I could see the panic in Willow’s eyes as I pulled her closer to me. “Now really isn’t the best time Mr. Owens. I’m sure Willow will call you later.”
“Willow if we can just step outside for a minute,” her dad said ignoring everything I had said to him.
Willow had managed to make her way behind me and it was all the encouragement I needed to get rude. “Your daughter doesn’t have shit to say to you right now. You can see she’s shocked as hell to see you. Give her time. When and if she gets ready she will call you but don’t come here anymore.”
“I really don’t think this is any of your business son.”
I shook my head as he hit a nerve, “I’m not your son dude. What I am is tired of repeating myself. Either you leave or I’ll kick you out myself.”
Dad walked into the room putting his hand on Willow’s shoulder telling her something too low for me to hear. As she started walking I realized he must have sent her ups stairs. He didn’t speak just leaned against the counter with his arms crossed.
I watched as Mr. Owens looked from me to my dad trying to decide how we were involved in any of this. He finally decided for his own good that he would be better off leaving. “Tell her I’m staying at the Country Inn, room 216.” He looked me up and down once again before walking out.
“Why do the two of you always have some kind of drama stirred up", dad asked as he walked forward.
I cut my eyes at him, “uhh I know you aren’t talking. All the drama you and mom had going on didn’t even compare to mine.”
Dad shook his head, “go check on Willow. I’ll finish the job you were working on.”
I nodded thanking him as I walked up the stairs. I could only imagine what her dad was in town for. Money. We had cut him off and he was either wanting it or he owed it to someone. Either way, I knew it couldn’t be anything good. It never was in situations like this.
Walking into my little apartment I saw Willow sitting on the couch with her head buried in her hands. I sighed going to sit beside her and pulling her into my arms. She came willingly but the tears rolling down her face killed me. They made me want to go to the Country Inn myself and knock her dad out.
"He's gone," I whispered into her ear before I wiped her tears away. “Please don’t cry Willow, you know I can’t take it.”
Willow laughed even as she cried, “what Maddox Knight affected by tears?”
I only held her tighter. Tears had never mattered to me till her. How many girls had tried to sway me by using tears against me? Not once did I ever care, not until Willow.
“What did he say to you?”
Sighing I looked down at her, “just that he wants to speak to you.”
Willow shook her head, “he must know by now that he’s been cut off.” She laid her head against mine, “you know I want to ignore it, pretend like he doesn't exist.”
“You know you don’t have to talk to him.” I didn’t add how I would happily inform him of her decision.
Sitting up Willow shook her head, “I have to see what he wants.” I opened my mouth to speak but she cut me off. “I know you don’t think I should but he is my dad. I need to at least see what he wants.”
“Money,” I said aggravated. “You know what the hell he wants. What he always wants.”
Willow looked down, “maybe so but I need to hear him out.” She looked up at me grabbing my hands. “You have to trust me Maddox I would never give him anything. I know you gave up a lot to help me out and I'd never go behind your back. I’d never do anything to hurt what we have.”
As she started crying again I felt my anger deflate. It was hard to be mad at her when she was so emotional. “Ok, but you're not going alone. I’m taking you to your dad when you are ready.”
Against my better judgement, I drove Willow to the hotel her father was staying at a litte after 6. I didn't think she was ready, she had sat most of the day and cried. It killed me not knowing what to do or say to make her feel better. I had even called dad and he said sometimes you just had to let them get their feelings out, for me to just be there for her, be beside her. And that's exactly what I had done.
Looking over at Willow I sighed, she was still a wreck. I had tried to talk her out of coming to see her dad tonight but she said she had to get her life straight. I couldn't really argue with that although I tried. My arguments were cut short after she yelled at me that she didn't need this kind of stress and all she needed was my support. Fine I would support her but I wouldn't be happy.
As I pulled up in the parking lot Willow glanced over at me, "you aren't coming in with me. You will sit here and wait for me."
I shook my head, "the fuck I will Willow."
She sighed, "Maddox, my dad is a peace of work. He won't say what he wants in front of you and things will only get dragged out. Let me go in alone. I can do this. I've done this my whole life.
I grabbed her hand kissing it, "things are diffrent now," I said.
"More than you know, Maddox," Willow said. "If I need you I promise you I will make it known."
Letting out a deep breath I watched her open the door and walk away from me. Why did I feel as if I was sending her into the wolfs den alone and unprepared? Part of me wanted to say fuck it and follow her inside but I knew I needed to just sit and wait. I wasn't good at waiting so she better not take too long.
I was shaking as I walked to my dad's door and knocked. Room 216, what secrets lay behind your door? I saw the curtains in the window moved before my dad opened the door widely smiling. "Willow, I didn't think you would come."
Walking in I shut my eyes as the door shut behind me. What if this was a setup. My eyes grew wide as I looked around the room but found no one here but my dad. "I've come, what is it that you need from me?"
