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

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Chapter 23

Today was the big day. Hunter and I were officially leaving our apartment and moving into Lucan’s home. The movers Lucan had hired were slightly behind, but one call from Aubree had them calling Lucan to inform him they were down stairs with in fifteen minutes. They made quick work of moving the boxes into the back of the truck since Hunter and I didn’t have much.

The neighbors had already come over last night and taken anything they had wanted from the apartment. I was basically leaving all my furniture since Lucan’s home was already furbished and when I decided to move out I would buy all new furniture.

There was a whirlwind of activity and trying to get a six-year-old boy out of the way was a job in itself. He was full of questions for the movers and they were not as friendly as they should be. Nor did I like the way they kept watching me. I was glad Lucan was in the apartment and I made sure I was never in a room alone with them.

After Hunter almost caused on of the movers to fall down the stars Lucan made the suggestion I take him out for some ice cream and to go buy snacks for the ride. He hands me his card and practically pushes us out the door, not that I was lollygagging mind you I wanted out as much as he wanted us out. But before we were out of ear shot he made sure I would bring him back some since he couldn’t go. Leaving with Lucan I’ve learned the man may not have a major sweet tooth, but he has a major weakness for ice cream.

This would be the first time Hunter and I had some alone time since Lucan came crashing into our lives. We headed to our normal location for ice cream and put in our normal orders. The booth we always sat at was even available because the place we empty for an early Saturday afternoon. Both of us eat our snack enjoying the time together.

Hunter had had his last day at his old school yesterday. There were a ton of tears from him and his classmates. Friday was the first and only time Lucan went to get him from school with me. We had decided me picking him up was a better option. Lucan was trying his hardest to keep a low profile especially whenever Hunter was around. But yesterday was the exception. Lucan wanted to be there for his son.

Which I’m glad yesterday was the only day he went and we were leaving today because Lucan’s disguise wasn’t the greatest. While we were waiting for Hunter to come out the other parents were openly staring at Lucan and whispering. The women were the worse behave eyes him like he was a piece of meat. A few were even discussing if they should approach him or not.

One conversation I overheard were some of the women discussing if Lucan was in fact the Lucan from Steel Wolf. He and I knew the truth, but they didn’t. I can only imagine what could have happened if they were able to piece together he was Lucan Taylor. The only comment to stick with me was one mom stating now way he was the Lucan Taylor because why they hell would Lucan Taylor be standing with me. She said he must be a look alike because I would never be able to catch the real person.

Thankfully Hunter was dashing out the door backpack in hand. Lucan had told him this morning he would be coming with me to collect him and he was excited to see his father. Hunter made a beeline straight to Lucan with a few of the boys trailing behind him. Hunter introduced him at his father and Lucan played right into saying he was Hunter’s father without giving away his name. When the boys and their parents, who had joined our small group, started to pressure Lucan for a name I intervened. The three of us got the hell out of there.

As much as Hunter was excited about the move he was going to miss his friends. For the most part Hunter has been tight lip about how he’s feeling about everything. I haven’t had a chance to really talk to him about how he is dealing with all the changes happening in his life.

The short walks from the school to the building were never the right time or place for the conversation. Then whenever we got back to the apartment Lucan was always around and I didn’t want to have the conversation with Lucan hoovering. Hunter should be able to speak freely about his feelings and not worry how Lucan would react.

“Hey buddy,” I say calmly breaking the silence.

“Yeah,” Hunter responds glancing up from his ice cream with a chocolate covered face. I always wonder how much ice cream is he actually eating.

Handing him a napkin I laugh and say, “wipe your face off. I think you are wearing more than what you ate.” Hunter rolls his eyes at me, but does my bidding. “I wanted to talk to you about something.”

“Okay?” Hunter continues to wipe the ice cream from his face.

“We both have been dealing with a lot of changes. First with your mom,” my voice quivers to the point I have to take a deep breath before continuing. Hunter reach his hand across the table and pats mine.

