The video ended, and it was only then that I realized I was crying. Ashton defended my honor and my twins.
How could I have been so stupid to break up with him?
Aspyn sat next to me and pulled me into a tight hug.
“I have never, ever, seen Ashton be with anyone more than a couple of dates.”
My eyes locked with Leo’s as he continued on with what he came here to say.
“He is absolutely head over heels in love with you, Sage. He kept trying with Haiden. I can’t tell you how many times he told me that. How many times he’d call me, trying to ask for advice on what to do with him. It didn’t matter how many times we told him to tell you. He wouldn’t do it. He wanted to earn Haiden’s respect on his own, not because you made him. No matter what he put him through, he wasn’t going to tell you. He was determined to win him over on his own. Not with your help or authority over Haiden.”
Resting my chin on Aspyn’s shoulder, I listened intently to everything Leo was sharing. However, it was the last thing he said to me that really drove me over the edge.
“He’s not only in love with you, Sage. I know, especially after watching him last night, that he loves your twins too.”
“Mom.” Haiden walked into the living room with Brady behind him, and I quickly wiped away my tears.
I didn’t want him to see me cry.
“I’m leaving with Uncle Brady for soccer practice.”
“We need to talk when you get back.”
Haiden’s perceptive stare lingered on my face. He could tell I was upset. When he turned to leave, he snapped back around and threw his arms around my neck.
Whispering, “I’m so sorry, Mama.”
My arms went around him too, rubbing his back.
Was he eavesdropping? Did he hear me and Haven? Leo? The video?
I opened my mouth to ask him, but I didn’t have to because he followed it up with…
“I’ll make it better. I’ll make it right. I promise. I’ll fix this, Mom.”
There was a knock on my door.
“Leo! I told you I want to be alone! Can you just let me wallow in my own self-pity for a day?”
The knocking turned into pounding.
“Jesus, man! You’re worse than my mother!”
Reluctantly, I got off the couch to answer the door, never in a million years expecting who was on the other side.
“Haiden?” I jerked back, watching him standing there in what appeared to be his soccer uniform. “How did you—”
“I remembered where you lived. We’ve been here enough.” He waved to Brady who was sitting in his car before he took off.
I’d met him briefly a few times at Sage’s house.
“I told Uncle Brady I’d call him if I needed him to pick me up, but I’m hoping he won’t need to.”
“Why is that?”
“I’m hoping that you’ll come home with me and make up with my mom.”
I cocked my head to the side. “Am I hallucinating? Is this really happening right now, or am I dreaming this?”
He smiled. “Can I come in?”
“Do I have to pat you down?”
He raised his arms up in the air in a surrendering gesture. “Truce?”
“I’ve heard that before. It was actually two days ago, so forgive me if I believe you’re up to no good.”
“I’m here for my mom. And Haven. And… me. Can I please come in?”
I’m such a fucking sucker.
I opened the door wider, and the little hellion walked right in. He didn’t waver—this kid was here on a mission, and I almost fell on my ass when he started to open up to me. I didn’t know if it was a trick, but I gave him the benefit of the doubt.
I shut the door as Haiden professed, “My mom is my best friend. She’s always been my best friend. She’s not like a normal mom, you know? She’s fun, and funny, and always rubs my back when I can’t fall asleep. When I’m sick, she lets me sleep in her bed. She always knows what to say or do when I’m sad, when I’m scared. She never makes me feel like a baby. She’s the best mom in the whole wide world.”
“I know. You’re lucky to have her.”
“I knew about you after your first date.”
Now that I wasn’t expecting him to relay.
“I heard Aspyn, Uncle Brady, and Grammy talking about you in the kitchen. They thought I was still sleeping, but I wasn’t. I was listening in the hallway. I’ve never heard my mom talk about anyone the way she was talking about you. I hated it. I hated you. I didn’t want you to take my mom away from me, and I was scared you were going to.”
I didn’t know what to say, so I just listened.
“When she said she was going on a work trip, I knew she was lying. She’d never lied to me before, and it really hurt my feelings. I thought… I guess I thought she was forgetting all about me. All about Haven too. I didn’t want to lose my mom, so I made sure to call and text her as much as I could. It made me feel like you were taking her away from me because we weren’t there with you. You didn’t know about us, and I didn’t understand why she didn’t tell you.”