Home > Hold on Tight (Sea Breeze #8)(8)

Hold on Tight (Sea Breeze #8)(8)
Abbi Glines

“Momma’s home!” Micah cheered and dropped the ball he had just caught, then took off running to meet Sienna as she got out of her beat-to-shit car. The boy loved his mother. She must have raised him without her parents’ help, because Micah said he didn’t have grandparents. He said he had an aunt Cathy they used to live with in Fort Worth. That was it. He hadn’t had anyone else to talk about.

“Hey, Ace.” Sienna’s voice caught my attention, and I took my eyes off Micah to see the woman he was throwing himself at and latching on to. Her long hair wasn’t up like it had been earlier today. She had pulled it loose and let it hang down her back. All that red hair. Damn. I had to remember who she was and how off-limits that was. The way she looked wasn’t something I could focus on. Hooking up for a casual f**k with Sienna Roy was never gonna happen. She was the mother of my nephew.

And I didn’t do anything more than a casual fuck. Ever.

Sienna was responsibility. And she was mine already, even if she didn’t know it yet. I would help take care of her and Micah, but adding sex to that mix was completely against the rules. It would f**k up everything. I had to be a part of Micah’s life. That was what was important. Not the fact that his momma had legs that didn’t stop, and a face . . . damn, that face. Those motherfucking gorgeous eyes, and her lips. Jesus, I had to forget this shit. She was Micah’s mom. That was it.

“Did y’all have a good morning?” Sienna asked, looking from Micah to me.

I tore my eyes off her and all that perfection and looked at Micah. I needed to regroup. Dealing with this woman wasn’t gonna be easy if I didn’t stop imaging her na**d and in my bed. I didn’t put women in my bed. Ever. Fuck that.

“It was awesome! Mama T gave me chocolate chip cookies and apple pie. And she had real milk like us, and she said I could come eat anytime I wanted to.”

The color drained from Sienna’s face as she looked from her son to me. I had to explain why I’d taken him over there. It wasn’t to undermine her, but to deal with it before my mother came over here and figured shit out the wrong way. Plus, Micah had no idea who my parents were to him.

“He met my parents. That’s all,” I said, hoping she read the unspoken words from the pointed look on my face.

She swallowed and took a deep breath, then turned her gaze back to her son. “Well, now it’s my time to talk to Dewayne about things. I need you to go play in your room with all those toys you have while we talk, okay?” she said, with a tremor in her voice that didn’t go unnoticed by the kid. He frowned, and his happy smile turned to a warning glare as he looked at me. He was a little thing, but no one had told him that. He was more than ready to take care of his momma if he needed to. Dustin would have been so damn proud of that boy.

“Don’t make my momma cry,” was his simple demand.

“It’s okay, baby. I promise. We just have to talk about good stuff, like Dewayne watching you again and maybe you visiting Tab . . . Mama T again. Okay?”

Micah looked back at her and studied her face before nodding, but he didn’t look real sure. Then he wrapped his arms around her neck and squeezed tightly before letting her go. He then turned and ran to the door.

When the screen door closed behind him, Sienna turned to look at me. “You took him over there without asking me.”

I had been prepared for those to be the first words out of her mouth. “They missed the first five years of his life, Sienna. Dustin was their baby. Their golden boy. They have mourned him for the past six years. It wasn’t fair that all this time they could have had a part of Dustin that they didn’t even know about.”

Sienna’s back went stiff, and she raised her chin in a defensive pose. Damn, she was even more gorgeous when fire was flashing in her eyes. “I sent them photos of him for two years. I begged your mother for help when I realized my parents were disowning me if I kept the baby. Nothing,” she said. “Nothing. I got nothing from your mother. She never once replied. I grew up in that house.” Sienna pointed to my parents’ house. “It was my second home. I loved those people, and then, when I needed them most, when Dustin’s child needed them, they turned their back on me too. You have no idea how that felt. No idea.”

I heard the words she was saying, but I knew for a fact that my parents had known nothing about Micah. My mother would have been in Fort Worth by Sienna’s side if she’d known. Something was off here.

