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Chapter Forty-Three


“What?” Noah snapped, the ladle he was using clattering on the kitchen counter before he appeared in the living room.

I turned up the volume, slowly lowering the remote when Noah sat down next to me, his eyes fixated on the TV.

“He...” Noah whispered, blinking rapidly when the news anchor moved on to another item. “Wyatt got arrested?”

I slowly nodded, turning to him.

The sound of the TV faded, and Noah looked at his lap with a frown. “I don’t understand.”

I moved to the floor, kneeling in front of him and grabbing his hands. He looked white as a sheet, but when he finally looked me in the eyes I saw hope.

“Let’s sleep on it,” I suggested, rubbing my thumbs over his palms.

As on queue, loud crying sounded from our bedroom, and the corners of Noah’s mouth curled up. I let out a sigh, rising to my feet. “I guess someone’s hungry.”

Noah followed me to the hall, making his way to the kitchen as I went to grab Gray.

Maybe after dinner we could find out what exactly was going on with Noah’s stepfather, and ease our minds a little bit.

Gray made sure we were up early the next day, and I felt completely exhausted because he woke us up twice in the middle of the night too. But, as soon as I saw his cute little face, everything was fine.

I fed and bathed him, gasping when he treated me with a tiny smile. If it were because he was passing gas or that he was genuinely happy to see me didn’t matter, my little boy was smiling.

“Hmm, morning,” Noah groaned as he rolled over in bed, grinning up at us when we walked into the room.

“You want to be with Daddy? Don’t you, baby?” I cooed to Gray, shooting Noah a quick wink as I leaned over and handed him his son.

“But, I—” he tried, but I gave him and Gray a kiss on their forehead before I walked off.

It was finally time to take a shower by myself, and instead of treating myself with using an expensive body scrub and shower gel, I just stood under the water, listening to it clattering on the tiles.

The sound was peaceful, and I closed my eyes, letting out a content sigh. Finally a moment to myself.

I knew I didn’t have long, so I decided to give my body a quick rinse with some flowery body wash before I stepped out.

“Bellamy,” Noah said as I walked into the bedroom, pulling on a quick pair of leggings and a shirt. “What if...”

I smiled at the sight before me, watching Noah cradle Gray against his chest. “Hmm?”

“What if I made us some pancakes for breakfast?” he offered, chuckling at some babbling from Gray in his arms.

My face lit up and the sound of my stomach rumbling made Noah look up at me. “Please.”

I took Gray from him and placed him on the bed, grabbing his favorite teddy bear to keep him entertained. Noah pulled on some sweats and left the room, leaving me behind with a very happy baby.

“You had a good night’s sleep, huh?” I said, brushing a strand of hair out of his face. He looked at me with his big green eyes, cocking his head a little to the side. I smiled, watching his little hands grab at my hair.

I jumped when the doorbell rang, confused to hear it was the one on this floor, and not the one downstairs at the foyer. “Who can that be?”

It took me a minute to decide if I should take Gray with me, because I had no idea if it was ok to leave him alone, but my instincts said no, so I picked him up. “Let’s see who’s here.”

“Bellamy?” Noah called from the kitchen when the doorbell rang again, and I hoisted Gray higher on my chest before I went to open the door.

“I’m on my way,” I huffed, grabbing my keys and unlocking the front door. My smile faded when I was met with a familiar face on the other side.

“Someone else let me in and I thought I could just—” she stopped talking when she looked up at me, gasping when her eyes lowered to the baby against my chest.

“How can I help you, Leah?” I asked, trying not to sound like I was spitting the words at Noah’s mother. What the hell was she doing here?

“Bellamy, who is it?” Noah asked from behind me, and I took a step back to give him room.

“I’m not interested,” he told his mom before grabbing the door and trying to shut it in her face.

She stuck her foot out just in time, and I took another step back. I had no idea what was going to happen but I didn’t like it one single bit.

“Leah,” Noah warned, widening his stance and moving in front of me and Gray.

“Please, Noah. I’m...I’m sorry,” she cried, tears appearing in her eyes. My heart ached for her, really, but as long as she still decided to be an ignorant idiot, she was not getting into this house.

Noah turned to me, beckoning me to walk away, and I was just about to when the next words out of Leah’s mouth made me freeze.

