My Nephew's Dad the Rockstar (Book 3 Steel Wolf Collection)

All Rights Reserved ©

Chapter 15

The next morning I’m awoken by the ringing of my phone. One glance at the clock and I realize Hunter and I both slept through the start of school. The phone stops ringing and I settle in for a few more winks of sleep, but my ring time chimes again. With a groan I check and see the caller is Kim. Instantly I’m wide awake. She wouldn’t be calling this early if it wasn’t important.

“Hello,” I answer hearing the grogginess in my voice.

“Kinsley, I’m so sorry if I woke you, but this couldn’t wait,” she says all in a rush. What now? I prop myself up in bad against my pillows. “They want Hunter at the court house when you go. I guess the judge is deciding custody and has basically given it to Pam. If what I’m reading between the lines are true.”

“How can this be I thought there were steps she would need to go through before she could take him.” I state thinking back through my classes.

“Somehow everything needed was signed off on. Which is odd since he’s on my case load and I never saw anything.” Papers ruffling can be heard through the phone. “Let me see who here signed off on them.” The ruffling stops. “Shit,” she says sounding stunned then brings herself back under control. “Please pardon my language, but seems my supervisor signed them.”

I hold my head already feeling a headache coming on and my brain has already put the puzzle together on how she got them signed. “Is he a bit sleazy and has a hard time getting women to notice him,” I ask already having a pretty good idea of the answer.

“Yes,” she says quietly. “Between you and me don’t know how he even got a job here. He must have connections with someone higher up.” She mutters the last part more to herself than me.

Ding. Ding. Ding. Sleazy supervisor was her way in. I’m sure she offered tricks for him to sign off on the paper work. Typical Pam using her body to get what she wants and the sad part is she comes out on top every time.

“Seems Pam has another male eating out of the palm of her hand,” I tell Kim.

“No…you don’t think…. would she…” Kim stutters through her words not able to string together a complete thought.

“She would and she did. But too bad we won’t ever be able to prove anything,” I remind Kim. “She’s been doing this for years.”

Kim sighs on the other end of the phone. “Any luck on locating the father? At this point he might be out only option.”

I freeze over Kim’s question. How to answer? I think I might have, but funny story I think Lucan Taylor is Hunter’s father. Yes, the Lucan Taylor from Steel Wolf. Proof? No I don’t have any proof other than the fact they look so similar and a letter I found in Emma’s personal belongings. No I haven’t opened the letter.

Kim would check me into the nearest looney bin and all hope of getting custody of Hunter would be out the window. Granted the hope is quickly dwindling. My hopes on my new job holding some weight in the court room disappears. All I have left is whatever Aubree might have up her sleeve.

“Not anything that could be useful,” I settle on telling her. Maybe I should let her in on the fact Aubree is working on something, but all of it could fall through before anything is started.

She reminds me of the date and time of the hearing. We make plans to meet before the hearing starts to go over a few things. I fall back in the bed in a huff when I realize I can no longer put off explaining to Hunter what is going on. He needs to be brought into the know before he steps foot in the court room.

Or I could hide under the covers and pretend none of this is happening. Like when I was younger I would hide under the bed when my mother was arguing with her latest boyfriend. Emma would find me every time and we would huddle together making plans of our future. A tear leaks from my eye. I miss the Emma of my childhood.

A pounding on my door has be sitting up in bed. “Mom we are late for school.” Hastily I wipe away the wetness not wanting Hunter to see my tears.

Shaking my head, I stand from the bed and open the door. Hunter is standing on the other side wearing a mix match between school clothes and his pajamas. I can’t help, but laugh at the site before me. Without even trying he can manage to lighten my mood. I pull him in for a tight hug.

“Mom I can’t breathe,” he says muffled against my stomach.

“Sorry,” I tell him loosening my hold on him and ruffling his hair. “How about you play hooky from school?” I ask him.

He stares up at me and cocks his head to the side. Next he waves me down till I’m at his level. Then he reaches out and lays his hand on my forehead. “No fever.” He remarks biting his lip. His blue gray eyes stare into mine reminding me so much of Lucan. “So you aren’t sick.”

I laugh. “No buddy I’m not sick. Just thought we would spend the day together. In fact, how about you play hooky the rest of the week,” I add when I think this could be the last few days we have together. He would have to take Friday off anyways for court.

He eyes me as though he is unsure of how to respond to me. Hunter is probably thinking this is some kind of trap and doesn’t want to end up in trouble. He can’t hide the excitement in his eyes. I’ve never let him play hooky from school.

“Really,” he asks vibrating with excitement.

“Really,” I tell him with a smile.

He spins around the room yelling his excitement with me trailing behind him. Today will be for us. Tomorrow I’ll explain everything to him.

