For all my wonderful amazing readers. Who continuously shower me with so much positivity and love. Who also encourage me to continue to write. This one is for all of you!
When I attempt to speak my tongue becomes heavy and the words don’t want to leave my lips. Shock. I must be going into shock. Because here stands the man I’ve been trying to discover the identity of since before Hunter was born.
Never in my wildest dreams did I think I would find Hunter’s father in a situation like this. Over the years I’ve played different scenarios in my head over how all of this would play out. I also pictured different types of scenarios and how they would play out. Never did I imagine Hunter’s dad would be a famous rockstar.
How would this work? Aren’t rockstars on the road all the time? The girls did mention traveling. Hunter needs to be in a stable environment and not traipsing all over the United States. How would school work? He loves going to class and being in a classroom. Not sure how he would handle home schooling and that is exactly what would happen if Lucan get custody.
If Lucan gets custody, he might take him from me. For the past six years it’s been Hunter and me against the world. Now I’m going to lose him. The thought of not being in Hunter’s life has my blood boiling and me seeing red. Instantly I feel a deep rooted dislike for this Lucan character.
All I know about him is he’s in a famous band. I’m sure he’s into drinking, drugs and whoring. At least I assume he is. Aren’t all rockstars into those things. As I glance around the guys not a one of them seem to be high on something or coming down from a high. So maybe not drug users. But still not someone who should be raising a child.
Thank goodness no one else can hear my thoughts because I’m being harsh. But the thought of this stranger taking Hunter from me has me acting and thinking crazy.
Then again I don’t have to tell him, but once anyone of these people see Hunter they will know the truth. I could keep my mouth shut and not say a word, but if I do I’m going to have to deny my new dream job. Then I would go back to being jobless with bills quickly approaching.
By the way Aubree is eyeing me she can tell something is up. I haven’t said a word since Lucan joined the table. Currently he was standing behind Skylar laughing with Dimitri, without a care in the world.
Then I started hating him for the fact he could have been supporting Hunter instead of leaving us days of worrying where the next meal would come from. When those times occurred I made sure Hunter always had food in his belly. May not have been the healthiest of choice, but he’s never felt the pangs of hunger. I on the other hand can’t say the same.
At the same time if I don’t say anything Pam could very well gain custody of Hunter and that happening is the absolute worst case scenario. He would be better off with Lucan even though Lucan is a complete stranger. Hunter living with Pam is out of the question. No matter what he will be in a safe home.
My emotions are all over the place. Deep down I can understand how unreasonable I’m being. Lucan has no idea I’m raising his son so how can I be mad at him for not paying child support.
These thoughts continue to race in my head till the walls begin to close in on me. I make a quick excuse and escape to the back of the building. Tray offers to join me, but I put an end to his hopes. I dash to the door before anyone else can make the offer to join me.
The second I step outside the air hit my face and I take a deep breath calming my racing heart. I take a seat on the ground and rest my back against the brick wall. My head falls against the brinks and I can feel them pressing into my head. I close my eyes and try to center myself.
The door creaks up and I tense afraid Lucan decided to join me. I crack and eye open to determine who decided to venture out. The air leaves my lungs in a rush out of relief when I discover Aubree standing above me hands resting on her hips.
“I know you told Tray no. Not that I blame you. But can I join you,” she asks already sitting down next to me. I shrug my shoulders in response.
Neither one of us talks for a moment. Both lost in our own thoughts. Aubree is the first to break the silence. “Look,” she says and I turn my head in her direction. “like the others keep saying I’m not the greatest with people. But if you need someone to talk to I’m here. You don’t have to tell me the truth of what caused you to shut down the second Lucan walked in the door, but I can put the puzzle together.”
I draw my knees to my chest and rest my head on them. Talking into my knees I say, “I’m not sure what I’m going to do.”
“Well for starters you are going to get control of your emotions and once you do you are going to march back in with your head held high,” she states.
“You’re not going to force me to tell him,” I ask in shock. I had expected the first sentence out of her mouth would have been I have to tell him.
Aubree signs and rubs her forehead. “I should, but no. At this point telling him is entirely up to you. Do I think you should? Of course.”
