I noticed Jordan’s stance relaxing a bit, some of the tension was fading. Whether because she was starting to believe me, or just because our being in close proximity was giving her comfort, she was starting to relax. I held out the case files from Eva’s death to Jordan.

“Take them. It’s all the reports, tests, and evidence from my ex’s death, proving that I did not kill her. I would have never, I loved her.” I started to reach out to take Jordan’s hands, but she recoiled and I pulled back. “Not nearly as much as I love you.”

“Harrison,” Jordan murmured and it was like a stake through the heart.

“Please, you have to come home. We cannot survive without you. Ethan’s regressing to how he was when his wife left. Oliver’s temper is out of control. Cade has thrown himself into his work way more than he had before. Lowe and Rogan are starting to spend all of their time working out. The kids are absolutely terrible and telling all of us how we’re nothing compared to you, and me…” I stared deep into her eyes. “I’m like a man who’s lost a limb. Please. We need you.”

Jordan stood staring at me, her emotions pained for a different reason now. She clung the case files to her chest and nodded her head. I got hopeful at first, but then Jordan stepped backwards into the duplex.

“I will think about it,” she said.

Another stake to the heart. I wanted her to believe me sight unseen, but I suppose that was a little too much to ask. I didn’t want to press her. The fact that she’d given me the time of day at all was a miracle, so I had to hope that my pleas had been enough.

“I understand,” I said.

I was certain my disappointment was prevalent as Jordan stepped away, and closed the door. With it separating us, I had no choice but to wait and pray that the heart of our family would finally come home.

24

Jordan

I sat on the couch in Khloe’s house with the case files Harrison gave me in my hand. I didn’t even need to look inside. I knew they would tell me he was innocent. I knew that all along. Everything I had seen in those packages had terrified me beyond reason, but the more time I spent away, the more my brain worked to convince me what I already knew was true; Harrison was not a killer.

“What do you think?” I asked Khloe.

Khloe snatched the folder from my hands and whapped me over the head with it. “What do I think? Are you kidding me? If a man that looked like that stood in front of me and made an apology and begged for me like that, I’d have jumped on him on the spot.”

I sighed. “I don’t know.”

“What’s not to know?” Khloe said, sitting down on the couch and opening the folder. “Everything he said is in here. It’s all true.”

“I didn’t need to see that stuff to know it was true,” I admitted to her. “Harrison wouldn’t harm someone like that. I was scared at first, and what I saw, it was hard to think otherwise, but I know him. I know he wouldn’t do that.”

“His real name is Adam,” Khloe said. “That’s hot.”

“Not hotter than Harrison,” I said, with a smile. I could see myself trickly swapping the names in bed for a bit of added fun.

“If you don’t think he did it, then what’s the hesitation? They clearly miss you, and you’re dying without those kids,” Khloe said.

I barely wanted to admit it out loud. “Truthfully?” I said, turning to face her, with my cheeks burning. “I’m embarrassed.”

“Embarrassed? About what?” Khloe asked.

“Well, I just sort of flew off the handle and disappeared. My poor kids, they were just starting to get to be comfortable and wanted me in their lives, and I just ran out on them like their shitty mothers. The guys are used to women dropping them and leaving without another word. I can’t believe they actually want me back. When I first got that first set of photos, the first thing I thought was ‘there’s no way any of my men killed someone.’ I let someone I didn’t even know convince me otherwise and I ran out on my family just like my dad! I…” I started to cry. “I became everything I promised myself I would never become and now I’m ashamed to go back and face them.”

Khloe slid over to me and wrapped her arms around me. “Hey, come on now, look at what just happened.” She leaned away and looked at me. “He drove all the way out here just to get you. You heard what he said. They all miss you, they can’t live without you. You are nothing like those mothers and you are nothing like your father, do you know why?” I shook my head. “Because you’re going back.”

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