|Home > Samantha Young > On Dublin Street Series > Moonlight on Nightingale Way (Page 17)|
|Moonlight on Nightingale Way(On Dublin Street #6)(17) by Samantha Young|
This was bad.
If anything, Maia had played down her home situation.
Maryanne narrowed her eyes. “Who the fuck are you?” She stumbled up onto her feet in jerky, frenetic movements. “My, who the fuck is this?”
To my surprise, Maia stepped in to my side, almost but not quite burrowing there. Despite my discomfort and apprehension in her mother’s presence, I put my arm around Maia, offering her support.
“Maryanne, this is my dad.”
I had to give Logan his due. He didn’t flinch at the word. “Maryanne.” He stepped toward her, and she jerked back, her eyes wide and glazed. She was agitated. Her skin looked clammy, and she was scratching at her arm constantly.
I didn’t know much about drugs, but I had a suspicion she was in withdrawal.
“Fucking bastard,” she snapped, stumbling away from him. “Logan. Logan. Oh my God, what did you bring him here for?” She glowered at Maia and then moved toward her.
As I shoved Maia behind me, Logan stepped in front of us. “Maryanne… when was your last hit?”
“Too fucking long. Too fucking long. I told that wee bitch to go and get Kells for Dom and me. Where’s my fucking money? Eh? Where is it, you wee cunt?”
“Watch it,” Logan warned, his tone dangerous, and Maia cowered against my shoulder.
“Who is Kells?” I asked Maia softly.
“Her dealer,” she whispered, and there was a rustling before I felt her press something into my hand.
I looked down at a wad of cash. “Logan,” I muttered. The idea of a mother sending her fifteen-year-old daughter to a drug dealer settled like oil in my stomach.
Logan glanced over his shoulder, and I held the money out to him. He took it, understanding what it was without my having to tell him. When he turned back to Maryanne, he said, “Is she mine? Did you lie to me?”
“I want my money!” Maryanne screeched.
“Is she mine?”
Logan threw it at her feet and grunted in disgust as she scrambled to pick it up.
“Give me your phone,” she begged as she stood up. “Mine needs to be charged and I can’t find my charger. Give me your phone.”
“So you can call your dealer? No way. Now, answer me.” He took a menacing step toward her, and she blinked up at him blankly. “Is Maia mine?”
“Give me your phone.” She pleaded again, scratching at her head. “Please. I’m fucked.” She stumbled over the coffee table, reaching for a bottle of vodka. “Kells said he would be here yesterday, but he never fucking came. He never fucking came.”
Logan turned to us, drawing my distraught gaze to his haggard face. “We’ll never get a straight answer out of her when she’s like this.” He looked over my shoulder to Maia. “I don’t know what to do. I can’t leave you here, but I can’t let you stay with me until we work out this paternity stuff. The only option is Social Services.”
“No.” Maia pushed away from me, backing up from us. “I’ve heard stories about it. Worse than this. Please. At least I know what to expect here.”
“Maia, it’s not all bad in foster care. It would just be temporary,” Logan tried to rationalize with her.
“No!” She covered her face, her shoulders shaking as she started to sob.
I don’t know what possessed me to speak up. Perhaps it was seeing Maia’s mother treat her as badly as my mother had treated me, but in a much worse environment. Or perhaps it was the carefully controlled mask Logan was wearing that slipped every now and then to show his fear. Or maybe it was just I was a decent person who couldn’t bear the thought of leaving a child to this. Or maybe I hadn’t slept in seventy-two hours and wasn’t thinking straight.
Maybe it was all of the above.
“I have a suggestion. Why —”
“My, where’s your phone?” Maryanne suddenly stumbled into the middle of us, reaching for Maia. She tugged at Maia’s wrists and then slapped her head before Logan could pull her off. He shoved her none-too-gently onto the sofa.
“And stay down,” he warned.
“Where’s your phone?” Maryanne screeched.
Maia wiped at her tearstained face. “I told you,” she whispered. “You smashed it a few weeks ago.”
It was time to move this along. “As I was saying, Maia, although it would seem Logan is your dad, we’re not one hundred percent sure about that. Surely you can see how inappropriate it would be for a grown man to live with a fifteen-year-old girl who isn’t family? However, I’d be happy to let you stay in my guest room until Logan can confirm the paternity.” I was shaking badly as I looked up at Logan, not sure I even really comprehended how much responsibility I was offering to take on here. “That way she’s close by but not living with you until you have the paternity results.”
He nodded slowly. “Aye, that might be… But what about school?”
“You’ll have to get Maryanne’s permission to enroll her at school in Edinburgh until you have legal claim.”
“She won’t even know I’m gone,” Maia murmured.
We heard a groan from the nearby bedroom, and at the widening of Maia’s eyes, I said, “Look, let’s iron this all out in the car. We should get out of here.”
Seeing sense in that, a subdued Logan led us out of the flat, and we all did our best to ignore the sound of retching coming from the sitting room as we left.