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Lucan and I both share a smile over the top of Hunter’s head, but make no move to separate. Hunter grows impatient and pushes at us till we separate. “I was promised food,” he mumbles reminding us of the previous conversation and standing from the bed. Talk about a one track mind. He stands on the side of the bed with his little hands on his hips staring us down with an expression screaming let’s go.
As I sit on the bed my stomach makes a noise reminding me the last thing I ate was ice cream. Hunter sends me a see told you so expression and I bite my tongue to keep from laughing. I turn to Lucan instead and ask, “want to order in or go somewhere?”
We have a few minutes before Hunter storms into the kitchen and makes his own dinner. Which will be anything, but heathy. Nor anything anyone would want to eat. Last time he cooked us dinner I ended up with Spaghetti O’s, marshmallows, frozen chicken nuggets and Fruit loops; which he claimed was the fruit in the meal. My stomach rolls remembering how I took one bite of the concoction. We ended up splurging and getting pizza, but my stomach has never forgotten.
Lucan glances at his phone and tightens his mouth. “The moving truck is still forty minutes out plus however long it takes for them to unload. So if you both are starving now we can order something. But if you are okay waiting Tray and Mason were wanting to meet for dinner at The Hideout.”
I run my fingers through my hair to flatten it. “Is The Hideout the café Skylar and Aubree took me?” Finger crossed he says yes because I had a great time last time I went. Grandma Rose is going to fall in love with Hunter and I love him having more people to love and care about him.
He stands nodding his head. “The very same. We tend to eat there a lot. Great good and great service.”
“I’m good with whatever,” I say nonchalant not wanting to sway Hunter. “Hunter what would you like to do? Want to go to The Hideout and meet some of your dad’s close friends.”
“Uncles,” Lucan interject. “They are his Uncles.” Hunter’s eyes pop out of his head hearing Tray and Mason referred to as his uncles. Lucan has already once explained to him he has uncles, but with everything going on I’m sure the nothing slipped his mind.
Hunter bites his lip deep in thought and glances between us. “I’d like to go to the restaurant.” His answer in no way surprises me. The ability for him to meet his uncles was the deciding factor. Hunter stomach makes another grumbling sound along with Lucan’s.
“How about this,” Lucan states, “we all go down to the kitchen for a small snack to hold us over till dinner?”
Hunter cheers and races from the room leaving Lucan and myself alone. I half expected him to try something, but instead he helps me from the bed. Then he moves to exit the room, but pauses on the door frame with me right at his back. He spins in a circle and my nose almost touches his chest. The sudden movement causes me to stumble and Lucan grabs my shoulders to steady me.
Once my feet are firmly planted I raise my eyes to his. “Thanks,” I tell him embarrassed he found me trailing him so closely.
“No problem.” Lucan runs his hand though his hair and rocks back on his heels. I could tell he wanted to say something, but was unsure of himself.
“Out with it,” I tell him.
“What are your thoughts on telling Hunter about my fame,” Lucan asks reminding me so much of Hunter when he asks questions he’s afraid of the answer. A smile blooms over my face because he wants to hear my thoughts on something pertaining to Hunter. He isn’t making a decision without talking to me first. “I would rather him hear the facts from me than someone else,” Lucan adds when I don’t respond right away.
“I…I think…” I clear my suddenly dry throat and try again. “I think you should tell him soon. He’s going to get more upset the longer you wait to tell him. The original plan was to wait for Aubree, but if the situation is explained to Hunter he will more than understand.”
Lucan rest his hands on the top of the door and pushes his weight forward. “Plus I’m not sure when Aubree is retuning and going to have time. Between Dimitri’s and Skylar’s move and Ryder coming home she is going to have her hands full. She’s also going to be in charge of releasing Hunter’s connection to me to the public. I hope to delay all of that as long as I can, but all the court documentation is public knowledge and simply a matter of time till one of the leaches dig up the information.”
“How about you tell Hunter about who you are then when Aubree returns the bomb has been defused and she can focus on the public release?” He watches me thoughtfully as though he is considering my idea.
“To be honest,” he starts, “Hunter should be told before we leave. Tray isn’t the best at keeping his mouth shut. Instead he seems to always do the opposite. He constantly is sticking his foot in his mouth. I think he likes the ruse he gets from people.”
“A way for him to avoid people focusing on him and his problems,” I state referring back to my education. “This way people are focused on being pissed at him instead. He’s perfected the ability to hide his true feelings and keep people at bay.” I explain moving to rest my back against the door frame and putting myself extremely close to Lucan.
If I was to stand on my tippy toes our lips would meet without much difficulty. Lucan stares down into my eyes and for a second I completely forget what we were talking about and remember the way he tastes. My mouth waters at the thought of another sampling. Tray lowers his head to mine and his lips brush against my lips.
“Mom! Dad! What’s taking so long,” Hunter yells from the family room. We spring apart and I turn bright red. Lucan pushes off from the door frame.
“We are on our way,” Lucan calls down to him spinning in circles. “I can do this,” he chants over and over a few times.
I walk up behind him and rest my hand on his shoulder. He startles at first, but when he realizes I was the one touching him he relaxes. “Everything is going to be okay. He already knows you are popular.” I pause unsure if I should add the next part, but do anyways. “You also have me in your corner.”
Lucan stops in his circling and smiles at me. “I do,” he asks.
“You do,” I tell him. Lucan hold his hand out for me to take and without delay I slip mine into his. We walk down the stairs together holding hands. Hunter is sitting at the kitchen island with his chin in his hand and taping his finger against his face.
He turns at our approach. “Finally,” he exclaims, “I was wasting away.”
I roll my eyes at his dramatics and remove my hand from Lucan’s, not wanting Hunter to see us holding hands. By the way Hunter was talking about Lucan and me he would see more into the gesture than there actually is. I don’t want to get Hunter’s hopes up from them to be destroyed.
