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

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Chapter 6

When I got home Hunter was already sleeping and Mr. Tim was shocked to see me. Once I explained to him what had happened he was threatening to go down there and teach the no good scalawag a lesson. Took me fifteen minutes to get him to calm down enough I felt safe sending him home.

Not being able to sleep I was curled up on the couch with a blanket over me staring at the television without watching anything. My thoughts were s jumbled mess. If for some reason this new job offer fell threw I had enough money for us to live off of for the rest of the month, but after I need to find a new job. Mr. Slicker may get his wish if I can’t find anything, but I won’t be working at his establishment.

My eyes grow heavy and in what felt like only seconds Hunter is shaking me awake demanding pancakes. I groan and push the blanket off me. Mornings have never been easy for me. Stretching my tight muscles, I realize I never changed out of my work clothes.

“Mom come on,” Hunter calls from the kitchen. “The pancakes aren’t going to cook themselves.”

I roll my eyes at his remark and shake my head. “Give me a second buddy. I fell asleep on the couch and never changed out of my work clothes.”

“Fine,” he pouts stomping into the family room and crossing his arms. “But after can we make pancakes. Please?”

I love this kid with my whole heart and will continue to fight for him. Offering Pam the money is quickly becoming a front runner on how to proceed. Hunter stands there rocking back and forth giving me puppy dog eyes.

“As soon as I change my close we can.”

He throws his hands in the air and yells, “yay!” Then he grabs my arms and tugs me from the couch. “Come on.”

“I’m up,” I tell him standing from the couch before I ended up on the floor.

Laughing I head into my room only to be reminded I need to do some laundry. Since I don’t have work tonight today would be a perfect day for chores. Plus I still need to run to the thrift store for something presentable to wear. No way in hell am I going to wear the short skirt I had worn to court.

Stripping out of my work clothes I start to search through the closet when I come across the shoebox containing the last of Emma’s personal belongings. I pause and stare at the box falling down to my knees.

The day she had returned home after another binder I thought she was going to strangle me. She had stormed into my room when she discovered I had converted her room into Hunter’s room. Emma had started to pace the room pulling at her hair and muttering to herself.

“Where is it,” she demands.

“Where is what,” I ask her not sure what she was referring to.

Emma stops in her pacing to stare me down. “The shoebox Kinsley. Where the fuck is the shoebox,” she roars.

I slide of the bed and slink towards the closet. “Right her Em,” I assure her bring out the box.

She snatches the box from my hands and holds it close to her chest. “You didn’t open it did you,” she asks.

“No Em. I would never go through your things like that,” I say shaking my head. Fear travels down my spine as I think about what she might have done if I had taken a peek. “All I did was move everything of yours into my room. Hunter deserves a room to himself.”

After she said no more. Returned the box to my closet and we never spoke of it again. Every time she would come home she would lock herself in the bathroom with the box.

Staring at the shoebox now makes me wonder what secrets the cardboard may contain. I promised her I would never open it and I haven’t, but she’s gone. The box might contain information on who Hunter’s father is.

Before my conscience could deter me from open the box I pry the lid off and it falls to the floor. Inside are some baby pictures of Hunter and the odds and ends the hospital gives you when you have a baby. She had some pictures from high school and some pictures of us.

While I’m shuffling though the pictures some tickets stubs fall onto the floor. I reach for them and read the print. They were tickets to a Steel Wolf concert from the month she got pregnant. Wonder if a hook up after the concert is Hunter’s father. Would make the most sense.

I never listened to their music, but Emma was obsessed with them. If I remember correctly she had a crush on one of the guitar players. She use to go on and on about him, but for the life of me I couldn’t recall his name. Sure I could google the answer, but I didn’t have the energy to do so. Nor did I care enough to.

I continue shuffling through the box when I come across an envelope with two words written on the front in my sister’s handwriting. Lucan Taylor. Could this be a letter written to Hunter’s dad? Only one way discover if it is or isn’t. One must open the sealed envelope.

Right as I was about to open the envelope Hunter bangs on the door. “Mom come on I’m hungry.”

The stomach of a six-year-old waits for no one. Placing the letter on my night stand to read later I throw on a pair of sweat pants and a t-shirt. When I open the door Hunter is standing on the other side waiting for me. I take his hand and we head into the kitchen.

Hunter’s definition of helping me is to pour the pancake mix onto the counter and we both somehow end up covered in the mix. He wanted to break the eggs, but I managed to distract him and break the eggs myself. Finally the pancakes are made and we are sitting down to eat.

