I decide I should make Amelia something to eat.
Just as I’m finishing up making eggs and toast, there’s the doorbell again. I was distracted so didn’t realize someone had pulled up. I inhale deep to figure out the fragrance.
I open the door and the look on Kathleen Brennan’s face hits me like a fist in the throat.
“Where’s my daughter?” she demands.
“She’s upstairs. But-”
She gives me the hand and sweeps past me to go up there herself.
My eyes drift shut and I blow out a breath. Another Brennan woman mad at me. Fucking great.
Is she planning to leave with Amie? Go up there and rescue her daughter from the big bad wolf?
I don’t want to upset Kathleen and I certainly don’t want to upset my mate any further, but I won’t allow that. No goddamn way.
My mom hits the mute button on the remote and then cups my jaw.
“Hi,” I whisper.
“Stop this right now.”
I blink a couple times, and then ask, “Huh?”
She looks angry with me. What the fuck?
“Stop it. Stop it right now!” She’s pissed. Even more pissed than when I dented her new van by backing into the newspaper box when I was seventeen and that was the angriest I’d ever seen her.
“Stop what?” I cry out defensively.
“Stop sabotaging your happiness.”
“What?” Is she delusional?
“Talking nonsense about you being second best. About you thinking that you don’t deserve the very best in life. That’s nonsense. And why the hell didn’t you tell me you can’t have children? And why didn’t you tell me how things ended with Rick? I don’t think I even understand all of what happened. Your sister doesn’t even know the whole thing, says you gave some cryptic but disturbing details, but what we know has us both concerned.”
Mom takes a big breath and then her eyes go even angrier. “He’s a snake, Amelia. And you were better off learning that now.”
I gulp down a painful swallow. “Tell Ivy I said she has a big mouth.”
“When did you find out you can’t have babies? What did the doctor say? Have you sought a second opinion? Gone for treatments or procedures?”
I raise my hand. “I didn’t tell you two because it hurt too much.”
“Oh, honey…” Mom’s expression softens.
She knows I’ve always wanted to be a mother. Always.
“It’s why Blake and I ended. He wanted to be a father more than he wanted to be with me. He wanted me to decide immediately to let him hire a surrogate so he could have a baby that was part of him, part his parents. He didn’t care that the baby wasn’t going to be part of me, only that it be part his side because of all he lost when his parents died. He was so broken from losing them. We couldn’t survive it.”
“And I haven’t been for a second opinion because Dr. Conklin isn’t a quack. He knows what he’s doing. He’s been our family doctor since I was eight. I have an ovulation disorder. I wasn’t on the pill with Blake. I wasn’t on the pill with Rick. I never got pregnant. I should’ve been a teen mom with how many oopses I had as a teenager and it never ever happened, Mom.”
“Okay,” she says softly. “But that doesn’t mean that you aren’t deserving of your happy ending. All that happened doesn’t mean Mason doesn’t want you for you.”
“Mason drew the short straw in the fated mate lottery. I think we both know that.” I throw the blanket back and reach for the coffee cup from earlier. There’s still three quarters of a cup. The coffee is cold. And I don’t care. I rarely get a hot coffee at work, so I drink it.
“I don’t think that at all. I think your sister found the right person for her and you found the right person for you. It’s all non-traditional, yeah, but from what I’ve seen so far, it’s also pretty amazing. The small town living we were missing when we had to leave the area for Dad’s job. The close-knit community. It’s wonderful, isn’t it?”
“Wonderful? Well, Ivy got the short straw, too, then, because I’m not a big mouth like my sister is, but your new son-in-law isn’t the bee’s knees, Mom. Ask her what I mean by that…” It’s a catty comment and I know it. But I can’t wrap my head around what Ivy has let him get away with.
If Mom can come here and deliver hard truths to me, she can do it to Ivy next.
“I know why you’d say that. Your sister told me everything this morning. Just before I came here.”
I jolt in surprise. “I guess she had to since I found out. How are you defending these people? They watched that happen to her. And how could she forgive him?”
“Tyson was there when she told me. He told me his side of things, too. He’s very sorry he’s hurt her. He’s reliving that pain now because of what you think of him now, too.”