Page 60

It was over.

Of course, Danny probably didn’t know that she’d dumped his lying ass yet. But, that was okay, because he’d know soon enough. She’d left him a note in his room along with an IOU note promising to pay him back for the airline ticket as well as one for his father for the credit card he’d taken upon himself to pay off. She’d also called Zoe and informed her that she was moving out effective immediately. When Trevor grabbed the phone away from his wife and tried to argue with her, she’d informed him that she was more than happy to pay whatever it took to break her lease.

When he asked why she needed to break her lease and she informed him that his cousin was a lying bastard whose ego couldn’t handle it when a woman refused to marry him, he’d sighed heavily and wished her luck. Once that was done she’d made a phone call that she’d been putting off for quite some time.

Her father had been understanding, more than understanding actually and had even offered to come down to Florida to get her and bring her home. She promised him that she was fine right now, but she needed a place to crash while she paid Dr. Bradford back and got her life back together. She’d also called Greg and asked him if he could get a couple of the guys together and move her stuff to her dad’s house.

After promising to kick Danny’s ass and then promptly ignoring her when she’d told him that she didn’t want his ass kicked, he asked her the one thing that almost broke her. He’d asked her if she was in love with Danny and she’d lied since the last thing that she needed was Greg worrying about her. He’d seen enough of her humiliation over the past year and he didn’t need to see anymore.

Chapter 40


“I’m busy,” he said, not bothering to look up from his phone as he headed towards his room.

“I need to tell you something,” Darrin said, quickening his pace to catch up with him.

“Tell me later,” he said, pulling out his keycard.


“Later,” he said, opening his door and stepping inside only to come to a halt when he spotted his father sitting on the edge of the bed.

“She’s left the hotel,” Darrin said, unnecessarily it would seem since the note Tinkerbelle left for him on the mirror said it all.

“When?” he asked, trying not to panic.

“A little after ten this morning,” his father said, standing up.

He glanced around the room and noted that all her stuff was gone. Nodding, he turned around to go after her, but he barely managed to turn around before his father stopped him by saying the one thing that he’d been waiting for his father to say for the past eight years, but never thought he would.

“You fucked up,” his father said, stopping him in his tracks.

“Dad,” Darrin said, shaking his head, but his father wasn’t listening.

“You fucked up and then you ran away like a coward.”

Jaw clenched, he met his brother’s shocked gaze and slowly, so fucking slowly, turned around so that his father could call him a coward to his face.

“I made a mistake,” he said evenly. “I was a kid and I made a mistake.”

“No,” his father said, shaking his head as he moved closer, sounding furious. “You didn’t make a mistake. You fucked up. You fucked up your life and instead of being a man and fixing it, you ran off like a fucking coward!”

Without thinking, he swung. He swung and he hit his father and he kept on hitting his father, not caring that his father was just taking it or that his brother was trying to pull him off. He didn’t fucking care. There were too many goddamn years, too much pain and anger to ignore a comment like that. His father had ignored him for years. Fucking years! And the first time that he really acknowledges him it was to call him a fucking coward?

“Get off him!” he heard Aidan scream, but he couldn’t stop.

This was his father and he loved him. He loved him so goddamn much and his father had abandoned him when he’d needed him the most. He’d turned his back on him and made him feel like shit, like he was fucking worthless and a failure and like his fuck up couldn’t be fixed. That was bad enough, but when he’d joined the Marines he’d waited for word from his father, waited for his father to call him, to visit him, to send him a letter telling him that he’d fucked up but that everything would be okay, anything, but there had been nothing.

The message had come through crystal clear. His father had washed his hands of him. Nothing could have been clearer than the moment he woke up and found his father standing in his doorway, watching him with a detached expression. Then his father had turned his back on him and walked away while he’d laid there in that fucking bed struggling not to scream from the pain. That had been the worst fucking moment of his life and now…

He couldn’t stop.

He just couldn’t and God, how he wanted to stop swinging his arms, but he couldn’t. There was just too much pain and he couldn’t stop. So, when he felt his brothers grab him and pull him away from his father, he was unbelievably grateful. But as they pulled him back and took him to the ground that gratitude turned to pure agony.


“Breathe, Danny,” he said, trying not to lose it as he watched Danny struggle to breathe through the pain.

“Dad?” Darrin said, putting everything into that one word as he looked up from Danny, pleading with him to make his brother okay with one look, a look he recognized all too well.

“He’s going to be fine,” he said firmly, absently wiping away the blood trickling down his chin on the back of his arm as he looked his son over.

“Hold still, man,” Reese said, taking his brother’s hand in his. “Just hold still.”

“Call for an ambulance,” Aidan said calmly, but his hands shook as he grabbed Danny’s shirt and pulled it up. Ethan pushed his son’s hands away and examined Danny’s stomach. When his fingers moved over his scar and Danny screamed, long and loud, he tried not to panic.

Please watch over my son, he chanted in his head, the same prayer he’d said every day for the past eleven years. Please watch over my son, Please watch over my son, Please watch over my son…..

“Lucifer, go get Jodi and meet us at the hospital,” he said, trying to remain calm as he watched the first signs of bruising and swelling spread around Danny’s scar, a clear sign that his son was going to need one more surgery that he might not make it through.

Oh, God……

“Someone call Mom,” Aidan said hollowly as he looked up and met his gaze.

“What’s wrong with him?” Darrin demanded, taking Danny’s other hand in his. The fact that Danny didn’t try to pull his hands away and tell his brothers that he was fine told them everything that they needed to know.

“It was an accident,” Reese said, staring down at his brother, shaking his head in disbelief. “God, it was an accident.”

“It’s okay,” he told his sons in his most soothing tone, the one that he saved for frightened parents that were forced to stand around helplessly while their kids suffered.

“He shouldn’t have hit you,” Darrin bit out evenly, sounding pissed even as he gave Danny’s hand a reassuring squeeze.

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