“I turned Wyatt in.”

Gray was playing with the starry mobile that hung above his cot, and I walked back into the living room with a cup of tea for Leah and me. Noah stared at the ground, his leg bopping up and down as he chewed on his bottom lip.

“Here,” I said, placing one of the cups in front of Noah’s mother.

“Thank you,” she whispered, looking around the room, her brows furrowing when her eyes landed on Gray.

“Why now?” Noah suddenly asked, running a hand over his face before he looked at his mother.

She slowly reached for her tea, blowing off the steam off the top before she took a sip. I was dying to know more, so every single second of silence was killing me.

“I...” her voice broke when she tried to speak, a tear running down her cheek. “I found something, and I—”

She placed her tea back on the table and hugged herself, looking utterly disgusted. A nasty feeling crept up on me, and I shifted closer to her on the couch.

“I’m so sorry I never believed you, Noah. I’m your mother. I should always support you and have your back in everything.” She burst out crying, slapping her hands in front of her face as her mascara ran down her face.

Noah looked up at her with wide eyes, flinching at the sound of her sobs.

“What did you find?” he asked coldly, watching his mother like a hawk. “What...”

Leah shifted her gaze to her son, wiping her eyes with the back of her hand. She swallowed hard before speaking. “Images, footage, everything.”

No. This can’t be true.

“That sick son of a bitch,” I mumbled under my breath. Noah just looked in trance, staring into space as he processed what his mother just told him. It was worse than I thought. Probably worse than Noah thought.

I felt so bad for him. He was finally at a point in his life where he could be happy, and now...

His past would haunt him for the rest of his life, but hopefully, we could make sure this motherfucker of a Wyatt wouldn’t see the light of day ever again. And maybe, maybe, the bond between Noah and his mom could be restored a little.

“I’m so sorry, Noah,” she said softly, grabbing her tea and warming her hands with it.

“So...you...” Noah whispered, snapping back to reality. “You turned him in?”

Leah nodded, downing her drink and grabbing her bag. “I know I’m not welcome here, but I just wanted you to hear it from me.”

I looked from Noah to his mother, wondering if there was anything left to repair between the two. It was obvious why Noah acted the way he did towards her, and in my opinion, it was justified, but I could imagine that finding out the love of your life has been an absolute piece of shit with child pornography in his possession, was heartbreaking too.

Especially when said child was your son.

A shiver went down my spine at the thought, and I stood up to discuss something with Noah, and hopefully, lift the mood a bit.

“You’ll probably get a call from the police soon, about giving a statement. You know...since...”

Noah nodded, looking up at me when I approached him. “What?” he whispered, grabbing my hand and drawing circles over my palm.

“She’s trying,” I said softly, nudging my head towards our son, before looking back at Noah. He sighed, pecking me on the lips before standing up.

“Mom,” he called after his mother, and she turned around so quickly I was sure she would break her neck. “Wait.”

Leah slowly placed her bag on the floor, looking at her son with watery eyes. Noah walked up to her, and to my surprise, he wrapped his arms around her and pulled her against his chest.

Something between a cry and a little cough came from behind us, and I grabbed Gray from his cot. “Hey, baby,” I whispered, smiling at the little boy.

“You’ve...you’ve met Bellamy?” Noah said hesitantly, releasing his mother and turning to me.

“Yes?” Leah sniffed, wiping her tears.

“Well.” Noah beckoned me to come closer, and I cradled Gray in my arms as I walked up to them. “This is your grandson, Gray.”

Leah gasped, more tears streaming down her face as she looked at him. “Oh, Noah. He’s beautiful.”

She reached for him, but stopped herself mid-air, her eyes moving up to mine. “Sorry.”

I looked at Noah for confirmation, and he nodded. “No, don’t worry. Do you want to hold him?”

Leah’s face lit up, and she smiled as I handed her Gray. He looked up at his grandmother, reaching for her face with his tiny hands.

Noah joined us and wrapped an arm around my shoulder, leaning his head on mine as he watched his mother interact with his son.

I knew they had a long way to go, but I was confident that everything was going to be alright. Justice was finally being served, and the little light at the end of the tunnel was only going to get brighter and brighter.

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