Again, more info than he needed to be sharing. Hell, did this woman not teach her kid not to talk to strangers and spill her life story? It wasn’t safe.
“Probably shouldn’t tell strangers that, either, little man,” I told him.
He frowned and held out his hand as if to shake mine. “My name is Micah. What’s yours?”
Although he shouldn’t have been telling me his name, I couldn’t help but grin. The kid was a charmer. I clasped his hand in mine and gave it a shake. “Nice to meet you, Micah. My name’s Dewayne.”
His grin got huge. “Like Dwyane Wade? You know, from the Miami Heat?”
I didn’t keep up with basketball much, but I knew who Dwyane Wade was. I nodded.
“I wish I had a name that cool. But I would want to be named LeBron.”
“I take it you’re a Heat fan,” I said.
He nodded vigorously. “Oh yeah. I’ll be the best one day. My dad was the world’s best basketball player. I will be too.”
I thought he’d said he didn’t have a dad. Just a mom.
“Micah?” a soft, feminine voice called.
The kid’s eyes got big and he spun around. “Yeah, Momma. I’m at the door with our neighbor. He came to visit.”
I lifted my eyes from the kid just in time to see legs. Lots of f**king legs, all smooth and creamy and encased in tiny little cutoff blue jean shorts. Holy hell. My eyes continued their upward track, taking in the tiny waist and generous br**sts barely covered up by a tank top before reaching her face.
Mary, Mother of Jesus. No. Fucking. Way.
I knew that face. It was older. She was a woman now, but I knew that face. Those bright blue eyes, all that long, silky red hair, and those pink lips that made men, young and old, fantasize. But this . . . She couldn’t—I stopped and stepped back, and then my eyes went back to the boy in front of me.
“Micah, go to your room,” she said in a calm, even voice. “Now. Go.”
“But he’s nice—” the little boy started, but she cut him off.
I watched the back of his head as he walked away from me. I wanted to see his face again. I wanted to study it. This was not . . . This couldn’t . . . No. He was too young. He wasn’t Dustin’s. There was no way she’d had my brother’s kid and hid him from me . . . from us. But the kid had said his dad was a basketball player. He’d never known Dustin. He obviously knew his dad.
“Hello, Dewayne,” Sienna said, with a tone of warning I didn’t miss. My head was still reeling. How did she have a kid? I thought she’d lost her mind when my brother had died. Not gone off and started a family.
I stared at her. I didn’t understand. I was trying to wrap my brain around it. How old was that kid? Where the hell was his father? Men didn’t let women like this one walk away. Especially with a kid that damn cute.
“Sienna,” I finally said. “It’s been a long time.”
Eight years ago . . .
“Freshman girls,” Preston Drake drawled, sounding pleased as he looked down the hallway. “Damn shame they’ll be illegal before the year is over. We need to enjoy being seventeen while we can.”
Marcus elbowed Preston in the ribs. “Dude, you’re a douche. Glad my sister won’t be here until next year when we’re gone.”
Preston chuckled. We all knew he wasn’t going to touch Amanda Hardy. She was our little sister too. Or at least¸ it felt like it. We’d been friends with Marcus since Amanda was in diapers.
“Y’all seen Trisha?” Rock asked as he walked up to us with a frown firmly in place. It was the kind of frown that meant he was on the verge of beating the shit out of someone.
“No. She didn’t take the bus?” Marcus asked.
Rock shook his head. “Stupid piece-of-shit mother of hers. I’m gonna have to go find her. I’ll be back later. Cover for me,” he said, before turning and heading for the back exit of the building. This was a once-a-week thing. Trisha had a verbally abusive mother, and her mother’s current boyfriend had slapped Trisha’s younger brother, Krit, around last week. Trisha had jumped on the man’s back and started pulling his hair, and he’d slung her across the room. If Rock hadn’t shown up when he did, Trisha would have ended up in the hospital or worse. Rock was working on getting her out of there. But he had to do something about her younger brother, too. She wouldn’t leave him in a dangerous situation.
“Ain’t that Dustin’s girlfriend?” Marcus asked, drawing my attention back to the present moment. I scanned the people until I saw Sienna Roy standing in the crowd with her book bag held protectively to her chest and her eyes wide with wonder. She looked lost. Where the f**k was my brother? The girl had turned into a beauty overnight. I had told him just last month he needed to make their relationship official before they started high school. Guys were going to notice her.
“Yeah, it is, and the stupid little f**ker isn’t anywhere around,” I muttered. Sienna was so damn overprotected by her parents that she didn’t have much of a life outside of her house and ours. My brother was already going to parties, but Sienna didn’t get to go. And she never seemed to have friends over. Dustin was her friend. But his stupid ass was nowhere to be found.
“They break up?” Preston asked, taking a new, keen interest in Sienna. Fuck no. He could back his horny ass off.