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(A Contemporary/Second Chance Romance)


He wanted to forget. I wanted an escape.
In just one night, David put my world upside down. Repeatedly.
He asked me to stay, but instead, I ran.
Thank you for giving me more than I was looking for.

I left those words in a note on the nightstand. Little did I know that sentence sealed my fate.
I thought I’d never see him again.
Life goes on, four years later, I’m doing my best to stay afloat when a fire devasted my father’s little church.
And guess who's in charge of the rebuilding?
Yes, you guessed it. He’s here. He’s back.
But I’m not alone anymore.
I have a son.
And there's no more place to run.


I’m David, and I’m an alcoholic.

A demanding motherfucker.

An obsessive bastard.

And right now, the object of my obsession is moving over me, gravitating her luscious curves over my body.


My hands are on her waist, inviting her to follow the rhythm of my stabbing dick. She’s a goddess. With a body made in heaven, tempting as sin. Absolutely gorgeous. From the moment I saw her dancing at the bar a couple of hours ago, I knew I had to have her.

She was in her own world, without glancing at the sea of dickheads trying to call her attention. Her eyes were closed while she swayed, and the short denim skirt she wore hiked over those golden legs so high that her underwear peeked out. The men around her moved in like a pack of wolves. They didn’t know I was the leader, ready to claim the prey.

I waited for the perfect moment to arrive when she came to the bar to order a drink. The stool at my side was empty, and I was mesmerized by the sweat drops rolling down the cleavage the tank top left uncovered as if it was for my own personal enjoyment.

The bartender placed a glass of chilled white wine in front of her.

“I’m Ella,” she said. He didn’t miss his chance to ogle over her. Fuck off. I wanted to grab the little piece of shit with my hands and erase the smirk off his mouth. Even worse when she gave him a sweet smile. A strange sense of possessiveness swallowed me whole.

I had to have her.

A drink later, we were kissing. By the time a slow song was playing over the speakers of the darkened bar, her hand was in mine while I led her to my hotel room which was conveniently located in the same building.

“Seems like you’re ready to give me what I need,” she gasped between kisses when we were in the elevator. Her hand rubbed over the front of my jeans. She had no idea. Five minutes later, she had a taste of the devil. I had her against my closed bedroom door, riding my fingers. Swallowing her pleas with my mouth.

I made her come twice before giving her my cock.

Shit, this is good. I haven’t felt this way in a long, long time. Maybe never.

Right now, her black polished fingernails are raking over my chest, leaving red marks on my skin. Battle scars I’d proudly wear. Two big tits—barely contained by my hands—move close to my face, pert nipples calling for attention. I respond accordingly, sucking and biting until they are red and swollen, and I feel her becoming even wetter. I wish there was nothing between us. I crave the feel of her sweet honey drenching me. It’s pure insanity being with her. With every move, she’s stealing my reason. Making me forget.

Exactly what I was looking for.

I came here for an escape. She was hunting fun.

No last names. No phone numbers. No promises were made.

Fun, no strings attached. Just endless gratification.

I’m here to please. This is what I do.

“I want…” she whispers as her hands twined in the blonde mane of her curly hair. I know exactly what she needs, and it is so freaking sexy to hear her asking for it. Fearless and untamable.

My cock is buried deep inside her, begging for release. More than that, I want her to give me more. I want to feel her silken walls milking me empty.

Did I say I’m a selfish asshole?

I can’t get enough of the sounds she makes when she’s close. Of the shape of her mouth when she’s coming. Of the taste of her pussy when my mouth is feasting on her.

My hand wanders south over her soft belly to find her hard clit. I pinch it until she’s moving desperately, her voice raw while she begs me for more. She’s so greedy and is about to become even greedier.

I sit up, forcing her upright, twisting her arms behind her back while my mouth feasts on those glorious tits again, and I drive harder. Faster. Her entire body quakes as her legs shake around me. I plunge again and then retreat. Faster and harder until we both are gasping loudly for breath.

Drowning in each other.

After the orgasm ripples over her, fighting my own release is a lost battle. My brain splinters into a million pieces as I come. But I don’t want to lose this connection. I keep moving, savoring her sweaty skin while she holds onto me. Her fingers clutch hard into my skull. As if there were another place I’d like to be.

This is paradise.

I don’t want this night to end.

“Stay here with me,” I tell her at the same moment. My head still spinning with the aftershocks. Her spine tenses under my fingers.

“But we said…”

My hand moves over the nape of her neck, grabbing her hair until she’s looking at me with those big green eyes.

