Breathing easier, I stepped off the elevator and rushed to Ollie’s room. I swear I just wanted to gather both of them in my arms and never let them go, maybe run off even. We could find a new hospital, new doctors, and I’d stay off the internet this time.
That thought was immediately crushed when I met Charlie’s scowling face at the door. “Outside,” she growled as she backed me out of the room.
“So, we gave blood. Damien says he’ll be back later, but you never really know with that guy, do you?” I shrugged. “Anyway, I’m here, and I thought I’d work with Ollie for a while before her lunch and nap. You know, the usual, from a guy you can count on.” I started to give her a kiss on the cheek, but she pushed me back. Undeterred, I started to open the door.
“We’re not finished yet,” Charlie snapped.
“We aren’t?” I feigned confusion and scratched at my head as if I couldn’t possibly imagine what we had left to say to one another on the subject.
“Listen, you need to pull it together. I can understand why you’d be upset…” She threw her hands in the air.
“Good. I’m glad you get it. I’m glad you understand.” I huffed for a moment, but the last thing I wanted was to push her further away. Rubbing the back of my neck, I bit my cheek for a moment as I struggled to calm down. “Please, can we get back to where we were, before he came, back when you liked me?” I gave her a pleading look.
Charlie softened some. “I’d like that, but I think there’s something you need to know first.” She limped closer and wrapped her arms around my waist. I could feel my fury beginning to dissipate. “Damien wants to spend time with us, wants to get to know Ollie.”
I stiffened and peeled her off me so I could look her in the eyes. “Do you think this is a good idea? She’s so fragile right now. I mean, the way you explained it, the guy abandoned you. I don’t want Ollie exposed to someone who could hurt her like that.” I meant it too. It was all about what was right for Ollie. It just so happened that having him gone for good was better for Charlie and me as well.
She took a step back and crossed her arms over her chest. “Then it’s a good thing this isn’t up to you. Who do you think you are anyway?” Charlie frowned.
“I thought I was the guy who loved you, the guy who was always there for both of you. I guess I thought maybe that gave me the right to an opinion, being taken into consideration.” My heart sank. “I forgot there’s only room for two in your world. My mistake.” Slowly, I turned to walk away. I needed to clear my head and get these raging emotions under control before I spent any time with Ollie. The kid didn’t miss a thing and she didn’t need to be part of our fight.
“That’s right. Run away. Run just like every other guy I’ve ever known,” she hissed.
Whipping around, I flexed my hands a few times before speaking. “I’m not running. I need a cool down period. I think I deserve at least that. I’ll be back.” I sighed. “I always come back.”
Charlie crumbled against the wall. I wanted to go to her, to hold her and tell her everything would be all right, that I would help her handle whatever came our way. Only this time, I didn’t know if it was true. I didn’t know where I stood now that Damien had returned. There was an ache in my chest like I hadn’t felt since my mother died. Oh, but I recognized it, the feeling of loss, despair. Although this time, no one had died, but our relationship seemed to be in cardiac arrest.
Professor Morceau sighed. “Anyway, I thought the timing might be better now for you to meet her.”
I wished I didn’t have to talk to him in the car. I thought better when I could move around, give my ideas room grow. The car was stifling in every sense. “Why would now be better? Ollie’s sick. She’s convinced she’s dying.” My heart froze. “Did you think I’d be a better match for Charlie if Ollie was gone?”
“Well, who would want to raise another man’s child? Who would want her?” He spat.
Bile rose in my throat. This man completely sickened me. I can’t believe I ever admired him. “A good man. A good man would see what a treasure Ollie is. A good man would fall madly in love with the incredible woman Charlie has become. I’m that man. I always was.” I slammed my hand on the dashboard. “I could’ve been there for them the whole time. I would’ve.” I rubbed my forehead, feeling one hell of a headache threatening. “You stole years from us. You decided Charlie’s fate, threw her into the cold when she needed a safe haven. How could you?”
From Friday, May 6th at 12:30am EST until Monday, May 9th at 12pm EST, 133 authors and blogs have come together to offer prizes on every page PLUS the chance to win part of the grand prize through the giveaway below.
Don’t miss out! Visit one, or all to participate. Easy entries.
Meet some new authors! Discover some awesome blogs.
Most of all…have fun!
Join the Mother’s Day Hop here on my Facebook page:
Preorder on Amazon! Only 99 Pennies. Live May 9th.
“Why would you do this?” My voice came out a whimper.
“Babe, I’m trying to help.” He sounded more than a little exasperated.
