I step back into the living room after my long shower and dress. Theo is playing outside with Ryan's father. He and my mother may think we are blind to the most obvious looks they share but we know that they have been secretly dating. I wouldn't mind him for my mother, he is the most patient and loving man I have ever known. My father would die again if he saw her with another man. I am sure Ryan's mother would be happy they found each other. And I am happy I can call Ryan bro, literally.
"I thought you decided to take a nap." My mother appears from the kitchen with her apron on.
She looks fidgety since we arrived and she has been nervous pacing around and finding anything to keep her busy.
"Just a long shower," I say.
"Your sister is coming over for dinner. I told her about Misha's return." She says as a by the way.
Mia has hated Misha always and she openly showed it.
"There is a fresh pineapple juice in the kitchen, help yourself as you wait for dinner." She says and walks down then the hall, then stops confused, "Where was I going?" She asks herself.
"Mum, are you okay?" I ask her.
She nods, "It is an age thing, you are still young to understand."
I walk into the kitchen to pour myself some juice. I decide to later head back to my room and dust it. I may be staying here for a while so I should make it habitable.
I find myself reminiscing the day Cara showed up at the Manor to check up on me after John and his Gang had stabbed me. Despite having the Booty Call agreement where it stated our interactions were limited to just sex— she came, I found it sweet and I miss that Cara.
I run my fingers on the nicely stacked books on the shelves, some have had their better days but I can never bring myself to replace a worn-out book with a new one.
Misha introduced me to Shakespeare's world, she was an intense reader and she would quote some books and watch me squirm as I tried to read as many books as possible to find it.
I pick My life and loves by Frank Harris I found the autobiography to be exaggerated and full of lies but still played a major role as I grew. I open the first page. It was a gift from Misha and she had dedicated it to me. I shut it and throw it on the table as dust flies from it. I remove the sheets on my bed, open the windows to air the room, and head to my bathroom to find the necessary tools to clean my room.
Hours pass before I hear my sister's voice.
"Quinny...." She teases as she walks in.
When I stand she moves in for a hug.
"How could not tell me that witch had come back, I possess a magic potion to make her disappear." She says.
I smile but don't say a word.
There is a stretch of silence before she states her mission, "Dinner Is served and Mum needs you." She takes my hand as she pulls me with her.
She can never accept I have already grown and I am the one to protect her.
I find Theo, Mum, Ryan's father, an unexpected guest, Leo, my distant cousin. We like to pretend like we don't know his relationship with my sister.
I sit beside him.
The dinner goes on well as the attention is on Theo and his new school until Leo speaks, "I saw your ex-wife Quinn." He says and I can see in his eyes the mischief they hold.
We have had hate—care relationships since we were kids. My father's comparison to him just fueled it more.
"Who, Courtney?" My mother speaks.
Leo nods, "Yap, the one and only. She was with the president's son. How about that?"
"Leo leave Quinn alone." My sister says and picks a piece of bread.
"I can fight my battles sister." I defend my person.
Leo flashes me a mock grin and I choose to ignore him.
Soon the discussion shifts to Meg and her trying to revive the family audit company. It isn't long before each one of us is done with dessert and Maria helps Theo to bed. She is the only help that remained after the rest left when we couldn't afford to pay them.
My mother and sister disappear into one of the rooms as Leo, Ryan's dad, and I are left behind to watch the UEFA league.
"I saw that Cara came back and she has a new man in her life. It must have been hard." Ryan's father says.
I first gulp down my beer before answering, "It was at first but because of some misunderstanding."
He raises his eyebrows, "Enlighten us."
"He is just her business partner, nothing more." I try to keep it short.
"So are together and will ask her to marry you?" He asks with keen interest.
Leo smirks, "You want to surrender yourself to another jail, willingly?"
"At least I have a choice unlike you and your music career, you can't buy talent." I hit below the belt with his failed career and that shuts him.
"I don't think that will be happening," I answer Ryan's father.
"Why she is a great girl, and you two have been through a lot." He says surprised.
"She is too complicated and I have tried until I can't."
"Son, Communication is all the relationship needs. Don't make conclusions or act out assumptions. I understand as a Nickel that is foreign to you, I have had my share with your mother..."
He soon realizes he has let the cat out that he is dating my mother. "This is not how we intended for you to find out, we wanted to wait until Ryan was home." He says.
I pat his back, "Have seen my mother, I never knew she had a different side. She is happy. We are happy." I announce.
He sighs in relief, "You are okay with us?"
"I can not think of a better man for my mother."
"Promise me you will sort your differences with Cara, my wife adored her for the short period she knew her."
I look into his eyes and I can't say no.
"I will." I finally answer.
A filler to remind those who had forgotten about Quinn's Family, they will make a regular appearance till the end of the book.