We spend the day parked in front of the television and I let him pick whatever show or movie he wants to watch. Today will be both one of my favorite memories with him and one of my bittersweet memories.

The next morning, I wake up early and have Hunter join me in the family room. Yesterday I was able to pretend everything was okay. I had thought about having this conversation with him later in the day, but wanted to give him time to adjust to all of this. Plus, my guilt and worry were eating away at me.

Hunter rushes into the family room and comes to a halt when he see my expression. I pat the seat next to me on the couch and he slowly walks over with his head handing down.

“I have to go to school,” he mutters.

“No buddy,” I tell him wrapping one of my arms around him. “Though I wish going to school was the news I had to share.” He picks his head up to look at me. “Hunter I need you to listen very carefully to me.” He nods his head and gives me his attention. “Tomorrow we are going to have to go to the court house and you are going to have to stand before the judge.”

“Why,” he asks.

How to explain this to a seven year old who is older than beyond his years. If I lie to him he will see right through me. “Remember how your mom had to leave us to go to heaven?” He nods his head yes. “Well because she is no longer here the state of Tennessee has to appoint you a new guardian.”

“Guardian,” he asks trying to say the word.

“Someone who will take care of you,” I explain watching him carefully.

“But you take care of me. So doesn’t that make you my guardian?” Hunter presses.

“You’re right I do, but per the law a judge has to sign off on the paperwork for me to legally be able to.” When he says nothing I continue. “We are running into a little road block. Another women names Pam is fighting for custody of you.”

“Who’s Pam?” Hunter asks fidgeting with his fingers. Another loaded question. Pam is not someone we speak about.

“Pam is my mom so your grandmother.” He lights up upon hearing the word grandmother.

“I have a real grandmother,” he says in awe. I hate having to break his heart right away, but he needs to understand how dangerious she can be. “If she’s your mom why do you call her Pam?” I swear he is older and wiser than his actual age.

I sit back on the couch and he snuggles into my side. “I call her Pam because she was nothing like how a mother should be. She never kept me safe or took care of me or your mom.”

“So she’s nothing like you?”

I shake my head no and flinch with the memories come rolling in. “Not at all. But now she wants to take you and I don’t want her to so I’m doing everything I can to make sure that can’t happen.”

“But you’re my mom,” he cries. “She can’t take me away from you.” Tears gather in his eyes and my heartbreaks. My poor sweet boy has been through enough and not this.

“If the judge decides she can then she can.” He clings to me. “But if something happens and she is able to I will continue to fight for you. I love you,” I tell him stroking the back of his head.

He peeks up at me and wipes away his tears. “I love you to mom.”

“Tomorrow in court I need you to be honest with the judge and Kim. Speak the truth no matter what. And I need you to be a big boy and stand tall.”

He sits up straighter on the couch and puffs his little chest out. “I can do that.”

“I never had any doubts.” I reassure him.

“Mom,” he asks.

“Yea buddy what’s up?”

“Can we go get some ice cream?” With his one question the tension and worry is broken. We are back to being Hunter and Kinsley. Leave it to the kid to bring the calm to what could have been an extreme stressful conversation.

“Yes Hunter we can go get some ice cream this afternoon. But first you need some breakfast.” I tell him. He studies me for a moment as though weighing what I said.

“Okay,” he finally responds. “Pancakes?”

Hunter and I spend another day with each other. The court hearing looms above me and tightens my chest with each tick of the clock. So much rides on tomorrow. I only hope everything goes in our favor.

The alarm on my phone goes off and I awaken to a foot in my face. Last night I was the one to suggest snuggles and movies in my bed. I didn’t want him far from me. I peek under the cover to find him still sleeping while lying on his belly.

As much as I would love to remain in bed enjoying this quite morning we have to get up and start our day. I slide out of bed and head to the kitchen to get the pot of coffee started. While the coffee brews and I’m debating what to make for breakfast there is a loud banging on my door.

I glace through the peek whole and the second I see who is standing outside the door I swing it open. A smiling Aubree and Skylar are standing on the other side with brown bags labeled with the name of the coffee shop down the street.

I step back so they can enter. They go directly into the kitchen and place their bags on the table. Then we clash in a circle of hugs. I didn’t realize how much I missed them till this moment.

“What are you doing here,” I ask them overjoyed to see them.

Aubree answers. “Today is the big day isn’t it?”

A sadness overcomes me at the mention of what is to take place in a few short hours. “Yes it is,” I answer pouring myself a cup of coffee. I go to offer my guest a mug, but the hold up their cups from the coffee shop.

“Sorry we would have gotten you one, but we didn’t know what to get,” Skylar explains.

