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16

Quinn Pov

I watch her drive off and turn to Theo. I badly want to drive her to the city and not be apart but I am coming to a realization that my idea of how things should be is a fantasy that exist in imagination and life hold no obligation to fulfil that nor does she.

I should never have poked my nose in her phone when I saw it light showing unread message. She never puts any passwords on her phone so I unlocked it. It was a massage from her friend, Kelly, asking her if she had asked me for help. She never came her for an apology, her presence was just a façade of care to get me to help her out of her mess, as always. I now have to wonder if she really did kill Andre-----I would care less of what happened to him because I am sure given the chance he would have hurt her----- or it was the icing in her story to earn my sympathy.

I am just tired and growing too old from that shit. That minimal thing I need at this point is stability for my mind to enable me be a better father to my son. Yes, I could have asked her but I can guarantee only excuse she would offer. She thinks she is the only one who can use people?

“I see she left, I thought she would stay a little longer?” I turn to Misha who carelessly walks in.

I no longer have the strength left to deal with her, I turn and start to walk back inside the house. I hear her footsteps following closely.

“I would love to talk about our son, we can no longer ignore that.” She says.

Her words irritate me to a point I find my fist forming into balls.

She gasps when I abruptly to face her.

I shake my head and clench my jaw trying to contain my anger. I hate it when my someone threatens the wellbeing of my son.

“Did you by any chance lose your mind and any sense in you for those years. The moment you decided to leave you lost any right towards him. We have been leaving okay and I won’t let you dare mess with his head.” I point my index finger at her.

“I am his mother.” She attempts to defeat herself when she sees how serious I am.

“A sad fact.” I shake my head, pitiful.

She moves forward and her hands attempt to reach out to touch me but she stops herself before I do.

“You used to love me, what happened?” A tear threatens to fall from her eyes. I rub my nose and chin and look away.

“You left.” I finally say holding bad those fresh memories and the pain they brought.

I was just eighteen, a father and alone. The woman I loved and thought I knew had abandoned the two us. I didn’t know if she was alive and if she was, what was that bad that made her leave without a word and unhealed cesarean wound? Did she hate our son that much?

“I am here now, Quinn.” my name comes out softly from her lips and it disorients me before I feel her lips on mine. Something flashes within me, I freeze as her tongue coerces me for access. My lips oblige for a second before I push her away and she stumbles back almost falling.

I wipe my mouth with the back of my hand, “Don’t ever do that again.” I warn her.

“Why? I felt you lips move, you wanted it as badly as I did.” She smiles as she speaks.

I stride to where she is and grab her by her arm and start walking towards the small gate.

“I have been lenient with you for a while,” I push her out and release her. “Don’t come back, I mean it.” I say as I lock it. The ranch was not fenced since the people around feared the Nickel property and none could attempt to trespass in it.

I

“We belong together.” She says the words I would use on her when she expressed her insecurity over our relationship in terms of age and status difference.

“Dan! Dan!” I shout the name of one of my workers.

Dan comes out half running, half walking. He is shirtless must have been doing something else.

I point round the ranch, “I want this entire ranch fenced by the end of the day.” I order.

He looks at me surprised.

“whole of it?” he still can’t believe it. It is vast, a bit impossible but I don’t care.

“I don’t care get the entire village if you can but when I return I want it done.” I demand and start to walk back into the house. I remember something and turn to him again, “Don’t allow her inside this ranch, if I find her. You leave with her.” I don’t wait for his response or reaction. I stride inside the house, I have more urgent things to do, I have to get Cara out of the mess she is in. I can only protect her for my son’s safety and have to remind myself I can’t love her.

I didn’t tell my mother I would be visiting so she is surprised when she sees us pull in at the Manor. I had told Cara I would join her in two days but the thought Misha being around the ranch and what transpired between us pushed me to make an immediate action.

She has taken good care of it, planted her favorite flowers and some citrus trees. My father hated anything vegetative. He hated staying at the ranch and considered selling it. He would uproot any flowers my mother would plant with an excuse that she was building homes for animals like Snakes.

She has her gloves on and an irrigating jar. She puts it down when Theo rushes towards her.

“My God look at you.” She embraces him.

She lifts my head and glares at me accusing, “Your sister told me you were at your apartment last week yet you didn’t tell me.” She says.

“Here I am.” I announce. She has changed and she glows more nowadays. She smiles more, she is happy. Is like the death of my father brought life to her.

She draws me for a hug. I never shared a hug with my mother for twenty plus years since I was born. My father said it would harm my masculinity. In that last six months I have lost count of how many times she has hugged me. He was wrong, her hug reaffirms my masculinity to always protect her.

She stares down at Theo, “So what have you been up to little man?” she asks him.

“Misha says I am not a little man anymore.” Theo says and I see my mother’s eyes widen with surprise. She never liked Misha at first but finally accepted her when she saw how serious I was.

“Misha?” Her voice shakes as she asks.

“She came back.” I answer.

“How long?” My mother looks like it is a ghost that came back to life.

“a few weeks ago.” I say still confused why she is more emotional of her return than me.

She takes in a sharp gasp and shakes her head. “Did she say where she has been?” she finally asks.

I shake my head, “I am not interested.”

“Don’t believe whatever she says.” My mother warns as she welcomes us inside the house.

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