Something About Lorelei (17 page)

BOOK: Something About Lorelei
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Chapter Thirty-Five

Jack

I looked at my watch. It was almost twelve thirty.
Shit
. I grabbed my briefcase and just caught the elevator going down before the doors closed. Running through the lobby and out the building doors, I slid into the back of the limo and told Tony to step on it. There was no way I could be late for Hope’s spelling bee competition. I arrived at approximately twelve fifty five and there were only seats left in the very back row. I scanned the people sitting in their seats, looking for someone who might be nice enough to give up theirs and move to the back. Walking down the aisle, my eyes diverted to the second row where a young man was sitting.

“Excuse me, sir.”

“Yes.” He looked up at me through his brown-rimmed glasses.

I reached into my pocket and pulled out a hundred-dollar bill.

“If you let me have your seat, this is yours.” I flashed the bill at him. “There are plenty of seats in the back.”

“It’s all yours.” He grinned as he got up from his chair and I handed him the money.

“Thank you.” I nodded and took my seat just as the ten students walked out on stage.

I pulled my phone from my pocket and set it to video so I could record this for Lorelei. Hope saw me sitting in the second row and smiled as she excitedly waved to me.

One child down.

Two children down.

Three children down.

Four children down.

Five children down.

Six children down.

Seven children down.

This was utterly nerve wracking. Hope was one of the last three students standing.

Eight children down.

It was Hope’s turn and the word she was given was one she struggled with last night. I clenched my fist and brought it up to my lips. She looked frightened and unsure and I was terrified she’d get it wrong. I was holding my breath and my phone up. She spelled the word correctly and I let out a sigh of relief. This round went on for another fifteen minutes until the other kid messed up on a word and Hope spelled it correctly. There was silence in the room until I stood up and yelled, “YES!” Everyone clapped as they announced Hope as the winner and placed a gold medal around her neck. I don’t think I had ever been more proud of anyone in my life as I was of Hope.

“You did it!” I bent down and held out my arms.

“I know! I can’t believe I won.” She wrapped her small arms around my neck.

“Your mom is going to be so proud of you.” I kissed her head.

“Mr. Sutton?”

“Yes, Hope.”

“Can we go see her now?”

“We sure can, but one thing first. I want you to call me Jack. No more Mr. Sutton.”

“Okay, Jack.” She smiled.

****

Later that night after I tucked Hope into bed, I took
Charlotte’s Web
from the nightstand and opened to the page where I had left off. I had reached the part where Charlotte was dying and I won’t lie and say I didn’t get choked up. Looking over at Hope, I saw that tears were streaming down her face as I read.

“Why did she have to die?” She sniffled.

I didn’t know what to say to her, but I was just as broken up as she was.

“Let’s continue the book and see how it ends,” I spoke as I wiped the tears from her face.

“So Wilbur took care of Charlotte’s children and became friends with them. Kind of like you, Jack.”

I closed the book and looked at her. “Yeah, I guess so.” I smiled.

I turned off the light and headed to my bedroom. Climbing into bed, I took my phone and dialed Lorelei.

“Hello,” she answered in a low voice.

“Hey. How are you feeling?”

“I’m feeling a little better. The doctor was in here earlier and said I can go home in a couple of days.”

“That’s great news. I’m sure you’re anxious to get out of there.”

“I am. I just want to go home. I miss my bed and my daughter.”

“I know you do. Hey, listen, I was thinking that I would stick around for a while tomorrow after I drop Hope off at school.”

“You don’t have to, Jack. I know you’re a busy man.”

“I know I don’t have to. I want to. And as for the office, the work can wait. I’ll let you go so you can get your rest. You sound tired.”

“Good night, Jack.”

“Good night, Lorelei.”

I set my phone down and sighed. I missed her and I couldn’t wait to spend time with her tomorrow, even if it was in a hospital.

Chapter Thirty-Six

Lorelei

Jack walked in and I smiled when I saw the Starbucks cup in his hand.

