“What. Did. She. Find?” I grind out forcefully.
He sighs and returns his attention to his computer. Within seconds, the monitor is turned my way and I have to fight the urge to throw up.
My God! What in the fuck?
“Someone has their sights on her, Cohen. This is one of the first times that she’s actually dressed to show off her stomach. Normally, she wears baggy clothing, and honestly, I wouldn’t have been able to tell until today. She dressed up—according to Megan, who rushed over to help Chance earlier—to show off her pregnancy because she knew the cameras would be back after a two-month break. Whoever this is, they honestly didn’t know about the baby until today. That I’m almost positive about.”
“They’ve been watching my woman, Dad. Watching her close enough that this was a clear threat. You read that first letter. We’re dealing with a fucking lunatic. Someone who views her as theirs. What do you think is going to happen now that I’m home? Just by being with her, I’m placing her and my unborn child in danger.”
He studies my face for a beat. “But your being gone is killing her. Plain and simple, Cohen. It’s not been easy, despite the brave face she’s kept. You can protect her. You will protect her. Don’t let some stupid thought that she’s better off without you even enter your brain, son. I raised you better than that shit.”
I shouldn’t be surprised that he so clearly read me.
“I need to go to her.” I state.
“You need to go to her,” he agrees.
I give him a quick hug and all but rush out the door.
With a renewed sense of confidence and the feelings of overwhelming fear for her and our child, I speed through the streets and make my way to the woman who I, just hours before, wronged.
I have a lot to make up for, but my parents are right. When you feel something as powerful as what Dani and I share, you don’t ever stop fighting for that. I’ll be damned if I let some crazy fuck threaten the future I will have with Danielle Reid.
I DIDN’T EVEN CRY WHEN Cohen stormed out of the apartment. The shock from the day still held my tears at bay. I wanted to. God, how I wanted to. But I managed to keep my shit together. When that door slammed shut, I stepped away from Chance and, without a word, locked myself in Cohen’s bedroom.
I should be angry. I should be so mad that I leave and never look back. I should be a lot of things, but what I am is numb.
Never did I think I would have that kind of reception from Cohen when he returned. I had envisioned it in my head over and over. The homecoming I would give him. How happy I would feel when I was able to tell him about our child. The love I would feel from him.
I don’t know why I didn’t even stop to consider that he would look at me with distrust and accusations. I guess I just believed him to be better than that.
I sigh and turn to my side, my nose burning with emotion but my eyes still dry. My hand carelessly rubs against the light kicking coming from my belly. I squeeze my eyes shut, willing the memories of this afternoon out of my head when I once again think about the terrible image that met me from the lunch sack.
When I open my eyes again, I realize that I must have fallen asleep. The sun, which was been dropping when I laid my head down, is long gone, and through the window, the moon is casting a soft glow around the room. I can hear Chance moving around outside of the room. I should go talk to him. Ask him to at least take me home. But even with the earlier events, I don’t want to leave the one place where I’ve felt close to Cohen.
I hear the doorknob shake, and it’s followed by some scratches. And then the light from the hall filters into the otherwise dark room.
Looks like Chance got sick of waiting for me emerge.
I keep my body still, waiting to see what he’ll do next. Chance isn’t exactly a man of many words, so I’m guessing I’ll get a quick, “Let’s go.”
I almost jump out of my skin when I feel the bed depress. I move to leap out of the bed when two steel bands carefully wrap themselves around my body and I’m pulled back against a hard, warm body. I struggle, panicking with the thoughts of Chance being in Cohen’s bed with me. That is, until the familiar scent of Cohen invades my senses and my body instantly deflates. The tears I was doing such a damn good job at holding off rush to the surface when I feel his body—a body I’ve missed for so damn long—hold me even closer.
“Dani-girl,” he groans.
His head drops to my neck, and I feel his lips against my skin before his arms let up slightly. But only long enough to travel from my chest and for his warm palms to stretch out against the small bump that holds our child within.