“What the fuck?” Dad clips, and I tug on his hand, making him sit back down when he goes to stand.

“I was hurt, so fucking hurt. I signed the papers. Then I found out from Ashlyn that he got a job with Jax, and heard from her what happened to him when he was away.”


“No fucking excuses, June Bug.”

“You’re right, but you’re wrong,” I tell him quietly, squeezing his hand. “There was a lot I didn’t know, a lot of stuff he didn’t tell me. His dad was abusive, his mom was an alcoholic, his brother was in prison, and then his friends died. I don’t know the details of what happened when he was away, since we just started seeing each other again, but I can’t help but think all those things messed him up, and that monster you see is a result of those things.”

“Don’t give a fuck, baby girl. That man doesn’t deserve a second chance.”

“He said he didn’t want to get me dirty.” That sentence had stuck with me over the last couple days. There was something about it that is wrong, so wrong. I don’t… I can’t even begin to understand it.

“What?”

“He said I was too good for him, that he didn’t want to get me dirty. I don’t know what any of that means. I don’t fully understand what happened to us, but I know he loved me. I know he did, and I would scratch someone’s eyes out if they tried to tell me that wasn’t true.”

“Simmer down, June Bug,” Dad mutters, pulling me closer to his side, and I feel his lips at the top of my head. “I can’t say I’m happy about this.”

“I didn’t think you would be,” I murmur, wrapping my arms around his waist.

“I’m pissed you didn’t talk to me about him. I’m so fucking disappointed in you.”

Gahhh! Why is the whole I’m disappointed in you statement so much worse than your parents just being pissed at you?

“I know.”

“Your ma isn’t gonna be happy either, baby girl.”

Squeezing my eyes closed, I drop my temple to his shoulder and nod, because I know he’s right. My mom isn’t just my mom—she’s a friend, and I normally tell her everything. I know she’s gonna be even more disappointed in me than Dad is that I didn’t trust them with what was going on.

“We love you, always have and always will. One day when you have kids of your own, you’ll understand that. With that said, we can still be upset about your decisions, but it doesn’t mean you don’t always have our support.”

“I know,” I agree, and we sit in silence for a few more minutes.

“Do you want to tell your mom, or do you want me to?”

I wanted to ask if she really needs to know, but I know without asking the answer to that is yes. “I’ll tell her,” I mumble.

“Good call. I’ll get you guys some wine, and you can tell her once she’s had a couple glasses.”

“Thanks, Dad.”

“Anything,” he mutters, kissing the top of my head, then stands.

“You know I love you too, Dad, right?” I ask, tilting my head back to look at him.

“Yeah.” He grins before heading out the door.

“That went okay,” I whisper to the yard, hoping the talk with my mom won’t end with her in tears.

Unfortunately, I’m not that lucky. By the time I get around to telling my mom that Evan and I were married, she’d only had one glass of wine. She cried for an hour then told me—just like my dad—that she was disappointed in me. By the time we were done talking and I got up to go to sleep, she was so drunk, my dad had to carry her to bed.

Though, she did tell me drunkenly that Evan is hot.

*

“Uh… what are we doing here?” I ask, looking through the windshield at my sister’s vet clinic then over at Evan as he shuts down his truck.

“We’re getting you a dog,” he says, and my head jerks back as to him. “What?”

“You have the best alarm system on the market, but an alarm system only works if you turn it on.”

“Seriously?” I run my hands down my face. My dad lectured me about the alarm system last night and this morning. “I agreed to turn the alarm on.” I sigh.

“You’ll still set the alarm, but your also getting a dog.”

“What about a cat?”

“A dog will be on guard 24-7, a dog will tell you if someone is trying to get into the house, and a dog will protect you if someone does make it inside, now let’s go.” He hops out of the truck and slams the door then comes around to my side.

“I don’t know about this,” I tell him as soon as he opens my door, reaches around me, unhooks my belt, and helps me out.

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