“Nothing else has changed,” I clarify in a whisper, loving the way her pupils shine in the dim lights of the room. “I just want more time with you. You want it too. Let’s make it last. Stay here with me for the weekend. We will order room service… sleep a little and…”

“Order breakfast and then burn the calories?” She giggles, and something inside my chest warms at the sound. I ignore the feeling; I have years of practice.

Focus on her body, David.

“You’re reading my mind, gatita.” I bite her neck, and her insides clench.

“Breakfast is my favorite meal of the day.”

“Just say yes,” I growl with a deep voice. “I’ll buy you all the pancakes you want.”

I’ll do whatever to keep her here, order a banquet if that makes her happy.

What the fuck is happening to me? I silence my mind and kiss her neck. Ready to plead my case.

“Ok,” she replies after a long minute.

The elation overwhelms me. Fuck, I want her again.

“It was the promise of the pancakes?”

“Yes,” she smiles, and then her hands travel over her body, making my gaze wander around those curves I crave to get lost in. “Sustenance, a body like this doesn’t survive with just your….”

I smirk at the thought. Oh, those lips, that’s next on my list. Her on her knees while I feed her with every inch of me and then make her swallow my cum. But first… I untangle her body from mine, stand and walk unashamedly naked to the bathroom, dispose of the condom, and grab two more from my open bag.

“Come here, big boy.” She’s sitting on the edge of the bed, inviting me with a finger playing between her open legs. “I want you in my mouth.”

This must be a dream. This perfection can’t be real.

She makes me touch heaven before drinking every drop I have to give. Keeping her gaze on mine, casting a spell over me.

A witch, there is no other explanation for this.

A satisfied smile pulls her lips up while she dries the corner of that mouth with the back of her hand.

“Don’t be so smug,” I warn her. “Now it’s my turn, little girl. If you were thirsty, I’m fucking starving.”

“Should I call for room service?” she purrs as her fingers still play between her thighs.

“What I want isn’t on the menu. It’s in front of me.”

I push her shoulder with my hand, making her fall on the bed. Her open legs dangling, perfect.

Then I seal the deal, not once, but twice.

Later, we fall asleep on the wrinkled sheets of the hotel bed, exhausted. Our primal instincts are temporarily satisfied.

I wake up hungry for more. But I find the cold cotton of the sheets instead of her warm body.

I sit up on the bed, calling her name. Silence.

It was a fucking dream. I rub the sleep out of my eyes with the back of my hand. Reality is here, crushing me.

Then I notice a pair of black lacy panties on the pillow and a note on the nightstand.


Thank you for giving me more than I was looking for.


No phone number. No last names. Nothing.

Exactly as we promised hours ago.






Chapter One

David – Four years later


“Why are you calling me on a Saturday at six in the morning?” I don’t care about greeting my lawyer more formally. Getting a call from the guy who manages all your legal business at this hour only means one thing—bad news. He didn’t make the call to ask me to be the best man at his daughter’s upcoming wedding.

With the speakerphone on, the rumble of his laughter breaks into the room. I tie my running sneakers while the sunrise peeks over the horizon. “I know you, David,” Charles Lewis, my company lawyer replies. “You have been working out for at least an hour, and now you’re getting ready to run around the construction site.”

Dang, the man knows me way too well. This is my weekend routine. Since sleep isn’t a great deal to me, I’m up and lifting some weight in my apartment’s gym and then checking the construction site while doing cardio. Two birds, one stone, right?

“Is something happening?” I’m bracing myself for the bad news already. An accident? More supplies delayed? A strike? The possibilities are endless.

Since winning the company’s ownership a few years ago, I’ve become accustomed to dealing with shit day in and day out. The city of Los Angeles is hosting the Olympic Games in Summer 2028, and we won the bid to build part of the Villa, a new coliseum to host the inauguration ceremony and many other events, the Aquatic Center, and two more buildings to host logistics, communications, and recreational facilities.

Our main goal is to make the structures magnificent for the competitions but also an investment for the city and the State University, where the events will be located. We spent a lot of time studying the past Olympic Villas site issues and are resolved to eliminate them. The local government and the sponsors are investing close to seven billion on this, a shit ton of money. The mayor’s words were clear. He wants no frills but quality, two weeks is a short time for revenue, but we will make it last for years.

“Nothing is happening,” he assures in a more placating tone. “Well, at least not with the company and its current operations.”

