“Julia could still change her mind.” She stands there as I put my hand up.
“I don’t give a shit if she changes her mind or not, Mila’s mine. Not hers. She has two other children she chose to raise.”
“I’m not going to discuss my daughter in front of a stranger,” she says.
“We aren’t discussing anything. From now on, you call before you come into my home,” I tell her, thinking I need to change the locks anyway.
She looks over at Hailey then back at me and then back at her again. “Don’t get too comfortable. My daughter will be back, and she will take her rightful place as his wife.”
“Ex,” Hailey says from beside me, “his ex-wife.” Norma doesn’t say anything, so Hailey holds my hand, and she squeezes it and smiles. “From what I heard, she threw him away along with her beautiful girl.” Norma nods, then turns and walks out of the house, slamming the door behind her. “I’m sorry, I had to say something.” She looks at me as I try to get my anger under check.
“You’re sorry?” I laugh sarcastically. “You’re sorry? Fuck, I’m the one who needs to be sorry for bringing that woman into your life.” She shakes her head. “She crossed so many lines by saying all those things. This conversation with her isn’t over; I can tell you that.”
“I’m not the other woman,” she says quietly from beside me. My body goes solid, and ice fills my blood, and I have a hatred stronger than when Julia left. I walk to her, grabbing her face.
“You are not the other woman,” I tell her as she nods her head and tears form in her eyes. “You will never be the other woman again. Ever.” Her tears fall on my hands, and they soak into my skin. “I promise you will never cry because of that bullshit again.” I kiss her cheeks where her tears just rolled off.
“Okay,” she whispers, her voice cracking as the perfect night got drowned out by the nastiness of this morning.
“I really want to forget this just happened, but I know we won’t.” I kiss her lips. “Last night was the best night I’ve had in a long, long time.”
“Me too,” she says as her hands go to my waist and she holds on to my belt. The doorbell fills the room as I put my head back and count to ten in my head. Brody walks into the room with Darla, but they stop in their tracks when they see us in the middle of the room.
“Well, fuck me,” Brody says as Darla just looks stunned, “we brought doughnuts.”
“What is wrong with everyone today?” I say under my breath as Hailey laughs. My hands drop from her face, and I stand next to her, not sure what to do, but she surprises me by linking our hands together.
“Holy shit,” Darla says still stuck at her spot, “we are so sorry.”
Brody looks at her as he puts the box down on the counter. “Why are we sorry? They aren’t naked. So.” He walks around and starts the coffee. Then the door opens again, and Gabe walks in, taking in the four of us.
“What the fuck? Is this a meeting?” he asks as he walks to the doughnut box, opening it up and taking one out. A knock on the back door has us all turning to find Crystal looking in. “Fuck,” I hear Gabe say as he bites again and swallows. Hailey walks over to the door, opening it.
“Seriously, you can’t go out without your phone. I was texting you all night,” she says as Gabe starts coughing with a fist in front of his mouth.
“You spent the night?” he asks as he continues to cough. “I need water,” he says as he opens the fridge and takes out a beer. “Why are you here?” He points at Crystal.
“I was making sure she was okay. Why are you here?” She folds her arms over her chest.
“This is my cousin’s house,” he says, and we all look from one to the other like it’s a tennis match.
“Well, my cousin went out for dinner, and it’s breakfast, so …” she says, tossing her hair behind her shoulder.
“So you thought you would cock block her?” He smirks. “Nice.”
“I wasn’t cock blocking her; I was making sure she was okay. Why are you here? Did your date wake up and notice what an asshole you were?”
“I told you, she wasn’t a fucking date.” He smashes the can of beer in his hand.
“Whatever. I couldn’t care less.” She rolls her eyes at him, and I look at my cousin and see he is about to throw that can and smash my wall.
“Okay,” I say as I clap my hands together. “Who wants breakfast?” I ask, looking around. “Darla?” I ask her as she looks like she is in another world.