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|Moonlight on Nightingale Way(On Dublin Street #6)(90) by Samantha Young|
Shannon’s lips trembled, but there was a light in her eyes, a light that I saw more and more in Logan’s lately. She nodded and then covered her mouth to try to stifle a sob.
“Shannon?” Logan stepped forward, looking confused.
“You’re okay,” she sobbed out. “You’re okay.”
And that’s when I saw realization dawn on Logan’s face, and before Cole could get to her, her brother pulled her into his arms and held her while she cried.
I stared at Cole, somewhat confused. In answer he walked toward me and put a hand on my shoulder, gently guiding me out of the room and out of the flat.
“What’s going on?” I said once we were on the landing.
Cole’s eyes were bright with emotion as he stared down at me. “You have no idea,” he said hoarsely, “how much guilt my girl is carrying over what happened to Logan. As much as he’s told her over and over again that it wasn’t her fault, she couldn’t let it go.” He smiled at me – his love and his relief for her in his eyes. “I think this means she’s letting it go.”
The door opened and Maia stepped out of my flat. “Is everything all right? I heard yelling earlier.”
“That was Grace.” Cole shoved me playfully. “Can’t shut this one up.”
I grimaced at him. “You’re funny.”
“I am delightful,” he responded, and then grinned at Maia, who blushed. That only made Cole grin harder.
I shoved him for teasing her. “Grow up.”
“Never.” He shook his head and stared at Logan’s flat door again. “How long should we give them?”
“Give who? What’s going on?” Maia said.
“Shannon and Logan,” I replied, heading toward my door. “Let’s go in and have a cup of tea.” I glanced back once last time at next door, feeling the beginnings of something I hadn’t felt in a long time. Contentment. There was still a ways to go to getting there, but it didn’t seem so far out of reach anymore. I smiled as I stepped inside. “They’ll come get us when they’re ready.”
I timed my confrontation with my father perfectly.
By that I mean I did it at the same time as the guys were going to confront Shannon’s ex. I couldn’t bear the idea of pacing back and forth in my flat, waiting for Logan to return and tell me everything was going to be all right, so I decided I’d distract myself with the emotional nuclear weapon that was my father.
Maia, who now knew about my father’s visit and Logan and the guys’ decision to meet with Ollie, assured me she’d be fine keeping Shannon company. It might have seemed like bad parenting to let her in the loop, but she was bright; she knew these upsetting things were happening, and it was just making her feel worse not knowing the details.
This was Maia.
As much as I hated the reasons why, she was mature enough to handle it. And honestly, she was a wonderful solace to Shannon.
I left Maia with her aunt at her flat and then I jumped in a cab.
The driver dropped me off outside the Balmoral Hotel. The huge building loomed over me, intimidating me, taunting me.
I had the concierge ring up to his room, and they sent a hotel staff member to take me to his suite. Of course it was the best suite in the hotel: the Royal Suite.
I was led inside the foyer of the suite and left there.
“Hello?” I called out.
“Oh, you’re here. Come in.”
I followed his voice into a large sitting room. The Balmoral Hotel was a period property with the massively high ceilings and grand architecture of the Victorian era. The focal point of the room was a beautiful fireplace that Gabriel had crackling despite the warmth of the summer air outside.
I had been hot with nerves before. Now I was practically melting.
“Sit.” He gestured to the armchair across from him. It was a nineteenth-century reproduction Louis XV chair, and I was almost afraid to sit on it. As per usual, nothing but the very best for Gabriel Bentley.
Once I was seated, he smiled. I could see immediately that he thought he’d won. “May I offer you a drink?”
“No, thank you.” I sucked in a huge breath and exhaled slowly. “I’m here to tell you to go back to London. Without me.”
His smile immediately died, his brown eyes darkening to black. “You can’t be serious.”
“I’m very serious.”
“Your mother has cancer, for Christ’s sake!”
I winced at the reminder. “Yes. But I had to ask myself what was harder to live with – the guilt that I’d feel not going to see her, or the venom that would reenter my life by allowing her back into it. By allowing you all back into it.”
He scoffed. “Such drama.”
“No, Gabriel,” I said, my use of his name cementing my coming point. He flinched. “You are not my family anymore. You stopped being my family a long time ago… if you ever really were.”
“Forgiveness is divine,” he reminded me.
“Yes, it is.” I stood up, letting all the anger and hurt and rejection flow out of me, and for the first time it was directed at one of the people who deserved it. “And what am I to forgive? Your complete and utter neglect? How you were never there so you never saw how she treated me? Her constant criticism and insults? How she tore me apart from the moment I could walk? I’m to forgive this. But not for you. I will forgive it all for me. For my sake.”