“Go and get your coffee,” I growl. “You’re being too cryptic, and I have shit to do. Two managers are meeting with me in a while.”

I walk to the windows. The view from here is amazing, and it makes every single dime I paid for this penthouse worth it.

“I’m fine, but you’ll want to sit to hear this.”

I roll my eyes. I’m tired of this shit already. “Straight to the point, Lewis.”

“Ok,” he breathes. “Yesterday, I got a call from the Collings’ family lawyer.”

See? I was right. This is bad news.

“What do they want now?”

The Collings are the distant relatives of the guy who bequeathed me the company. Johan and I were together at the rehab center where I checked myself in almost four years ago to deal with my alcohol problem. He had been there for months before my arrival.

One night we were playing poker, I was ready to leave with my current winnings, and Johan wasn’t ready to let it go. He tempted me to stay, saying he would legate me his company after his death. I laughed at the crazy remark, but I stayed. The man was a walking mess—fuck, my own life was a disaster—but eventually, we became close friends.

I don’t know why he insisted on staying at the clinic when he didn’t mean to overcome his addiction. He drank into oblivion every night, and more times than I care to count, I held his head while he threw up his guts into the toilet. Johan needed a friend, and I needed someone to listen in silence without judging me about my regrets.

Two weeks after Johan passed away while sleeping, his will executor came to visit me. The man was true to his word. A construction company he owned was mine, and I had no fucking clue what to do with it. Yeah, I’m an architect, but my career was more focused on designing and building houses with a sustainable vision, nothing too big.

Owning a company is an entirely different game. You have to leave the hard hat aside and become an entrepreneur. Staff, contracts, supplies… I’m an obsessive motherfucker, I like to keep a thumb over my business, so I know everything about it now.

Needless to say, his family has been trying to challenge the will since then. The same family who never cared enough to pick up the phone when Johan called is making a fuss again. Great things are never easy. JHC was a gift, but since the moment the ink on the documentation was dry, I’ve worked my ass off for it.

“What now?” This makes me uneasy. I learned something at the rehab center. It’s all about control, and since then, I’ve made it my motto. Order. Control. Discipline. Those are the first steps on the path to success.

Nothing makes my blood rush anymore—just… Let’s not talk about that. I’ve learned how to keep the beast inside me tamed. You can’t deal with a multimillion-dollar corporation throwing punches.

Charles clears his voice before replying. “They hired a new lawyer, this time, the guy is at least decent. They found a clause in the will that orders you to do some community service. Their argument went to a new judge and….”

“Community service?” This is ridiculous. The Olympic Games. That can save me from this ludicrous situation. “I’m building a complex for the Olympic Games, doesn’t that count?”

“No,” Charles answers. “They are pulling up a Supreme Court ruling from a couple of years ago. Community Service should be unpaid work, intended to be of social use.”

Fucking shit. It’s too early to deal with this. My head starts to pound. “Figure out something,” I bark. “I’ll manage some hours here and there. It couldn’t be that much, right?”

“Forty-five days.”

Fuck, this is worse than I thought. What in the ever living hell possessed Johan to add this clause to the will?

“I have time available on the weekends, call my assistant and organize something.” I can work around this.

“You’re overdue,” Charles says. “The judge gave you sixty days to submit the proper documentation to the court, or the company goes straight to their hands.”

Wait a second. This had been brewing for a while. “Why didn’t you inform me about this before?”

“You pay me to take care of your business, David.”

True but… “At this moment, I’m about to fire your ass and find me another lawyer.”

He has the gall to laugh about my words. “You won’t find a better counselor than me,” he says, his voice full of amusement.

“Make your wages worth it, Lewis.”

“That’s the reason I called. The company is donating money to rebuild a church affected by the last year’s fires, remember?”

“I do.” I found the news myself and called the pastor to offer the company assistance. His little church and adjacent home had been devasted by the fires and reduced to ashes. He was in urgent need of help.

After researching his work, I sent a crew to assess the damages and take care of the new construction. It was a small church in a poor neighborhood that helped the community as a part of the Feeding America program. I was amazed by the reach of the project, so I decided to lift the weight from their shoulders and acted accordingly. Pastor Garfield is a decent fellow. We have talked over the phone a few times and had lunch once when he was in the city. “What is happening with it?”

“Pastor Garfield will be happy to host you… They are busy with the roof. Another pair of hands will be helpful. You just have to–”

“Absolutely not. Find something else, and appeal to the court. Do your fucking work.”

No, this won’t work. The church is located in Warmer Springs, two hours away from here.

