Lies, Sacrifices, and Alibis

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Chapter 64

The first one started off with me at the hospital bringing Logan home. Mike was holding the camera. I was being wheeled out of the hospital and I remembered that day. The only thing that was on my mind was Corey. I felt very angry and sad because he was supposed to be there.

Mike’s voice could be heard behind the camera. “So, after that wild bi-polar moment of you needing me and hating me, pushing me away then telling me to never leave you… tell me, was he worth all the pain?”

Looking down to the baby in my arms, I smiled. My heart was overwhelmed with love. “Every second of pain. He’s worth everythin’ I had to do to get him here safely.”

“I wouldn’t say the car ride over here was worth it, but I’m happy he’s here.”

I rolled my eyes. “Yes dear. I’m sure Logan really needs to hear about that.”

“Are you sure we can’t name him Michael Allan Tanner Two? I would really like that. We can call him Matt and then he will have his own unique name.”

“Please. I’m not sure how ya can justify that statement, but it’s not the same as him havin’ his own name. Now, if we were to call him Matthew Logan Tanner, that would be his own name. We could call him Logan Matthew Tanner if you’d rather.”

His sighing could be heard on the camera. “No. I’ll take Logan Michael. You drive a hard bargain.”

Pausing at the movie, I looked up at him. “I was so torn with my emotions on that day. I wanted you to see your son, but didn’t know how to find ya. I wasn’t sure how ya felt about me because Tania kept remindin’ me about how it was supposed to be a fantasy no strings vacation. You agreed to it so willingly so maybe ya were happy it was over.”

He nodded. “I had planned on getting up before you and asking you to stay with me, but you wore me out. When I woke up and you were gone… I was angry with myself for not doing it before our activities.”

“Had ya done that, I never would’ve left California an’ I would’ve met ya a lot quicker. That is… if ya still took me knowin’ I was cheatin’ on my husband – your brother – in California.”

“What do you think Mike’s doing right about now?”

I didn’t really want to talk about Mike. This was supposed to be a carefree weekend and that wasn’t going to make it carefree. However, it seemed only fair. He was in a lot of the videos I took.

“I’d say he’s pacin’ the floor, worried sick about me an’ Logan. He’s probably called all of our friends, family, an’ the cab company. I probably have a ton of messages by now on my cell phone, beggin’ me to come home, but I don’t care. I’m done with him. When I think of all the arguments we had about that.”

“Don’t think about it. I’ll bring you and Logan back with me to California. We can create a new ten years filled with making your dreams come true.”

“I like that.” I leaned over, kissing him lightly on the cheek. “So, not to bring up a bad subject, but I really need to know… what happened between you an’ Mike?”

He sighed, running his hand through his hair. “Mike and I used to be really close. We were best friends and saw each other through a lot of shit. Our parents were constantly arguing because my dad went from California back to Maryland all the time. He was gone for half of the month because he donated equal time to both. It infuriated my mother and one of their arguments had something to do with another woman that he had in California. So, when I say it was a war zone, it really was. I trusted Mike with everything.”

“That’s the same type of relationship I have with my sister, Tania. The only volatile past was me protectin’ her when she let her mouth – an’ her slutty ways – get her into a mess of trouble. However, she’s always been my best friend in the whole world. I would trust her with my life… as long as her life wasn’t on the line… then I’m screwed.”

“We were the same. Anyway, right after high school, I was still dating my sweetheart. She was the one I mentioned earlier. The only girlfriend I’ve ever had. We talked about getting married and having kids. Mike was away a lot. When he came home, on break from business school, I told him about her.”

“He didn’t already know about her?”

“Not really. Being older than me, he was gone a lot. He had college and then he was learning how to run a business. He knew of her, but they never officially met. He was too busy to be bothered.”

“So, what happened?”

“Mother threw one of her parties. Mike brought the girl he was dating and I finally got to introduce them to my girl. I was happy that they got along. While we were standing there, the two of them laughed and joked and that left me and his date… though I can’t remember what her name was to save my life… to stand around and gawk at them. She and I had nothing in common so we didn’t really have much to say to each other. She was beautiful. She had long blonde hair and the prettiest blue eyes but she knew she was something to look at and that made her less attractive.”

