Author’s Note: So… It’s Wednesday. It’s time for Three Word Wednesday.
I thought the words fit in along with what some characters I’d already spent some time with were up to, so while this isn’t the start of their story, I’m putting it up anyway because it worked well. Maybe I’ll end up with another serial for another pen name, lol, since I suppose I could add the rest of what I’ve got so far… Maybe. 😉
Today’s words: careful, mistake, and hug.
“Clearly I showed up at a bad time.”
Fi blinked, almost dropping the baby as she whirled around. The diaper bag hit the ground, and Darren moved in, bracing to catch her or the child. She tried to smile, but she’d forgotten that he was coming. She was not ready for this. The whole thing would have to come out now, and she’d been hoping to avoid that. No one needed to know all the gory details.
Darren would end up getting them—most of them, at least.
“I hadn’t thought it had been that long since I saw you last. Not long enough for this, not unless there was something you weren’t telling all of us.”
Fi shook her head, shifting the baby in her arms. “It’s a long story, but she’s not mine. I forgot you were coming.”
He leaned against her car, nodding. His suit was rumpled, and he looked like he’d spent all night in his car again. She hadn’t asked him where he’d driven in from, but he must have been on the road for a while. His chin was covered in stubble, and his hair was getting long. “I could tell. Well, or I guess I’d have to take offense to you looking like you were just at a funeral. I hope that’s not for my sake. You don’t hate me that much, do you?”
She laughed, and it came out all strangled. He frowned, moving forward again. “Careful now. I think you’re about to collapse over there.”
“Didn’t my brother tell you? Richard’s dead.”
“Oh, hell.” Darren looked her over and tried to think of something to say. She knew he wouldn’t find it—he’d never liked her husband, and he’d never been shy about saying so. “I… I didn’t know. I wouldn’t have barged in on you like this if I had. I was just going to take advantage of the fact that you’re sort of related and borrow a couch.”
“I know. I agreed to it. I just… forgot. I had lot on my mind after the accident. And before.”
“Yeah, I bet,” Darren said, running a hand through his hair, his eyes going to the baby. “How is it that you’re… babysitting while at a funeral?”
“This is Richard’s ‘mistake.’”
“He had an affair. He got that woman pregnant. He also got her killed.” Fi choked on the words, and the next thing she knew, Darren’s arms were around her, wrapping her and the baby up in a hug. She didn’t know what to think at first—she’d never been that close to him, and the only time they’d ever hugged in the past was some awkward thing neither of them had wanted but was expected of them at a family function.
She should have known, though. That was the straw that finally broke her. She hadn’t cried before, but now that he’d crossed that line, it all seemed to come out of her, everything that had been bottled up since she found out about Richard’s affair and baby, since the accident, and she didn’t know how she’d ever stop now that she’d started.
“Come on, Fi,” Darren said, keeping his voice gentle. “Let’s get both of you inside.”