Secrets & Lies (Roughshod Rollers MC 3)

Page 21

“That’s a loaded question,” she asks. She closes her eyes. “There’s…not a good answer.”
The first question, and she’s already trying to redirect me. It tells me a lot about how this conversation will go.
“Look, before anything else… Let’s talk about Owen,” she says before I can respond. “I’m guessing you want to meet him now?”
I stare at her.
“What?” I ask.
No, I want answers about our relationship. Why do I want to meet some other man’s kid?
“Owen is three now,” Jessica continues, as though she doesn’t notice or understand my surprise. “Just. Naturally…I’ve never told him about his father.”
“Naturally,” I find myself repeating.
My mouth is suddenly dry. My heart is pounding. Something isn’t adding up here, and part of me is screaming that I got something horribly, horribly wrong somewhere.
“He’s curious, of course,” she continues. Her expression twists. “I…should have told him, before now. It wasn’t fair to anyone to keep him in the dark. He deserves to know that…” She swallows. “That his father didn’t abandon him. His father…”
“…didn’t know,” I finish.
My palms are sweaty. I’ve fucking messed up big time. I jumped to conclusions. Worse, I jumped to a conclusion that didn’t even make sense, just because I wanted to be as mad at Jessica as I possibly could. I should have said something to Kyle. I remember the pitying look in his eyes; he’d already put it together. He would have said something, if I had told him my own, foolish theory.
But maybe I didn’t want to put it together. I didn’t want to think that Jessica would actually…
“I…am sorry,” Jessica says quietly, looking down. “After all this, you probably can’t believe that, but it’s true. Even if I wanted to leave you, I had no right to lie to you.”
All my righteous indignation about being betrayed has faded now. All that’s left is something awfully hollow in the middle of my chest. Jessica looks up, pleading.
“But, if you really want to be in Owen’s life, then it’s a forever thing,” she continues, and holy fuck, she’s really talking as though… As though… “He deserves to have his father there for him. So you can’t run off if it gets too hard. He’s only three, he wouldn’t understand.”
There’s a ringing in my ears. I can’t barely breathe.
“Owen…is my son?” I finally manage to force out through numb lips.
Jessica has the gall to look surprised.
“You said you figured it out!” she accuses.
“I thought…” I just want to laugh and laugh and laugh, until my sides ache and tears come out of my eyes, despite the fact that none of this is even remotely funny. It’s ridiculous that I could have been so very wrong. “I thought you cheated on me. I thought you ran when you realized you were pregnant. I thought Owen was some other guy’s kid.”
She actually looks hurt that I would think something like that. Three years in and she expects me to understand how she thinks, especially after everything that happened between us before we finally broke up?
If anything, it’s more of a surprise that I hadn’t suspected her of cheating before this point.
Maybe some of my thoughts show on my face. Jessica eyes my expression, and then she slumps as she realizes that I’m actually serious, that these are the thoughts that I had originally come here to confront her with. She opens and closes her mouth a few times, searching for something to say, before she finally sighs, defeated.
“No, none of that is true,” she says quietly. “You were the only man I...slept with. Owen is your son.”
Chapter Eight
What was worse? Believing that my ex-girlfriend had cheated on me and had another man’s kid, or being told that that kid is actually mine and my ex-girlfriend had kept this from me for three years? I wonder this dizzily, not sure what to say.
“I’m sorry,” Jessica says again.
Sorry? I laugh. It’s a harsh and grating sound that makes her flinch, and I can’t feel the least bit sorry about that.