“You know Momma, Sienna. She’d have been there if she knew. She would have been there every motherfucking step of the way. Momma loved Dustin, and she loved you. Micah would have been the center of her world.”

Sienna was shaking her head. “No, she wouldn’t, because she wasn’t. I see that she still lives at the same address, Dewayne. She hasn’t moved. I sent her letters. More than I can count. Not once did she respond. Not once.”

This wasn’t right. I just didn’t have an answer other than that my mother didn’t know about Micah. She couldn’t. She would have wanted that baby. She would have made sure Sienna had everything she needed.

“We need to talk to Momma. Something isn’t right. She doesn’t know, Sienna. Hell, my father almost passed out when he figured it out. Momma still doesn’t know who he is, but when I told Dad who Micah’s mother was, he saw Dustin in the boy immediately. He wouldn’t move from his side from that moment on. He asked him questions and he watched him with complete fascination. When we left, he kissed his head. My dad kissed Micah’s head. My dad isn’t affectionate. You know that. So tell me you believe they knew about Micah and ignored him.”

Sienna stood there, and then, instead of arguing, she burst into tears. Shit! Micah was gonna be so damn pissed at me.


They wanted him. His dad had kissed Micah’s head. For years I had longed for Micah to have family. Grandparents who loved him. Someone other than just me and Aunt Cathy. This was all too much. I had sent those letters to Tabby. Was it possible she hadn’t received them? So many of them?

“Fuck, Sienna. Please don’t cry. Micah will blame me,” Dewayne said, sounding panicked. The fact that Dewayne Falco was worried about a five-year-old boy being mad at him made me cry harder. He wanted Micah to like him. He wanted to be a part of Micah’s life too. I hadn’t expected this at all. Returning to Sea Breeze had been something that terrified me.

But this . . . I hadn’t needed to be scared of this. I had been worried about Micah being hurt. But instead Micah got others who love him and want to be a part of his life. The fear of what would happen to him if I died wasn’t as heavy anymore. I had always lived with that constant terror. Micah was going to have a family. One bigger than just me. A group of people who he could trust to be there for him.

“I sent letters . . . pictures,” I said, mostly for my benefit, to remind myself I had tried to tell her . . . to tell them.

Dewayne nodded. “I believe you. I do. I just know my momma didn’t get them.”

That was the Tabby Falco I remembered. The one who Dewayne insisted would have been there if she’d known. The one who wouldn’t have let me live in Fort Worth in a house with an aunt who didn’t approve of me being a pregnant teen but who wasn’t going to force me to give up my baby. She had given me a roof over my head and a ride when I needed it, but she hadn’t been warm and kind.

I wiped at my now-wet face and took a deep breath to calm myself. Dewayne was right. Micah wouldn’t understand my tears, and he’d be upset. He didn’t like seeing me cry. I think it scared him.

“If they want to be a part of Micah’s life, I want that for him. He needs family. He wants it.” I swallowed and concentrated on not breaking down again when I said this to Dewayne. “He has always wondered where his grandparents were. Other kids had them, and he didn’t understand why all he had was a momma, and an aunt who he wasn’t very close to. She was more like a landlord.”

Dewayne looked pained. “They’re gonna adore the kid. He will have the best damn grandparents on earth. Just give them a chance. If you can do that, you may save them both. Micah is what they need. He’ll bring back the joy that Dustin took with him.”

Micah and I needed to talk first. “Give me time to help him understand. And then I’ll call you and let you know we’re ready. But I need to make sure that your mother didn’t get those letters. Because I sent them . . . and if she got them and . . .” I trailed off. I hated saying to her son that she could have known about Micah and hid it from Dewayne and his father. I’d sent those letters. They couldn’t have just vanished.

“She didn’t get them. How did you send them? Did you mail them from your aunt’s?”

I nodded. I had put them in the mailbox in the mornings.

“Would your aunt have taken them?”

No. Why would Aunt Cathy take them? She didn’t want us there with her. She was taking us in because she didn’t want us on the streets. I shook my head. “I can’t imagine she would have.”

