If I hadn’t been so taken in by Blaire and the way she lit up the place, I would have seen him walk in. But I hadn’t. Suddenly, the talk surrounding me went silent and every eye focused on the door behind me. Glancing down at Blaire, who was still talking to Woods and didn’t notice the change in the room, I moved her behind me in a protective measure before turning around to see what had captured the bar’s attention.
The same silver eyes that I saw every day in the mirror were focused on me. It had been awhile since I’d seen my dad. Normally we kept in contact more but with Blaire coming into my world and completely turning it on its axis I hadn’t taken the time and energy to track my father down so I could talk to him.
It looked like he had come to find me this time.
“That’s your father,” Blaire said quietly beside me. She’d moved from where I’d tucked her behind me and was holding onto my arm now.
“Yeah, it is.”
Without stage makeup and black leather clothing he looked like an older version of Rush. I had to move quickly to keep up with Rush who had my hand clasped tightly in his as he walked swiftly outside away from the other guests in the bar. His father led the way. I wasn’t sure if Rush was happy to see him or not. The only interaction they’d had was Rush nodding his head toward the door. He obviously hadn’t wanted this introduction to have an audience.
Dean Finlay, the world’s most notorious drummer, stopped several times on our way out to autograph items shoved in front of him. It wasn’t just females either. One guy had even stepped forward and asked him to sign a bar napkin. The threatening gleam in Rush’s eyes as he tried to get his father out of the bar kept the rest of them away. Instead, they all remained silent and watched as Slacker Demon’s drummer headed out the door.
The night breeze was cold now. I immediately shivered and Rush stopped and wrapped his arms around me. “We need to go to the house. I’m not going to make her stand out here and talk. It’s too damn cold,” Rush told his father.
Dean finally stopped walking and looked back at me. His eyes slowly took me in and I could see the moment he noticed my stomach.
“Dean, this is Blaire Wynn. My fiancée. Blaire, this is Dean Finlay, my father,” Rush said in a tight voice. He didn’t sound like he wanted to make this introduction.
“No one told me I was gonna be a grandpa,” he said in a slow drawl. I wasn’t sure how he felt about that because there was no emotion on his face.
“I’ve been busy,” was the only response Rush gave him. That was odd. Was he embarrassed to tell his dad? I felt sick at my stomach and started to ease away from him.
His arms tightened their hold on me and I could feel his attention focused completely on me. “What’s wrong?” he asked, turning his back on his father and bending down so he could look me directly in the eyes.
I didn’t want to have this conversation in front of Dean. I could feel his dad’s eyes on both of us. I shook my head but my body was still tense. I couldn’t help that. The fact he hadn’t told his father was bothering me.
“I’m taking her to the car. I’ll meet you back at the house,” Rush said over his shoulder but kept his eyes focused on mine. I dropped my gaze, wishing I hadn’t reacted now. I was making a scene. Dean was going to think I was a whiny princess.
I opened my mouth to argue when Rush wrapped his arm around my waist and led me to the Range Rover. He was anxious. He didn’t like me upset, which was something we needed to work on. I would get upset. He couldn’t control that.
Rush opened the passenger side door and lifted me up and put me in like I was five. When he thought I was upset he started treating me like a child. We really needed to work on that too.
He didn’t even have his door closed before he looked at me. “Something is wrong. I need to know so I can fix it.”
I sighed and sank back against the seat. I might as well get this over with even if I was being a little touchy. “Why haven’t you told your dad about the baby?”
Rush reached over and closed his hand over mine. “That’s what’s wrong? You’re upset because I haven’t told Dean?”
I nodded and kept my eyes on our hands resting on my leg.
“I haven’t taken time to track him down. And I knew he’d show up when I told him because he’d want to meet you. I wasn’t ready for company just yet. Especially him.”
I was being silly. Lately my emotions were on high alert. I lifted my eyes and met his concerned gaze. “Okay. I understand that.”
Rush leaned over and kissed my lips gently. “I’m sorry I upset you,” he whispered before pressing one more kiss to the corner of my lips and leaning back. It was moments like these that I became a swoony mess.
“He’s here now. So, let’s go see what brought him here before my mother finds out. I want you to myself. I don’t like having my fu**ed up family around.”
