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|Moonlight on Nightingale Way(On Dublin Street #6)(24) by Samantha Young|
“Love you, too, Grace,” he said gruffly, squeezing me back. Reluctantly, I let him go, and he slipped quietly out of the flat.
“He an ex?”
I spun around, startled by Logan’s appearance in the hallway.
I shook my head, because technically he wasn’t really. One time didn’t count. “No. Aidan’s like family. And he’s engaged to a woman he’s madly in love with.”
Logan processed this and then shrugged. “Nice guy. Glad to know there’s someone looking out for you.”
“Thank you,” I said, surprised by his comment.
He cleared his throat. “Aye, anyway… I wanted your opinion on something.”
“Shannon wants to meet Maia tonight, but I’m not sure it’s a good idea yet.”
I loved that he was so concerned for her feelings. I walked toward him and patted his arm reassuringly. “Trust your instincts, Logan.”
“I’m thinking we should wait until the paternity results come in.”
“I would agree.”
He nodded. “I’ll call her.” I walked away, but he said my name, stopping me in my tracks. I glanced over my shoulder in question. “Thanks for everything.”
Once more the gratitude in his eyes affected me. In fact, I was hit with a wave of attraction so big I could only mumble “you’re welcome” before I had to walk away from him. I closed my eyes and prayed to God Aidan’s concerns were unfounded.
This thing with Logan and Maia… Would I end up getting hurt?
What on earth had I let myself in for?
Logan stood on my doorstep the next morning holding a padded envelope. His features were tight with anxiety. “The paternity kit arrived.”
I stepped aside to let him past. “It will all be okay,” I promised.
He didn’t respond. He was too focused on getting to Maia. I followed him into the kitchen, where we both stopped at the sight of Maia sitting in her new pajamas, scooping up spoonfuls of cereal with one hand while she held a book from my collection with the other. Her nose was practically pressed to the pages.
I’d discovered that Maia was like me in more ways than one. If I got engrossed in a book, the world around me ceased to exist. This morning, as Maia wandered into the kitchen with a young-adult novel in her hand, she’d barely grunted a “good morning” to me while I poured her a bowl of cereal and a glass of fresh orange juice.
“Maia,” Logan said. When Maia didn’t respond, he looked at me, his eyebrows raised.
“She’s reading,” I said, as if that explained everything. Logan stared blankly at me. I sighed and wandered over to Maia and gently plucked the book out of her hand.
She gazed up at me in confusion.
“Logan’s here,” I said.
“Oh.” She whipped around on the stool and smiled at him. “Mornin’.”
Logan gave her a bemused smile in return. “Good book, is it?”
“Hmm?” She frowned before understanding cleared her expression. “Oh, yeah. I borrowed it from Grace. It’s cool.”
“Well, I’m sorry to disturb your reading, sweetheart.” Logan slid onto the stool next to her, and I set about making him a coffee to help bolster him through this huge moment. “But the paternity kit arrived. I need you to take a swab of the inside of your cheek so I can send it off for the test.”
Maia’s spoon fell into her bowl with a clatter. “Okay. So… how long will it take? You know, for the results?”
“I’ll send it off today. The company I’m using has a forty-eight-hour turnaround, so we’ll know really soon.”
I watched her closely as I slid Logan his coffee. She had paled considerably.
“Maia, it’s going to be okay,” I said.
She looked up at me with tears in her eyes. “I should probably brush my teeth first.” She took the plastic packet Logan was holding out to her with the swab inside it. As soon as she disappeared out of the room, Logan took a deep gulp of coffee.
“Thanks,” he murmured, setting the mug down. “This is…” He glanced back at the door. “She looked terrified. She was practically crying. I… What’s going on? I thought she wanted this.”
“Exactly.” I slid onto the stool Maia had just vacated. “Logan, she’s not scared that you’re her dad. She’s scared you’re not.”
He thought about this, and slowly the muscles in his clenched jaw relaxed.
“What about you?” I said. “How are you feeling?”
“Whatever happens happens.” He shrugged.
“Logan,” I warned. “Macho bullshit does not fly in this flat.”
He raised an eyebrow at me. “Macho bullshit?”
“Yes, macho bullshit. I can smell it a mile away.”
He looked into his mug of coffee like it had all the answers. “There have been a lot of ups and downs for me these last few years. I’ve learned to deal with those. I can learn to deal with this. It’s a lifestyle change.” He shot me a wry look. “I had to break things off with the American.”
Ignoring the weird sense of satisfaction I felt at his announcement, I tried to be nonchalant. “Why?”
“It wasn’t serious between us, and right now it’s a distraction. I have to focus on Maia.” The violet in his eyes darkened. “C’mon, Grace. We both know this paternity test is going to tell us this kid is mine. My life as it was is over. I make this commitment to that wee girl in there, then I better mean business. What kind of arsehole would subject their kid to the fucking carousel of women I’ve had in and out of my life these past few months?”