“Mom,” he says with concern dancing in his eyes. He glances down at the table then raises his eyes to mine. We both have tears waiting to fall. “I miss her too,” he murmurs.

At his words my tears fall freely. Hunter slides out of his side of the booth and into mine where he hugs me. I wrap my arms around him and we cry together. A family enters and sends us curious glances. Finally I gain control of myself and wipe away the remain tears with a napkin.

“Thanks buddy,” I tell him ruffling his hair. Hunter smiles and snuggles into my side. “Like I was saying there are have been many changes.”

“Like meeting Dad,” Hunter asks raising his head from my arm.

“Exactly.”

Hunter bites his lip for a moment deep in thought. “But meeting him is a good thing… right?”

“Buddy. Not all changes are bad. Losing your mom was a sad change. Whereas meeting you Dad was a good change,” I explain.

He cocks his head to the side. “Just like us moving for your job is a good change,” he says while a smile proud of himself.

“Now you’re catching on. But now we aren’t only moving because of my now job, but also because you are going to live with your Dad,” I tell him squeezing his shoulders.

Tears well in his eyes and a sob escapes his lips. He takes a death grip of me and nothing I do can get him to let me go. “Hunter baby,” I coo trying to break through whatever has taken control of him. Whenever I try to pry him away he clings tighter to me. “Buddy I need you to calm down and tell me what is wrong. I can’t fix whatever it is till you tell me.” I continue to pat his back and speak softly to him.

I shuffle though my memory dissecting our conversation and trying to figure out what the trigger might be. But no matter how hard I try to figure out what is causing the tears I come up empty handed.

Hunter speaks into my stomach. “You…aren’t… coming…with us,” he sobs. What?

I gently, but firmly tug on him till I have him sitting up. His eyes are all red and puffy from crying. I hand him another napkin and he wipes at his eyes, but uses his arm to wipe the snots from his nose.

“What would you think I wasn’t coming with you,” I ask him gently not wanting to trigger another crying fest, but also wanting to understand why.

“He said I was going to live with dad.” Hunter explains latching onto my arm. “I don’t want to live with him if you aren’t going to be there.”

I smile and pat his head. “Buddy I would never dream of leaving you. I’m moving in too. Don’t you remember your Dad tell you how we both are moving in to his home.”

Hunter glances at me with uncertainty. “Yes, but you guys don’t seem to like each other. I thought Moms and Dads liked each other,” he pouts. Then softly he states. “Even love each other.”

“Hunter there are many different types of family. Not two families are the same. Even before your Dad came into your life our family was different from your friends.” I remind him.

He sighs. “I know. But now ours can be complete.”

“Oh Hunter. Our family has always been complete,” I tell him softheartedly. “Finding your Dad is an added bonus.” He studies me for a moment pondering my words. I could easily read he had more on his minds. “Out with whatever else is bothering you.”

He stares down at his fidgeting fingers. “He could take me away from you.”

I prop his chin so his eyes meet mine. “Why would you think that?”

His eyes shift to the side when he answers. “Some of the boys at school.” I raise my brow at his answer and wait for him to continue. “They said since you aren’t my real mom and he’s my real dad he could stop me from seeing you.”

I rub at my forehead. A headache is starting to form. Why can’t children mind their own business? How to answer him? I pounder my options for a moment and play the different words I could use in my head. Finally, I settle on what I hope is a well thought out answer. “Technically they are and aren’t wrong,” I start wanting to be as honest as I can with him. “On paper I’m not your mother, but we both know the truth.” He nods his head. “According to the law Lucan has what they call custody.”

He tilts his head to the side reminding me so much of Lucan. “Custody?”

I run my fingers though his hair. “Yes. Since you aren’t an adult.”

“Yet,” he interrupts me puffing out his chest.

