His statement is met with silence. Each of us are in shock for different reasons. “I’m going to hand you this envelope with the results for the judge,” he says waving it before Lucan, but when Lucan makes no move to take it I do. The man eyes us all with concern. This can’t be the first time he’s dealing with this reaction. “I’m going to leave you three alone,” he tells us as he exits the room.
The closing of the door echoes through the space. Hunter watches Lucan with excitement. I watch Lucan with worry. Lucan stares off into space. Now the truth is out there neither of us can deny the fact Hunter is his son.
Lucan blinks his eyes bringing himself back to reality. “I have son,” he says over and over.
Hunter furrows his brow and turns to face me. “Mom I think Dad is broken.” He then turns to watch Lucan, who is still repeating the same sentence.
I wrap my arms around him and rest my chin on top of his. “He’s not broken buddy. He’s just…” I trail off unsure how to finish the sentence.
Hunter bites his lip and think for a moment. “He’s overjoyed?” Hunter exclaims.
I smile and squeeze him tighter. “Exactly he is so overcome with joy he can’t speak.”
“Like you when you found out your one dress had pockets?” Hunter asks trying to find a way to understand Lucan’s reaction.
“Just like that,” I tell him then whisper in his ear, “but we promised not to ever talk about that again.” Hunter giggles in my lap drawing Lucan’s attention to us.
“Hunter,” Lucan says in a raspy voice. “Would you mind going back out into the lobby and hang with Kim for a second while me and your mom talk?”
Hunter jumps off my lap, but pauses before walking out the door. He stares at the both of us and I could tell by his expression he wanted to say something, but was unsure if he should.
“Hunter,” I scold. “Have I ever gotten upset with you for voicing your thoughts?” He shakes his head no. “So why then would I start now?”
He shrugs his tiny shoulder and in a small voice says, “since you’re my mom,” he says pointing at me. “And you’re my dad,” he says pointing at Lucan. “Does that mean you’re going to get married?”
Both Lucan and I break out into a coughing fit. I jump in cutting Lucan off before he says something stupid. “Hunter we can talk about that later. Right now just know we both love you very much and we will figure all of this out.”
“Okay Mom,” he says in a worry free voice. “Love you mom! Love you dad,” he shouts then disappears out the door. I catch tears glistening in Lucan’s eyes.
“I’m a dad,” he says.
“Yes you are to one amazing seven-year-old,” I say deciding to play nice for now.
Lucan stares at me from across the room. “I’ve only just met him today, but I already love him,” Lucan says in awe.
I smile. “He tends to have that effect on people and of course you do he’s your son Lucan.” I reach across the space and lay my hand on top of his.
He pulls away his hand and runs his finger through his hear. My heart twinges at the feeling of the rejection. I take a deep breath reminding myself it is all about Hunter right now and not Lucan and me.
Lucan shocks me with his next words. “From what I can tell you did a good job raising him.” I find myself beaming under his phrase. “I’ve missed seven years of his life. Hearing his first words. Seeing him take his first steps.”
Pushing aside my disdain for this man I move from my seat and once again take his hand, but this time he doesn’t pull away. “Don’t start going down the path of what you missed instead focus on the here and now. Think about all the other first you’ll be able to have with him. Start writing your story now. You can’t go back and rewrite the first chapters and if you keep thinking about what you missed you are going to miss out on the right now.”
Lucan studies me and brushes my hair behind my ear causing my body to sing from the contact. “Thank you Kinsley.” His head falls back and he closes his eyes. “Do you think he hates me?”
“Not for a single second. Whenever Hunter would ask about well you I never painted a negative picture at the time whomever his father would be. Emma was never forthcoming with who Hunter’s father was. So over the years I figured they didn’t know and how can that person be blamed for not being here if they didn’t know.” I say with a shrug.
“So neither one of you hates me,” Lucan asks softly leaning in close to me.
I back away putting some distance between us. “Hunter defiantly does not hate you. He’s over the moon right now. I don’t hate you for not being there.” Lucan smiles at me words and tries to lean in closer. I put my hand up and press against his chest. “But I do dislike you for the way you’ve treated me. Don’t mistaken my friendliness now anything other than I wanting Hunter to be happy.”
At least that’s the lie I’m telling myself for my reason of being nice to him. Has nothing to do with the way butterflies flutter in my stomach when I’m near him or when my heart races at the sight of him. Or how happy I am with him being Hunter’s dad. Nope none of those having anything to do with my current attitude towards him.
“You and I have a lot to discuss in terms of Hunter,” Lucan states causing my heart to rise into my throat. Is this where he tells me he’s taking Hunter away from me? Did I get Hunter away from Pam only to lose him in the end?
I swallow and a cold sweat breaks out across my forehead. “We do.”
Lucan stands and offers me his hand to which I stare at. “Kitten it’s just hand and not a snake. Plus, you sitting there is wasting time. We need to go get some ice cream because someone promised a certain someone they could have ice cream for lunch. And we have a judge we need to go see.”
I set my hand in his and he pulls me to my feet and when I stumble backwards over my own feet he catches me wrapping his arms around me. Our chests are now pressed against one another and all the reasons why I dislike him flee from my mind to the point the only thought left is how much I want him to kiss me.
Lucan’s eyes drift to my lips and he lowers his head. Right has his lips press against mine I push him away shake my head. “No. I fell down that rabbit hole once with you not happening again. The only tie between us is Hunter.”
