After being dealt a hard life, things were finally looking up. I had a wonderful boyfriend and perfect daughter.
Life was great.
But at some point, your past always comes back to haunt you, crashing into you when you least expect it. And all you can do is weather the storm, even if it’s hell bent on destroying everything.
Perfect girlfriend, check.
Perfect daughter, check.
All that was missing was Mackenzie sharing my last name. But life is never that easy. And some choices you make can destroy everything. I just pray I didn’t fuck up beyond repair. Because I can’t live my life without her and I’d do anything to make it right again.
life was perfect. I had the perfect boyfriend, the perfect daughter—I can
honestly say I’d never been this happy in my entire life.
over, my heart leapt at the sight of my man. Hayes was sleeping peacefully, the
sheet flung below his hips, showing off his impressive chest. He had always
been hot, but since he came back into my life, he’d gotten hotter, if that were
possible. His chest and six pack were very impressive, along with his biceps.
But that wasn’t what made my heart leap. It was his new tattoo. A huge star
between his pecs with “Harley” written inside. Mac, his nickname for me, was
over his heart, but that tattoo had been there for a while.
don’t you stop checking me out and kiss me instead?” Hayes rasped, pulling me
on top of him.
giggled and let my lips seal over his. He immediately deepened the kiss and I
sighed. Not only was he great looking, he was also a great kisser, among other
birthday eve,” he whispered against my lips before kissing me again.
I said, pulling back and looking at the clock on the nightstand. “I better get
up and get dressed. Why did I sign up for a morning class?”
don’t know, babe. Can I join—”
Harley yelled from her room.
mind.” He sighed and we both got out of bed.
stood still for a minute, listening to him talk to Harley. Hayes was such a
good father. He had been since the moment he laid eyes on her, and it still
shocked me. He had always been a player and a big partier, but I guess that just
goes to show, if you really love someone, you’ll change.
headed into the bathroom, brushed my teeth, and took a quick shower before
digging out a long sleeve black t-shirt and ripped jeans. I placed my wet hair
in a bun and didn’t even bother with makeup. I wasn’t trying to impress anyone.
I stepped into the kitchen, Hayes was feeding Harley and he had a bowl full of
cereal waiting for me. “I didn’t know how long you’d be and didn’t want it to
be gross, so I left out the milk.”
I said, grabbing the milk out of the fridge and adding it to the bowl. After
placing it back in its spot, I walked to the table and sat down. I scooped up a
big bite and chewed the sugary goodness. “So, what are your plans for the day?”
shrugged. “Same as always. Although, I was thinking about going over to
Carson’s and hanging out before I pick Harley up from the sitter.”
smiled and shoveled more cereal into my mouth. I’d never actually asked, mainly
because I’m scared of his answer, but I’d been worried Hayes only sticks around
because it’s the right thing to do. He’d been hanging out with Carson a lot
over the last month, and I had overheard Hayes and Carson talking about old
parties. Once I heard Carson refer to them as the “good ole days”, I felt that
maybe Hayes’ “change” was only because he felt obligated.
mean, hell, he had replaced me quite easily. When we had reconnected, he had
been dating a girl who looked similar to me for several months. Hayes had
claimed he dated her because she was as close to me as he could get, but maybe
he’d be better off with her. Young and carefree, not strapped down with a
child. Stop it. He loves you. He loves
Harley. Of course, I knew that, but insecurities died hard.
are you okay?” Hayes asked, snapping me out of my thoughts.
cleared my throat. “Yeah. I’m good,” I said, glancing at him. “I was just
thinking about class.”
sure that’s all you were thinking about?”
took one last bite of my cereal and stood before heading to the sink. “I’m
sure.” I rinsed the bowl and placed it in the dishwasher. “We still leaving
tomorrow morning for your parents’ house?” Tomorrow would be my birthday, the
day before Thanksgiving. Hayes had planned a big celebration for me.
you want to hang out with Carson, I’ll pick Harley up from the sitter after my
I’ll pick her up. I have one class today and I’m only going to stop by his
place for an hour or so.”
