Home > Two for the Show (One for the Money #2)(9)

Two for the Show (One for the Money #2)(9)
Author: Skye Warren

I flip the laptop in front of me closed. I’ve been trying to work since early this morning, when I woke up in a rage at myself. I took a rage-shower, rage-dressed, and I’ve been rage-working for the better part of two hours.

I don’t have the words to tell Hemingway exactly how this went wrong. I’ll look like a giant fucking hypocrite. Worse, I have no plan. My plan was to marry her. Eva stomped that under her high heel.

“I can’t talk about it yet,” I admit. “I don’t know how to explain it. I’m too pissed off.”

He gives me big eyes now. “At her?”

“At myself.”

“Well.” Hemingway straightens up. “You should call her instead of sitting here looking like that. It’ll be better if you’re on the same side.”

“How do you know we’re not?”

“Because of your face.”

“Jesus Christ.”

“Also, it’s time for breakfast. Are you coming?”

“Fine.”

There is relative peace in the kitchen. Hemingway gives me a thumbs-up from his seat at the table. Jennifer’s sliding eggs onto plates.

“This is just how I like them,” my father says. I take a seat on his other side. At least he’s having a good morning.

“Finn had a bad night last night,” Hemingway announces.

I give him a death glare.

“A bad night?” My dad looks at me over his glasses. “Did you overindulge at one of your parties?”

“Yes, that’s exactly it.”

In a way, Hemingway is right. I overindulged in Eva. I touched her and kissed her and fucked her in an art gallery. I said yet another damn-fool thing to her. And I didn’t follow her when she turned on her heel and left.

“Orange juice,” my father says. He reaches out with his fork and taps my glass. “That’ll help.”

“Will it?”

“It’s good for hangovers.”

Hemingway grins at me, the little asshole. “That’s what I’ve heard, too. Orange juice is great for hangovers.”

“You know what else is great for hangovers? Silence.”

Hemingway pretends to zip his lips, then attacks his eggs and toast. The three of us eat in a quiet that could be companionable if I weren’t so pissed.

It’s seeping out of me and into the rest of them.

It hasn’t been more than five minutes when Hemingway stands up and whisks his plate away. “That was great. I have homework. See you later, Dad.”

“Let me know if you need me to look it over,” Dad says.

“You know I will, Dad.” Hemingway smiles from the kitchen doorway and then he’s gone.

My eggs and toast are tasteless. I keep eating them anyway. Jennifer makes herself busy at the sink. I can tell she’s taking care to give us privacy while she watches over my dad.

“So.” Dad doesn’t seem to mind his eggs. Not at all. “Long night, then?”

“Yes.”

Normally, I’d tell him a story. Keep him engaged as long as I can. I don’t have it in me right now.

He waits. I can feel his eyes on me. “A party got out of hand, is that it?”

I rub a hand over my face. “There wasn’t any party, Dad. Hemingway was joking. I just didn’t get much sleep.”

“Something on your mind?”

“No.”

If I’m going to tell him, I want him to understand. I know that’s not possible. It pisses me off that the world could be so cruel. It enrages me that I haven’t made it any better by existing.

“Sometimes I feel better if I just talk it out.”

“There’s really nothing to say.”

He finishes his toast and leans back in his chair, a glass of orange juice in his hand. “Does it have to do with one of your friends?”

“Does what have to do with one of my friends?”

He raises his eyebrows at me, looking so much like Hemingway that my chest clenches. “Your lack of sleep. Your bad night.”

“What’s on your schedule today, Dad?”

“Phineas.”

“Any meetings? Are you going to play golf?”

I’m an asshole. I don’t just feel like one. I am the physical embodiment of a fucking prick. I can’t help being angry with him, even knowing that it’s mostly myself I want to throttle. I can’t help wanting more time. I can’t help wanting more than I can get.

“I’m not too interested in my schedule. I’m interested in you.” He takes a sip of orange juice.

“I’m really fine.”

“Finn, as long as I’ve known you, you’ve never been so angry at eggs.”

“I’m not—” I stab my fork too hard into the scrambled eggs and the tines scrape on the plate. “I’m not angry at the eggs.”

He’s lucid for now, but time is short. It’s short for everything. Short to figure out what to do with Eva. Short to figure out how to protect the child from something I can’t protect it from.

It’s short, but it’s so goddamn long. She’s going to have to spend years without me. Or worse, years caring for me and a child.

I don’t want that for Eva. If she has a son—if she has my son—then that’s it. That’s the rest of her life. Gone with a snap of my fingers.

If I wasn’t here, then none of it would have happened. It goes far beyond asking her on a date with me at the Morelli Mansion. We’d have to go back years to stop all this.

“Tell me what’s bothering you.”

I breathe out some of the fiery hurt in my chest. Toss the fork onto the tablecloth. My dad’s looking at me, his expression calm. I hate it. I hate that these moments with him are all we have left. He won’t even remember it. There’s no point in asking the question. There’s no point in having this conversation at all.

“Why?” So much for not asking. “Why did you even have a baby if you knew how it would end?”

He blinks at me.

I’ve gone too far. Asked him a question that’s beyond him to answer. And anyway, it’s too late. Hemingway and I are here, like it or not. I open my mouth to take it back, but I’m too choked up. By everything. By the fact that a baby is going to be born who has to suffer what I suffered. By the fact that my own father might not know what the hell I’m talking about.

“Well, Finn.” He sets his orange juice on the tablecloth and drums his fingertips next to it. “Children are a sign of hope.”

“Even if it’s hopeless?”

He shrugs. There’s a flash of confusion in his eyes. I don’t know if it means he’s lost track of the conversation or if he just doesn’t understand where I’m coming from.

But then…

“I would make the argument that nothing’s ever hopeless so long as we’re alive.”

“No? What if it’s our destiny to lose everything? That seems hopeless.”

“Oh, come now. Destiny is about hope, too.”

“And what if it’s not? What if your destiny is hopelessness? What if you know you can’t change anything?”

“That can’t be.” A twinkle comes to his eyes. “You can’t know the ending until you’ve reached it. A person’s fate can change any time.”

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