I remove myself from his arms and head to the door adding an extra sway to my hips because I can. Lucan’s eyes are glues to my ass. “We will see about that Kitten. Been a long time since I’ve had a challenge and you are the challenges of challenges.”
I open the door and stare at him with a raised brow. “Be prepared because this is one challenge you’re going to lose.”
Not waiting for his response I step out the door and head to the lobby desperately needing to have Hunter in my sight. He’s sitting next to Kim and with a bright smile on his face. When he seems me he jumps from the chair to give me and hug and then Lucan. Guess I’m going to have to get used to sharing him.
Kim stands from the chair and comes over to us. “I heard the happy news,” she exclaims clapping her hands with glee. “Lucan is Hunter’s father! This is wonderful!”
I laugh at Kim’s excitement. “Kim do you always get this invested in your cases?” I ask.
She frowns for a second lost in thought. “Not always, but a child went with someone they shouldn’t and…” she trails off with tears falling. She wipes them away quickly and shakes herself. “Anyways, I work hard to make sure children have the best outcome they can have because for many I’m the only voice they have. But from the start your case tugged at my heart strings reminding me of the case from many years ago where the outcome was now wear good as this one is going to me.”
I pull Kim into a hug, which she returns. “Thank you,” I whisper, “for everything.” When we pull apart both of us have tears in our eyes.
“Don’t be a stranger,” Kim says pulling out a tissue and handing me one. “Please reach out from time to time to let me know how the two of you,” she stops and glances at Lucan. “I mean the three of you are doing.”
“I promise I will,” I tell her with a smile, which she returns.
Hunter wiggles his way between us. “Can we go get ice cream now, please?”
“Yes,” I tell him laughing through my tears and ruffling his hair.
Hunter takes my hand in one of his and Lucan’s in the other. Then the three of us walk out the door with Kim training behind us. Aubree is pacing next to the SUV while Skylar is on the phone. When Aubree sees us her pacing stops.
“Hang on I’m going to put you in speaker,” she tells whoever is on the phone. Lucan sends her a questioning look. “Dimitri,” she answers and he nods his head.
“Hey brother,” Dimitri’s voice says coming through the speaker. “Am I an Uncle?”
“Yeah you’re an Uncle.” Lucan says. Aubree and Skylar squeal in excitement and dance around in circles. Somehow they drag me into their circle. Lucan and Hunter watch us.
“Women,” Hunter states with a shake to his head. Lucan looks down at him and ruffles his hair.
“Women,” Lucan parrots watching us. Then as an afterthought adds, “remind me to warn you about Uncle Tray and Uncle Mason.”
“Okay,” he responds with a shrug.
“My ears,” comes a muffled yell from Skylar’s hands.
“Sorry baby,” she says taking the phone off speaker. They say goodbye to each other and Skylar rejoins the group.
Hunter tugs on Lucan’s arm till Lucan leans down so he can whisper in his ear. The two exchange a few words. “Soon,” I over hear Lucan tell Hunter.
“He wants his ice cream,” I say with my hands on my hips watching Hunter.
Lucan checks his phone. “We should have enough time as long as I stay in the SUV.”
Hunter sends Lucan a questioning glace. “Why can’t you go in?”
Lucan sends me a pleading glancing. Seems he’s not ready to explain his fandom to his son. I lean down to be eye level with Hunter. “Buddy,” I say catching his attention. “Your daddy is a popular guy and sometimes it’s easier for him to remain hidden.”
Hunter studies me and then glances at Lucan. “Your keeping something from me.” He puts his hand on his hips, a habit he got from me, and glares at the two of us.
Lucan leans down next to us. “Hunter when we get back to your apartment we can talk more there.” He glances around like he expects a reporter to jump out from in between the buildings.
“Fine,” Hunter replies rolling his eyes and jumping into the SUV.
Lucan and I return to our standing position. He shifts to stare at me and nods his head towards Hunter. “Are you sure he’s six,” he asks me.
I laugh. “You’ll get use to him and him acting older than he actually is.”
We all get back into the SUV, but this time I’m in the middle with Skylar and Aubree. Hunter had demanded he wanted to sit next to Lucan. Hunter chatted away while Lucan listened. When we got to the ice cream shop Hunter voted to remain in the SUV to keep Lucan company. The two boys gave me their orders, chocolate. Seems father and son share the taste buds.
Kim and I are the only ones to enter the ice cream shop since the place was crowded and we feared Skylar and Aubree being recognized. Not a sole pays any attention to us. Wonder if my ability to move around in public unnoticed is going to change.
I end up getting everyone’s ice cream in a cup, easier to carry and eat. When we get back to the SUV we pass out the goods and everything is quite while they eat. I hear the occasional giggle coming from behind me and when I glance back I can’t figure out if they have more ice cream eaten or on them.
Skylar notices the mess they are making and tosses them a bag full of napkins. I hand the water bottle I had grabbed just for this situation. Lucan takes the bottle smiling his thanks.
The SUV finds a parking spot and we finish eating our ice cream. When we can no longer delay entering the court house we exit the SUV. Both Hunter and Lucan are now cleaned of ice cream, but water spots can be seen on their clothing.
Hunter once again takes a hand from both of us and we head inside the court house. Hopefully for the final time.
So lovely amazing readers I somehow built a time machine and aged Hunter. Hunter is supposed to be six not seven he is in first grade. When I get the time I’m going to have to go back and fix the mistake. Sorry about that. I also need to change his age in the synopsis.