“She have her kid with her?” I asked, trying to make the disgust in my voice not too obvious.
“Kid? What? Fuck! She’s got a kid? She married?”
She didn’t have her kid with her. Fan-fuckin’-tastic. She’d left the little boy at home alone. What the hell kind of a mother was she?
“And you knew she was back? With a kid? Why haven’t you said anything?”
“She moved into her parents’ house. I met her kid when I went over there to check out the neighbors for my parents. Didn’t think it was important that she was back. She was a part of Dustin’s life, not mine,” I replied, then jerked open the truck door.
“Liar. Fucking full-of-shit liar. You watched over that girl for years. Hell, when she was a freshman, you acted like her damn guard dog. When she was sent away, it f**ked with your head. You were grieving Dustin, and then she was gone and you grieved for her too. I would have thought you’d care that she was back. Unless she’s married and that’s why you’re pissed.”
Pretending like I hadn’t been super invested in Sienna and her happiness back then was pointless. My friends knew the truth, even if my brother hadn’t noticed. “She’s not married,” I replied, and climbed into the truck. “But the girl I cared about is gone. A cold bitch is in her place. And if she’s getting her hair done at Hillary’s, then she’s a selfish bitch. The piece-of-shit car she drives isn’t safe for her boy to ride in.”
I started to close the door, but Preston grabbed it. “Whoa, man, what’s your deal? She’s got you acting like an ass, and you’re not an ass. Sienna is working at Hillary’s, not getting her hair done.”
Maybe I was an ass.
“Oh,” I replied, wishing I hadn’t snapped in front of Preston.
“Yeah, oh. Sienna didn’t seem like a bitch at all. She seemed nice. . . . She was Sienna.”
No, she wasn’t. She was a mother, and she was f**king hiding something.
And if she was working, where the hell was Micah?
“I’m tired. I need a beer and then my bed. I’ll see you later,” I told him.
“Live Bay tomorrow night?” he asked.
Live Bay was the club in town were we all used to drink and pick up women. Now it was just me picking up women. The rest of those ass**les were hitched or as good as hitched. “Yeah. I’ll see you there,” I told him as I closed the door. Then I headed to my parents’.
I could tell myself I was going to visit my momma, but the truth was, I was going to make sure Micah wasn’t at home alone. Something about the way Sienna had sent him away from me and gotten defensive bothered me. I wasn’t convinced the woman was mentally stable.
* * *
Once I got to my parents’, I parked beside my dad’s truck and made my way across the street before he realized I was here. I didn’t want a f**king audience, nor did I want his commentary.
Sienna’s car was gone, so she wasn’t home yet. That kid had better not be here. I walked up the steps and knocked on the door. I waited a full minute, and nothing. So I knocked again. Why I was f**king convinced she’d left her kid at home I wasn’t sure. I didn’t know Sienna. I didn’t actually have proof she was crazy.
“Micah, you in there? It’s Dewayne. I thought I’d stop by and check on you,” I called out, but there was only silence.
He wasn’t in there. I was overreacting. Why? I didn’t have a f**king clue. I turned and headed back down the stairs just in time for the beat-up Honda to pull into the driveway. Great. Now I had to explain myself.
Her car door opened and she stepped out. The sunglasses perched on her nose covered up those eyes of hers, so I had no idea what she was thinking. She bent down and then stood back up. I could see the small head scrambling out of the backseat and then heard his feet hit the pavement.
“Dewayne!” he called as he ran around the front of the car with an excited grin. But then he stopped. His smile vanished, and he stiffened and glanced back at his mother.
Sienna closed the car door and walked toward Micah. She rested her hand on his shoulder, bent down to whisper in his ear, then handed him the keys.
He nodded. “Okay,” he said glumly, then headed toward the house, not looking up at me again. When he got to the door, he unlocked it and went inside.
“What are you doing here?” she asked in her very unwelcoming tone. Apparently, the friendly smile she’d had for Preston was not happening for me.
Now, I could either lie to her or tell her the truth. I wasn’t a liar. “Heard you were working. I was concerned the kid was home alone.”
The expression on her face went from shocked to downright pissed. “Alone? You . . . you think that I would leave my son alone?” she asked in a horrified voice. “I’m not an idiot. And if you haven’t noticed, I’m the only family he has. I’m the only one who wanted him and loved him. So don’t”—she pointed her finger at me, her voice rising as fury simmered in her eyes—“act like you give a shit about him now. You DO NOT have the right. Get away from here. Go back over to that house. Forget about what your brother would have wanted. Pretend that abandoning me and his son when we needed SOMEONE was okay.” She was breathing so hard her chest was heaving, and tears had filled her eyes. Then she was running past me, and I couldn’t stop her. I couldn’t f**king move.
Hell . . . I couldn’t f**king breathe.