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|Moonlight on Nightingale Way(On Dublin Street #6)(84) by Samantha Young|
I had to wipe the tears from my eyes, I was laughing so hard.
Jo narrowed her eyes on Beth. “She’s just going through a horse phase.” She turned back to look at Joss and mouthed, Smart-arse.
Joss just grinned.
“What is it?” Maia said, and I turned back to her. I wanted to see her expression when she opened it.
“Open it and find out.”
Carefully, Maia tore open the paper and turned the box around so she could read the front. Her jaw literally dropped at the sight of the laptop.
“Happy birthday, sweetheart,” Logan said softly.
She immediately burst into tears.
His eyes flew to me.
Good tears. Good tears, I mouthed, waving my hands at him frantically.
He rounded the table at my direction and pulled her into his arms.
“I think it’s cake time,” Elodie announced, her years of experience as a mother shining through as she deftly drew attention away from Maia while she composed herself. “Let’s go, kids. Let’s get the cake for Maia.” They followed her, chattering at her the whole time, and I marveled at the way she could take in everything and have multiple conversations at once.
I stepped forward toward Maia and Logan, and I was only about a foot away when Logan reached out an arm and jerked me into the huddle. They both wrapped an arm around me and I held on tight to them.
“You’re going to make me cry now,” I whispered over the lump of emotion gathering in my throat.
“Good. That will make me feel like less of an idiot.” Maia sniffled.
Logan and I pulled back, and I cupped her tear-streaked face. “You are not an idiot. You’re a sweetheart.”
She wiped her face and gazed up at her dad as if he were a hero come to life. “Thanks for the laptop, Dad.”
Wetness shimmered in his eyes, and he could only nod.
My fingers curled into his T-shirt, and I fought hard not to cry at the sight of his emotion.
“Maia, why don’t you go show Beth the laptop,” I suggested softly, realizing Logan needed a minute.
Maia seemed to realize that, too, and did as I asked.
In turn I took Logan’s hand, led him out of the room and into Gio’s office. “Are you okay?”
In answer he pulled me into his arms and just held on tight.
We stood there for a while not saying a word.
“You’re mine,” he suddenly whispered.
I stilled. “What?”
Logan drew back just far enough so he could cup my face in his hands. “Did you consider going out with Maia’s history teacher?”
Surprised by the sudden turn in conversation, I shook my head. “Aidan is just being an arse.”
“You’re mine,” he said, his words fierce. “I’m yours. I’ll never let anything or anyone come between that.”
I shivered at the sweet possessiveness in the words and clung to him tighter. “I don’t want anyone else but you.”
He closed his eyes as if in relief and leaned his forehead against mine.
The silence wrapped around us, this time only emphasizing our closeness, our connection, and the wordless promises we made to each other.
It was one of those perfect mornings. Not too hot, but the sunlight was pouring in through the window. Earlier I’d woken up in my boyfriend’s bed after a night of sweet lovemaking. We’d had breakfast with Maia and then she’d gone off to the YA summer program at the library and Logan had left for work.
I’d returned to my flat, where I was working on Joss’s new manuscript and eating leftover croissants from yesterday’s trip to my favorite bakery. For the first time ever, I was able to throw off my inner angst over… well… everything… and I was just enjoying my work and life.
I should have known it would all go to hell.
The knock at the door was the signal of the start of it.
The man standing on my doorstep was the “hell” part.
“Father,” I said softly, shocked by the surrealism of him standing on my small but clean landing.
Gabriel Bentley stood there in a crisp white – most probably designer – shirt, lightweight leather jacket, and dark trousers. He was shiny and clean from the top of his perfectly combed hair to the gleaming black Italian loafers on his feet.
But the shiny and clean were only skin-deep.
My fingers curled around my doorframe. “What do you want?”
“May I come in?” he said, pushing his way past me.
I felt the panic rise up from my chest, a choking sensation wrapping around my throat as I closed the door and followed him inside my flat.
I found him in my sitting room, looking around, taking it all in.
“What do you want?”
He gave me this weary sigh in response to my snappish tone. “Your mother is sick. She has breast cancer.”
Hearing him say the words out loud suddenly made it so real. “I know,” I said. “I saw an article in the news.”
My father jerked his head back as if I’d slapped him. “And it never occurred to you to come see her?”
I fought off a wave of guilt. “Last time I spoke to her she told me she never wanted to see me again.”
“To be fair, you did tattle on her to me about her lover,” he chastised.
Dumbfounded, I shook my head. “One – he was not her lover. He was my boyfriend. Two – do you not hear yourself? I will never understand your mutual lack of respect for each other and your marriage.”