I replied, then kissed Harley before walking into the living room to grab my
bag. “I’ll see you tonight.” I knew it wasn’t fair, he deserved to hang out
with his friends, but I couldn’t help the tightness in my chest.
you not going to tell me goodbye?” Hayes asked, spinning me around. “I won’t
push you to tell me what’s wrong, but you better at least give me a kiss.”
smiled weakly, then placed a kiss on his lips. “Sorry,” I whispered. “I’m not
sure what’s wrong with me.”
smashed his lips against mine, giving me a hard, lingering kiss before pulling
back. “I love you.”
love you, too,” I said before opening the door and leaving.
to the union after leaving my second class of the day, my cell began ringing.
smiled at Miranda’s name on the screen. “Hey.”
isn’t today when you have that big gap between your second and third class?”
I replied, weaving in and out of people walking along the sidewalk.
and I were wondering if you’d like to come have lunch with us. He’s picking me
up in front of the union.”
I was on my way there anyway. I’ll see you in a minute.”
I’ll be waiting.”
disconnected and I couldn’t help the sudden pep in my step. Maybe having lunch
with my two best friends was exactly what I needed.
picked up my pace, walking as fast as I could until I reached the front of the
building. Miranda’s long blonde hair waved in the wind, making her easy to
you,” I said, coming to stand beside her and placing my arm around her.
have missed you,” she replied, wrapping her arms around me. Miranda was my very
best friend, aside from her boyfriend and my adoptive brother, Brad. And, of
just saw me like three days ago.”
know, but I still missed you.” She looked down the street. “Brad should be here
I took a deep breath and tried to relax. I had no idea what had me all messed
up inside, but I needed to get it under control. I knew Hayes loved me, and I knew
he loved Harley. Maybe it was our impending trip back to Maverick and knowing
I’d be there for more than a couple days. Running into my parents was a high possibility…if
they still lived there. I was sure Hayes’ parents knew, but I never asked. I
didn’t really want to know.
he comes,” Miranda said, stepping closer to the street.
glanced up and saw Brad’s big black truck pulling up in front of us. I walked
closer and opened the back door, pulling myself up and in. “Hi,” I said. “I
hope you don’t mind me crashing your lunch date.”
gave Miranda a peck on the lips before turning to face me. “Mackenzie, you know
you are always welcome.”
smiled. “Thanks.” Brad could always make me feel better with just a simple
sentence. He was my confidant, and basically, my and Harley’s savior. I had a
deep love for him.
do you two pretty ladies want to go?”
I replied as Miranda said, “Pasta House. I want lasagna.”
shrugged. “Fine with me.” Brad nodded and pulled away, but not before catching
my eye in the rearview mirror. He knew something was wrong.
was class, beautiful?” he asked Miranda, and I checked out. They hadn’t been
dating long, but I knew they were it for each other. They were both blissfully
happy, and neither of them felt beholden to the other.
was so gone in my thoughts, I didn’t even realize we had parked until Brad
opened my door with a raised brow. “You coming?”
my head to clear my thoughts, I said, “Sorry. I’m just spacey today.”
will tell me what’s wrong. You know that, right?”
nodded. “I know. But I promise I’m okay.” I looked around, noticing we were
alone. “Where is Miranda?”
had to pee so she raced inside. Tell me what’s wrong.”
sighed. “Sometimes I just wonder if Hayes sticks around because he feels like
he has to.”
eyebrows bunched. “What the hell, Mackenzie? That boy loves you.”
know he does. I do. But I feel like I’m making him give everything up. He
doesn’t get to have fun anymore.”
can promise you he is perfectly happy. You need to stop worrying.”
looked to the ground. “It’s just—”
you dare even go there.” He took my chin in his hand, forcing me to look at
him. “You are good enough for him. You and Harley are all he wants.”
nodded. “I don’t know what’s wrong with me. I just feel like I’m holding him
back…with everything.” I shrugged. “Thank you for being here. I don’t know what
I’d do without you.” I wrapped my arms around him and closed my eyes as he
hugged me back.
always going to be here, kiddo.” He released me, flashing a smile. “Now let’s
go eat. I’m starving.”
two boys. Her life consists of school projects, homework, cartoon shows, and
little league sports. She loves Diet Mountain Dew, the OKC Thunder, costume
jewelry, the beach, and reading.