Falling For Dad's College Rival - Page 32

“Go on,” she says calmly. “What happened?”

I shrug and sigh a long breath.

“She never told me my best friend Mike Wheatley was the father, and I never saw or spoke to her again after that day. All I know is that I heard Mike had a kid years later and that the mom never stuck around.”

I prop myself up, needing to tell her to her face. To look Brooke in the eye.

“I never knew it was you, Brooke. And I never knew it was Naomi who left your dad all those years ago, I just didn’t know.”

“I know,” she whispers putting her hand up to my cheek which I hold with my own, kissing it before I kiss her.

“It probably explains why dad’s so full-on about family,” Brooke says after another long silence.

“Like you, he never had a real one, and it would’ve killed him when mom left. But like you say, she must’ve had her doubts anyway. Asking you for advice like that.”

“Thanks, I think,” I tell her, frowning.

“I mean, I don’t mind she left, Trent. That’s what I’m trying to say. I love my dad and the family we are together but I’m grown up now. I love you. I want my own family,” she says, her voice finally breaking with some emotion.

“I’m glad to hear you say that,” I tell her. “Because I love you too, Brooke. More than you’ll ever know and if you want a family, you’ve come to the right place.”

Chapter Seventeen


I’m shocked, sure. But I don’t blame Trent for my mom leaving my dad before I was even old enough to crawl.

If anything, I’m glad things worked out the way they did.

If things had been different if my mom stayed. Maybe I would never have gone with dad to his college reunion, and I would never have even met or known about Trent.

Things would have been way different, and maybe not for the better.

I explain to Trent how my dad never mentioned him. “And he certainly never mentions my mom. He can’t even bring himself to say the word let alone her actual name.”

“How did you find out?” Trent asks. “I mean if your dad didn’t tell you.”

“I joined the dots when I was old enough to see my own birth certificate,” I recall.

Mom’s original name was on it, and I did some digging online. It wasn’t hard to make the connection my dad never wanted to talk about. “And once I saw that old yearbook, it proved it.”

“How long have you known though?” Trent asks. “And do you want to find your mom?” Making a way bigger deal out of all this than I ever would, but I guess he’s still reeling from finding out why dad’s had it in for him all these years.

“A while, and…nope.” I shrug, answering both his questions, just wanting to cuddle up to him again instead of talk about the past. My dad’s past of all things.

If Trent wasn’t part of it, I wouldn’t have any interest at all. It’s nothing nowadays for kids to be raised by one parent.

“All I care about now is us,” I tell him. “Is that so bad of me?” I add, feeling like I should be here for Trent too if he’s troubled by his own past.

“I couldn’t have said it better myself,” he tells me, relieved more than anything by the looks.

“I guess now’s not the best time to ask you what you really want. Us I mean,” he asks, making my heart flutter in my chest, my belly doing a summersault dance.

“I want you to come live with me, Brooke is what I mean,” he says firmly.

His eyes move around my tiny little room and out down the hallway, almost making me laugh out loud.

The idea of Trent coming here to visit or trying to ‘date’ me and do other things to me in this tiny bed, let alone with my dad in the next room…

“I thought you’d never ask,” I tell him, glad but a little sad at the same time too.

I love this house, my room, and my dad of course, but I do feel different now.

Really grown up, and I know I can’t stay home forever.

“Well, that’s settled then,” he breathes out again, beaming. “Just your dad to go then,” he remarks quietly like he’s checking off some mental list.

“He did say he’d be gone for the weekend,” I remind Trent. “It’s not like we have to leave right this second.”

“I know,” he assures me and adds that he’s not kidnapping me either. “I just want to try things out, with us,” he explains. “If it doesn’t work out…” but he stops himself.

I stop him.

“It’ll work out,” I remind him, kissing him on the cheek. “And I want to be with you. Can you imagine me staying here with you out there doing whatever it is you do?” I ask, and he shakes his head, laughing.

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