An exasperated sigh fills the silence. “David, are you really risking the company this way?”

No, I’m not, but still. “If I leave now, I’m risking it anyway.”

“David, you have a great team ready to support you,” he reminds me in a paternal voice. “Stop being so fucking stubborn and listen to me. The Collings want to milk the company and then sell it. You know what that means in a moment like this. The deals with the city….” He trails off as the unsaid words fill my brain with dread. “You can be sued or even prosecuted. Time flies. Forty-five days is nothing. The company will be yours….”

“I’ll think about it.” That’s all I can commit to but I’m fucked either way. “I need a couple of days.”

“Yes, you need a couple of days to get your shit together and clear your schedule. But, David, this is final. We need to accommodate forty-five days in a sixty days time frame. Do you understand what I’m saying?”

In an attempt to clear the fog in my mind, I drop my forehead to the window in front of me. I hate when things run out of control, I’ve had enough of it for a lifetime. But fuck, Charles is right. I can’t risk the company’s future and my employees’ fate. So many people rely on me. Yeah, I’m richer than Croesus, but not an irresponsible motherfucker. My staff has families depending on the weekly income.

“I’ll call Marissa.” Time to draft a new plan and execute it, fast.

“Since we have no time to spare, you’re working every day. Even on Sundays.” No shit. “Pastor Garfield assured me you can help them at church. Nothing too big. Also, we need to get ready in case the family decides to send inspectors or even a detective to follow your steps. They are like sharks smelling fresh blood.”

“More like vultures.” I let out a humorless laugh.

That’s the truth. They are ready to pocket hundreds of millions of dollars, no matter whether Johan left reasonable provisions for them or the fact they were never there for him. Ever. He never mattered as a person. For them, he was the cashing machine. I’m sure they are using the money from the inheritance to fight against me. Dickheads.

I open my laptop and type a message for my PA. Asking her to clear my schedule for the next six weeks and find me accommodations for the same time. An entire house would be amazing. I don’t like hotels that much and value my privacy too much to stay in a shared facility for more than a month. The only reason my current living quarters works is because it’s on the top floor with a private entrance. It’s like I’m on my own island.

This is insane, but I guess I’ll have to rely on my team and technology. My skin crawls with anxiety. God, I hate this feeling.

“I’ll email you the information,” Charles says, his tone full business now. “Also, I’m forwarding you the forms Pastor Garfield needs to complete for the court and our records.”

After finishing the call, I walk to my nightstand. The daylight is filling my room now, and I look around the big space. My sheets are wrinkled and tossed to the side. I want to go back there and close my eyes. I need to go back to that night, even for a moment, to the last time I felt complete. A whole man.

The last moment where my problems were smaller than me. The last moment when I didn’t envy any other person in the world. But no matter how many times I’ve tried to conjure her, she’s still just a ghost lurking in my mind. I look inside my nightstand drawer for the scrap of lace and then in my wallet for the old piece of paper. My fingers stroke over the delicate fabric while reading the note again:


Thank you for giving me more than I was looking for.


She was real, not just a mirage. One day I’ll find her again, and this time I’ll make sure she won’t run from my grasp.


Chapter Two



I spent the entire afternoon in a virtual meeting with my assistant, organizing my schedule for the upcoming weeks, instructing her about the steps to follow at the construction site, and the acquisition of a lot in Santa Clarita for an industrial park a client commissioned for us to build.

Marissa found a cottage in the middle of an orange grove for me to rent. The place is old, and I’m sure it will smell like mothballs, but I don’t give a fuck. I’ll be spending most of the time working anyway.

Pastor Garfield is expecting me to arrive after his Sunday service. It starts at noon, and lasts for an hour or so. At eight, I’m on my way already, hitting the road before the traffic starts to jam the freeway. My plan is to check in to my new lodgings and then head to meet pastor Garfield.

I’m not much of a churchgoer or a believer, for that matter, but my parent raised us Catholic and made us wear our best for Sunday mass, so I’m wearing navy chinos and a long sleeve white button-down shirt.

After taking a sip of my coffee, I deposit it back into the cupholder with my left hand over the steering wheel. The permanently curved fingers are a gift from my father. He inherited the trait from his father. None of my four siblings share it with me. I’m the lucky one.

When I was a kid, my mother used to say it was a special signal for the woman I’m destined to love so she’d know me anywhere. Just like she knew with my dad. Thinking of her makes my chest ache with longing. I miss her so much. She passed away unexpectedly almost six years ago. A silent illness took her away from our family. She has been sorely missed since. My father hasn’t yet recuperated from the blow. He’s still living in the same house. Nothing has changed. Mementos of her around him. My father always says she was the love of his life and honors those words every day.