“How does it help me to know I have so many people pitying me?” I shook my head as tears dripped down my nose. “All I have is my self-respect and my pride. You’re killing it.”
“How’s that?” Ben backed away from me and threw his hands in the air.
“My father obviously now knows we’re struggling. He’ll run and tell my mother. She’ll get to be all smug about our situation.” I dabbed at my eyes with the handkerchief he’d given me when he arrived.
“Listen, if they are sitting around gloating about your ‘situation’ as you put it, then they are shit human beings. If they have the ability to help out and they aren’t, they are shit human beings. If they aren’t there for you in your time of need…”
I glared up at him. “Newsflash, Ben. They are shit human beings. Glad we’re all caught up.” I watched as he swallowed hard. Obviously, my words hit him hard.
“I don’t know why this surprises me so.” He closed the distance and reached out to hold my hand. “I guess it’s more that I don’t understand how someone could abandon you, hurt you and Ollie.” Ben pressed his cheek to my thigh.
“Good Lord! Are you pitying me too?” I reached out to push him away.
“No one pities you, Charlie. Do you not get that yet?” He stuffed his phone in his pocket. “These people donating want to help. I want to help. No one should have to go it alone. Understand?” He gazed up at me with these pleading eyes.
“Not really. I’m not used to this. It feels bad to me.” My head hung and I couldn’t face him.
“An outpouring of love can be overwhelming at first. Just accept it. Let them love you.” Ben took both of my hands in his. “Let me love you.”
Thank You to Everyone who has donated their talents & time to this worthy cause!
Pink Shades of Words is a collaboration of 8 never before seen short stories from 8 New York Times, USA Today, and International Bestselling Authors. These authors come together to bring you a collection of romance that is a must read for book lovers including New Adult, Contemporary, Erotica, and Dark Romance.
Let’s Pretend by Ruth Clampett Mr. X by Cambria Hebert Indemnity by K.A. Hunter Escaping the Cocoon by Jade C. Jamison Hard Luck by Liv Morris Filthy Rich (Blackstone DYNASTY 1) by Raine Miller The Decoy by Emma Nichols Book Boyfriend by Melanie Shawn
Pink Shades of Words will only be available for purchase from April 1, 2016 to May 31, 2016! So, purchase your copy now!
Again, she beat me to my advisor’s office, my crying girl. I heard the sniffling as I sat in the chair outside the door.
“You could’ve called,” Professor Morceau suggested.
“You refuse to get a cell phone. I think we both know why a call wasn’t possible.” She released a mirthless laugh. I heard shoes padding back and forth across the floor.
“Sit down at least. It can’t be that bad.”
“I can’t sit. I can’t stay. I have to get back before Ollie wakes.” She sighed heavily. “We have to meet the doctor in a few hours for the test results. If they can’t tell you over the phone, it’s bad.” She hiccupped.
“Does ‘we’ mean you finally reconciled with the father?” Professor Morceau’s voice sounded flat.
“No, we is me and Ollie, same as always. Us against the world.” She released a mirthless laugh.
“I don’t know what to say.” Professor Morceau sighed.
“You never know what to say. Words were never your thing.” She sounded angry and frustrated. “I’ve gotta go. I don’t even know why I came here.” Then the door flew open again. This time, I was prepared.
Standing, I held out a handkerchief. I’d started carrying them with me after the first time I met her. “Here. Take it.”
She stared at me a moment. This time the tears spilled over her cheeks and rushed down her face. Reaching out, she held the soft linen in her hands a moment, then she fell into my arms. I held her close while I murmured in her hair. “I don’t know why you’re crying,” I whispered. “All I know is I wish I could take your pain away.” It wasn’t much, but it was the truth. My heart had ached for her since our first meeting. The pain was both real and acute.
For several minutes, we stood there with her face buried in my chest. Professor Morceau looked at us thoughtfully, then backed away and disappeared inside his office once more. When she finally stopped crying, she gazed up at me sadly. “For some reason, I believe you.” Then she wrapped her hands around my neck, forcing my head toward hers. Her eyelids shut, but mine never did as she leaned in and touched her lips to mine. A warmth spread through me, building like a wildfire, sparked from a simple kiss. As quickly as she had burst through the door, she backed away and rushed down the hall, taking my handkerchief with her.
From then on, the crying girl was forever in my heart and thoughts. I never told anyone about her. There was nothing to tell, really. I didn’t even speak about it with Professor Morceau, since it seemed rather personal to him. Over time, as the years passed, I gave up and decided I’d never see her again.