“Why do you believe me so readily? I could be a gold-digger looking for their next meal ticket.” I ask wanting to know her answer.
She studies me for a moment. “Are you,” she asks in an emotionless tone.
“Not at all. What set me off was how much Hunter resembles him and the fact his name matches the one on the envelope. Is there a possibility he’s not, of course. And I would hate to get Hunter’s hopes up only to have them come crashing down. He’s been through so much in his short life I don’t want to continue to add to it.”
Aubree points in my direction. “And that is exactly why I believe you and don’t think you are gold-digger searching for easy street. Not once have you mentioned the fact Lucan’s money will set you for life.”
“Well Hunter not me,” I interject lifting my head. “Hunter would be his son and family not me.”
Aubree’s eyes soften. “I’ve known Lucan for years. He had an enormous heart. He helped me out when I was only a stranger to him and he will do the same to you. In his eyes you will be the women who has loved and cared for his son all these years and he would want to pay you back for all of that.”
I adamantly shake my head. “I don’t want his money. Taking care of Hunter has never been an obligation. He’s family and now the only family I have. The only reason the money would excite me is because Hunter would want for nothing. He would be able to have pop tarts or brand new clothes, not bought at a thrift store. Lucan would be able to buy for him the gaming system he’s already been eyeing for Christmas, but would never tell me because he already understands I can’t afford to buy it for him. I’ve tried to shelter him the best I can, but he’s wise beyond his years.”
Aubree wraps an arm around me and pulls me in close. Tears fall uncheck from my eyes. “We haven’t had it easy, but we’ve always had each other.” I wipe at my eyes and say in a quieter voice my true fear. “If I tell him do you think he would take Hunter away from me?”
Aubree bites her lip for a moment before responding. “No,” she states firmly. “He would never do that. Hell knowing Lucan as I do he will beg and plead for you to move in with him and help. He would never want to cause the pain to Hunter of you not being in his life. I understand you barely know any of us, but I can promise you Lucan will step up and you will continue to be in Hunter’s life.”
I chew on her words for a moment pondering the new information she has left for me to think about. Lucan would still let me be a part of Hunter’s life and still give Hunter everything I can’t give him at the moment. This all would be a win win for Hunter. But eventually Lucan is going to settle down with someone and what if she wants me out of their lives. Then I would be gone and the three of them would be the perfect little family. Guess I would go back to being strictly Hunter’s aunt. Lucan can never take that away from me, but then again he has money and money talks.
I take a grip of my head feeling a headache coming on from all my wayward thoughts. I was slipping down a slope of what ifs and I haven’t even found out for sure Lucan is Hunter’s father. Though my gut is strongly telling me he is. One step at a time Kinsley. One step at a time.
“Want to head back in,” Aubree asks. “You don’t have to decide anything right now and neither myself or Skylar will say a word. But can I see a picture of Hunter?”
I pull out my phone and search for a recent photo of Hunter. Once I’m able to locate a decent one I show her. Her hand instantly flies to her mouth and she glances in my directions with big eyes. “I’ve been to Lucan’s and seen picture of him as a kid. Kinsley Hunter could be confused with those photos. He looks so much like him its uncanny.”
“Now you understand my shock,” I tell her. She nods her head in answer and asks to see more. We spend the next several minutes going through picture of Hunter and me telling her stories about him.
“I can’t wait to meet him,” she says standing and wiping her butt off. I join her and do the same, but also stretching. If I decide to tell Lucan and take the job you will. I keep my words to myself.
I don’t respond to her statement and instead follow her back into the restaurant. When we get back to the table some changes have taken place. Now two tables are pushed together and the guys are chowing down on their food. I retake my seat, but notice how I’m sitting across from Lucan. He sends me a lopsided smile and I return a tense one. He shakes his head and returns to his food.
“Know where we need to go next,” Tray pause for dramatic effect. “The new club that just opened. I heard it’s the hottest place to go.” He leans in close to me. “And Kinsley needs to join us of course.”
“I couldn’t. I wouldn’t want to impose,” I stutter through.
“I invited you so of course you need to go,” Tray continues to push. I lift my eyes to Lucan and see his face is carefully blank.