Dad frowned pulling out a chair from the table that sat by the window, "come girl, sit. Who says I want anything?"
I looked at him pointedly as I sat, "come on dad I don't have all day. I have Maddox waiting on me in the car and if I'm here too long you'll have to deal with him too."
"That's the boy that was at the shop?" As I nodded my dad grinned, "I saw his name on his shirt said Knight. Just like the building. His family must own it."
I didn't like where he was heading so I only nodded. Dad sat across from me patting the table, "well look at you. You have a good set up going here. How is your Aunt Maureen doing? I'm almost positive she will leave everything to you when she dies. She really doesn't have anyone else."
Tilting my head I had to digest each and every word he said carefully to make sure I wasn't overthinking what he was saying. "What do you mean good set up I have here. This isn't a setup. I work at the Knights. Yes, Maddox and I are, well I guess we are dating but that has nothing to do with any setup. As for Aunt Maureen she is fine, nothing for you to worry about."
Dad scoffed at me, "Willow don't look at me like that. I didn't mean it like that. I just meant look at you. Came here to help your aunt and ended up running into some money."
"Why is everything about money with you?" I yelled. "Is that why you are here, do you need more money?"
Letting out a sigh dad looked up, "Franklin has cut me off sweetheart. He said you paid him off but that he wasn't going to take such a risk on me again."
The sigh of relief that left my lips wasn't unnoticed by my dad. I really didn't care if he was mad at me or not. Dad shook his head, "Willow I can't pay rent anymore, the electricity has been turned off. You left and everything went to shit."
I tilted my head, "you had money when I left."
Dad nodded, "I did and you know I'm sorry. I've tried to quit, but the temtation is so strong. It calls out to me like a drug Willow."
"I'm not going to be your enabler anymore dad. I can't. I have my own life. I love you, but I can't keep doing this."
With tears in his eyes dad nodded, " I know Willow. I know. That's why I'm here. I need help honey. Do you think your Aunt would let me live with you two? Just till I get back on my feet."
My mouth opened in shock. I had expected money, maybe even for me to talk to Franklin, I had never thought he'd be asking to move in with me. "I don't know dad. She is very sick and I don't want to upset her."
Dad nodded, "I have enough money on my card to stay here a few more nights. Can you just ask her? Please for me."
I shook my head, "no dad. That's not fair for her. It's not fair for me."
"Does everything I've done for you not count, " my dad shouted at me, his face turning a bright shade of red. "You have it made down here, I just need a place to stay."
I shook my head, "you aren't staying at Aunt Maureen's house dad I'm sorry." I hated being mean but I knew he would only stay a couple of nights and swipe her place clean of all valuables. He'd done something similar to this before. I had been younger but I remember him waking me up in the middle of the night because we had to go. The next few days we spent going from pawnshop to pawn shop.
"You are my daughter," Dad said matter of factly. "
"Really cause I can't tell," I said shaking my head feeling tears run down my face. Shit was this pregnancy hormones? I'd cried more today than I ever had.
"What about that boyfriend of yours..."
I jerked my head up, "what about him dad? Do you want to live with him?"
Dad laughed, "no dear, I just thought that..."
"NO," I screamed at him. "He will not give you any money, I will not give you any money."
Dad opened his mouth again but I just lost it, "do you know how much money you racked up with those people dad. Do you have any idea how I felt when I came home and saw a gun to your head? I worked my ass off to pay that money off to save you but you kept building it back up. Do you know Dalton pretended to accidentally run into me one day at lunch? We dated, or at least I thought we did until I found out the truth. Do you know what he did to me when I tried to..." I shook my head, "forget it I'm done."
As I stood up dad grabbed my arm, "what Willow, I would never let them touch you. You have to believe me."
I laughed, "I'm so far past that."
I reached out to open the door but dad slammed it shut leaning against it. "You can't go, Willow please."
The door was forcefully thrust open, my dad being slammed against the wall. On the other side of the door stood my knight in shining armor looking mad as hell and ready to go into battle for me if I called him. I smiled, "I'm ready to go now."
Maddox frowned at me looking past me at my dad who was begging me not to leave. Grabbing Maddox's arm I started walking pulling him with me. "Come on, I said I want to go."
"Ok baby, " he said watching over his shoulder as we walked to the truck. As he opened my door watching me hop into his truck he looked up at me, "are you ok?"
I nodded at him wiping my face clean, "I love you Maddox. We have a lot to talk about. Take me home."
I saw the worry in his face and in all honestly, I was nervous as fuck to tell him about the baby too but I knew I couldn't keep this from him. I was scared to tell him but I also had enough faith in him to know he would handle this as a man should. As he drove away I watched my dad watching us from his room door with his hand on his head. I had no idea what would happen with him. If he would disappear without a trace or if he would show up tomorrow on the same bullshit. I just knew that tonight I was going to tell the man of my dreams that he was going to be a father.