I look up into the blue eyes of my tattooed hero and wonder what exactly he is still doing here. I’m sure he’s had enough of all this family drama, and I’m afraid it’s about to get worse. “That’s my ex-husband, Lane’s father.”
“Daddy’s here?” Lane asks, lifting his drowsy head off Trey’s shoulder.
Katie smiles at him. “Yes, he’s here. You want to go see him?”
He lays his head back down. “I’m sleepy.”
Katie crosses her arms over her chest. “Okay, sport. Trey’s going to carry you in. Can you tell him which room is yours and I’ll be in in just a minute.”
Lane nods, but Trey doesn’t move. “Are you going to be okay?” he asks with a head tilt toward Craig, who’s getting out of the car. Already, I can see the glare on the man’s face. He’s not happy... but of course, he’s never happy.
“Yep, I’ll be fine. Thank you, though.”
He doesn’t want to go. That much is obvious by the way he hesitates. I’ve never been around a man that seems to be completely all about me. Did I really just meet this man a few hours ago? “I’ll be fine. I promise.”
“Just holler if you need me,” he tells me and doesn’t move until I agree and try to reassure him with a small smile.
As soon as he walks in the door, I prepare myself to deal with Craig.
“What the hell happened, Katie? You left our son with a babysitter?”
In the past, I would have instantly gone on the defensive, and we would have had a shouting match... but not anymore. I answer him in a bored voice. “I left him with Jamie, a licensed nurse. I didn’t tell her about the treehouse, and Lane went up it to play. I texted you as soon as it happened.” I leave out the part how he got hurt on the treehouse that Craig was supposed to fix for the past year and a half... and I leave out the part where it took him almost three hours to show up to check on his son. Some things I know I’m just wasting my breath on.
“Where is he? I want to see him.”
I point to the door. “He’s in his room, but please be quiet because he’s trying to rest.”
He takes one step toward the door, and it opens. Trey sizes Craig up, and it’s astonishing the differences between the two. Craig is shorter with a little pudge in the middle. He’s wearing one of his twenty collared shirts, and he’s obviously taken aback by having another man in my house. He lifts his head to look at Trey and then back at me. “Who the hell is this?”
Trey steps out onto the porch and pulls the door closed behind him. “I don’t appreciate you raising your voice or cussing at Katie.”
“I’ll ask you again. Who. Is. This?” Craig asks in a stern voice, enunciating each word. He’s mad. His ears are a bright red, and that’s the first indication that he’s about to lose his temper.
“Not that it’s any of your business, but this is Trey. Go ahead, go check on Lane. It’s been a long day, and I’m ready for sleep.”
I wait for him to start yelling but am surprised when he doesn’t. He keeps watching the gentle giant next to me, and I know that’s the only reason he’s keeping his cool. “I’ll just see him tomorrow.” He turns to walk off the porch and stops at the bottom step. “I’m really surprised, Katie. The divorce has only been final for three months, and you’re already dating.”
I should probably correct him, but the feel of Trey’s arm going around my shoulder stops me. I don’t even try to stop the chuckle. “Yeah, I wish I could say the same to you, but you were dating your intern for the last six months of our marriage.”
He opens his mouth to say something but stops suddenly and storms off. I watch him go, knowing that this is not going to the be the end of it.
After her ex-husband left, I followed Katie into the house. I’m mad, and that doesn’t even begin to cover it. What the fuck was the dude thinking? He had Katie and fucked it up by cheating on her? What a dumbass. The moment I heard the anger and bitterness in Katie’s voice, I wanted to go and punch the guy in the face. I took a step in that direction to, but with my arm around Katie and her stopping me with her hand to my stomach, I didn’t. Instead, I waved bye to the asshole and watched him drive away.
I’m waiting in the entry hall as she hangs her purse on the wall and walks down the hall toward Lane’s room and peeks her head in to check in on him. She’s back in just a minute and stops in front of me. She looks so defeated, almost like the whole world is against her. I wish I could put my arms around her and hold her close to me, but I’m not sure she’s ready for that. So I do the only thing I can think of. I ask, “Are you okay?”