I’m not close with my siblings, but my father keeps me informed about their lives when I call or when he flies to LA to visit. We were born and raised in a small town in the northern part of the state, in a mango orchard. None of my three brothers nor me showed any interest in farming. Surprisingly, my sister Elena was the only one who wanted to remain there and take care of the business.

Thanks to an accident and California traffic madness, I arrive at Warmer Springs with a few minutes to spare before the service ends. I park my Range Rover in the farthest spot and hop out, surveying the surroundings.

For the construction, a tall iron fence was erected to secure the perimeter, nearby is the motorhome where the pastor said he’s living. At the new sanctuary, the walls are up, and the roof’s plywood sheathing has been laid. The crew is following the specifications, and the building will be as fire-resistant as possible. We are using steel instead of wood rods to build the walls and installing a new brand of drywall made of glass fiber that’s more durable and easier to install.

Due to the church’s food distribution program, we are also building a special feature—I designed it myself—that looks like an open drive-through. That way, the volunteers have space to interact with the families who come to collect the groceries and quickly access them from the storage facilities. At the other end of the structure is a huge storage room with a built-in temperature-controlled feature and a driveway for the trucks to deliver every week.

I’m so damn proud of the work we are doing here. They are impacting a lot of people right now. With this project, they will be able to help even more.

Full of satisfaction, I keep walking toward the temporary tent where they are finishing singing an unfamiliar song. The parishioners stand with raised hands. I’m too distracted looking at the preparations for the landscaping and where the playground will be located to notice a small figure running to me with his arms waving in the air.

The little boy crashes into me, his little hands landing on my hips.

“Hey,” I grab his shoulders to stabilize him. “Are you okay?”

The kid looks a bit shaken and agitated.

“Oops,” he whispers with a frown, looking at my pants with his big dark eyes full of worry.

Shit. His hands weren’t clean, were they? I look down. Nope. They were full of lime green paint and are now stamped like billboards around my crotch.

Fucking fantastic.

Any man loves to boast about the family jewels, but this isn’t the moment or the place. Let alone in front of a preschooler. I’m about to ask him where we can find his parents to get this straight when a voice yells my name. “Davi!”

Pastor Garfield.

The kid turns on his heels, straightening his back stiff as a rod. I frown.

“Oh, Mr. Posada,” Marcus Garfield says as he notices my presence, offering me an open hand. “Welcome to Warmer Springs.”

People start to walk around us, headed for their cars. Pastor Garfield waves at them but says nothing else. It’s like all of them know why I’m here.

“Thank you,” I reply. “I’m very impressed with what I see.”

“I’m happy to hear that.” The man smiles and gives me a slap on the shoulder, inviting me to stand beside him to look at the construction site on the other side of the gravel pathway. “It’s your money making a miracle around here, Mr. Posada. We are very grateful for your help.”

“It’s David,” I tell him. “I’m also thankful for the spot you opened for me here.”

“Please call me Marcus. Life is a circle, after all, David,” he muses, looking at me directly with pale green eyes. “And talking about David, I see you met my grandson already.”

His grandson? The pastor is a tall skinny guy with a head covered with thinning pale-yellow hair and green eyes.

“It was his fault.” The little boy’s bottom lip quivers as he looks up at his grandfather with misty eyes. “He was in the middle, Grandpa. I no have time to stop.”

“What are you saying?” Marcus tips his head down to look at the boy’s face.

“This,” I reply to him, pointing at my stained navy pants.

“Oh, my…” the man whispers, then throws a string of words to his grandson before returning his attention to me. “I’m so sorry. We’ll take care of the drycleaning bill, of course. Davi, why aren’t you with your Sunday school class? What did I say about running around without Mommy or me? Did you say sorry to Mr. Posada?”

“I sorry,” the little boy—Davi—says ruefully. “But Grandpa, I a dinosaur. And we like to run and….”

“Davi, Mr. Posada’s company is helping us to rebuild the church. This is the welcome we are offering to him for doing that, ruining his clothes? We know better, right?”

“Yes, Grandpa.”

The man’s gaze changes and soon, he’s smiling at his grandson with eyes full of love.

I squat in front of Davi. There is something about him, something I can’t place or name. His little face is a bit wrinkled with worry.

“Hi, Davi,” I say. “I’m David. I’ll be working around here.”