Lucan pulls out a stool for me and indicates I should take a seat. As I’m sliding into my head he goes to the fridge and opens the door. His eyes cringe when he glances inside and instantly closes the door. His cheeks turn slightly red.
“So,” he starts and I raise my brow waiting for him to continue, “we I left I wasn’t exactly given any warning…” I bite the inside of my cheek to hold back my laugh already having an understanding where he is going with this. “I wasn’t able to clean out the fridge.”
No longer able to contain my laugh one comes through and I quickly try to conceal it with a cough. “Let me guess you have some science experiments taking place.”
He opens the freezer and I enjoy the play of his back muscles. “Yeah…a few.” He pulls out some pizza rolls and flashes the box to us. “Will this work?”
Hunter practically jumps off the stool in his excitement. “Yes,” he shouts, “I love those, but we can’t buy them all the time.” I cringe hearing Hunter comment on how poor we are reminding me how I couldn’t afford to buy him the food he enjoyed. To Hunter pizza rolls were a delicacy whereas most others they were a basic food option.
Lucan’s eyes watch me and I drop my gaze under his scrutiny. The beeping of the microwave sounds and then Hunter is lifting my chin. Hesitantly I meet his gaze afraid if what I might see in their depth, but I see no disappointment or judgment or concern.
Lucan whispers in my ear, “stop beating yourself up Kitten.” A shiver runs through my body hearing him call me by his nickname for me. “You did the best you could with what you were given and I will continue to remind you how you did a wonderful job.”
I turn my neck and am merely inches from his face. “Do you truly believe what you are saying or are you upset I couldn’t do more for him?” I ask him softly.
A small smile graces his lips and he kisses my nose startling me. His eyes dance with amusement. “Kitten, you did more for him then his own mother. If he was with Emma I’m afraid of the outcome. You could have walked away, but you didn’t and to me that is more precious than buying him pizza rolls.”
Lucan stands and stares down at Hunter, who is amusing himself with his gaming system. I bite my lips and watch the healthy happy boy beside me. Lucan is right. Hunter may not have had the latest and best, but he had a home and food.
As though reading my thoughts Lucan says, “out of all the material things Hunter might not have I strongly believe he would give them all up to have you in his life. That little boy loves you.”
“Thanks Lucan,” I tell him as the microwave dings drawing his attention away from me.
Lucan grabs the plate out of the microwave and sets the rolls between all of us. Hunter sets his game down without being told and goes to reach for one of them, but Lucan stops him. “Be careful they always come out like molten lava.”
Hunter pouts, but waits to take one of the rolls. When Hunter decides to try again he tentatively takes a bite and blows on the roll. Lucan’s eyes seek mine and he mouths he words now. I shrug my shoulders and mouth back up to you.
“You two can stop having a conversation over my head,” Hunter interjects without glancing up from his food. I grab a roll and pop it into my mouth, but regret my decision when the sauce burns my tongue. He glances up and shifts his eyes from me to Lucan.
Lucan sighs and leans across the kitchen island. “Bud…” he starts, but stops himself when Hunter narrows his eyes at him. “Hunter I have something I need to tell you.” Lucan swallows and hides his trembling hands under the counter.
Hunter continues to eat waiting for Lucan to speak. I grab another one, but follows Hunter’s example and try to cool the pizza roll. When Lucan says nothing more Hunter focuses his attention on him. He tilts his head to the side.
Lucan runs his hands through his hair. Who would of thought telling Hunter his father is a famous rock star would be so hard? I never would have. Granted this bit of information will change Hunter’s life for forever.
“I’m part of a band,” Lucan starts, “with your four uncles. We’ve been playing together for a long time now.”
“Would I have heard your music,” Hunter asks. Lucan glances my way for the answer and I shrug my shoulders. He might have heard them at school or on the radio, but we never played their music at the apartment.
Lucan refocuses on Hunter. “Maybe.” Lucan takes a deep breath. “Ever hear of Steel Wolf,” Lucan asks and along with Lucan I hold my breath waiting for Hunter’s response.
Hunter furrows his brow deep in thought. “Sounds familiar. I think some of the kids mentioned the name.”
We both let the air out of our lungs in a whoosh. As much as I want to jump into the conversation I keep my mouth shut and let Lucan continue at his own pace. “Well your dad is a part of that group. We make music and preform concerts all over the country.”
Hunter’s eyes pop out of his head and he turns his attention on me. “Is my dad famous?” I nod my head in answer. Hunter returns his gaze to Lucan and studies him with a new light in his eyes. “How famous?”
Lucan ruffles Hunter’s hair expelling some of the stress he was feeling. “Depends on your opinion of famous. We play for sold out venues, have posters and clothing of us.”
“Do people recognize you on the street,” Hunter wants to know.
“They do. Hence why I had to wear a disguise when we went out and why the places we did go were empty.” Lucan explains watching Hunter carefully. If Hunter was going to have melt down, he would have done so already.
“Okay,” Hunter says with a shrug then his eyes light up and in a rush he asks, “am I now famous?”
Lucan chuckles. “In a way yes you are.”
Hunter jumps from the stool and runs around the family room cheering. Guess all of the worry was for nothing. Hunter is beyond okay with the turn of events.
Lucan’s phone rings and he answers. He exchanges a few words then hangs up the phone. “The movers are here,” he explains heading out the door with me on his heels.
I pause at the door, “Hunter,” I call out. He stops in his tracks. “Stay inside while we deal with the movers please.”
His face cringes and he pouts. Grabbing his game, he throws himself on the couch. “Fine,” he mutters.
Once I’m satisfied Hunter will stay put I head outside to assist Lucan.