.” I managed with a grin, “You look amazing.”

“You don’t look bad yourself.” She said after a brief hesitation.

“Thank you. Now we should get going. Rowan and Avrily are looking forward to spending the afternoon with you, mister.” I grinned down at the little boy and offered him my hand.

He flinched slightly, but quickly recovered and grabbed my hand as if it were a lifeline.

I had to fight to not gawk at Myra. She was everything I had ever dreamed of and more. However I knew my staring would make her uncomfortable. I couldn’t help glancing at her as we walked to the car and climbed in.

“What?” She asked self consciously

“Sorry, you just look perfect.” I said weakly.

She blushed and shifted awkwardly in her seat.

“Anyway, let’s get going. Ty are you buckled up?” I asked to ease the tension.

“Uh-huh. Ms. Rowan showed me how when we went shopping!” He responded excitedly.

“Good.” I grinned back at him in the mirror.

‘Well at least one of them likes us.’ Brooke grumbled.

I simply rolled my eyes in response, he knew better.

It took longer than I expected to drop Tyler off. Even when Rowan had finally convinced Myra that she had it all under control, it was clear Myra was still nervous.

“When was the last time you left him with someone else?” I asked curiously.

“Never.”

“You never once left him with anyone, not even his father?” I said stunned before remembering the little I did know of Tyler’s father. Of course she hadn’t left Tyler with that abusive psychopath.

She shook her head calmly, unphased.

“Sorry, I didn’t think.” I apologized, suppressing my anger.

She just shrugged before asking, “Where are we going?”

“It’s a surprise.” I grinned halfheartedly, still trying to shake off both Brooke’s rage and my own.

“I don’t think I like surprises.” She admitted cautiously.

“Then you haven’t ever had the right kind of surprise.” She shot me a disbelieving look, so I added, “Do you trust me?”

“No.” She said automatically.

‘Ouch…’ Brooke groaned and I winced.

“I mean, not quite yet. I’m trying. I’m sorry that’s the best I can do right now.” She flushed cherry red as she said this. “I just don’t really trust anyone anymore.”

“I know, but I won’t let anything happen to you. You are safe with me.” I pushed, determined to make her believe it.

She nodded then frowned thoughtfully.

“Can I ask you a question?” She asked cautiously.

“You just did.” I chuckled, “Lucky for you, you are allowed to ask as many as you want.”

“What did you talk to Tyler about that first afternoon?” She asked, frowning slightly.

“What do you mean?” I stammered.

‘Busted, I warned you!’ Brooke growled.

“I don’t know he just isn’t known to fall asleep on random guys shoulders. He’s more cautious than that. He trusts you.” She explained slowly

“Well we talked about parents mostly. Mine,” I looked at her guiltily, “And his.”

Myra stiffened slightly but she didn’t scream at me. I wondered if that was because of the fear or if she just wasn’t one to scream and yell.

“You asked my five year old about my ex?” She clarified.

“No. I mean yes, not exactly.”

She faced me glaring furiously.

“I asked if his dad had left.” I admitted wincing at the daggers she was shooting at me.

All traces of her previous fear gone, she looked down right dangerous. It seems ludicrous to me that some body so small could ever look so threatening. However it suddenly made sense that Tyler felt safer with her around.

The car felt suddenly warmer than it should be and I rolled down the windows.

“Please don’t set my car on fire, I know I crossed a line.” I said quickly, “I’m sorry.”

She rolled her eyes, “I would appreciate it if you would refrain from bringing Victor up around Ty. It’s a touchy topic.”

I nodded, “Of course. I really am sorry, I was just curious. Brooke was pissed at me.”

She chuckled, the melodic sound surprising me. “Sorry.” She murmured, “What did Tyler tell you?”

“He said you guys left when his father hurt him.” My knuckles turned white as my fingers tightened around the steering wheel. “I can’t imagine why he did that.”

Myra shrugged.

“Let’s talk about something more pleasant.” I sighed.

“How about we get to know each other a little bit?” I suggested.

She sighed, “I guess that could be okay.”

“Do you have any family?” I was unsure what exactly I was allowed to ask, but that seemed safe.

“Yeah, um. I have my dad and big brother.” She responded.

“Are you close with them?” I was trying to understand why she was here on her own if she had family somewhere out there.

“I was really close to my brother, um I try to write to him whenever I get a chance. I haven’t gotten to talk to him much lately. I don’t want to drag him down with me.” She smiled but I could hear the sadness in her voice.

“And your dad?”

“No, not really.” She shrugged again, “Don’t get me wrong he raised Trystan and I. I will always be grateful we were able to stay together, but he drank excessively and tended to be a little heavy handed.”

“He hit you?”

“Honestly, Trystan normally stepped in. He took the majority of the knocks.” She corrected, I just nodded numbly.

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