Skylar jumps in. “Kinsley you should. It’s already getting late and you wouldn’t be getting back till super late anyways.” She sends a pleading expression my way.
Tina was prepared to keep Hunter overnight and I haven’t been able to let loose in years. I’ve always needed to be the adult and going out has never been an option since Hunter came into my life. But should I?
“I have nothing to wear nor some place to sleep,” I state hoping my excuses will put an end to everything, but of course it doesn’t.
“You look to be about the same size as Skylar and myself. I’m sure between the two of us we will be able to find something suitable for you to wear. And you can stay in the guest room at my place. Since Ryder isn’t here it will only be you and me.”
“Unless I can convince her to come home with me after a few drinks,” Tray add wiggling his eyebrow.
“Not going to happen Tray,” Skylar scolds. “I will personally make sure she goes home with Aubree and not you.”
“Bestest best friend he whines. Why must you continuously cock block me?” He mutters the next part. “You never have before.”
“Because I’ve never likes the women you bring around or back to your place. I like Kinsley and refuse to have you chase her away. Not to mention she is my employee and believe your actions could fall under sexual harassment,” she exclaims pleased with herself.
“Aren’t you make a stretch there,” Dimitri asks with a raised brow.
Skylar glares at him and whispers something in his ear causing his eyes to get big with fright. He quickly apologies to her and she sends him a smug smile. “Tray I take back my statement. If you continue to pressure Kinsley she can file a workplace sexual harassment against you.”
Tray rolls his eyes. “Pussy whipped,” he yells.
Instead of rising to the plate and allowing Tray’s words to upset him he states, “you’re just jealous I have a woman in my bed every night and I can get it whenever and wherever I want.”
Skylar slaps his shoulder. “You’re about to be sleeping on the couch and not getting it for a while.”
We all laugh at Skylar’s remark, except Dimitri. Seems my night has been planned for me. Not getting out of going out with them and I would be lying to myself if I don’t admit I’m excited about going.
Skylar, Aubree and myself make plans to go back to Aubree’s place to get ready. We leave the restaurant and I ride back with Aubree to get my car. I follow her to her place and park my car in one of the spots labeled visitor. While we were driving to get my car she reassured me she had already informed security about my car being parked over not and all was clear.
As I was driving to her condo I made the dreaded call to Hunter. Not mentioning a single word about the fact I may have met his dad, instead I tell him about my day. Once we finished talking about our day he asked me the question I have been dreading. Was I on my way home.
My heart broke when I could hear him crying from the other side of the phone as I explained to him I was staying the night out here.
“You promised you would come home,” he sobs.
“Buddy I know. But it’s getting late and I would be safer if I stayed here,” I state trying to reason with him.
Her sniffles on the end of the phone. “Okay,” he says softly. “But you are coming home tomorrow right?”
“Right I’ll be home tomorrow. The plan is to leave early afternoon.” With all the drinking I plan on doing getting up early will not be an option. So no reason to get his hopes up.
I open my car door, grab my bag and head to where Aubree is standing. She links her arm with mine and we head inside.
Skylar doesn’t leaving us waiting long. She comes breezing into the apartment weighed down by the garment bags and shoe boxes she was carrying. “I figured since your skin tone is closer to Aubree’s than mine you could borrow some of her make up.”
The second we reach Aubree’s room they have me in and out of so many dress I lose count. The entire experience pangs my heart reminding me of all I have never had the chance to experience before. This is all new to me. For the most part I let them do whatever they want and follow their leads since I’m about as lost as a needle in a haystack.
The finally settle on a dress and I feel extremely underdressed, but they both assured me I will be over dressed for the club we are going to. Next I’m whisked into the bathroom where I’m forced to sit on the toilet.
They begin working on my hair and makeup, taking way longer than I ever have and putting stuff on my face I’ve never seen before. Finally, they finish and return to Aubree’s bed room to put on their own dresses while leaving me alone in the bathroom to admire their handy work.
The women staring back at me shocks me. She is nothing like what I expected. The have my long auburn hair curled with my hair being half up and half down. The half up part the braded several of my strands of hair. My make-up is darker than I have ever done before, but I like the new style. The green in my eyes shine through with excitement, but some of the excitement disappears when I hear Skylar call out, “the guys are here.”