The rest of the day passes with Hunter and myself having another lazy day. The only mishap was when Hunter caught me packing for tomorrow and he turned on the water works.

He was sitting on the bed wiping at his face. “Are you going to leave like mom did?”

Therein lies the heart of the issue. He was afraid I was going to abandon him just like Emma did. Poor Hunter has been carrying this worry with him for longer than just the past few times. I head over and sit down next to him on the bed.

“Hunter I promise I’ll be home Sunday night and if for some reason I’m not I’ll call Tina and let her know.” I should probably pack him an overnight bag just in case. “I’m only going for a job interview and then I’ll be home. I’m not leaving you.”

“Okay,” he sniffles jumping off the bed. “What’s for dinner?” He asks all worries currently forgotten.

I shake my head laughing. Hunter is a growing boy and lives by his stomach. Not sure what I’m going to do when he is a teenager and starts to eat me out of house and home.

“Come on,” I say jumping off the bed and reaching for his hand. “Let’s go check the freezer and see what we have.” Hunter takes my hand and we head into the kitchen.

~*~

My alarm goes off and I groan not wanting to get up. Maybe I’ll hit the snooze button, but a foot to the face has me springing up in bed. Usually I’m a light sleeper, but I must have been really exhausted last night to not have woken up when Hunter snuck into my room.

He only sneaks into my room when something is bothering him. I’m sure me leaving today has something to do with this actions. Over the past year or so he has snuck in less and less. The worse was right after Emma would leave and ten to one his actions were a reflection of his worry of me leaving, which I never would.

I stare down at the sleeping Hunter lost to his dreams. He’s the reason I’m doing all of this. No way in hell am I going to let Pam take him from me. She has a rude awaking if she tries. Deciding to allow him to sleep longer I slide out of bed and begin my routine.

My focus today is nailing the interview everything else can be push to the side. If I try to focus on too much I won’t be able to achieve the main goal. This job is everything. A new start for Hunter and me in a new city away from Emma’s ghost. Also another way for us to get as far from Pam as we can.

Hunter walks into the bathroom while I finish blow drying my hair dry rubbing at his eyes. He sits on the counter and watches me. “Do you have to go,” he asks once I turn the blow dryer off.

“Yes buddy I have to go,” I tell him fluffing my hair and deciding if I should leave my hair down or not.

He sighs and swings his legs back and forth. “Leave it down,” he says. I turn giving him my full attention. “I think you look really beautiful when you leave your hair down.”

“Down it is,” I agree with him. He watches me apply the lightest of makeup and giggles when I make faces at him in the mirror. Once I’m done I help him down from the counter and instruct him to go get dresses. He bounces out of the room heading to his own.

I slip on the simple conservative black dress I was able to find on the cheap side. The material wasn’t clingy and you could only slight tell the dress was a little big on me. The neckline was well above my breasts and the dress fell past my knees. In no way did I resemble the person who was in court the other day.

One more glance at the mirror and I’m telling myself this is as good as it’s going to get. I may not be a hundred percent professional looking, but my education should more than make up for what I’m lacking. I grab my portfolio from the vanity as I walk out the door. Not sure if they are going to want to see it or not, but can’t hurt to bring the documents along.

Hunter is already dressed and sitting at the kitchen table with some cereal when I enter. He has a book propped behind his bowl and is reading. Telling him no to books, when we can’t afford them, is one for the hardest things for me. I’ll never forget the day he got his library card and now like clockwork we go every two weeks.

I ruffle his hair while I walk past searching the cabinets for my own bowl. Hunter pays me no mind lost in his story. I grab the last clean bowl, going to need to do dishes when I get home, and join him at the table. Still no response from him, but I can’t get upset since he is reading and not sitting in front of the television watching cartoons.

Pouring myself some cereal and mike I settle down and eat my breakfast. When we are both down Hunter takes the bowls from the table and rinses them in the sink.

I grab my bag and head towards the door. “All set,” I ask him watching the clock.

“Just a second,” he calls running towards his room and returning with his backpack. He pats his bag, “Tina said we can go to the library this afternoon so I wanted to return some books.”

“Remember,” I tell him sternly.

Then he interrupts me. “Only checkout the same number of books I return.”

Laughing I question more to myself, “when did you turn into the adult?”

We exit the apartment and I lock the door. Then we walk to Tina’s apartment and knock on the door. One of her daughter’s answers and grabs Hunter hand dragging him inside. The door closes behind them. Shaking my head, I head to my car and begin the drive to Nashville.

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