“No worries. This coffee is just fine,” I reassure them taking a seat at the table with them joining me.

“We brought pastries!” Skylar adds shoving the bags in my direction. “I think we bought one of everything,” she laughs. While I search through the bags Skylar explains why they are here. “Earlier this week we had made the decision to make the trek for the weekend.”

“We wanted to be here for whatever the judge decides so we got a hotel for the weekend.” Aubree adds taking a sip from her coffee. “Plus in order for my main plan to work we need to be here.”

“Which is,” I prompt her.

She shakes her head. “Sorry, but you are going to have to trust me. I don’t want to say anything and get your hopes up if it doesn’t pan out the way I hope.”

“What’s the other plan,” I ask taking a bit from the apple fritter I found.

Aubree sighs and takes a big gulp of her coffee. “How I wish there was something stronger in this cup.” She adjusts herself to stare directly at me. I stop eating and give her my undivided attention. “We will pay her off to go away.” She holds her hand up stopping me from speaking. “Before you decide to argue the matter with us let me explain. You mentioned money was the driving force behind why she wants Hunter. So we were thinking if we offer her double maybe she will disappear.”

“I can’t ask you guys to do that for me,” I tell them greatly appreciating the gesture.

“You didn’t need to.” Skylar says changing seat to sit beside me. “Being part of the Steel Wolf family means we support one another and we protect our own.”

“But I’m not part of the Steel Wolf family,” I remind them. “I’m only working for you both.”

Aubree rolls her eyes. “Officially you may not be a part of the family, but you are well on your way. Look Kinsley I don’t usually get along with people, but I like you.”

“But offering her one hundred thousand dollars is a lot of money,” I say trying to reason with them.

Aubree set he cup on the table. “I’m cringe on the inside even saying this. But to us money is just money. Especially if it means you and Hunter are able to stay together. It will be the best hundred thousand I ever spent. Usually when I’m paying out money like that it’s because one of the guys damaged something. When the band was in the early stages I was shelling out money left and right. One hundred thousand is nothing.”

“Honestly we are prepared to raise the amount if need be. All depends on her reaction and if she counters.” Skylar adds.

Aubree jumps in realizing my pride is on the line. “If it will make you feel better think of this as an interest free loan. You can pay us back little by little from your paychecks.”

I hate to take their money, but at the same time if this is the only way I will be able to keep Hunter I would be stupid to not take the offering. They are allowing me to pay the money back over time. Maybe after this Pam will completely be out of our lives for good.

Pushing my pride to the side I say, “okay.” They both smile.

A shuffling sound comes from the family room. Hunter is awake. He heads into the kitchen rubbing at his eyes. When he sees Aubree and Skylar sitting at our table he eyes them with uncertainty and climbs into my lap.

“Hunter,” I say softly. “Remember when I went for the job interview?” He nods his head not taking his eyes off of the two women. I was focused on Hunter I almost missed the shock expression they both were wearing at the sight of Hunter. They exchange a silent conversation while I continue. “Well these two ladies are going to be my bosses,” I tell him.

He crinkles his nose and studies for them as he passes judgement. Hunter must see something he likes because he smiles and says. “I’m Hunter.” We make quick introductions and I get Hunter some milk for his breakfast.

Skylar and Aubree throw questions at Hunter and he answers each one. They are both showering him with so much attention the poor kid keeps glancing my way. The women see the same thing I do. Hunter really is the spitting image of Lucan.

Aubree pulls out her phone and sends some text message. With each dig of her phone the furrow in her brow keeps getting deeper and deeper. “I’m going to strangle him,” she mutters, but when she realizes she spoke out loud she excuses herself to make a call in the hall.

Skylar watches her walk out from the room and under her breath says, “idiot.”

Hunter tugging on my arm refocuses my attention on to him and off their strange behavior. “I need to go get him and myself ready,” I explain to Skylar while Hunter pulls me from the room.

I dress him in black dress pants and a blue button down shirt. The shirt is a little tight on him, but will have to make due. After I have him dressed I rush into my own room to do something with my appearance.

Quickly I flip through the closet scolding myself for not laying out clothes the night before. Finally, I settle on some of my new purchases from when I went clothes shopping for the interview. The skirt is black and flowy and reaches my knees. The shirt is a tight fitting white button down which I pair with a black vest. Add in some black flats I’m ready to go. I pull my hair back into a bun and apply the lightest amount of makeup.

When I exit my bedroom I find Hunter, Aubree and Skylar on the couch laughing at something they are watching on television. I check the clock and see I was ready with a few minutes to spare.

Hunter smiles at me when I enter the room and runs to me for a hug. “I like them,” he whispers. “They told me I can call them Aunt Skylar and Aunt Aubree if I want to.” Hunter has a knack for wrapping people around his little finger seems Aubree and Skylar are no different.

