I clutched onto him for dear life as I felt his arms wrap around me. “Oh Ana.” He laughed as the tears rolled down his face. “I’ve missed you, Kid.” He sighed pulling back to look at me.
“I missed you so much.” I whispered covering my face in his shoulder as I breathed in his scent. “It wasn’t the same without you.” Danny put my feet back onto the ground.
“Are you surprised?” He laughed wiping his own tears.
“Yes.” I pulled back from his embrace as Finn and my Grandparents came over. He ran his hand down the bruise on my cheek looking over at his parents. I was too tired this morning to put my make-up on over my bruised face.
“I’m so sorry.” He whispered pulling me back into a bone-crushing hug. “I should have been here to protect you.” I shook my head.
“You were protecting me, protecting my freedom.” He shook his head looking at his parents, my Grandparents.
“That’s not enough, Kid. Not for me.” He kissed my head picking up Matty. “Not when you’re getting hurt.” I put my head on his shoulder pulling out my phone to look at the time.
“It’s too early to talk about this.” I sighed looking at Finn.
“I say we go out for breakfast. It’s something my family always does when one of us gets home from a deployment.” Finn smiled at us taking my hand in his.
“That sounds great to me. Real, good food.” Danny laughed to himself.
“I want waffles.” Matty sighed curling up on Danny’s shoulder closing his eyes. “Chocolate waffles.”
“Whatever you want, Bud.” Danny said as we walked out of the Gate and towards the car. “We have a lot to talk about I think.” I got a pointed look making me blush. I was embarrassed of what my mother did. Danny is the man I wish was my father, the man who now is. We walked to the car as I stayed silently next to him. I didn’t know what to tell him. What would make it better for him, to know I’m fine? Nothing could make this better. Federal agents are involved. His career could be ruined.
“Get in, Ana.” Finn whispered, shaking me out of my thoughts. We were already at the car and I needed to get in.
“Sorry.” I muttered getting into the back with Finn.
“Are you okay? You seem every out of it lately.” He said his voice clouded with concern.
“Yeah, I was just thinking.” I said buckling myself in. I looked out of the window as Danny got in and helped Matty with his seatbelt. “A little out of my head lately.” I sighed.
“Everything is going to be okay. I know it will be.” He smiled taking my hand in his.
“I know.” I leaned my head on his shoulder as we drove off to a little dinner that was near the airport. I listened to the mumbling of Matty as he told everything that happened to us to his father. I pulled my cell phone out and messaged Z. I sat back as we pulled in and got out.
“Ana, I do have something to tell you.” I looked over at Danny as we sat down. “I, uh, talked to a lawyer before I left.” I cocked my head to the side and stared at him.
“Why would you do that?” He took a deep breath as he tried to find the words to tell me what he planned. “I had him work on something for me while I was away.”
“Danny.” I looked up from my menu.
“I’m filling for divorce with your mother, Ana.” He looked at his parents as they kept Matty busy. “I can’t let this go on.” I sat there confused.
“You’re just going to let her take me?” I could feel the betrayal blossoming in my chest. I got the taste of a normal life, the feel of grass after being locked away in a house your whole life, I didn’t want to give it up. Now it was being ripped away from me.
“Of course not! Ana, you are as much my daughter as Matty is my son. I won’t ever let her take you away from me. I’m demanding full custody of you.” I closed my eyes as his words sunk in. “I have had him working on our case the time I was gone. I’m going to fight for you if it’s the last thing I do. I’m not giving up on you; I’m giving up on her.”
“What, what made you decide on divorce? It’s only been a couple weeks.” He nodded.
“I know. I shouldn’t have rushed this marriage like I did. I should have got to know that women I thought I loved. She sweet talked me into it, and I should have thought about it more than I did. I don’t regret this marriage. I can’t. You came out of it. I get to protect you like no one has. I get to take you away from her.”
“Danny…” He looked at me.
“You’re the best thing that happened out of this marriage. Ana, no matter how long we’ve been together, I will always love as if you were my flesh and blood.” I closed my eyes wiping the tears as they feel down my face. “I’ll do anything to protect you, Kid. You’re mine to take care of now.”
“She’s going to tare you apart if you do that.” I sighed. “It’s not worth it.” He sat forward and stared at me.
“You are worth it. I’m so proud of you, Ana. You grew in that house and you are still perfect. Nothing like her.” I closed my eyes as a waitress walked over.
“What can I get you all?” She smiled at us. I put my head on Finn’s shoulder as he rubbed my back. This was a lot to take in. Danny’s divorcing her without even finding out she’s cheating on him, and he’s fighting to keep me with him. My head is spinning from all of this. Finn ended up ordering for me as I tried to stop the spinning that was happening.
“You alright?” Finn asked feeling my forehead.
“Yeah, just tired.” I opened my eyes to look at him. His wheels were turning in his head as he stared at me.
“Ana,” He whispered. “You’re worrying me.” I looked over at Danny.
“I’m really okay.” I smiled at them. I could feel the pounding in my head but it’s something I’ve been getting used to since I was young.
“Babydoll, you need to see a doctor. These headaches are scaring me, what if something’s wrong?” Finn said pressing gently at my neck.
“I’m okay, really.” I looked over to see everyone staring at me. I felt like everyone was analyzing me. It made me feel like a goldfish in a fish bowl. I was saved by the waitress bringing over the food.
“You’re going to see a doctor even if I have to drag you kicking and screaming.” I sighed taking a bite of my waffles.
“Pushy.” I muttered to him biting the inside of my cheek. I hate doctors. Especially after everything that happened with Ryder.
“Only when it involves your health. Someone got to take care of it.” I shook my head at him…
“I was wondering Danny, if it’s okay with you if I take a trip to Texas to visit some old friends this weekend? I haven’t seen them in a couple of years.” Danny looked up at me. “I can pay for it all. I just wanted to ask you if it was okay.” He smiled.
“Sure. I’m asking your mother to get out of the house soon, so it would be better if you aren’t here.” I nodded.
“That’s probably a good idea. She’s not going to be happy.” This is new and dangerous territory. I promised Z I would go and see Benjamin. I shut him out after Ryder died. I didn’t have the strength to see the face of the man who gave me my little boy after just losing him. I need to face him now, to show him that everything is okay. My little man might be gone, but he will always live on. In memories and in my heart.
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