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|Moonlight on Nightingale Way(On Dublin Street #6)(14) by Samantha Young|
As he continued to just stare at me, I knew he was in shock.
“Come on, Logan,” I joked, trying to draw him out of it. “If we stay out here, I’ll start to feel less special about being the only neighbor to be a part of this.”
He blinked out of his daze and nodded. He pulled me with him to the door as he opened his flat and nudged me inside first, releasing my arm only once I was in.
I glanced over my shoulder to see him gesture to Maia. The girl strode inside still wearing bravado as a mask. Not a very good mask, but I admired her all the same for trying. I gave her a reassuring smile. “Would you like a cup of tea?” I offered, not even sure if Logan had tea.
“Um…” She licked her lips nervously. “Water, please.”
“I’ll get it,” Logan said immediately. “Grace?”
“Oh, I’ll have a coffee if you’ve got it. Milk, one sugar.”
He nodded and waved a hand at us. “Living room is straight ahead.”
Turned out Logan’s flat was a mirror image of mine, which would explain why his bedroom wall abutted mine. There were still boxes lying unpacked. There was nothing on the walls, and the only major piece of furniture in the sitting room was a massive L-shaped black sofa.
“It’ll be okay,” I said to Maia as she stared around the room, looking terrified. “We’ll get this all sorted.”
“Um… who are you?”
I sat on the sofa and waited for her to join me. She did so slowly, staring at me with those wide, beautiful eyes of hers. Her glasses were a little too big for her delicate features. I swore I could see Logan’s sister Shannon in her face though. “I’m Logan’s next-door neighbor. Grace.”
She frowned. “I thought you were his girlfriend.”
I raised an eyebrow. “Why would you think that?”
She shrugged. “You seem close.”
Now it was my turn to frown.
“Here we go,” Logan said as he came into the room carrying two mugs and a glass of water. He handed the water to Maia, giving her a kind smile.
It occurred to me what a sweet thing that was. This girl had just arrived on his doorstep, announced herself as his daughter; he was in shock, probably petrified, and yet still he was trying to reassure the girl.
Inwardly I grumbled as I took the coffee from him. He was such a complicated bugger. “Thank you,” I muttered.
Logan sat down on a large box across from us and sipped at his coffee. An awkward silence fell between us.
“Maia,” I said, “who is your mother?”
Logan tensed at the question as Maia turned to him to answer. “Maryanne Lewis.”
The way he jerked back at the news suggested he knew exactly who Maryanne Lewis was. “No,” he muttered, seeming to shake his head in disbelief. “Maryanne… Yeah, she got pregnant, but she told me she didn’t want to keep it, that I had no choice. She was getting an abortion. She disappeared. I never saw her again!”
Maia’s mouth trembled, and I instinctively reached for her hand. “How old are you, Maia?”
He nodded at me slowly, his eyes bleak. “It was almost sixteen years ago. We were only seventeen.” He stood up suddenly. “Fuck. Fuck, fuck, fuck!”
Maia leaned in to me, looking frightened, and I put an arm around her. “It’s okay. It’s just a shock for him.”
Logan glowered at the wall, and I watched him take slow, even breaths as he tried to calm himself. “How could she do that to me? How could anyone do that?”
“She told me she lied to you.” Maia pulled gently away from me, and Logan looked at her sharply. “We’ve been living in Glasgow all this time, but I can’t stay with her anymore.” Desperation suddenly bled into her words. “I can’t! She saw you in the paper, and that’s when she told me who you were. They said you were put in prison for attacking your sister’s boyfriend because he beat her up and tried to rape her.”
I sucked in a huge breath, and Logan’s eyes flew to me. We stared at each other as I processed this. Someone tried to rape Shannon? Attacked her? I was horrified.
“You were a hero. Protecting her like that. And you got punished for it. My mum puts me in harm’s way all the time, and no one gives a damn. You could look after me better than her.”
Logan’s attention was forced from me at this unwelcome information. He stared hard at Maia. “What do you mean ‘harm’s way’?”
Maia ducked her head, threading her fingers together anxiously. “Mum’s a junkie.”
I closed my eyes. This was getting more melodramatic by the second.
“What do you mean ‘a junkie’?” Logan asked quietly, danger in his words.
“Oh God.” I felt sick.
“I can’t live with it anymore.” Tears started to fall down her pretty cheeks, and I felt a coldness creep into my bones at the expression in her eyes. Such despair for such a young girl.
“Logan,” I whispered, looking up at him, pleading, though I didn’t know why.
He looked trapped. Terrified. I could tell he wanted to escape.
It was frightening to see. He was usually so together, so in control.
“What can I do?” he snapped at us. “I admit the eyes… You look like…”
“Shannon,” I offered helpfully. He glared at me. Clearly it was not helpful.