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|Moonlight on Nightingale Way(On Dublin Street #6)(76) by Samantha Young|
“When she slept with my boyfriend, Dad tried to manipulate me then too. But I was too hurt and disgusted by them this time. It didn’t work. I left. And he gave up.” I stared up at Logan, pleading with him. “How could he do that? He just gave up. He never came for me. He has never sought me out. And now my mother has cancer and they just… they don’t want me there.”
“Do you want to be there?”
“I want them to want me to be there,” I admitted, ashamed they still had that hold over me. “I thought I was over it, Logan. I’m so mad at them and mad at myself. I’m not a child anymore. I shouldn’t feel like this.”
“It doesn’t matter what age you are. Parents have more power over us than anyone.” He drew me closer. “They don’t deserve you, Grace.” He pressed a soft, comforting kiss to my lips. “Perhaps you should talk to someone again?”
I stared up at this beautiful, caring man and gave him a small, watery smile. “I’m talking to you.” I mirrored his words to me from not that long ago.
“And you always can.” The words were heavy and deep with promise.
Six pairs of pretty eyes stared at me, together conveying a mixture of curiosity, teasing, delight, and expectation. Chloe, Shannon, Joss, Jo, Hannah, Ellie, and Olivia sat in a semicircle in my sitting room.
It was two days after my decision to give Logan a chance, and I’d called them all for a reason. Probably not the reason they were hoping for.
I wasn’t much of a gossip.
“Thank you all for coming, guys. I’ve asked you here —”
“To thank us for pushing you to give in to Logan? You’re welcome.” Shannon grinned.
I smiled serenely. “Oh, no. You’re here despite that.”
Joss snorted. “Gotcha.”
“This is actually about Maia’s sixteenth birthday. Logan feels it would be better if I organize it —”
“And of course you said yes because you looovve him,” Chloe interrupted.
The girls tittered at her immaturity.
I rolled my eyes. “Anyway, I was wondering if you ladies would like to help me organize a sweet sixteen birthday party.”
“Of course!” Shannon nodded enthusiastically, and the other girls smiled and added their own agreements.
“Okay, so I think we’re all on board with helping you organize the best sweet sixteen any girl has ever had, but first please give us some details about you and Logan,” Olivia said.
Shannon made a face. “Not too much detail. He’s still my brother, and I can guess what put that look of pleased satisfaction on his face. I don’t need the details.”
Looking around at their inquiring faces, I gave a long-suffering sigh. “Fine. I have agreed to give a relationship with Logan a chance so he can earn back my trust. It’s been two days so far, and we’re still working on it.”
“And the sex?” Chloe persisted. “Is it as good as the first time? He looks like he would make it good every time.”
Shannon made a gagging noise.
“He’s not good at it.” I shook my head, watching their faces fall. “He’s fantastic at it, and that’s all you need to know on the matter.”
“Frankly, that was too much for some of us,” Shannon muttered.
Chloe raised an eyebrow, apparently unimpressed. “And not enough for others.”
“Best you’ve ever had, huh?” Joss said, a knowing, almost sympathetic glint in her eye. “You’re so fucked.”
“Literally,” Ellie agreed.
The girls laughed while I tried to quell the rising panic inside of me.
“Let’s change the subject before I have to tell my brother we’re the reason Grace is backing out of a relationship with him.” Shannon pushed my cup of tea closer to me. “Take a calming sip, and let’s get on with planning Maia a birthday party.”
I did as Shannon suggested and focused. “It’s the summer holidays now and I don’t know who Maia’s real friends are after the whole drama she had with the history teacher, so it will be difficult to invite school friends to the party. Honestly, though, I was thinking Maia might be happier this year with just a family affair. I know sixteen is a big birthday, but it has been a difficult year and I think low-key would work best.”
“Agreed,” Shannon said. “When it’s her eighteenth, she can invite whoever she wants.”
“Exactly.” I flipped open the notebook in front of me. “So, if you’re all up for it, I thought Maia would like it if you all were there with your kids. She’s never had a big family party before, and I think she’d love it.”
“We’re definitely up for that,” Jo said, her eyes bright with kindness. “We’ll be there.”
“Hyper kids and all,” Olivia added.
Hannah grunted. “Just remember you asked for it.”
“You know Braden would probably let us host it on the bottom level of Fire,” Ellie said.
“Or there’s D’Alessandro’s,” Hannah offered. “It’s Marco’s uncle’s restaurant. He’d give us the back room for a private function and he’d even cater it.”
“Yeah?” I said, pleased. “Maia loves the food there. That would be perfect.”
“I’ll get Marco to call him tonight. When is it?”
I gave her the date, two weeks from now. “What about decorations? Maia’s not a girlie girl, but I would like to make an effort.”