In Too Deep (Doing Bad Things Book 2)(7)

By: Jordan Marie


One thing stops me.

I open the door to the office and this small boy comes running out at me, completely naked. He slaps his hands against my legs, just reaching above my knee. I stop quickly so I don’t plow him over.

“You my Daddy?” he asks. I know nothing about kids, but I do know one of the last things I ever want to hear from one are those words. His question strikes fear in my heart, but the fact his hands are covered in some dark brown unknown substance terrifies me. I watch as it smears across the legs of my favorite jeans. I’m not sure what it is, but he’s not wearing any clothes—including a diaper. Do kids his size wear diapers?

“Jack! You get back here right now, young man!”

“Daddy!”

The child screams the name like it’s being torn from his heart, the moment White’s cousin captures him in her arms and pulls him away. The scream is so piercing I wince.

“That’s not your daddy, Jack,” she reprimands. “Do you need something?” she asks over the noise. Her face instantly hardens, whereas just a moment ago she was smiling, even chasing after her son.

“Does he belong to you?” I ask, all thoughts of giving an apology gone. My voice is that of a growl really. It seems this woman brings out the worst in me.

“I—”

“He destroyed my clothes.”

Her eyes go round and briefly I notice she has brown eyes…almost as dark as whatever the child rubbed all over me.

“Daddy!” he screams again, and the woman’s face blushes a deep red.

“Hush, Jack. That’s not your Daddy,” she hisses.

“He doesn’t know who his father is?” I don’t bother keeping the censure out of my voice. This entire revelation doesn’t surprise me. I’m making a mental note to punch White in the face the next time I see him.

“It’s just chocolate. It will come out of your pants. You should probably flush it with club soda or…”

“Do I look like I do laundry?”

“Well—”

“Does your motel even have laundry service?”

“There’s a laundry mat in town,” she says defensively.

“Charming.”

“Daddy!” the child screams again.

“Listen, Jack and I were—”

“Wrestling in chocolate?”

“Is there something you need?” she all but growls, her face tight with irritation.

“Besides new clothes?” I ask, being a jackass, but irritated and not really caring. When she refuses to respond I’m a dick enough to admit I’m disappointed. “I was looking for information on local restaurants.”

“There are none close by.”

“I was—What?”

“There are no real restaurants. There’s a diner in town.”

“That will have to do,” I grumble, wondering if punching White is letting him off too easy.

“Though it’s closed this week.”

“It’s closed…for a week?

“The owner is visiting her son in Florida.”

“What am I supposed to do for food?” Irritated and completely ignoring how her child—I guess—keeps reaching out to me. In fact, I take a few steps back from the mongrel.

“Gee. I don’t think that’s my problem.”

“I rented this motel!”

“Two weeks early. If you were on time the diner would be open and this would be a nonissue,” she says with a forced smile and I don’t think I’m imagining the quick look of victory that flashes over her face.

“So you expect me to starve?”

“I don’t think that’s my problem,” she answers, turning away with the child still wrapped around her upper body.

“I could demand my money back and leave,” I warn her. The thought of going somewhere else is very tempting. The one thing stopping me is the threat of the press being out there. I’ve had my fill of them the last few months. I’d almost rather be in Hell itself than face more probing questions and pictures of me being snapped constantly.

“Read the sign under the counter,” she calls, opening the small door off to the right that the child had come running from earlier. “There’s no refunds. But by all means, feel free to leave anytime Mr. Smith. Now, if you will excuse me I’m spending time with Jack today and we’re baking cookies.”

“Cookies?”

“Yeah, it takes work to keep this extra thirty pounds on,” she says, her face going hard.

Message delivered.

She’s pissed and she has a right. Maybe I should have apologized, but I refuse. She turns to leave and for some reason the child nearly bends in half to hug its body around her.

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