Aubree runs the meeting since neither myself or Lucan are able to speak to one another without a side comment. Oddly Lucan and I come to the same conclusions on both fronts. Maybe Aubree was right in stating we need to set aside our differences and stop fighting so much. Because at the end of the day even though our path may be different or destination is the same.
Hunter is going to start attending a private school next week. We both agreed putting him in public school would no longer be an option for him. There isn’t enough security to keep him safe and to many people vying for his attention because of who is father is. The school selected was not only private, but the people who attend are more likely not to care who he is related to. At least that is our hope.
They also have more security and rules for who they will let into the building. Aubree had already reached out to a few schools with the possibility of Hunter attending them and all were excited at the chance of adding him to their school. I’m sure Lucan’s large checkbook had nothing to do with their desire to have Hunter as one of their students. All that was left to do was call the lucky school, fill out the necessary paper work, and write the check.
Since today was Friday and already after school hours, Aubree planned on calling them on Monday. She had written an email informing them of the decision and since they were wanting Hunter in the school the principle had called Aubree not too long after she had it send.
Aubree puts the call on speaker. “Hello.”
“Good evening is this Ms. Parker I’m speaking with,” a woman asks over the phone.
“Yes.” Planning dumb Aubree asks, “too whom am I speak with?”
Not at all phased my Aubree’s questions she answers. “This is Dr. Wright over at Trinity Academy. I had received your email on the decision and wanted to reach out to you right away. Let me just go on to say how excited we are to have Hunter join our school.” She paused for a moment. “Is his father around? I would just love to me able to discuss this further with him.”
I roll my eyes and comment under my breathe. “Yeah so you can see how many zeros he going to add to the check or try to fuck him.” I must have spoken too loudly because Aubree kicks me under the chair with a glare.
Lucan also whispers close to me. “Jealously isn’t a good look for you Kitten.”
I cross my arms across my chest and say nothing more on the matter. The conversation continues as normal, but Aubree is the one who remains speaking after explaining how Lucan is unavailable. Dr. Wright stressed at one point how one of their expectations are for parents to take an active role in their children’s education and how she understands Lucan’s line of work may keep him busy he will still be expected to do his part. Too which Aubree assures her he is concerned with Hunter’s education and that will not be a problem.
The two of them set an appointment for Monday morning in the hopes to completing the paperwork so Hunter will be able to start school Tuesday. This will make Hunter happy since he has been missing being in school.
The topic of releasing Hunter’s existence to the world was not anywhere near as heated as I thought it would be. Lucan took a step back and let Aubree run the show. Nice to know his problem of listening to me isn’t linked to the fact I’m a woman.
“I have some ideas on how to release the connection Hunter has to you,” Aubree starts with. She then turns her attention to me. “My goal is to not put your sister into any negative light but…”
“Some reporter will be able to dig up the information easily about Emma,” I finish for her.
Her expression has a slight sadness when she speaks. “Exactly. Like I told Skylar and Dimitri when they first started dating getting out in front of a story is easier to control then trying to catch up and do damage control. They more transparent we are about everything the less of a story it becomes.”
“I don’t want this turning into a circus Aubree. Hunter has been through enough without anything more needing to be added. Plus, like you said I don’t want Emma’s name dragged through the mud when she no longer has a voice to defend herself with.”
Aubree begins typing on her computer. “Of course. We are going to have to be her voice in all of this and protect her reputation the best we can.” She glances in my direction and offers me a concerned smile. Thank you I mouth her. “But hearing how she kept Hunter from you will not shine so well.”
Lucan slips into deep thought for a second and then his face lights with an idea. “The letter,” he states staring at me.
“Letter,” Aubree asks stopping in her typing.
“Emma wrote me a letter and in the letter she mentioned how in a moment of clarity she did try to reach out, but was never able to get anywhere. Sounds to me like Mr. Gear threaten her so she stopped.” Lucan explained.
“I remember some phone calls about someone claiming they were pregnant, but we get those calls all the time.” Aubree’s words trail off then she jumps with a start. “I remember over hearing a conversation Mr. Gear was having on the phone with someone and I overheard the words baby and make it disappear. That the group was too big for a scandal that would create.”
“Sounds like something he would do and say,” Lucan adds with heat in his voice. Who is this Mr. Gear they keep referring to? Whoever he is they must not think too kindly of him due to the way they are speaking of him. As though he can read my thoughts Lucan states, “Mr. Gear use to be the big boss.”
“He was who I reported too,” Aubree adds. “Let’s just say some incriminating evidence came to light and he’s no longer in charge. I can easily swing this so he is the bad guy.”
“What about Emma’s drug addition,” I state. “Eventually anything printed Hunter will be able to Google and read for himself. I know we won’t be able to control everything they print. She had struggles yes, but she wasn’t a complete piece of shit. Emma made sure Hunter was with someone who was able to take care of him because she couldn’t.”