“I thought you could use some real coffee.” He smiled as he handed me the cup.

“You are the best. Thank you,” I spoke as I brought the cup up to my lips. “How’s Hope?”

“She’s good. We finished reading
Charlotte’s Web
last night.”

I cocked my head as I stared into his eyes.

“You read
Charlotte’s Web
to her?”

“Yeah. She asked me to read to her while she fell asleep. Did you want me to tell her no?”

“Of course not.” I laughed.

“Have you read that book before?” he asked with seriousness.

“Yes. I read it all the time when I was a kid.”

“That’s quite a tearjerker. I was choked up, Hope was crying. It was a sad night last night.”

“You, Mr. Jack Sutton, got choked up over
Charlotte’s Web
.”

“Yes, I did. When Charlotte died, it was a little too much for me to handle. Wilbur losing his best friend like that and all. Such a shame. She was a great spider.”

“She was wasn’t she?” I tilted my head at him, trying to hold back the laughter.

“Are you making fun of me, Lorelei?”

“No.” I snorted.

As we were both laughing, the doctor walked in. “Good news, Lorelei. I’m sending you home today.”

“Really?” I smiled.

“Yes. Really. Your chest x-ray came back good and your blood work is good. Your fever is gone and you can finish getting better at home but with restrictions. No going out anywhere. That includes work. I’m writing you a note for the rest of the week. You may return on Monday if you’re feeling better.”

“You won’t have to write a note, doctor. This is my boss right here.”

“Ah. Well, Lorelei is to be off the rest of the week.”

“I wouldn’t let her back anyway until she was one hundred percent better.”

“I’ll go get your discharge papers ready.”

When he walked out of the room, I did a little wiggle in my bed. “I can’t believe I get to go home.”

“It’s a good thing I stayed here with you today.”

“I can’t wait to be at home with Hope. I miss her so much.”

“She misses you too.”

An hour later, I was discharged from the hospital. The first thing I did was change into my warm two-piece cotton pajamas and curled up in a blanket on the couch.

“Can I make you anything? Coffee? Tea? Do you even drink tea?” Jack asked.

“I do drink tea and I would love some chamomile. The tea bags are in the cabinet above the stove.”

“Have you heard from your parents?” he asked as he reached up and took down the box of tea.

“My mom sent me a text message saying they’re having a blast, but they miss me and Hope. I didn’t text her back because of the charges and because I didn’t want them to worry.”

“Good idea. What about Stella?”

“I was going to tell her about my illness yesterday, but she sent me a text message saying that Sebastian’s father passed away and they had so much funeral planning to do that she’d talk to me when she got the chance.”

Snuggled up on the couch, I watched as Jack stood in my kitchen and put the tea kettle on the stove. The fact that he took care of Hope, read to her at night, went to her spelling bee so someone would be there for her, overwhelmed me. This wasn’t the man I worked for. This wasn’t the man that I slept with and then was told that it was a mistake and to forget about it and move on. He was different on so many levels that it sort of worried me.

“Here’s your tea.” Jack smiled as he handed me the cup. “Are you hungry?”

“No. Not really.”

He walked back into the kitchen and opened the refrigerator and then looked inside the cabinets.

“What are you doing?” I asked.

“You don’t have any food. When was the last time you went shopping?”

“I was going to go this past weekend, but then I felt so lousy that I didn’t have a chance.”

“Then I guess a trip back to the grocery store is in order. After I pick up Hope from school, we’ll go and bring some groceries back.”

“You don’t have to do that, Jack. You’ve done enough already.”

“You need food, Lorelei. Especially for Hope. It’s not a big deal. Why don’t you make me a list of the things you want?”

“Fine. There’s paper and a pen in the drawer over there.”  I pointed.

He walked over to the table and pulled out a piece of paper and a pen and handed it to me. As soon as I wrote down a few things, I handed it back to him.

