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Perfect Love Story (Love 1) Natasha Madison 2022/8/3 13:48:59

Hailey untangles her legs from my waist, mumbling, “Oh my god, oh my god, oh my god.”

“Hailey, did you have a sleepover?” Mila walks away from my mother and climbs on a stool. “And you made pancakes. Nana, can we eat here?”

“Um,” my mother says, still looking at us.

Hailey looks like she wishes the floor would eat her up, standing half behind me now. “Did you put chocolate chips in the pancakes?” Mila asks, not even picking up on what is going on.

I turn to Hailey and grab her face, making her look at me. “It’s fine.” She just shakes her head no, but then nods yes.

“Can I have two please?” Hailey asks, looking around us at the stack of pancakes on the counter.

“Yes. You can,” I tell her, then turn to my mother. “Sit down.” She just nods.

“I didn’t know,” Mom says softly. “I had no idea.” I get the plate out and pile pancakes on it for Mila. “I’m so sorry.” She looks at Hailey.

“Everything is good,” I say, putting the plate down in front of Mila. “Hailey, get your coffee.” I motion with my head.

“Did you sleep in Poppa’s bed?” Mila asks, picking up a piece of pancake with her fork. “Did he make funny noises with his nose?” She mimics me snoring.

“No,” Hailey says from beside me as she hides her legs behind the counter.

“So what are you doing here?” I ask my mother, putting a cup of coffee in front of her.

“Mila forgot her rain boots, and we wanted to go hiking a bit.” My mother looks at me and then at Hailey. “I should have called.”

“Well, that won’t happen again,” I say under my breath as I drink coffee. We don’t say anything while Mila finishes her pancakes. “Go wash your hands and grab your boots by the door,” I tell her, watching her walk to the bathroom. “Now, Mother.”

She puts her head in her hands. “I’m so, so sorry, Hailey. I swear I had no idea.”

“Okay so now that it’s out there,” I say, looking at my mother and then putting my hand around Hailey’s neck and bringing her close to me. “We don’t have to keep it a secret.”

“Jensen,” she whispers, “what about Norma, and …” I don’t let her continue; I just kiss her lips and smile.

“I don’t care,” I say. “I don’t give a shit if they plaster it in the papers. I don’t care if they take a billboard out on the highway. I don’t fucking care,” I tell her, and my mother smiles as she watches us.

Hailey’s arms go around my waist. “Okay.” She leans up, kissing me. “I really, really like your son,” she tells my mother, opening her eyes. “Like a lot.”

“I can see that,” my mother says. “I can also see how happy he is.” She smiles at us and then frowns. “I owe your grandmother a hundred dollars.”

“What for?” Hailey asks from beside me.

“She called this.” My mother points at us. “She called it the minute you stormed into the house and saw Hailey there.”

“He hated me.” Hailey laughs, looking up at me, her eyes crinkling from the smile.

“I didn’t hate you.” I hold her closer to me. “I hated the situation.”

She shakes her head. “I hated him.” I glare at her. “You were such an asshole.”

“I wasn’t that much of an asshole.” I roll my eyes. She pushes me away from her.

“You kicked me out of the house, you basically said ‘no wonder my husband left me’.” She uses air quotes. “And then I carried your kid in my bare feet, got ten stitches, and you kicked me out of the room.” She puts her hands on her hips, and the shirt, even though it reaches her mid thigh, raises a bit.

I shake my head, rubbing my forehead with my hand. “You’re right. I was an asshole.” I look at her to see that through all this she isn’t sad about it or mad about it; she’s joking about it. I walk to her, my hands going to her neck. Her hands wrap around my wrists. “Forgive me,” I whisper to her; she just smiles and shrugs her shoulders at me.

“Maybe,” she says, getting on her tippy toes to kiss me. “You can think of ways to make it up to me.”

“Oh really, I can think of a couple,” I start saying when my mother yells for Mila, who comes back into the room with her pink rain boots in her hand.

“Give your poppa a kiss,” my mother tells Mila as she gets off the chair. “See you two tomorrow.” She waves at us, grabbing Mila’s hand and walking out.

“Oh, my god,” Hailey finally says. “I thought I was going to die.”

“Why?’ I ask her, smiling. Grabbing some pancakes, I pop them in the microwave to heat them up.