Home > Hetch (Men OF S.W.A.T #1)(9)

Hetch (Men OF S.W.A.T #1)(9)
River Savage

“Working on your day off, how shocking.” She steps past Renee, ignoring my panicked question.

“I’m sorry, Liberty. She said it was urgent. I thought ‘cause you’re on your day off….” Renee offers in explanation.

“Thanks, Renee, I’ll sort it out.” I step forward, motioning my mother and niece into my office before closing the door behind me.

“Seriously, Mom. You can’t show up here unannounced.” While my office here at Boys Haven is not part of the main residential quarters, I still don’t like to receive visitors. As program director, I take my job seriously, but I’m also very hands on. I don’t like to mix my personal life with my work life.

“Well, maybe if you answered your phone and stopped ignoring me, I wouldn’t have to drop in to see my only daughter.” She takes a seat across from my desk, making herself comfortable.

“I’m not ignoring—” I start to argue, but abandon that route when her eyes roll back at me the same way my younger self did to her fifteen years ago.

Deciding I need to rush this impromptu visit along, I take a seat back at my desk and motion for Arabella to come to me.

“Hey, sweet girl, how are you today?” I lean forward and kiss her milky white forehead. The amber curls, which match her mother’s, sit on top of her head, sticking out in all directions.

“Good. Nana said bad word.” Arabella turns and points her cute chubby finger at my mom.

“Did she now? Well, isn’t she a naughty nana.” I throw a smirk Mom’s way.

“Uh huh. She called Daddy a bad word.”

“Okay, that’s enough kid. Don’t go telling all my secrets.” Mom cuts her off before she can spill anything else.

“What bad words have you been saying about your only son?” I wonder if she knows Jett and Payton have been seeing each other. Both Mom and Dad have been vocal about their opinions on Jett and his bad decisions. It doesn’t mean they don’t love him anymore. One phone call to Mom and she would be there for him, but there is no denying if ever it was broken down to sides, they’d stand by Payton.

“Ask me no questions and I’ll tell you no lies.” I hold her eyes, the same green as mine, and wait to see if she elaborates. She doesn’t, so I put a pin in the conversation for later and move on.

“So what are you guys doing here?” I let Arabella climb off my lap, and walk over to the corner where I keep a small box of coloring books and pencils.

“Well, Arabella and I are heading out to lunch. We tried calling you, seeing as it’s your day off, but then I remembered how much of a workaholic my only daughter is and I thought we’d drop in to drag you away.” She leans forward, her eyes gliding over my desk to see what I’ve been working on.

“Ha ha, and where is Payton in all this?” I pick up the notebook I was writing in and place it in the top drawer of my desk. I’m a little annoyed with Payton. I haven’t heard from her all week. I know she’s avoiding me, but I still have issues to go over with her.

One being I’m tempted to do the most stupid thing I’ve ever done and tape the crude, mean note I told her I wouldn’t write on apartment nine’s door.

Not that she wouldn’t be all for it.

“She had some errands to run,” Mom answers, unaware of the impending drama or my near future meltdown.

“Well, as much as I’d love to come to lunch with my favorite niece and mom, I already have something plan–”

“I’m serious, darling. You work too much.” She cuts me off, probably not believing I really do have plans.

“Please, I work a normal eleven-hour day like most people, Mom.”

“Statistics show people who work eleven hours a day or more have a 67 percent greater chance of suffering from coronary heart disease.” She folds her thin arms across the front of her, her cute little self being swallowed up by the chair.

Why couldn’t I have gotten my mom's genes? She’s so petite and angelic. At fifty-six, she’s all class and style. Blonde hair, fair skin and a fashion sense to rival the best of the best.

“I’m thirty years old, Mom. I’m not going to have heart disease. Relax.”

“I’m just saying.” She unfolds her arms and offers me an unapologetic shrug.

“What’s heart dibeebs?” Arabella’s sweet, high-pitched voice asks.

“It’s what happens when you work way too much,” Mom replies, a smug smile on her face.

“Do you have heart dibeebs?” Her head tilts to the side, giving me a once over, searching for this elusive heart disease.

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