Lonely Souls (Book 10)

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26

Chloe

I marched into Aunt Bree and Uncle Asher's house with my heals clicking across the marbled floor.

I was on a mission, one that would be quick if I got the answers I needed, so I left Church in the car waiting for me.

It had taken me almost two weeks, but Avril had finally agreed to meet with me and I had gotten her story. Which I was pretty sure was a complete lie, but to be certain, there were a few questions that I had that only Noah could answer.

I just wanted to solve this issue and go home with Church. I knew I was pregnant when the morning sickness had kicked in, and a pregnancy test confirmed it, but the stress of this situation was making me even more sick.

"Chloe!" Aunt Bree welcomed me with a warm hug, "How are things in Colorado?"

"They'd be better if your son wasn't trying to kill me here." I whined.

"I know," She pulled back and rolled her eyes, "Ash has been on his ass too, and he's not making it any easier. I made him check on the studio so he's gone for a few days."

"Good," I sighed, "You know how he gets after Noah. We don't need him going off his shit again until we know for sure."

"He's different this time though," Bree's eyes were full of tears, "He's not playing macho man anymore."

"Really?" I gaped at her. Maybe Church's words really got to him.

"He's been sulking around the house and he's been crying. Literally Chloe, sobbing." Bree told me, "He wants Arlee and the kids back and he's worried he fucked it all up."

Noah sobbing? That was new. Noah didn't cry, let alone sob. He got pissed and fucked his life up even more.

"I can't be certain, Aunt Bree, but I may have solved the case. I just need to talk to Noah," I sighed, "Once I do- if he gives me the answers I need, we'll order that paternity test and prove he's in the clear before this goes public."

"I don't know if that will fix things with Arlee though." She teared up, "She won't even talk to him. She has her parents bring them for their time with him."

"There's a lot that was done on Noah's end before all of this," I told her, "Let's not forget that."

"Oh, I know. My son is an asshole," She scoffed, "He gets that from Asher. We just love Arlee and just don't want to lose her."

"I know." I nodded and moved toward the steps, "I'll talk to him, solve this issue, then I'll talk to her."

"You left your car running, Hun." Bree pointed outside.

"Oh, my..." Shit! What did I call him?! Ole man? She wouldn't understand, but what was he to me? How could I phrase it? "My boyfriend is outside. I don't think this will take very long and he and Noah aren't the best of friends."

"Is that the Church guy he was bitching about?" Bree grinned wickedly.

"Yes." I smiled and went to the basement, "That's my man."

Noah normally stayed in the basement when he stayed with his parents. It was set up like an apartment, with a built-in bar, so of course he stayed here when he wasn't in the mood for partying and chicks.

I wasn't surprised to find him spread out on the sofa, wasted off his ass, it wouldn't be the first time, but finding Nate with him, shocked me.

This was the first time I'd seen Nate since his walk of shame, the morning after he'd screwed the fuck out of Gina in my spare room and I was glad he looked like shit.

"Oh!" Nate jumped up and tried to play it sober, "Chloe, how have you been? I haven't seen you in a while."

He was slurring his words, like a drunken fool and I tossed him an increadulous look.

"I've been busy." I sourly looked between the two of them. They were so fucking wasted.

"No shit." Noah started laughing from his perch on the couch, "She's really here. You come to tell me how I fucked up too? "

"I'm gonna kick your ass, you fucking moron!" I shouted at him, putting my briefcase down and pulling the glass out of his hand, like he had once done to us at Arlee's house, when we drank too much wine.

"That's mine!" Noah gaped after me.

He wasn't a drinker, unless he and Arlee were apart. For some reason, she was able to get him on the straight and narrow. He was even anal and uptight when it came to her.

"What the fuck, Nate?!" I went to the sink as I shouted, "You know he can't do this right now! I need him sober!"

The smell of the Bourbon hit me and I gagged as I continued to pour it out.

"I didn't know you were coming." Nate tried to straighten the wrinkles out of his shirt with his free hand, "I haven't seen you in forever."

"How long have you been here like this?!" I glared at him, "You guys-" I gagged again, "I can't-."

"Why you gagging, Chloe?" Noah tried to stand but fell back on the couch, "Shit, I'm fucked."

"Sober the fuck up, Noah!" I shouted, pointing at him as I dry heaved over the sink.

"You okay?" Nate stepped forward.

"Don't touch me!" I held a hand out when he reached for me, "It's just- something about the smell!"

This was new and really not a good time. I had a case to solve here, and quick!

"It's just Bourbon." He looked at the bottle in his hand.

"I know you broke up with Gina and you're both in bad moods, but this shit is fucking ridiculous!" I hissed, moving away from the sink and going to where Noah was sprawled on the couch again.

"You aren't frat boys!" I was working to get his feet on the floor, but they were so fucking heavy, "You're grown ass men! Dammit, Noah! How heavy are you?!"

