Because of Low (Page 49)

"I didn’t tell you because it wasn’t your business," Tawny snarled.

"Again, that’s where you’re wrong. You see something has happened that makes this a very real issue for me. I hated knowing you were tearing a family apart. I hated knowing you were destroying another marriage."

"My marriage has been over a long time Will ow," Jefferson began and I glared up at him.

"Really? Because when you didn’t show up to the family dinner your wife had so lovingly prepared and your daughter and son had shown up expecting to see their father it destroyed them. I watched it. I witnessed your wife put on a smile that didn’t match the heartbreak in her eyes. I watched your son’s hatred for you grow even stronger and I watched your daughter, the other one who still needs her daddy especially right now, while her world is falling apart, do everything she could to make her mother and brother smile. I had a front row seat, Mr. Hardy."

"What in the hell are you ranting about Low?" Tawny yelled over me.

"I met a guy. For the first time in my life I fell in love. I let down my walls. I found someone who makes me laugh.

Who gives me hope. I love him with everything I have in me.

But he’s dealing with a mother who’s completely shattered.

A little sister who is scared and he’s doing all he can to fix it for them. While his father is off playing house with you."

"Marcus," Jefferson said with a heavy sigh. He understood.

He got it.

"Yes, Marcus," I replied still glaring at my sister.

"So you see the predicament I’m in. I love Marcus Hardy so much that I’d give up anything for him. Anything. Anything but Larissa. I can’t see a way out of this. He won’t have anything to do with me when he finds this out. My sister is the reason his family is destroyed. The reason he got a call today from his frantic sister because something was wrong with his mother."

I let out a hard laugh and then screamed throwing my hands up in the air.

"You’re in love with Jeff’s son?"

I swung around and shot daggers at Tawny.

"Yes."

"Just leave Low. Your dramatic performance has ruined my evening. I’m sorry you’re so worked up about this but it isn’t our problem."

"Tawny, don’t be so call ous," Jefferson said looking down at her.

"Call ous? Jeff this is utterly ridiculous. She thinks she loves your son and she thinks coming over her and ranting about us is going to make a difference she’s sadly mistaken." A chime went through the house and I paused.

"Who else is here? My God we just moved in." Tawny stormed off to answer the door and I stood staring blankly into the fire. She was right. What good was this doing? I wasn’t going to get an answer by sharing with them how royally they’d screwed up so many lives. They simply didn’t care. And even if they did what did I expect them to do about it?

"Low," Marcus voice broke into my thoughts and I jerked my gaze from the fire to find Tawny standing in the living room entrance with her arms crossed over her chest scowling.

"Look who else is here," Tawny spat walking back to Jefferson and staking her claim by slipping her arm around his.

"Marcus." I didn’t know what else to say. I just stood there and watched the whole awful scene unfold. His eyes shifted from Tawny to me. I knew the moment he saw it. The resemblance. It was unmistakable. Especially with us standing in the same room. The emotions on his face went from shock to pain to despair to fury within seconds.

"You’re her sister. This is," he stopped and looked at his dad.

"Oh god no," he started shaking his head.

"Larissa. She’s not. She can’t be."

He was shattered. I could see the moment it happened. I knew the feeling. I’d just experienced it myself.

"Martus pay," Larissa squealed when Cage walked into the room holding her.

Marcus looked back at Larissa with horror in his eyes. Then he looked at me and I could see the betrayal there. He thought I’d known all along. I could see it as he just stared at me. Larissa continued to try and get his attention by chanting his name and demanding he play.

Marcus stared at me as his anger turned to numbness. The tick in his jaw and his rigid stance only grew more severe the longer we stood there staring at each other. I could feel him slipping away with each second but there was nothing I could say. I didn’t know how to stop this. How to explain.

"You. Are. Dead. To. Me." He said in a hard emotionless voice. Then he turned and left. Those short clipped words woke me up from my trance. I ran after him.

"Marcus, wait! Please wait!" I called out and he didn’t stop.

He didn’t look back.

"MARCUS PLEASE," I screamed as he opened the front door. This time he paused and turned slowly around. The hatred in his eyes directed at me was crippling.

"Do you know where I’ve been Will ow? Of course you don’t.

You’ve been here with your sister and my father playing house. While I’ve been by my mother’s hospital bed. As she recovered from an overdose of painkil ers that she took after receiving the divorce papers my father so thoughtfully brought to the house today to inform her he was leaving her for another woman. That’s where I’ve been all day. So please don’t say one more word. I never want to see you or even hear your name again. I’ll be completely moved out of the apartment in a matter of hours. Stay away until I’m gone.

If you ever felt anything for me at all. Stay. Away. From. Me."

Chapter Twenty-One

Two Months Later

Marcus

"A sober Marcus Hardy, I do believe my eyes deceive me," Dewayne drawled as I pulled out a chair and sat down beside Rock at the table they’d taken over at Live Bay to hear Jackdown perform.