“It’s not me I’m worried about.”
“I’m always safe. Besides, I’m not working. I just need to go out and pick something up.”
“What could you need to pick up in Seattle?” she asks, obviously frustrated.
“If I told you, it wouldn’t be a surprise. Now go back to sleep. You need your rest.”
“I’m not tired,” she huffs.
“I can see the bags under your eyes, Sophie. I know you’re tired.” I run my fingers under her jaw. Yesterday was a long day of traveling, and I pray we won’t have to do it again while she’s pregnant.
“Sheesh, you’re a charmer.” She shakes her head.
“You know you’re beautiful. Now stop being difficult and lay down. I’ll be gone three hours tops.”
“Okay, but you owe me cake—chocolate cake. Wait, no, chocolate cheesecake. No—just chocolate cake.” She bites her lip, and I burst out laughing, pulling her closer to me.
“How ‘bout I get you both? That way you don’t have to choose.”
“I’m going to be as big as a house by the time this is over.” She sighs.
“You will always be beautiful,” I assure her.
“Even if I weigh four hundred pounds?”
“Hell yeah,” I smirk. “Big girls are hot.”
“What?” she asks, searching my face.
“I don’t discriminate, babe.”
“You don’t?” she asks, her eyes narrowing.
This is one thing about Sophie being pregnant—she is moody as f**k. One minute, she’s happy-go-lucky, and the next, you would swear she’s possessed by the devil.
“I didn’t before you. Women of all shapes and sizes are beautiful.”
“I get that.” She nods, looking off in the distance before her eyes come back to me. “I totally feel that way about guys. You know, skinny, muscular, jock, nerd—they all have something I find attractive,” she says, and I growl deep in my throat. I do not ever want her to check men out…ever.
“You better not be checking dudes out,” I tell her, watching her try to hide her smile. “You f**king with me?”
“No. Why would I do that?” she asks innocently, batting her lashes.
“Just for that, when I get back and I’m inside you with you begging me to let you come, it’s not gonna happen.” I watch her breath pause before speeding up. “I should tie you up and torture you.” Her thighs tighten together and she squirms on my lap, rubbing against my dick, which is ready to go. “Seems like you like that idea,” I whisper against her neck before biting down on her earlobe. I slide my hand from her stomach to her thigh. “When I get back here, this is mine.” I run my finger up the center of the panties before pulling her in for a kiss. I end it quickly, knowing how fast things can get out of hand with her. “Be back soon.” I kiss her once more before picking her up off my lap and heading out the door.
“Always, baby,” I tell her, shutting the door behind me.
When I finally get to the prison and make it past security, I know I’m going to be late making it back to Sophie. Not only do I have this stop, but I have to pick up her ring from Tiffany’s. Maggie and Devon want me to ask her when they are there to see it. It’s f**ked up, but the only time I can do it is at their wedding. They’re leaving town in the morning to head out for their honeymoon.
I walk down a long hallway with phone booths and Plexiglas lining one side. “Wait here,” a guard says before going to stand near the door. I take a seat, watching as a man wearing an orange jumpsuit enters. He’s short with a stocky build, dark, greying hair that’s tied back into a ponytail, and a face that is weathered and aged. If not for eyes perfectly matching Sophie’s, I would have no idea that he’s her father. His eyes meet mine through the glass, and I can see the confusion on his face; I know he has no clue who I am or why I’m here. He sits down across from me and nods to the phone, lifting the one on his side to his ear as I do the same.
“I don’t know you,” are the first words out of his mouth.
“No, you don’t.”
“Why are you here?” he asks, his eyes looking me over.
“You and I have someone in common.”
“Since I’ve been here for the last almost eight years and you look like you’re young enough to be my son, I doubt that,” he says and starts to pull the phone from his ear.
“Sophie,” I say, and his face pales, his eyes go wide, and his grip on the phone tightens so much that his hand and knuckles turn white.
“What did you just say?”
“Sophie,” I repeat and watch as he leans back in his chair, his hand going to his mouth, covering it.
“How do you know Sophie?” he asks as his hand moves from his mouth to run over his head.
“She’s going to be my wife,” I tell him bluntly.
His eyes look me over again before narrowing slightly. “Not my daughter.” I’m slightly taken aback by the adamancy in his voice. “She’s a sweet girl.”
“She is,” I agree. “So tell me why the f**k you didn’t protect her?” Even though this isn’t my reason for being here, knowing the shit she went through after losing her mother, I had to ask him.
“I…I was lost.” He takes a breath.
“You were lost?” I repeat, wondering what the f**k that even means.
“After her mother died, I was lost. I tried to be a good dad, but I couldn’t even look at my own daughter without hating her.”
“What?” I growl.
“She looked just like her mom. I know it was f**ked up, but I hated looking at her and seeing my wife. Do you know how f**ked up it is to look at your only child and wish they would have died with their mother just so you wouldn’t have to see the disappointment in her eyes when she looks at you?”
“You’re one stupid motherfucker.” I shake my head in disgust, wishing the glass weren’t separating us.
“You think I don’t know that? You think I don’t regret the way I treated her?”
“I don’t think you do. You left her to the wolves.”
“I was f**ked in the head after losing my wife,” he says, shaking his head.
“I get that, man. I really f**king get that. I honestly don’t know what would happen if I lost Sophie, and I pray to God I’ll never have to know what that feels like, but if she left me with our child, I would always make sure my kid was safe. No way would I f**k my kid’s life up just to make mine easier to deal with.”