"Let me help." Nate tried to push me back.

"Absolutely not!" I hissed at him, "You got him into this state and you're just as drunk as he is!"




Church

I was sitting in the car when a petite woman with purple hair came out of the house flagging me in.

I knew from the media it was her cousin's mom. If the woman was pissed, I'd have to watch my ass, but I killed the car and went in anyway.

"So you're the one that gave my son the business about being a bitch to his girl?" She crossed her arms and glared up at me.

She was a tiny woman, but I wasn't gonna underestimate her.

"I just told him what I knew from experience," I cleared my throat, "And how he needed to treat his wife better."

"You know, he's been a mess since that visit with you." She walked into her kitchen and I followed looking around at the huge-ass house.

"He went to talk to Chloe and see if she could help him, but instead, you were there." She stood at a large island and took out two glasses, pouring some whisky into each one.

"Chloe was there too," I watched her closely, "She started it all. She went off on both him and that Gina chick."

"Gina is a whole other story." She handed me a glass and took the other. When I took it, she clanked them together and downed hers.

"What's this about?" I smiled at her, not knowing what to do.

"My son is finally understanding what he's done to that poor woman and she is finally taking her stand," She smiled sadly, "Although we're hurting, I think you told him exactly what he needed to hear. What his father and I have been trying to tell him."

"I honestly just told him that he needed to respect his woman, 'cause anything could happen to her and he could lose her and end up carrying that shit the rest of his life."

"I see it in your eyes," She poured herself another glass. Damn, the woman was little, but she could kick 'em back, "You've been there."

"Yeah, but I lost my daughter's mother permanently." I told her, "She wrecked her bike."

"We almost lost Noah to the same thing." She sighed as the yelling started down below.

"Now is not the time for this shit, Nate! I have to get him sobered up!" My girl shouted and my head turned toward the direction of her voice.



Chloe

"Chloe," Nate rubbed the back of his head nervously, "I-uh, I missed you."

"What?!" I looked at him, confusion clear in my face, "Now is not the time."

"Look, I wasnt with Gina," He shook his head and almost fell over, "We we're just alone and together."

"That makes no sense." I scoffed and turned back to my cousin.

"I just-" Nate was practically whining, "You wouldn't, she did. I just- I don't know. We were on tour and you weren't there and I was lonely."

"Now is not the time for this shit, Nate!" I shouted between gagging and trying to tug on Noah, "I have to get him sobered up!"

"Whoa-whoa-whoa," Church's tattooed hands were suddenly covering mine, "Let me get him, babe. You can't be tuggin' on him, he's a big guy."

What was he doing in here? Had he heard Nate? His eyes said nothing as he looked into mine.

"He needs to go in the shower." I gave him a rueful look.

"Done." Church nodded and grabbed Noah's arm, wrapping it around his neck as he heaved him up, "He ain't nothin' compared to Bear."

"You had to carry Bear?" I laughed.

"Yeah, the sucker's heavier than your fucking piano." He joked and Noah's head bobbed to look at him as he snorted.

"Viking dude is here," He mumbled then turned for me and called out cheerfully, "Chloe, your man's here!"

"I know, dumbass." I rolled my eyes and smiled at Church as he grinned at me.

"And Viking dude is gonna knock you out for making my Ole Lady tug on your drunken ass." Church snorted with a cocky grin, "Lead the way, babe."

Church laid him in the tub and turned the shower on warm.

"Why warm?" My brow furrowed as I watched, "Cold will shock him."

"He's drunk enough that the water'll either make his ass puke or he'll piss himself," He remained crouched next to the tub, "Either way, the warm water'll wash most of it away. We'll let run and it'll cool off naturally too and sober him up a little."

"Smart thinking." I grinned at my man who chuckled.

"Just keep your distance." He grinned up at me, "I don't need two messes to clean up in this pretty house they have and you already don't look so good."

"The smell of the alcohol made me gag." I scrunched my face.

"Oh," He smiled devilishly, "I feel so sorry for you, the baby don't like alcohol. What are you gonna' do for the next nine months?"

"Oh, shut up," I rolled my eyes, "I didn't drink much before anyway and you know it."

"No more of your legal weed either." He cocked a brow at me.

"You did this because you hate me didn't you?" I laughed.

"Nah," He chuckled, "I'd do it a million times over if I could keep your ass grounded and barefoot, runnin' around the house all naked and shit."

"You know I have to wear clothes now because you've got the guys coming in and out all the time," I rolled my eyes, "And why didn't you say grounded, barefoot and in the kitchen? Is that because I can't cook?"

He began to chuckle and his whole body rocked with the suppressed laughter. I loved these moments with him, even if we were in the basement ofy aunt's house, showering my deunken cousin.

"Can you blame me for wanting' to live to see my kid?" He was laughing but he stopped, his smile dulling as he looked over my shoulder.

"You and him?" Nates voice sounded behind me, "Him?!"


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