“We have same name!” The boy’s eyes widen…

“Oh yeah?”

“Yeah.” He nods. “And my Daddy, too, but he’s not here.”

“Nice to meet you, Davi.” I offer him my hand to give him a formal shake, caring very little about the paint. The damage is done anyway. “There are dinosaurs around?”

Davi’s gaze holds mine. Dark eyes. I’m sure I’ve seen the same shade before even if I can’t say where. My heart pounds faster.

What’s happening here?

“Yes,” he replies with a little smile. “Tons.”

I open my eyes, faking shock. “We are in danger then. Should I also build a cage for them and keep us safe?”

This time Davi smiles broadly. Two dimples appear on his checks. His eyes sparkling with joy… and relief. “Oh no. They were born to be wild.”

A smile pulls my lips up. I can’t help it. “And to have us for dinner?”

“No. Nice dinosaurs,” the boy explains very seriously. “They eat veggies like my cousin Chloe.”

I haven’t been around many kids, but this boy is adorable.

“You eat all your veggies, too?”

He wrinkles his nose. “Mmmm… just if Mommy serves them with ketchup.”

“Can I tell you a secret,” I lean in a little, and Davi does the same. He looks clearly excited about this. “I don’t like veggies that much either. But my mother taught me we need to eat them to grow up tall and strong. I’m sure if you listen to your Mommy, you will be tall as a tree one day.”

“Taller than you?” he asks with a voice full of hope.

“Taller than me,” I assure him, then stand, taking out the linen handkerchief from the back pocket of my pants and give Marcus a quick glance. He gives me a nod with his wistful glance fixed on us. “But first, let’s start cleaning those hands of yours. We don’t want more accidents, right?”

“No more accidents,” he struggles to say the word as he offers me his little hands to clean.

As I wipe them, I notice something peculiar. “Can you stretch your hand for me, Davi?”


“Are you hurt?” Maybe the kid fell while running.

“Davi was born with a condition. The ligament is too short for him to have full movement, but it isn’t painful. There is no need to worry.”

This is so freaking weird. How many people in the world were born with the same condition? A voice inside of me screams that something is wrong. It’s like I’ve entered an unknown dimension.

“It not the hand I use to hold my pencils,” the little boy cuts into my train of thoughts. “The other is fine.”

Davi extends his right hand with open fingers for me to examine. I take it and give it a look, but my mind is reeling. It’s been years since the last time I drank alcohol, but I’m feeling inebriated. Inebriated and fucked in the head.

“Davi, your hands are like your mother’s?”

“Oh no,” he says, then adds: “Mommy’s hands are fine. And she likes her nails black.”

Black nails… forget it, Posada, that means nothing. The kid’s name means nothing. Shit. I can’t breathe.

“My daughter is a single mother, David.” I hear Marcus’s voice above the cloud of confusion over my head. A single mother. “The doctor said it could be hereditary or part of the birth’s complications. Davi was a preemie. We just don’t know.”

I lift my left hand for Marcus to see it, my own finger curled over my open palm. The man’s eyes open in shock, but he offers nothing.

“What’s your mother’s name, Davi?” I need a clue. Another fucking piece of this impossible puzzle.

“Melanie.” Again, those dimples greet me as I inspect each feature with more attention. I know where I’ve seen that face before in a thousand pictures at my parent’s home and in the mirror every day.

I rack my head, looking in a maze of recollections for any direction. Melanie… I can’t remember that name. But my memories are clear. The only woman I slept with in those months was her…

Ella. My personal ghost.

I look at the boy in front of me again. Unruly black hair, falling over his forehead. Dark brows knitted together as if he knows something is happening here. Something important.

“Hey, Davi, where is your Daddy?” Important question, and the answer is very much needed.

“Don’t know,” he replies with a shrug. “He’s busy. I never meet him.”

I finish cleaning his hands and then do the same with mine. I stand in front of Marcus, ready to fire questions at him. Starting with where his daughter is now. I need to see her.

The man looks as shaken as me. I know what’s happening in his mind because the same questions are swirling around mine.

Of all the towns in this country, I had to end in this exact place….

“Hey, Dad!” A female voice calls out, and I turn to see who’s talking. “I know you’re busy, but the insurance company guy is here looking for you and…”

The same jade green eyes that have been tormenting my dreams for the last four years are looking at me open like saucers.

“Oh shit,” I hear, but I’m unsure if the words came from my mouth or hers.

Oh, shit, indeed.

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