Willow & Aiden After Forty

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Chapter 40

“I can’t believe this happened. It’s like a Dateline episode you watch on a Friday night. You know it’s real and that it happened, but you always think it could never happen to you,” Lex says and snuggles closer into Al’s side.

They didn’t come over yesterday or last night after they arrested Amanda for hiring Christ White to kill me. Yesterday was hard. It was like an out-of-body experience for all of us. The boys, Vi and Sage, my family, my life, we had to come together and accept that this is where we find ourselves. We need each other now more than ever to be able to begin some kind of healing.

The news broke that Amanda had hired Chris White, also known as Christian Roush, a friend she had made working as a dancer in Brooklyn, New York, to kill me. “I’ll never watch a Dateline episode again,” I say and shiver.

Aiden sighs and kisses the top of my head. “It was nice to see Henry. I’m glad he flew in last night to be with you. How are they handling all of this?” Lex asks.

“Everybody is still in shock. Oliver and Caroline are staying here and Max, at my old house with Ryan, for a couple of weeks until this settles down some. Can you imagine the gossip in Roseway?” I shake my head, my boys’ home town will never be the same again; nothing will ever be the same again. “Elliot and Drew have to leave in two days, they have finals, and then they will be back for the summer.”

I bit my lip and tense. Aiden feels the change in me. “Don’t baby, don’t go there. Max should have never put that thought into your head. It’s over, that’s all you need to concentrate on.”

For the first time in forty-eight hours, I feel something other than extreme loss, numbness, and sadness. Slowly, anger stirs inside me, and I sit up, “Aiden, he was right. That could have happened. Lex, last night Max commented if she had gotten away with it, who was next after she pissed away the boy’s inheritance money? Was she planning on picking off a child one by one for the hopes of getting access to more money?”

“Willow, calm down, he was understandably upset—”

I interrupt Aiden, “I know, but that comment could have come true, she wants and needs money. She wanted me dead for money! She thought she could kill me, and my boys would shut up about their dad pissing away all of his finances. She wouldn’t have stoppe—”

Aiden stands and picks me up, “Enough Willow. It’s over, no more worrying or wondering.”

I blow out a breath and lay my head down on his chest. He’s right.

When the doorbell rings, I automatically stiffen. My limbs that are wrapped around Aiden tighten. I look over and see Lexi turn white, and Al wraps her in his arms.

Aiden sighs, I feel tears in my eyes. We are all fucked up, one way or many ways because of greed and fucking Jake. I unwrap my legs from around Aiden, but he doesn’t put me down. “Come on, baby. We are answering the door together, relax, I’ve got you.”

I do my best to calm myself down. I was working on this and doing well when the doorbell rings. I blow out a breath, Aiden’s right, no more will be taken from us. He carries me to the foyer, Aiden looks out the side glass of our new wooden front door and he tenses.

I look out and freeze, “Jake.”

Aiden

I place Willow on her feet, “Do not move. I’ll take care of him.”

She’s white as a ghost, and her green eyes are once again filling with tears. “How, how is he allowed, is he allowed to be here?”

I gently glide my thumbs under her eyes. I hate to see her dark circles. She can’t take much more. “He will never step foot on our property again. You are not allowed to speak to him. I would advise against it.”

The dumb motherfucker rings the bell again. “Mom, what’s going…?” Henry, Drew, and Max walk into the foyer and see their dad outside of the front door.

“Guys, please take your mother into the kitchen and get her some water. I’ll deal with him—”

“No fucking way, you take her in the kitchen.” Drew tries to get past me to open the front door to get to his father. I grab ahold of him by his tee shirt. “You need to think things through before you speak with him.”

Oliver, Caroline, and Elliot have joined us in the foyer. I hear Caroline gasp, but I don’t break eye contact with Drew. He’s the youngest, and Willow has told me he suffered the most through the divorce. He already hated his dad, and now, we find ourselves in a mini version of Hell.

“Let him inside, Aiden.”

I shake my head at Willow’s whisper. “No, baby, no way.”

“Aiden, his children, are inside, we, they, I need to hear what he has to say.” She swallows and sways. Thank God, Caroline reaches her side. “I need this over. Fri-fri-frisk him first.”

“Jesus Christ, Mom!”

I swing my glare to Max. I know I need to watch my words; tensions are high. I’m glad he shuts his mouth. “She has every fucking right to want him frisked. Willow and Caroline tell Al and Lexi what’s going on and ask them to leave for the night. Please go into the kitchen and wait for us. Boys, I’d like to speak with him, and then I’ll let you guys decide if you would like a word before I let him speak to your mother.”

Jake pounds on the front door. Oliver kisses his mom’s cheek. “Is that okay with you? You don’t have to ever speak to him again if you don’t want to.”

She pats his face, her tears fall. “I know, honey, but I need closure so I can help you and your brothers.”

He bobs his head, “Aiden, we’ll meet with him in your office when you are finished. Please don’t hurt him, that should be reserved for his flesh and blood.”

I nod my promise.

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