“What are you doing here, Jules?” Cash asks next to me, and I realize that this woman is his ex-wife.
“I came to see my son.”
“You know you’re supposed to call.”
“Why, so you can hide this bitch away? Like I don’t know that you have been sleeping around since before we got divorced.”
“Seriously?” Cash growls, then I feel a hand on my elbow and I'm being tugged back.
“Mommy.” I hear Jax’s voice and look over to see Ashlyn standing with him off to the side of his mother. “This is my sister, Ashlyn.”
“Oh no,” I whisper just as Jules’s eyes go to Jax, who is now holding Ashlyn’s hand.
“You don’t have a sister,” Jules growls.
“I do!” He stomps his foot. “Daddy said she’s my sister. He even said we have the same eyes, look,” he says, opening his eyes up wide.
I take a step towards them, wanting to grab both of the kids and get them out of this situation. A hand holds me back at my elbow. I look over my shoulder and am surprised to see it’s actually Nico. I glare, and then look back at the kids. “Ashlyn, Jax, let’s go inside so Daddy can talk to Jules,” I say as Cash walks over to where the kids are, picking them both up.
“My son isn’t going anywhere with you, you f**king bitch,” Jules says to me, and Ashlyn starts to cry. Then Susan and November are there, taking them both from Cash and heading inside. I look towards the yard and see Liz and Trevor taking the other kids into the house.
“Jules, you know that I'm Jax’s granddad, and I would hate to put his mom in jail,” James says; his eyes are cold, and I don’t think he would hesitate to do what he says.
“Oh, like you would really give a f**k,” she says leaning forward, and then looks at me. “Who the f**k are you?”
“You need to leave, Jules. Now,” Cash says, taking a step in front of me. “Bro, take Lil inside for me.” He looks past me to Nico.
“Sure thing.” Nico puts his arm around my shoulder and starts to lead us inside.
“You should stay with him,” I say quietly, looking up at Nico. I don’t think he is a fan of mine, but I can tell he loves his brother, and I love—
Wait…love him? I shake my head. No, I don’t. I care about Cash. Yes, as the father of my child. And want him to be safe, and I can tell that woman is all kinds of crazy. “Please.” I fist my hand into his shirt.
His eyes flash something, but it’s gone before I can catch it. “All right, go on inside,” he says quietly. My stomach is in knots as I pull the door closed behind me. It’s not jealousy; it’s something else. I don’t like the way that woman spoke to her son, and I also didn’t like how she spoke to Cash and his family.
“She is never going to change.”
“What?” I look over at Liz.
“When she first came forward saying she was pregnant, Cash was devastated about losing you.”
“What?” I repeat like an idiot.
“I mean, he didn’t say anything, but you could see it. You know?” she asks, her eyes coming to mine. I nod in understanding. I was devastated too. “But then I thought, I mean, I guess we all thought that maybe they could end up happy. Crazier things have happened, right?” She shrugs.
“I guess,” I say, feeling like a horrible person for being ecstatic that he wasn’t happily married to her right now.
“She was never happy, and did everything in her power to make him unhappy too.”
“I don’t know.” She shrugs again. “All I know is that the day Cash told us that he was getting a divorce, I popped a bottle of champagne.”
“Was she really that bad?”
“You don’t even know the half of it,” she says, looking out the window, watching as Cash, his dad, and Nico all stand watching as Jules flings her arms around. I can tell Cash says something to her when she looks at the glass door, her eyes on me.
“If looks could kill,” Liz says.
“Yeah. I agree.”
“Don’t worry; she’s a lot of bark, and no bite.”
“Okay,” I say, not believing it for a second. I could tell from the look on her face that this is just the beginning. I watch out the glass door as she stomps off through the yard. Cash’s head hangs low. Then Nico is there, putting his arm around his shoulders and telling him something. Then his dad is in front of him, doing the same. I watch for a while, but once Jules doesn’t come back, I go to check on the kids.
“Hey, baby. What are you doing?” My eyes open and Cash is standing above me wearing nothing but a pair of swim trunks. I guard my eyes against the sun, trying to get a better view of his chest and abs. The minute I move, Jax wiggles, and I remember that I have one kid napping on each side of me.
“We were reading a story.” I look down at both kids. I put sunblock lotion on them earlier, but it may be time for more. “What time is it?” I ask as Cash lays down on the other side of Ashlyn.
“A little after two.” His fingers run along the side of my face, then down and over my bottom lip. “You’re getting a little pink,” he says, running his finger over the bridge of my nose.
“Yeah, I should probably put some more lotion on, and put more on these two,” I say, running my hands over each of the kids’ heads. Cash’s face goes soft and he leans forward, kissing me softly.
“You ready to talk about my ex?” he asks, and it surprises me that he’s the one bringing it up. After she left and I found the kids, he came in to make sure that we were okay. Then he took Jax aside and talked to him. I don’t know what he said, but Jax looked so sad that I hated Jules in that moment. I don’t think any parent should talk to their child the way she spoke to Jax, or the way she talked in front of him. Her and Cash’s problems were their problems and should be discussed between the two of them, not in front of an audience, including six small children.
“I don’t know.” I shrug; I don’t know if I want to talk about his ex. The thought of him with her makes me feel sick.
“I would like to get it all out, if that’s okay with you.”
“Sure,” I say, taking a deep breath trying to prepare myself.
“I was hooking up with her before I met you.” He moves, laying on his side and propping his head in his hand. “We would hook up, but that’s all it ever was.”