When we pull up to my father’s office, I shut off the truck. I look over and see her hands shaking. “It’s going to be okay.” I grab one, and she just shakes her head and swallows. We walk in, and I smile at Beatrice.
“Look at this handsome fellow,” she says, smiling at me. “Oh, and you brought a lady friend.” I laugh; they are so old school.
“Hey, my dad is expecting me,” I tell her and then look over at Samantha. “You ready?” I ask.
“No,” she says, “I think I’m going to be sick.” I can see she is shaking.
“Let’s go.” I grab her hand and walk to the back where his office is. I knock on the door, and he yells for me to come in.
I turn the handle and open the door, seeing him sitting behind his big oak desk with pictures of us all around the room. He takes his glasses off and stands up when he sees me with Samantha.
His eyes go to me and then her; the silent questions are about a mile a minute, and I give him a nod, telling him we will talk.
“Dad,” I say when he looks at me again. “This is Samantha, a friend of mine.”
He extends his hand to shake hers with a smile, walking around the desk. “Nice to meet you, Samantha,” he says, and she smiles at him. “Please, come sit.” He points at the sitting area away from his desk in the corner. Samantha sits on the loveseat, and I sit next to her. My father sits in the single chair. Looking at us, he asks, “What can I do to help?” I hand him the paper from the lawyer. He opens the letter, reading just the first couple of lines, and his eyes snap up.
“Dad, this is Samantha Schneider,” I say, and his mouth opens.
I know right away when his head snaps up that he knows who I am. I sit next to Blake, trying to bask in his warmth, and I end up shaking.
“Dad, this is Samantha Schneider,” he says, grabbing my little hand in his, and his father’s mouth opens and closes.
“Blake,” he says, turning to look at him.
“I know what you’re thinking, Dad,” he says, “but she needed the best, and you’re the best.”
He puts the papers down and then gets up and goes to his phone. “Beatrice, call Joanne and tell her to come in please.”
Then he looks at me. “I’m sorry, but I can’t keep this from my wife.” And I smile and look at Blake, knowing right away that is where he got it from.
“I don’t mind,” I tell him and then look at Blake. “Killing two birds with one stone, right?” I push his shoulder, and he looks down and smiles.
“Would you like something to drink while we wait?” he asks while he looks at me. This man, whose daughter was broken and treated so unfairly by Eric’s family, who were mine, is standing there offering me something to drink instead of telling me to take my things and fuck off. I shake my head. “Before your mother gets here, can you answer a couple of questions?” he asks me and Blake.
“What in the ever-loving fuck is going on?” He sits down, crossing his legs. “Blake?”
I laugh at him; such a gentleman and he throws out the F bomb. “I went to visit her with Crystal right before Hailey decided to leave. Then I called and checked on her, and we’ve been friends ever since.” I know it shouldn’t bother me that he said we’ve been friends, but my stomach burns. I smile at him and then look down, trying to hide my eyes. I hear women’s voices and then the door opens and a beautiful woman walks in. Henry gets up to greet his wife who looks like she sped here.
“I got here as soon as I could,” she says breathlessly to her husband and then turns to look at us, her eyes taking in that Blake still has my hand in his. “Blake,” she says and then looks at me. I get up, putting out my hand.
“Mrs. Williams, my name is Samantha.” She smiles as she takes my hand.[email protected]@@@[email protected]@@@@=======
“Samantha, it’s a pleasure to meet you,” she says, and Henry finally tells her to sit down.
“So what is this meeting about?” she says as she sits in the chair where Henry was sitting. He now sits on the arm of the chair.
I look at Blake, and then I look at Henry. Both of them are unsure of how to start things, so I do what I need to do. I take a deep breath and squeeze Blake’s hand.
“My name is Samantha Schneider,” I say, and her eyes suddenly go big. “I was married to Eric,” I start, and the tears spill over. “We have two girls. Two beautiful girls, beautiful girls,” I say, and the tears don’t stop, no matter how many times I blink them away. “I was a ward of the state and have no family. None. I was a crack baby,” I tell them, and Blake lets my hand go. I look at him, expecting to see his judgment, but instead, he puts his arm around my shoulder, bringing me closer to him and kissing my forehead. I know I have to continue. “When I was nineteen, I met Eric and fell in love with him. His family became my family. They welcomed me with open arms.” My hands now come together as I get nervous. “They were the family I always dreamed of. I finally had a mother and father who loved me, and two brothers who would do anything for me. A husband who gave me a family,” I say, smiling through the tears. “But then he died, and his box of secrets came out. I didn’t want to sit at the table while they put him on a throne.”