Dewayne frowned. He didn’t look convinced. “Momma didn’t get them. Something must have happened to them. It’s possible someone intercepted them.”

I hoped he was right. Because more than anything, I wanted the Falcos to be a part of Micah’s life. I wanted him to know the people who were a part of his father. I wanted him to see pictures of his father growing up. All those things. I wanted them for him.

“You find out if she ever received those letters, and then I’ll talk to Micah. I need to know they want to be a part of his life first.”

Dewayne nodded and shoved his hands in his front pockets. “I’ll talk to Momma and let you know as soon as possible. But can we go ahead and confirm that I’m hanging out with Micah on Saturday mornings while you work? I want that time.”

Micah needed that, and it would save me money. I nodded. “Yes. That’s good. If you can’t one Saturday, just let me know at least a week in advance so I can make other arrangements.”

Dewayne grinned. “When you tell those people across the street that Micah is Dustin’s son, you will have free child care whenever you want it.”

Something else I wasn’t used to.

We said our good-byes, and I watched as Dewayne turned and headed for his truck. I may have watched his ass as he made his way to the truck, but that was my secret.

* * *

“What did he want?” Micah asked the moment I walked inside. He was sitting on the sofa with his arms crossed over his chest and his feet dangling because they couldn’t touch the floor yet.

“You were supposed to be playing in your room,” I reminded him as I made my way over to sit down beside my little man.

“I was watching out for you,” he said simply.

I reached over, pulled him against my side, and hugged him to me. It had been just us for so long. This past year had he started acting like he was the one protecting me instead of the other way around. A month ago he had asked me who kept me safe since I didn’t have a husband to do it. I informed him that I kept me and him safe. I assured him I was very good at it.

He’d changed that day. I was seeing it more and more every day. It was as if he’d realized I needed someone to take care of me, and he was doing that job. Sweet little boy of mine. I kissed his head and inhaled his outdoor smell.

“Did you enjoy your day?” I asked him.

He nodded slowly. “Yeah, but if Dewayne was mean to you, then I don’t want him to come back.”

He was about to have a whole new world opened up to him. One that would change his life. I squeezed him. “Dewayne wasn’t mean to me. Dewayne wants what I want. He wants you safe and happy.”

Micah leaned back and looked up at me. I could see the confusion in his little face. He wasn’t sure what I was saying, and the little bit of hope in those eyes of his just about undid me. He didn’t want me to know how much he wanted a man in his life, but I knew it and understood it.

It wasn’t time to tell him just how much Dewayne wanted him in his life and why. I still needed to know that Tabby Falco hadn’t gotten those letters. I had to be sure she was unaware of Micah. Because as much as Dewayne believed his mother would never do this, I knew I had sent her letters. They had to have gone somewhere.

“Will Dewayne come back again one day to play?”

He wanted Dewayne to come back. It was in his hopeful expression. I was glad he had enjoyed his time with Dewayne. “Yes. Every Saturday morning Dewayne wants to hang out with you while I work.”

A bright smile lit up his face. “He does?”

I nodded, and Micah punched his fist into the air with a cheer and jumped down from the sofa. I watched as he ran off to his room. Our conversation was over now. Smiling, I stood up and went to fix myself a sandwich.

“You want lunch?” I asked him.

“Mac ’n’ cheese,” he called back.

“You’re gonna turn into mac ’n’ cheese,” I replied.

“Good! Then I’ll eat myself.”

Shaking my head, I laughed and fixed my son some mac ’n’ cheese.


If I went home tonight, I’d only think about shit. So I went out to Live Bay, where I knew I’d have friends. People to distract me. It was where some of us always showed up on weekends. Even my married-with-kids friends.

I sat back with a beer and watched as Krit Corbin sang while eye-fucking his girlfriend. It was like some strange turn in the universe. When Preston Drake had fallen in love with our best friend’s little sister, I’d thought he had lost his ever-loving mind. Now the Sea Breeze man whore and lead singer of Jackdown was completely f**ked over a girl. The world was going to shit.

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