“Yet,” I repeat shoving down a chuckle, but making my myself cough in the process. “Since you aren’t an adult yet,” I put an emphasis on the word yet. He nods his head in approval. So much like his father it is uncanny. They aren’t wrong in saying somethings are embedded in our DNA. “The state has to grant custody to someone who is. Usually custody goes automatically to the parents.”

“But our situation is different right,” Hunter presses sitting back slightly in the booth.

Again way to wise for his age. “Right. Your mom, my sister, was granted custody when she had you.” I slightly trip over my next words. “Then when she died I was trying to get custody of you, but instead found your dad.”

“And the state gave custody to him,’” Hunter finishes.

“You got it buddy,” I say proud of how smart he is.

“But if he has custody he can take me away from you,” his little lip starts to quiver.

I hug him tighter to my side. “In the week or so since you’ve met him has he ever given you the impression he is going to try and keep us apart?”

Hunter shakes his head so quickly I fear he is going to himself whiplash. “No.”

“So then why would you listen to those boys? You know your father way more than they do.”

Hunter wobbles his head. “Yes mom.” I laugh at him and ruffle his hair.

Hunter returns to his side of the booth and resumes eating his ice cream. As he was finishing two women and their children enter the shop. I recognize them from Hunter’s school, but I believe their children are a grade or two above Hunter.

While they order their ice cream their gazes continuously return to our booth. I decide to ignore them and focus on Hunter instead. Today must not be my lucky day because out of all the open seats the women decide to sit at the table directly next to our booth.

One women loudly ask, “do you think the rumor is true? He has a son and he goes to our boys’ school.” Without thought my head swivels in their direction and find both of them watching me closely.

“Maybe. But who in their right mind would have a son with him and not say anything. The second I found out I would be on the phone and well on my way to easy street.” The both giggle over her statement and I roll my eyes.

I return my attention to Hunter. “Ready to go Buddy,” I ask, but sliding out of the both before he can answer. Hunter nods his head. I go to collect the garbage, but Hunter beats me and dashes away.

“Hey,” one of the women calls out to me. I debate walking away and pretending to not have heard them, but good manners win this round.

“Yes,” I say dripping with sweetness that would put any diabetic into a coma.

“You and your son where with the Lucan look alike. Right?” I nod my head. “Between us girls was he really Lucan Taylor and is your son his?”

I rest my hands on the table and lean in as though I’m about to share a juicy secret. “You both can keep a secret right?” They nod their heads, lean in closer and their eyes dance with excitement. “Good. So can I.” With those parting words I collect Hunter and head out the door.

“Why were those women asking about Dad,” Hunter questions louder than I would have liked. I glance over my shoulder and notice the women watching me like a hawk.

“No reason,” I state lowering my voice and shoving him out the door before he said anything more.

My phone buzzes in my pocket and I answer Lucan’s call. “Hello.”

“Hey Kitten.” Shivers run down my spine over the sound of his voice. “The movers are done and we are all set to hit the road. Are you guys on your way back yet?”

I pick up my pace slightly ready to leave this town behind me. “We are leaving now, but I haven’t had a chance to stop at the store.” I explain.

“No worries. We can stop along the way if we need to. I really want to get on the road. I’ve been getting a gut feeling laity my flying under the radar is running thin and people are starting to put two and two together.”

I take Hunter’s hand when I notice him lagging slightly behind me. “Yeah two women asked me you were the guy who was with me earlier.”

“I was afraid of this,” I can hear the frustration in his voice. “Hurry back please. I want you both with me. No way in hell do I want you dealing with the press alone.” I could picture him pacing the room running his fingers through his hair.

“We are right around the corner and soon we will be in Nashville.” I tell him hoping hearing how close we are would calm him.

I nearly run into someone who was lingering in the middle of the sidewalk causing me to stumble and lose my hold on Hunter. Once I regain my footing I mumble an apology.

“Hello Kinsley,” the man says and my eyes instantly jump to focus on his face.

“Joe,” I stutter.

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