Think Like a man
My head was about to explode. I didn’t know what to do.
I had never encountered this situation before. Not even in my worst nightmares did I ever think I’d find myself entangled in such a bind. A little boy’s life was in my hands and everything I did from here could make or break him.
Ashton was not my son and no matter what was going on between me and his mom, I cared about him. I could only imagine how frightened he must be, not to mention confused. I had the money Deacon demanded but he hadn’t called yet. All I could hope for was that Ashton was unharmed and I would get him back in one piece.
When I left the bank, I drove back home and waited for Deacon’s call. It was already late afternoon and I hadn’t heard from him. Then I remembered to call Kyle and Maya to give my apologies, I wasn’t going to be able to make it to the party.
I went straight to the window seat in the living room when I returned, crawling up on the soft cushions and curling myself into a ball as I gazed out at the setting sun. Torren was gone and I was relieved. I wasn’t going to be able to face him or anyone right now. I just wanted to be alone so I could think. The home phone broke the silence as it shrilled loudly from its place on a table in the hallway. I let it go to voicemail.
“Hey there Corbyn Coleman, this is Sabrina from Entertainment Buzz, I just wanted to confirm the rumors of a secret wedding between you and Blue Rivers? We’re going to be running the story tomorrow, with or without your comment. Either way please get back to me.”
After that, there was a string of messages similar to that one and in the end, I had no choice but to disconnect the line, or I would get no peace. Now that the news was out, Blue was probably being hounded too.
I tried to call my dad but he was rushing to an eight-hour surgery and had no time to baby me. My mom was out of town for a conference. Chase was busy at some football training camp. And Justin was still riding on the cloud of wedded bliss, I didn’t want to bring him into my drama.
I decided to go and take a shower and my vibrating iPhone shattered my concentration. I turned off the taps, tried my hands and reached out for it on the marble counter. It was Kyle telling me he was on his way up. He was supposed to be in Rome and the only reason he could be here was because of Ryan. Somehow, I knew he wouldn’t be able to keep his mouth shut. I wouldn’t be able to evade him and he’d figure out the truth once he laid his eyes on me.
My eyes were red, hair wet and disheveled but I didn’t care about any of that. I quickly dried myself and donned a terry bathrobe, padding the floor barefoot as I went out to greet him.
I found him in the kitchen, busy cooking up a storm. He was dressed in a designer suit but had discarded his jacket and draped it over a stool, his sleeves rolled up as he prepared the meal. He knew how to make the best-toasted meatball sandwiches and although I had no appetite my stomach rumbled when the aroma of the food hit me. He turned when he heard my footsteps nearing and slid a plate on the counter, then poured me a large mug of coffee. He hopped on the stool by the breakfast bar and patted the spot next to him.
“Eat,” was the single-worded command.
We ate in silence in silence until he finally turned a concerned gaze on me. “I’m ready when you are,” he said.
“What are you still doing in LA?” I tried to deflect unsuccessfully.
“I had a meeting-but this is not about me.”
“But Maya’s party-”
I sighed and rubbed my head as though the whole thing gave me a headache. “Ryan called you.”
“As he should have. He was worried out of his mind,” he articulated. “I would have let it go if my wife wasn’t having a similar conversation with Blue right now.”
“What happened to her?? Is she okay?”
“Start talking CC,” he set his jaw and challenged me with a stern look. “The longer you withhold information, the worse the situation becomes. You look like you went through a grinding mill and that tells me, you obviously cannot handle this situation. So talk to me. I’m listening. I want to help and I’m not going anywhere until you tell me what is going on.”
I laid it on him and told him everything. He listened and didn’t say anything until I was done.
“So what are you going to do?” he asked.
“What do you mean? I thought you said you wanted to help?”
“But you said-”
“How are you going to handle this CC? What’s your next move? Ashton is in danger. What are you going to do?” he leaned in and stared me straight in the eye. “How are you going to get him out of this and save the most important person to Blue?”
“Think Corbyn,” he inspired. “You are not as helpless as you think. You have the power and all the resources at your fingertips. Everything I have is at your disposal. What are you going to do? Are you going to allow Deacon to walk all over you and keep tormenting the woman you love or are you going to show him, who’s boss?”
Renewed with courage born of this inspiration, I met his gaze steadily. “He’s going down.”