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|Moonlight on Nightingale Way(On Dublin Street #6)(70) by Samantha Young|
I jerked away, my rage hot in my blood, my skin, my nerves —
“He didn’t,” Maia hurried to assure me. “I didn’t let him. But Maryanne didn’t believe me when I told her. That was it for me. I was done pretending that we loved each other. I was done pretending I didn’t hate her for what she was doing. I was done pretending I wasn’t ashamed of her.” Her eyes blazed with her anger and guilt.
We were mirror images.
Still learning to deal with the tangle of emotions and damage created by our parents.
I knew then I would die before this girl ever thought I didn’t love her.
“When Maryanne mentioned Logan was my dad, I took the newspaper article. I kept it. The day after she slapped me for telling her Dom tried to touch me, I started looking for Dad. I got on the computer at school and Googled him. There was an article about him and the nightclub. I went there and told some janitor guy I was a family member and someone had passed away and I needed to find Dad. He gave me Dad’s address.”
I raised an eyebrow at that information. “Did you tell your dad?”
She smirked. “Yeah. I mean, he’s glad I found him, but the guy shouldn’t be randomly handing his address out. Dad had words with him.”
“I imagine he did.”
“I didn’t know what to expect with Dad. I just hoped it would be better than what I had with my mum. I was scared there, Grace. I was really scared.”
“I know,” I whispered, hating that she’d gone through that.
“I’m not anymore.” She stepped toward me, light suddenly melting away the dark in her eyes. “Dad makes me feel safe. I feel like we’ve been with each other since the beginning, and I never thought that would happen. It’s like a miracle.” She gave an embarrassed laugh. “It’s sounds really cheesy.”
I shook my head. “No, it doesn’t.”
“You’re a huge part of that. You’ve given me a home too.”
I started to cry again.
Big giant watering pot.
“And yeah, I want you and Dad to be together because I want us to be a family. I’ve never had that. But I really just want you to be happy too. I’ve seen what’s out there, and Dad is one of the good ones and he really cares about you. I don’t understand why you won’t give him a chance.”
I stared at her, feeling her hope pressing heavily upon me. “I would do anything for you, Maia MacLeod, but I can’t do that. If things work out between your dad and me, it would have to be because I trusted him. It would fall apart if I did this because on paper it makes sense for us all.”
She gave me this smile, this small smile that made me pause. “Grace, how can you learn to trust Dad if you won’t give him the chance to win that trust?”
And just like that, with that one sentence, I felt a strange mix of defeat and relief.
Maia packed a small bag that afternoon and Shannon came to collect her. It was embarrassing that they were both in on my decision, and as much as I tried to convince Maia that there was no need for her to give Logan and me privacy because nothing was going to happen, she wouldn’t listen. And neither would a very giddy Shannon.
Thus I was left to pace the sitting room in Logan’s flat while I waited for him to return from work. The nervous butterflies in my stomach would not stop flapping their wings at one another, and more than a few times I changed direction toward the exit, ready to give up before even trying.
As I paced the room, I took it in and how different it was since the first time I walked in there. There had been unpacked boxes lying around and not a stick of furniture except for the L-shaped leather sofa. And, of course, the television was mounted on the wall opposite it.
Now he’d added the armchair Maia had gushed about to the room. It was this huge black velvet snug chair with a matching footstool. Both Maia and I could fit on it at the same time. Along with the television on the wall there was a silver-framed mirror above the sofa that I’d picked out when helping Logan with Maia’s room. On the wall by the door were photographs that Maia had put up. There were two of Logan and Shannon when they were younger, a photo of Shannon with Cole, a selfie of Logan and Maia that Maia had taken on her phone, and another photograph that caused the ache in my chest to throb.
It was a photograph of me with Logan and Maia at the dinner with Jo, Cam, Shannon, and Cole. Shannon had told the three of us to scoot together and she’d taken the photo on her phone.
Now it was hanging up on Logan’s wall.
I knew it was Maia’s doing, but still…
In addition to the photograph, luxurious curtains framing the window gave the room more warmth. They were cream trimmed in navy, and I’d bought matching scatter cushions for the sofa to tie it together. A coffee table sat in the middle of the room, a rug underneath it.
Altogether it was a very different room.
It was a room in a home.
And he’d done it for Maia.
Like always, the thought made me melt more than just a little.
The front door opened and slammed mid-melting.
“Maia?” Logan’s deep voice boomed through the flat without him having to even raise it. “You fancy Chinese tonight?”
His footsteps padded toward the sitting room. “Maia?”
He appeared in the doorway and drew to a stop at the sight of me.
I shrugged, giving him a nervous smile and feeling very close to passing out. “She’s staying at Shannon’s.”