Holden's Resurrection (Gemini Group #6) - Riley Edwards
“Seriously?” McKenna Swagger glanced over her shoulder and narrowed her eyes. “But, you just moved here.”
I’d thought a lot about why I’d moved to Maryland. When I was packing up my house in Virginia Beach, I’d had a hundred reasons why I wanted to leave. But only two of them were true. The rest of them I’d made up to make myself feel better for uprooting my daughter to chase some fantasy that Holden Stanford and I could finally get back what we always should’ve had.
That wasn’t going to happen.
Holden made it painfully clear the last time I saw him. That’d been a month ago.
My gaze moved to the kitchen table where my daughter, Faith, sat, and my heart constricted.
Not that she remembered all the upheaval after her father had died. As a matter of fact, she didn’t know Paul. He died while I was pregnant with her. I’d buried my husband and a week later found myself alone in the hospital giving birth.
Not that my parents hadn’t offered to be in the room. My mom was pissed when I told her I didn’t want anyone with me and complained that all her friends had been in the delivery room with their daughters and even daughters-in-law, so I was making her look bad. Paul’s mom wasn’t pissed—she didn’t bother to come to the hospital and neither did his sister. It was no surprise they hadn’t shown. They’d hated me from the start.
“It won’t be until summer, I can’t move now in the middle of the school year,” I explained.
The doorbell cut McKenna off.
“I’ll get it.” Faith jumped up from the table.
“No, sweets. Let me get it.”
Without argument, she sat back down and picked up the marker she’d abandoned and resumed coloring. That was my kid, always polite, never back-talked, rarely complained. And as strange as it made me, I hated it. It was almost as if she knew that since her birth, I’d been on the edge of a nervous breakdown and she didn’t want to push me off the cliff. Even as an infant she’d been perfect.
“It’s my landlord. I’ll be right back,” I told Micky and swiped the invoice the furnace guy had left earlier that day before I headed toward the stairs.
When I moved to Kent County, Maryland, I rented an apartment above a real estate office in what the locals called the “downtown” area. It didn’t resemble any downtown area I’d ever seen in the city. It was quaint. Historic. Quiet. In another life, it would’ve been the perfect place to live. Hell, six months ago when I moved here, I thought this was where I’d stay and raise Faith.
Now, I knew I needed to leave.
I was weak. I couldn’t face Holden. Actually, I wasn’t facing Holden at all because he was avoiding me.
I opened the door expecting Mr. Travers. However, the man standing in front of me was most certainly not my sixty-five-year-old landlord.
“May I help you?” I asked, and not for the first time wished I had a peephole or a window in my front door.
It had been so long since someone had used my given name it took me a moment to answer.
“Yes. May I—”
“You’ve been served.” The man shoved a large envelope at me, leaving me with no option but to take it or watch it fall to the ground.
“Have a good day.”
The man strode off without another word.
What the hell?
I stepped back into the small entryway and closed the door.
The outside of the manila envelope was blank. I opened the clasp and shook out the documents. My blood iced in my veins.
Son of a bitch.
Son of a stupid, mean, hateful bitch.
NOTICE OF REQUEST FOR VIRGINIA REGISTRATION OF A CHILD CUSTODY AND/OR VISITATION DETERMINATION FROM ANOTHER STATE.
I quickly scanned the first page. Paul’s mother, Beatrice, was named as the requesting party, and Paul’s sister, Patricia, was named as the other interested person. I flipped to the next page and the thick layer of ice that had formed around my heart cracked until more anger than I’d ever known invaded it.
I dashed upstairs, found my phone, and looked at Micky.
“I have to make a quick call. Will you keep an eye on Faith?”
“Of course I will. Is everything okay?”
“No. Please make sure she doesn’t go upstairs.”
Micky’s face softened and concern washed over her pretty face. I’d always liked Nixon Swagger. At one time, he’d been a good friend, then everything went to shit with Holden. After that, I made