“Really,” I say faking excitement I’m not feeling in the moment due to the ticking of the tock.

He smiles proudly and nods his head. “They also told me they are coming with us.”

“Yes they are,” I tell him ruffling his hair. He glares at me, reminding me of Lucan’s glare, while he fixes his hair. “Do you have any more questions for me before we leave,” I ask him.

“No. I’m good.” He says sounding like a grown up.

We exit the apartment and are met with an awaiting car when we walk out the main door. Hunter’s eyes get really big when he sees the black SUV.

“Figured no one would feel much like driving so I hired a driver,” Aubree explains as though none of this is a big deal and for them this is normal.

We all pile into the car and head to the court room. With each passing mile my nerves become more and more frazzled, but I try to keep my outer self under control not wanting to upset Hunter. Though by the way his eyes are glued to the outside world he is not paying attention to any of us.

Aubree has her nose buried into her phone and by the glares she is sending to her phone I have the feeling she is arguing with someone. Skylar places her hand on mine and offers me a comforting squeeze, which I return.

I didn’t think I needed anyone standing beside me while going through all of this, but having them here shows me just how much I was feeling alone. Having them here really is a blessing. I don’t have to face Pam alone.

All too soon we pull up in front of the court house. Aubree cries because she has to leave her cell phone in the car. Skylar laughs at her. I guess she isn’t use to going without her phone. Aubree sends out one more text then slowly set the phone on the car seat.

Aubree and Skylar are the first ones to exit the SUV. Hunter and I follow at a slightly slower pace. We have no issues getting though security. People stare at Aubree and Skylar and some even whisper. They are probably trying to figure out where they have seen them before. I hope no one is able to make the connection of who they are, especially Pam.

We locate the court room without much difficultly. Kim is sitting out on one of the benches papers surrounding her. She is so focused on the papers she doesn’t notice our approach. I have to clear my throat to get her attention. She glances up for a second, but does a double take eyeing Skylar and Aubree. Her eyes shift to mine in confusion.

“I brought friends for moral support,” I explain to Kim. “Kim this is Skylar and Aubree.”

She continues to stare at them as though she has forgotten how to speak. If we weren’t here for such a serious matter I would have laughed at her reaction. She sits there stuttering with they shake her hand.

“Fan,” Aubree asks me.

“Yeah….” I state. “She was through the roof when she saw your names listed as my supervisors.”

“I’m so sorry for my behavior,” Kim says when she is finally able to talk. “Never in my wildest dreams did I ever imagine I would meet the two of you and in a court house no less.”

“We are trying to keep our identity under wraps,” Aubree explains. “Especially from Kinsley’s mother.”

“Of course,” Kim says nodding her head. “I’m sure she would use that piece of information for her own gain.”

Kim returns to her business self and goes over the procedures with Hunter and me. I had opted out of getting lawyer since I had originally thought one wasn’t necessary, but I was now regretting my decision.

The time was upon us to enter the court room. I had been getting slightly excited since Pam so far was a no show, but the excitement disappeared when she slips in at the last minute. This time she was alone. The judge and her share a sly smile.

Kim goes through her spiel explaining once again how I am the better candidate for custody of Hunter. The judge even asks Hunter some questions and he handled himself very well. I catch Aubree’s and Skylar’s encouraging nods.

Then the judge asks the question I’ve been dreading. “After reviewing everything and being impressed by Mrs. Kelly’s ability to complete all the necessary paperwork I will rule in favor of giving full custody to her.” Pam sends me a gloating smile. “Unless the biological father was located and by the fact I see no one else other than Miss. Kelly and Mrs. Kelly I will draw the conclusion he wasn’t.”

I shift me attention to Skylar and Aubree prepared to make Pam the offer they had come up with. Aubree watches the door with a frown as though she was expecting someone to walk through the door.

“Your Honor,” I jump in. “If I could please have a moment with Pam before you make your ruling I’m sure we will be able to work something out the make both of us happy.”

He studies me for a moment. “No whatever you want to speak with her about should have been sorted prior to entering my court room.”

All hope was lost. Tears spring to my eyes and Hunter glances up at me with the saddest eyes I’ve ever seen.

Right as the judge was about to give his final ruling the doors burst open and a male voice yells, “I object.” The judge pauses in shock over who is standing in his court room and every one at the same time turn to see what has caused the judge to pause in his speech.

Continue Reading Next Chapter

About Us

Inkitt is the world’s first reader-powered publisher, providing a platform to discover hidden talents and turn them into globally successful authors. Write captivating stories, read enchanting novels, and we’ll publish the books our readers love most on our sister app, GALATEA and other formats.