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|Moonlight on Nightingale Way(On Dublin Street #6)(18) by Samantha Young|
If the silence had been awkward in the car, it was painful as we stood outside on our landing with Maia. Both she and Logan had been pensive the entire drive, internalizing whatever was going on in their heads. Me? I was trying not to have a panic attack.
“Maia, why don’t you go on inside.” I handed her my key. “Logan and I are just going to have a quick word, and then we’ll be right in.”
She glanced at Logan and then back to me, clearly worried.
“Go on. It’ll be fine,” I reassured her.
Nodding reluctantly, she turned and put the key in my door.
I looked at Logan, who was staring at me like I was a car coming toward him at a hundred miles per hour with my full-beam headlights on. I gestured to his door. “Let’s go in.”
Without a word he did as I asked, and I followed his heavy footsteps into his sitting room. He turned and faced me, hands on his narrow hips. “What the fuck am I going to do?”
“I can’t take care of a teenager.”
“No, Grace, you don’t understand.” He swallowed hard, and I found myself struck dumb by the fear in him. All this time I thought Logan MacLeod feared nothing, was intimidated by no one, was somehow untouchable. It was unnerving to see him vulnerable. I didn’t like it. For some absurd reason, it made me want to fix his situation. Which was probably why I was in this position. He glanced away, running a hand over his short hair. “A few years ago, aye, maybe I could have done this. But I’m not that man anymore.”
That’s when I think I understood.
Logan MacLeod had been in prison. So who was he before that? And how much had it really changed him?
“It must have been difficult,” I said. “Being punished, treated like a criminal for merely protecting your family.”
His eyes hardened. “Don’t. Don’t you do that. Don’t you do what she’s doing.” He pointed to the wall that adjoined my flat. “Don’t glorify the situation.”
He wanted my bad opinion? Well, that didn’t make sense. I remembered how he jumped down my throat when we first met, and I knew now that he thought I was aware of his time in prison. Back then he misunderstood and he was pissed off at me for judging him and thinking badly of him. Now he wanted me to think badly of him?
Confused, I shrugged. “I guess I really don’t know what the situation was. But I do know what Maia’s situation is, and I’m fairly certain she’s your daughter, Logan. She deserves better than what she’s got. Right now better is you.”
He squeezed his eyes closed and kind of collapsed on his armchair. After taking a minute, he looked up at me. “I could call my parents and ask them to take her in.”
“No, you bloody will not!”
I jumped, startled as Shannon stormed into the sitting room, her eyes sparking with anger. My eyes rounded slightly at the sight of the man following her into the room. I almost blushed, he was that good-looking. No one should be that good-looking. Although much like Logan in the scruffy, tattooed department, his masculine beauty was bordering on perfection. He was the kind of man I usually got tongue-tied around. He gave me a nod of acknowledgment before settling behind a very unamused Shannon. He put his hands on her shoulders and squeezed lightly, silently offering her support.
“Shannon, what the hell?” Logan said.
“If you didn’t want me here, you shouldn’t have called me to tell me about your long-lost daughter.”
I shot Logan a questioning look.
He sighed. “When I stopped for petrol, I phoned her.”
Shannon’s eyes softened when our gazes met. “Hi, Grace. Thanks for being here. This” – she patted the arm of the supermodel behind her – “is my fiancé, Cole.”
“Nice to meet you.” He held out his hand and I noted the leather bracelets and aviator watch he was wearing, along with the chunky silver ring on his middle finger. He was that guy. Cool, tattooed, can-pull-off-man-jewelry guy. I tried not to blush and failed as I shook his hand.
“Nice to meet you too.” I smiled shyly and turned quickly back to Logan.
His eyes were narrowed on me.
“Back to what you just said,” Shannon snapped, dragging her brother’s intimidating gaze off me to her. “Like hell are you sending your own kid to our parents. You’d do a much better job yourself and you know it.”
Logan got to his feet. “Since when are you anti-parents again? First you ask me to walk you down the aisle; now you think I’m better parenting material than them? I thought we were over this.”
“Over this?” Shannon whispered, and something in her voice, in her eyes, made me tense. Cole heard it too and pulled her back against him protectively. “They abandoned me when I needed them the most. They blamed me for what happened. I may play nice to keep this family together, but I will never forget what they did. And neither should you. Is that really what you want for your own daughter, Logan?”
Suddenly I found myself finding kinship with another MacLeod girl in less than twenty-four hours. I didn’t know the details, but I was smart. I could put it together. It sounded like their parents blamed her for her own assault, for whatever asinine reason. But I’d been there. I got it.
I wanted to reach out a hand and tell her so.
Luckily for Shannon, she had the gorgeous Cole at her back, and the fierceness in his eyes as he held her told me he would take down anyone who tried to hurt her. I felt an ache in my chest and realized sadly that it was envy. I slapped my conscience for the unjust feeling. If anyone deserved happiness with a good man, it was someone who had gone through what she had.