Rush didn’t let go of my hand as he cranked the engine and pulled out onto the road. I laid my head against the seat and turned it so I could look at him. His unshaven jaw made him look older and untamed. Very sexy. I wish he’d not shave more often. I liked the way it felt too. He had taken out his earring and hardly ever wore it anymore.
“Why do you think he’s here?” I asked
Rush glanced over at me. “I was hoping he was here to meet you. But I don’t think he knew about you yet. He looked surprised. So that means this very well could be about Nan.”
Nan. His sister hadn’t been back to Rosemary since her release from the hospital. Rush didn’t seem to be worried about it but he loved his sister. I hated being the reason she stayed away. Now that she knew who her real father was and that I had never taken anything away from her I’d hoped we could be friends for Rush’s sake. It didn’t look like that was going to happen.
“Do you think Nan has gone to see Kiro?” I asked.
Rush shrugged. “I don’t know. She seems different since her accident.”
The car came to a stop outside the large beach house that had been purchased for Rush by his father when he was just a kid. Rush squeezed my hand. “I love you, Blaire. I’m so damn proud of the fact you’re going to be the mother of my son. I want everyone to know. Never doubt that.”
My eyes stung with tears and I nodded before picking up his hand and kissing it. “I get emotional. You need to ignore me when I get like that.”
Rush shook his head. “I can’t ignore you. I want to reassure you.”
The passenger side door opened and I jerked my head around to see Dean Finlay standing there with a smirk on his face. “Let the woman out of the car, son. It’s time I met the mother of my grandchild.”
Dean held out his hand and I put mine in his not sure what else to do. His long fingers wrapped around my hand and he helped me down out of the Range Rover. Rush was there immediately taking my hand from his father’s and pulling me over to him. His dad chuckled and shook his head. “I’ll be damned.”
“Let’s get inside,” Rush replied.
Dean walked over to the sofa and sank down on it before pulling out a pack of cigarettes. Shit. He was not what I wanted to deal with right now. “Can’t smoke in here or around Blaire, for that matter. It’s bad for the baby.”
Dean cocked one of his eyebrows. “Hell boy, I’m pretty damn sure your momma smoked cigarettes when she was pregnant with you.”
I had no doubt that she did that and more. No way I’d expose my kid to that stuff. “Doesn’t mean it’s healthy. Blaire is nothing like Mom.”
At the mention of her name, Blaire walked into the living room carrying two beers. I hadn’t asked her to get them. I didn’t like to see her wait on anyone. But she did it anyway. I walked over and met her halfway. “You didn’t have to get these,” I told her taking them from her as I placed a kiss on her temple.
“I know. But we have a guest. I want him to feel welcome.”
The sweet smile on her lips made it hard to concentrate on my dad. I wanted to take her up to the bedroom.
“Bring me the beer boy, and stop being so damn overbearing. You’re gonna smother the girl. Don’t know what the f*ck has gotten into you.”
A small bubble of laughter came from Blaire’s lips and I decided since he’d made her laugh I’d overlook his words.
“Here,” I said, shoving the beer his way. “Now, why’re you here?”
“What? Can’t a dad come see his son when he wants to?”
“It’s Rosemary. You never come here.”
Dean shrugged and took a swig of his beer, then threw an arm over the back of the sofa and propped both his feet up on the coffee table. “Your sister is a crazy bitch. She’s fu**ing insane. We need help.”
It was about Nan. I’d thought it might be. I sat down on the chair across from him and held my hand out to Blaire. I didn’t want her standing and I wanted her to feel welcome in our conversation. She walked over to me and I pulled her down to sit on my lap. “What has Nan done?” I asked, almost afraid to hear the answer.
Dean took another long swig of his beer. Then ran his hand through his long shaggy hair. “Question is, what hasn’t she done. Damn girl is raising hell. We can’t get any rest. We finished up the tour two weeks ago and came back to LA to enjoy some down time. She showed up and all hell broke loose. No one is getting any down time. Kiro doesn’t know what to do with her. We need some help.”
