Bayou Baby (Butterfly Bayou 2) - Page 35

Ah, he was about to get the brotherly lecture. He should have expected it. “I was out for a run. I didn’t realize her new property was so close to ours. It was a coincidence, but I was happy to see her. Your sister is a lovely woman.”

Zep’s eyes narrowed slightly. “My sister is also a vulnerable woman. She’s got a kid, you know.”

“She’s also got a life. I don’t see how her having a kid means she shouldn’t date. I’ve got a dog.”

“I’m saying there are a lot of men out there who don’t want to raise someone else’s kid,” Zep drawled.

He’d heard that from more than one of his friends who wouldn’t date single mothers. He’d never understood the excuse. “He wouldn’t be someone else’s kid.”

Zep raised a brow.

He was moving too fast and not explaining himself well enough. “I’m not saying I’m looking to get married. I’m only saying that a woman having a child shouldn’t be a big deal. If I wanted to date a woman, had a connection with her, her having a kid wouldn’t matter. If I married someone with a kid, the kid would be my kid, too. That’s how family is supposed to work. I know you put the word ‘step’ in front of ‘father,’ but ‘father’ is the important part.”

Zep was quiet for a moment as though taking the words in. “Well, her last boyfriend didn’t see it that way. She hadn’t dated since Luc was born, and then Hallie set her up with this walking bicep who basically wanted to play around. I’ve heard he’s been talking about her around town. I would very much like for him to do that to my face. I apparently have to actually witness the behavior in order to give him the ass kicking he deserves.”

“What’s he been saying?” Maybe there was a good reason Seraphina wasn’t interested in dating.

“The normal guy stuff. I don’t know,” Zep admitted. “People tend to shut up when I walk in, but I know they’re talking about her. I hope this house helps. Sera’s smart, but her plans for the future kind of fell apart when she had Luc.”

“The dad’s not in the picture?” According to Cal, no one knew who the dad was, but her brother would likely know more.

Zep shook his head. “No, and let me tell you that’s a guy I’d also like to have a discussion with. Sera says she doesn’t know. I mean she knows, but it was a one-night stand thing. But I find it odd. Sera is more of a monogamist, if you know what I mean. She’s also not a big drinker. I worry that she got drunk at a party and someone took advantage of her. But again, I’m not allowed to kick anyone’s ass. Luc is great, though. I love that little guy. Wouldn’t have said I liked kids, but that nephew of mine is sweet as pie. He’s always into something.”

“How old is he?” He shouldn’t keep asking questions. Every single answer led him back to the truth. Sera should be off limits for more than one reason. It would upset his aunt if he dated her, and he wasn’t planning on hanging around long term. He would leave and be one more man who’d failed her.

“Luc is three.”

Somehow he’d thought the kid was younger. “So Sera was pregnant when Wes went into the Army?”

“Yeah, I know what you’re thinking,” Zep began. “Sera got pregnant, Wes asked her to marry him because honestly, he would have taken her any way he could. Sera said no and that’s what set him off. It was a crazy thing to do. But then Wes, for all his money and the power of his family name, had a chip on his shoulder.”


Zep huffed like he knew what he was about to say wouldn’t explain a thing. “He wasn’t good at sports. That’s a big thing around here. Even when a kid is small, he usually plays baseball or soccer. Cal was big enough no one messed with him. Wes was a scrawny thing. He was more brainy than anything else. It’s the kind of thing that turns on a man, if you know what I mean. Karma. In high school it’s all about jocks, but then high school is over and the jock ends up working on an oil rig and Wes takes over a multimillion-dollar company. He hadn’t quite gotten over high school.”

And now he never would.

Zep continued as the song changed and Cal kept dancing. “Like I said, I know his death was hard on Sera. They’d been friends for years, and your aunt wouldn’t even allow her to go to the funeral. I know that’s haunted her.”

It was the one thing he couldn’t understand about his aunt. The snobbery had been taught to her, the leftovers of a mother-in-law who hadn’t thought she was good enough. “My aunt hates her. I don’t get it. I don’t understand how she can blame Sera for something Wes did. Even if Sera did say something to him, it was Wes’s choice to leave school.”

Tags: Lexi Blake Butterfly Bayou Romance
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