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His Lover's Little Secret Andrea Laurence 2022/8/3 13:54:44

And as time went by, splitting Gavin from Sabine and Jared was an even more impossible task.

He’d signed off on the custody agreements because they were fair and reasonable, but he didn’t like them. He wouldn’t see Jared nearly enough. And aside from the occasional custody trade-off, nowhere in the pile of paperwork did it say how often he would get to see Sabine. There was no such thing as visitation with the mother.

At this point, she might not want anything else to do with him. They had both said terrible things to each other. He hadn’t meant a word of it. He’d been hurt by her blame and flung the most convenient insults he could find. He could tell her that. But he knew Sabine. She wouldn’t pay any attention to his apologies. They were just words, and she had told him more than once that actions spoke louder.

Now was the time for action.

The car finally pulled up outside of the Ritz-Carlton. He ushered them both inside through the crowd of tourists and over to the residential elevator. He swiped the card that had special access to his floor of the hotel. In his apartment with the door locked, Gavin finally felt secure again. His family was safe and intact and he was never going to let them out of his sight again.

Once they settled in, he called his parents to let them know Jared was okay. He should’ve called from the car, but he needed time to mentally unwind and process everything that happened.

Jared was playing with his dinosaur on the floor when he got off the phone. Sabine was staring out the window at Central Park, her arms crossed protectively over her chest.

“Sabine?” She turned to look at him, an expression of sadness on her face. “Are you okay?”

She nodded softly. “Yes. I wanted to tell you that I’m sorry about everything I said to you. I was upset and scared when I found out something had happened to Jared. Blaming you was the easiest thing to do. It was wrong of me. Your son was in danger, too.”

“I said things I didn’t mean, too.”

“Yes, but you were right. I was being selfish. I was so afraid of not having Jared all to myself that I kept him from you. I shouldn’t have done that. I’m glad that Clay saw me and told you about him. It was a step I couldn’t make on my own. I’m really glad you’re going to be a part of his life.”

“What about your life?”

Sabine’s eyes narrowed. “Of course Jared is already a huge part of my life. Any more, he is my life.”

Gavin took a few steps closer to her. “I wasn’t talking about Jared. I was talking about me. Will I get to be a part of your life, too?”

She sighed and let her gaze drop to the floor. “I don’t know, Gavin. The last few weeks have been nice, but it has been a lot, and fast. We have a lifetime of sharing our son. I don’t want anything to mess that up. I know how important he is to you.”

“You’re important to me,” he emphasized. “Both of you. Not just Jared. All this time, all that we’ve shared together these weeks... It wasn’t just about our son or wooing you into giving me what I wanted. You know that, right?”

Sabine looked up at him, her pale green eyes still sad and now, a touch wearier than before. “I want to believe that, Gavin. Truly, I do. But how can I know anything about our relationship when you won’t tell me how you feel? You’d rather let me walk away than tell me you want me to stay. I can’t spend all our time together guessing. I need you to talk to me.”

“You know that’s hard for me. I’ve never been good at voicing my feelings. I’ve spent my whole life watching people walk away and never come back. My parents were always busy, foisting me and my siblings off on one nanny after the next until I was old enough for boarding school. They were so worried about keeping up appearances that I changed schools every few years to move on to a more prestigious program. It didn’t take long for me to learn to keep my distance from everyone.”

“Not everyone is going to leave you, Gavin.”

“You did. You said that you would’ve stayed if I had asked, but how do I know that for certain? What if I told them how I felt and they left anyway? I’m not good with words. Can’t I just show you how I feel?”

“More kisses? More gifts and fancy dinners? That doesn’t mean anything to me. I need more, Gavin. I need to hear the words coming from your lips.”

He reached out for her hand. “I’m offering more. But first, please, I want to show you something.” He tugged gently until she followed him down the hallway toward Jared’s newly renovated bedroom.

“You already showed me Jared’s room.”