I knew Nan had been quiet but I hadn’t expected her to go to LA and search Kiro out. She knew my dad and Kiro shared a Beverly Hills mansion. They’d been living in it when they weren’t touring all my life. Kiro had been married a couple times and he’d moved out during those times but after each divorce he came back. It was known as the Slacker Demon mansion. No one was ever really sure which band members were in residence at any given time.
“Is she staying at the mansion?” I asked.
Dad raised his eyebrows. “Do I look like an idiot to you? Fuck no, she isn’t staying there. She just shows up all the damn time. She’s making demands and shit. Kiro has tried to smooth things over and form some sort of relationship with her but she won’t let him. She won’t listen and she... well, she found out he has another daughter. Didn’t go over well.”
Apparently she didn’t know about Kiro’s son yet but then Mase never came around.
“She must be so upset,” Blaire said with actual concern in her voice. How Blaire could feel any sympathy for Nan I didn’t know. “You need to go see her. Help her deal with this and see if you can’t help her and Kiro form some sort of relationship.”
I started to disagree but Dean cut me off.
“I like her already. That’s exactly what you need to do. Your room is empty and you know it’s comfortable. Bring Blaire with you and that’ll give me a chance to get to know her and spend time with you as well. If you don’t Kiro may end up killing Nan.”
Blaire squeezed my shoulder. “I think we should go. Nan needs you.”
I tilted my head back and looked up at her. “Why do you care what Nan needs?” I asked in awe.
“Because you love her,” was her simple reply.
“This one’s a keeper. Now, enough about Nan. I wanna know when this baby is due and when the wedding is,” Dean said with a cheerful tone. Much different from the one he was using when he spoke about Nan.
Blaire looked over at my dad and smiled. “I’m twenty weeks pregnant. The baby isn’t due until mid-April. As for the wedding we were going to get married in two weeks but I don’t want this to be weighing on Rush. I’d rather put the wedding off and let him deal with family issues first. We haven’t mailed out invitations or anything. So changing the date isn’t a problem.”
“No. I’m not waiting any longer to change your last name,” I argued but Blaire put her finger over my lips.
“Shhh. I don’t want to argue about this. I can’t enjoy our wedding knowing you have family issues to deal with. Let’s enjoy Thanksgiving with our friends like we’d planned and then go to LA and deal with Nan. Once you have all that behind you then we can focus on our wedding.”
I didn’t want to wait. I hated the idea of her still being Blaire Wynn while our baby grew inside her. I wanted her to have my name and for the world to know I wanted her and my baby. But the determined gleam in her eyes told me I wasn’t going to win this argument.
“I just want you to be happy,” I finally replied.
Blaire kissed the tip of my nose. “I know you do. One of the many reasons I love you.”
“If you’re waiting until after Thanksgiving to head back to LA and deal with that sister of yours then so am I. Besides, it’s been years since I spent a Thanksgiving with you,” my dad announced.
I wasn’t sure how I felt about that.
“We would love to have you here, Mr. Finlay,” Blaire informed him, smiling brightly like she really meant it. Fuck. I was gonna have to let this happen.
“Just call me Dean, sweetheart. We’re already family.”
The pleased look in her eyes made me smile. Maybe having my dad around for Thanksgiving wouldn’t be so bad after all. If he could make Blaire smile then I’d deal with it.
Talking about Thanksgiving had reminded me of my mother. This would be my first holiday without her. The more that sank in the harder it became to breathe. I forced a smile and made my excuses before rushing upstairs to take a shower. Rush needed some alone time with his dad anyway.
I let the tears I’d held back fall freely as I undressed and stepped into the shower. The warm water rained down over me as a sob broke free. Last year I had cooked our Thanksgiving meal and we had eaten it together in the dining room. No friends or family. Just the two of us. I’d cried that night too. Because deep down I’d known it was my last Thanksgiving with my mother. The memories of years gone by when Valerie and Dad had been there were bittersweet. My heart ached for all we’d lost. I hadn’t thought anything could hurt as badly but I knew now that I was wrong.
Facing the holidays without my mom was going to be hard. She loved Thanksgiving and Christmas. We would always start decorating the house for Christmas on Thanksgiving Day. Then we’d sit down and watch White Christmas together that evening while we ate leftover turkey and sweet potato casserole. It had been our tradition. Even after we lost Valerie and Dad had left us.