“Oh, you’re no fun.” She pouted.
“I’m no fun?” He rolled his eyes. “I didn’t know we were playing games, Sylvie.” Slowly, he reached into the drawer by the bunk and pulled out the folder. He might not have Brooke yet, but he would, and he wasn’t wasting this chance. He handed it to her. “Read it. And sign.”
“What is it?”
He shook the folder until she took it. He took a step back since that was all the room there was and crossed his arms. Waiting.
She scowled but took it, pulling out the pages. “You’re really divorcing me?” She actually looked indignant.
“Yeah.” He hurt, not because she was upset or his heart was broken, but because he saw this as a failure. But that was all. Even before he’d come to the realization they weren’t going to make it, neither of them had been happy. “You knew that when you took off with Brooke. We never should have gotten married, Sylvie.” There, he’d put the truth out there.
Morgan glanced out the windshield at the diner. So much possibility sat over there.
“You’re just mean.” Sylvie interrupted his thoughts.
“I’m mean?” The urge to hit something returned, almost too strong to resist. “You took my daughter a year ago. One entire year I haven’t seen her. And I’m mean?”
Sylvie didn’t say or do anything. She didn’t look at the papers, simply sat there staring angrily at him.
“Do you need some help?” He yanked open another drawer and handed her a pen. “This should work.”
“Then in sixty days, it’s final. We’re divorced and can get on with our lives.” How wonderful those words sounded, even accompanied by his sense of failure.
“What about Brooke?” Sylvie whispered.
“She’s coming with me.” He no longer even tried to look calm. “I won’t let you have her until I know you won’t take off again.”
“That’s not fair.”
“Fair? Fair?” Morgan flexed his hands, noticing for the first time the ache in his knuckles. Damn, he should ice his hands. Not an option. He leaned in, so she had to look at him and know he was serious.
“Here’s the deal. I won’t turn you over to the cops as long as you cooperate. I won’t tell them how you took Brooke—I won’t tell them anything. But you cross me, and I won’t promise anything.”
“Fine,” she spat. “I don’t want to be married to a jerk like you anymore, anyway.”
Jerk. She’d called him worse. How much had she said to Brooke? he wondered, wishing he had his daughter now so he’d know. He was close. So close.
He watched, his eyes hungry until she’d dotted every I and crossed that final T. Before she could do anything else, he took the paperwork from her and shoved it into the lockbox over their heads. He wasn’t taking any chances with it until he could turn it in to the courts.
He looked out the windshield toward the diner again. He wanted to walk across that asphalt and tell Tara, wanted to share this accomplishment, this first step to actually having a chance with her, but he couldn’t.
Sylvie was the first step. Now he had to find Brooke. Then, and only then, would he be free.
* * *
IT ONLY TOOK a few minutes to reach the diner. Sure enough, water was pouring over the banks of the creek. What had been a quaint meandering creek was now a raging rush of water.
Wyatt turned to one of the men and tossed him the keys. “Go wake up Gordon Currington. Have him open the hardware store so we can get some sandbags.”
The man nodded, then tore out of the lot as fast as the pickup would go.
“Come on.” Wyatt led the way into the diner.
Tara looked around. There weren’t any customers, but Wade and Wendy were in the kitchen trying to block the flow of water from under the door. Every towel and linen she owned was stuffed in the doorframe. It was helping, but there was still a rivulet of water meandering across the tile floor.
“I disconnected and turned off the gas,” Wade told DJ as he looked at the big stove. DJ nodded. Wendy sloshed through the water, carting dry goods from out of the storeroom. The water hadn’t reached it yet, but it was headed that way.