Lonely Souls (Book 10)

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My girl couldn't stop vomiting this morning. She was so sick and I felt horrible as I laid her back in the bed.

"Daddy, she's really sick." Ali whispered when I came out of the bedroom.

"I think she's stressed an that ain't making it better." I sighed.

"She didn't make it to the spa with Livvie and me either." She sighed.

"No, baby," I smiled to myself over Ali's concern for Chloe, "She didn't, but she really just needs to rest."

"What can we do for her?" She asked.

"Nothing," I shrugged, "Just give her time, let her rest and wait for her to tell us what won't make her puke."

"I'm sure they have some kind of recipe for this somewhere." She picked up her phone and started scrolling, "Some anti-morning sickness remedy."

"You really like cooking, don't you, Alice?" Her head darted up to see me smiling at her.

"Well," She smiled brightly, "I do, Daddy. It's what I've done since I can remember and I'm better at that than tattoos."

"Maybe I can ask Melony if she needs an extra hand around her restaurant." I shrugged. Melony was Bear's Old Lady. Her grub was good, but it'd give anyone diabetes.

Ali scrunched her face at that notion and slid her phone to the side.

"Daddy, can we talk?" She asked, "Like a serious you and me conversation."

"This sounds scary." I gaped at her as my heart stopped, "You pregnant?"

"No!" She glared at me, but I felt like I could finally breathe again with that.

I knew Blue had been after her ass and I didn't know if he'd found his way in, but I was watching him closely.

"Daddy, I want to go to Culinary school." She looked up at with the most terrified face I had ever seen on my girl, "There's this one in New York that's really good."

She was scared? Of what? She was the one wanting to leave me, not the other way around.

I'd always wanted her to get out of our small town, I just didn't know it would be this soon.

"New York State or City?" I asked.

"City?" She scrunched her face, "But there's one I like in upstate too, I just don't think I'll get in to that one."

"Is this because of-" I pointed to the closed bedroom door where Chloe was resting.

"No!" Her eyes went wide, "No, Daddy! I love Chloe and I'm so happy that I'm going to have a baby brother or sister, I just... You're happy and I want to do what makes me happy."

I smiled at my kid, not seeing the woman in front of me, but seeing that girl that I danced with in the living room and the girl that ran into my arms when I got outta' jail.

"I really don't like the idea of you being in New York alone." I began to nod slowly.

"I know, Daddy." She bowed her head, "I understand."

I could tell she thought I was gonna say no, but I hadn't said it had I?

"But apply," I gave a heavy sigh, "If you get in, we'll discuss where to go from there."

Her head darted back up and she looked at me with widest eyes I'd ever seen.

"Are you serious?" She asked.

"Yes, Baby." I nodded, feeling a light smile touch my face, "I want you to be happy. You deserve it, so apply and if you get in we'll discuss the tuition and other shit."

She started squealing and jumping around as she ran over to my side of the counter and threw her arms around me.

"Thank you, Daddy!" Her voice was high-pitched in my ear, "Thank you, thank you, thank you!"

"You're welcome," I gave her a kiss on the cheek, "Now, why don't you look up some of them remodies for your stepmom, see if we can make her feel better."

"Will do." She smiled and went about looking it all up, while I went out on the deck to have a smoke and call our dearest treasurer.

"Hello, Church." She answered with a sigh.

"You know why I'm calling," I told her as I lit my smoke, "So talk."

"The deposits." She sighed.

"Yeah the-" Did she say deposits? "I was told there was only one."

"Only one for the Hustle account," She sniffled, "Have you checked your and Alice personal accounts yet?"

"Why the hell would I do that?" I hissed, "What is the Ole Man up to?"

"It's best that he tells you." She was trying to remain professional, but I could hear it in her voice.

"Livvie, you used to babysit me, you know how close our family is," I felt numb, "Is he sick? Is he dyin'?"

"Please, talk to him." She began to sob and hung up the line.

I sat in on of the chairs and looked up my bank account on my phone with shaky hands.

I knew my balance should be around forty grand. I'd been saving for for a few years, to give Ali somethin' nice when she moved out on her own, but when I opened my account and the balance showed at well above a cool million I practically shit myself.

He'd put over two million in the Hustle account too. Shit...

"Alice!" I hollered for her and she popped her head out of the glass door.

"Yeah, Daddy?"

"Get your phone," I gaped up at her, "Check your bank account."

All of the color drained from her face instantly as she ran to grab her cell and came back out.

"I didn't overdraw, Daddy." She told me, "I still got three grand in there, I know I do!"

She was rapidly pushing buttons, and when it popped onto her screen she began to shake.

"This isn't right," She gaped at me, "Four-? How much is that? I've never seen a number that big, Daddy!"

"Let me see, baby." She handed me the phone and sure enough, she had well over four million dollars.

"Daddy, this is a mistake." She pointed to her phone, "It's gotta be. Where would I get that kind of money?"

"Your Gramps."

"Where did he get it?" She gaped at me, "Why would he give it to me?"

"'Cause, you're his grandbaby, and this is what people do when their dyin'." I tried to keep my cool for my kid, but the old man had been like a dad to me.

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