“That sounds like my sister.”

“It sounds like too many women any more. They don’t need anyone to tell them how beautiful they are: their mirror does it for them. So, it was about a month after I graduated and I was learning the family business for when I would take over. Me and my girl were talking about marriage and how we were going to be happy in California. She was looking forward to it. I came home to get some lunch because I had forgotten some important papers. I heard Mike upstairs. I was surprised that he was home. I thought I heard him up there with someone. At first, I thought it was his girlfriend, but then I heard a note of familiarity to it.”

“No.”

“I crept up the stairs and sure enough, it was my girlfriend, soon to be fiancé, in bed with Mike.”

“Oh, my God, no.”

“We had a huge blowout. She told me the only reason she did it was because Mike told her about the girl I was screwing behind her back. I told her there was no one but her. She should’ve known that, or at least come to talk to me about it, but no. She had to listen to him because she wanted to fuck him just as much as he wanted to fuck her. I told her to enjoy him because I was through with her. She begged, pleaded, promised me the world to keep her… I wanted nothing to do with her. He admitted that he lied to get her in bed, but never said why. He just wanted what I had.”

“Wow! That doesn’t sound like the Mike I married. What happened then?”

“I left earlier than planned. My parents were on a break, with her staying in Maryland and him moving to California, so I moved in with him. I had to learn the business anyway. Mike knew everything there was to know about his, it was time for me to get hands on experience. It was a good thing because he died a year later.”

“Oh, I’m sorry.”

“Thank you. My mother didn’t understand how I could let a woman come between family. She argued with me about how blood was thicker than water and that I was being ridiculous. I threw it back in her face about how she let water come between the blood with my father. She didn’t like that and hung up on me every time… until the next family thing she wanted me to be a part of. I didn’t talk to either of them after that… not until my mother begged me to come to Maryland to see Logan. I had to come and see it for myself because I knew there was no way that Mike fathered a child.”

“I guess I didn’t know Mike at all. He never told me about any of that an’ definitely kept you out of everythin’. I was floored when he told me that he had a brother in California the night of the dinner. I kept thinkin’… there’s no way that would happen.” I thought about something he said, pulling up my wallet. “The girl he dated, did she look like this?” I showed him a picture of my sister. It was a younger picture of her, back on my wedding day.

Taking the picture, he looked at it, turning his head from one side to the next and then his eyes widened. “Yes! That’s her! I remember she was so stuck on herself that she kept throwing her hair over her shoulder!”

“So, Tania knew he had a brother. Tania also knew where we were stayin’. She was the one who suggested we go to California an’ that I find a suitable donor.” I looked at him with a sense of urgency. “I really need to see that fax.”

He nodded. “Okay, I’ll have my secretary fax it to my hotel room and I’ll bring it over after our vacation. For now, let’s stop worrying about them. We are on a tropical island, in love, with our son and about to start our family together. Let’s not bring up any more bad news.”

“That’s gonna be easier said than done when I’m ready to go pull out every blonde hair off her skanky head. She set me up. She set up this whole thing! I knew there was somethin’ between those two at one time! They just hated each other too much. Did she find out that he cheated on her or somethin’?”

He sighed. “Yes. It was the day I was leaving for California. I’m not sure how she knew, but she showed up very angry. He dumped her that day; said she was psycho. She cried and begged him to take her back but he was done with her. He said she was below him and he deserved better.”

“That explains so much, but I don’t understand why she never told me! I would’ve never gone out with – much less married – one of her ex-boyfriends!”

“Okay, it’s time to change the subject.” He smirked. “When I was little, I was a lot like Logan. I loved to pull hair.”

I grumbled, but he was right. We could discuss that after our vacation. There was no need to let Mike and Tania ruin our weekend together. “Thank God that never changed.”

He reached up, trailing his fingers through my hair, gripping a handful, and pulling me closer for a kiss only stopped just short of delivering. “You like it when I pull your hair?”

“Ya know I do.”

“Good. You’re never going to be able to get rid of me.” He kissed me hard before pulling back so we could once more watch the videos. “…like ever.”

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