“Come on, I can help you move her in,” Asher says, dragging me out of my dirty thoughts.
“Dude, don’t you think that if it was that easy, I would have had her moved in already?” I shake my head and go to stand.
“I know, but maybe you need to try harder.”
“What the hell is going on?” I cross my arms over my chest, narrowing my eyes.
“Nothing, just looking out for you,” he says looking away, and I know he’s up to something.
“What the f**k is going on?” I repeat.
“Nothing,” he mumbles before standing and walking off. I shake my head and look around the jobsite before gathering my stuff and heading over to where I was working before my break. Once I get there, Trevor comes around the corner.
“Hey, man, how’s it going?” he asks, shoving his hands into his pockets.
“Good, what’s up?” I look at him for a second before using the nail gun to tack up another piece of drywall.
“Good, good.” He looks around before taking a step towards me. “I just wanted to see how things are going with you and Lilly.”
“Things are good,” I say through my teeth. “Why the f**k are you and Asher so interested all a sudden?”
“What do you mean Asher and me?” His eyes narrow; now, I know something is going on.
“Dude, what the f**k?”
“Lilly’s not moving in with you, is she?” he asks, looking nervous.
“I’m going to shoot you in the ass with the nail gun unless you start talking.”
“All right, we may have had a bet.” He holds up his hands in front of him.
“You may have had a bet?” I repeat, my finger on the trigger starting to tighten.
“Okay, okay…we had a bet. Asher said Lilly would move in this weekend and I said no way, that it would take at least another couple more weeks.”
“How the f**k are we related?” I shake my head. “Never mind. Shouldn’t you be working?”
“Yeah, well, I took a break to call Liz to check on her; this pregnancy is a lot harder on her than the last one.”
“She’ll be fine.”
“I know. I just hate when she isn’t well.” He hands me another sheet of drywall. “I know Jules was never sick, but was Lilly sick with Ashlyn?” he asks, holding the drywall in place.
“Yeah, she said she was nauseous up until six months,” I tell him, feeling my chest squeeze. I hate that she went through that alone. I hate that I missed her body changing.
“You know, you never told me if you confronted Jules about the messages she sent to Lilly.” One night, I asked Lilly to show me the messages that she had printed out. At first, I was going to burn them, but the minute I got them in my hand, I wanted to kill Jules. I read the words over and over again. I hate that Lilly had gotten that kind of response; even though I didn’t send the messages, the fact that they came from my phone, at a time when she needed me, f**ked with my head big time.
“I don’t want to give Jules the power if she knows that she hurt Lilly, even just for a second. She would get off on that shit.”
“You’re right about that. I don’t know how the f**k you still deal with her ass.”
“It’s not by choice. If I could cut her out of my life completely, I would, but I have to think about Jax.”
“True. So how is it being a dad to a little girl?” he asks, making me smile.
“Fucking terrifying. I have always been worried about Jax and his safety, but with Ashlyn, it’s something completely different. You know she called me Daddy for the first time a week ago?” I shake my head at the memory. “We had all gone out to dinner, and then to see the new kid’s movie with the little yellow guys, and we were walking into the theater. I had my hand on Lilly’s ass—where it normally ended up—and Ashlyn and Jax were walking in front of us carrying popcorn when Ashlyn turned to Jax and asked him, ‘Can I sit next to Daddy?’ I wanted to f**king cry, and Jax, my little man, shrugged like, ‘I don’t give a f**k who sits where, as long as we’re watching the movie’.”
“Damn, bet that felt good,” Trevor said, slapping me on the back.
“Yeah, it did. It also hurt that it took her so long to say it. Knowing the reasons why she didn’t.”
“So what is your plan?”
“What do you mean?” I look at him, my eyebrows coming together in confusion.
“You know, moving in, getting married?”
“I don’t know. I'm just taking it one day at a time. I'm just thankful as f**k that Jax has fallen in love with Lilly and Ashlyn.”
“What about you?” he asks with a smirk.
“What about me?”
“Are you in love with Lilly?”
“Fuck yeah.” I nod and can’t help the shit-eating grin that splits my face.
“I knew it, and I can see when she looks at you and Jax that she feels the same.”
“What, you haven’t told her?” I shake my head no. “Why the f**k not?”
“Who are you, Dr. Phil?”
“No, but I do know that when I discovered that I loved Liz and held it back, it ate me alive until I cornered her and forced her to tell me she loved me too.”
“Why doesn’t that surprise me?” I chuckle.
“Laugh all you want, ass**le, but I know what I'm talking about.”
“How about you let me worry about that?”
“Sure, but when you flip the f**k out on her about it, don’t come crying to me.”
“You—” I start to tell him that he needs help when my phone rings, showing that it’s my mom’s number. I answer right away; she has been keeping Jax and Ashlyn for Lilly and me while we’re at work. “Hey, Ma, what’s going on?”
“I just got a call from Lilly,” she says, sounding concerned. My stomach drops. I can hear the kids in the background laughing.
“Oh, honey, she says she got picked up by the police,” she whispers into the phone, and I know I must have heard her wrong. “She’s didn’t want to call you in case you couldn’t pick up.” Oh, God, I was going to be sick.
“What happened?” I ask, starting to wrap up my tools. I feel Trevor at my side, and I know he’s waiting to find out what’s going on.
“I don’t know; she only had a couple minutes, so she told me where they were holding her and who to contact,” she says, sounding more nervous than before.