Lucan leans on the table. “Her drug addiction is going to hit the papers, but Aubree has a knack for swinging stories to get the public to sympathies instead of hate. Just another reason why she is the best at what she does.”
“Let me guess she’s has had tons of reasons to use those skills.”
“You have no idea,” she states laughing. “Back in the early days the five of them lived for seeing who could fuck up the worse.”
“Tray always won,” Lucan adds joining in on the laughter.
“Sometimes,” she inputs glaring at Lucan. “You all had your turn in that department one time or another.”
“That we did,” he says merriment.
I ask her the one question that has been nagging me for a while. “How have you been able to keep the public in the dark about Hunter so far?”
Aubree shrugs. “Him having a different last name has played a role in keeping him hidden. Also the fact the area you were in isn’t exactly mainstream. The court room had so few people and those that were there were more than happy to take the money I offered for their silence.”
“Did you bribe the judge,” I ask her.
“No,” her voice trails off for a moment and her face turns bright red. “I hate to admit this because my actions are not one of my more positive actions. Let’s just say he really doesn’t want how he almost gave a child to someone because he was sleeping with her.”
“Aubree,” both Lucan and I practically shout.
She rolls her eyes. “Lucan you of all people should know I will do just about anything to protect my family. At the time we needed to make sure this story would not be leaked till we are ready and I made sure of that.”
“You could go to jail for that,” I remind her.
“He would first have to admit what I was blackmailing him with,” she responds with a coy smile.
Lucan shakes his head. “I think we should wait to release the new till after he is settled in school. Like you said his last name distances him from me. How many people at the school know about me?”
She taps her finger against her chin. “Only the principle and when I spoke with her I made it extremely clear she is to keep this information to herself.”
“Then we can wait a few weeks for him to settle in. Plus, I want to wait till Ryder is home so we can present as a united front. Having the entire band around will help take on the burden of any negativity that comes out of this.” Lucan tells her.
“I agree,” she states closing her computer. “For the now the focus will be on him settling into school and Ryder come home.” Her heart shines in her eyes when she mentions Ryder coming home.
“I can’t wait to meet him,’ I say. “I feel like I know him already by the way everyone talks about him.”
“He’s pretty amazing,” Aubree continues with a dreamy expression. “Mind you he isn’t perfect and we have had our differences as well. At one point we were separated and I was unsure if we would be able to find our way back to each other. But we did.” She turns Lucan. “And now I shall return the favor. How do you feel about Hunter sleeping over at my place?”
Lucan turns his eyes to me and I offer him a blank stare. He’s already snapped at me enough today over raising Hunter. This one is all on him. “I had promised Hunter a fire, but I can always change the plans to tomorrow night. In fact, how about we do a cook out and have everyone come over?”
“Sounds like a great Saturday to me. Finally get some use out of your pool,” Aubree teases. “Though you may shock the guys since you’ve never hosted at your place.”
“I can do the shopping in the morning for party food since you don’t have anything here to cook,” I input going through the list of foods we could buy.
“It’s settled then,” Aubree says triumphantly and proceeds to put all her materials away. “Kinsley I was thinking after Monday’s meeting we can head back to my place and get your started working. We can go over what needs to be done and since we don’t have an office most of what we do is going to be done from home. I still need to get you a computer.” She says the last part more to herself.
“Sounds like a plan to me.” I tell her excited to finally start working and stop feeling like a bum.
“So is Hunter staying with me tonight or not?” Aubree presses.
Lucan bites his bottom lip. “How about we ask Hunter what he wants to do?” I smile excited he was letting Hunter have a choice. He catches me smiling and returns my smile.
Lucan pushes back from the table and yells up the stairs, “Hunter can you come down here please?”
“Sure dad,” Hunter yells and then dashes down the stairs. “How would you feel about us postponing our fire till tomorrow and have everyone come over?”
Hunter bounces in place. “Can we?”
Lucan chuckles over his excitement. “Yes. And how would you like to have a sleep over at Aubree’s place?”
Hunter studies Aubree for a moment. “Can we make cupcakes for the party?”
Aubree turns white at the mention of baking. “We can try,” she says nervously.
Hunter nods his head. “Let’s go then!”
“Hang on buddy we need to pack you a bag,” I remind him. Hunter than grabs my arm and drags me from the room. “We will be right back apparently.”
“Take your time,” Aubree call after us and turns her attention to Lucan. “Lucan and I have a few topics we need to discuss before I leave.”
The fire in her eyes has me almost pausing in fear of leaving Lucan alone with her. But maybe she can get through to him where I’m struggling and maybe he needs to hear her words.
I follow Hunter up the stairs as Lucan leads Aubree to his office and shuts the door leaving me with thoughts of the night to come. Maybe I should invite myself over the sleep over as well.