“That should be good. Let Hope pick out a few things she wants. Can you hand me my purse please? I’ll give you some money.”

He put his hand up. “You aren’t giving me money. I can buy your groceries.”

“No, Jack.”

“End of discussion, Lorelei. Now I’m going to go and collect Hope’s things from my place so when I pick her up, we can just go to the store and head back here. Do you need anything before I leave?”

“No. I’ve got my tea, so I’m good.” I gave a small smile.

As soon as he left, I got up and grabbed my sketchbook to finish working on the two-piece outfit I had started in the hospital. Suddenly, the door opened and Jack walked back inside.

“Did you forget something?” I asked.

“No. I want to run an idea by you.”

“Okay.”

“I think you should pack a bag and come stay at my penthouse. At least until Sunday.”

“Why?” I frowned.

“Because you can’t take Hope to and from school. She’s going to need help in the mornings, especially with breakfast and at night with dinner. You’re still recovering, so it would just be easier to stay at my place. That way, I can still take her to school in the morning and pick her up. Breakfast, lunch, and dinner would be covered, so you wouldn’t have to worry about that.”

I sighed. As much as it all made sense, I wasn’t so sure.

“I don’t know, Jack. This is our home and I’m comfortable here.”

“And you’ll be comfortable at my house. I’ll make sure of it. Things would just be easier. Plus I have a lot of food.” He smiled.

“Do you have any tea?” I narrowed my eye at him.

He walked to the kitchen and grabbed the three boxes I had sitting in the cabinet.

“I do now.” He winked.

The fact of the matter was I really didn’t have a choice. I couldn’t get Hope to school in the mornings and I couldn’t pick her up. With Stella and my parents being out of town, Jack was my only option at the moment and he knew it.

“Fine. I’ll go pack a bag.”

“Do you need any help?” he asked.

“No. I can do it myself.” I got up from the couch and stumbled to the bedroom.

Chapter Thirty-Seven

Jack

When we reached my penthouse, I showed Lorelei to the other guest room upstairs.

“Here’s your room.” I set her bag down on the bed. “Hope’s is right across the hall. Make yourself comfortable.”

“Thanks, Jack.” She gave me a small smile.

Looking at my watch, I noticed it was almost time to pick up Hope.

“Hope will be out of school soon, so I’m going to head out now.”

“Okay. I can’t wait to see her.”

“We’ll be back soon.”

I walked down to the limo and climbed in.

“Good job getting Lorelei to stay with you,” Tony spoke.

“It was the easiest way. She’s in no condition to take care of Hope on her own right now.”

I stood outside the front doors of the school and Hope walked out with a smile on her face. A smile that made me smile.

“How was school today?” I patted her head and took her backpack from her.

“Good. Are we going to visit my mom now?” she asked.

“Yes. But we’re not going to the hospital,” I replied as I slid in next to her in the back seat.

“Where are we going?” She looked up at me with her blue eyes.

“Your mom got out of the hospital today and she’s staying with us at my house until she’s fully recovered and she can take care of you on her own.”

Her eyes widened. “She’s home?”

“Yes, and she can’t wait to see you.”

“So I’ll be staying with you and her until she’s better?”

“Yes, Hope.”

She reached over and threw her arms around my neck.

“That’s the best news ever!” she exclaimed.

When we stepped out of the elevator, Hope ran into the living room and found Lorelei sitting on the couch with her sketchbook.

“Mommy!” she yelled as she ran to her and hugged her tightly.

“Hey, baby. How was school today?”

“It was good. How are you feeling?”

“I’m feeling better, sweetie. I missed you so much and so did Luna.”

“I missed you too. I’m so happy you’re out of the hospital.” She climbed onto her lap.

My phone rang, and when I looked at it, I saw that Coco was calling. I excused myself and went into my office.

“Hello.”

“Hey. My trip got cut short, so I’m on the next flight out. How’s everything going?”

“Fine. Lorelei got out of the hospital today and she’s staying with me for a few days until she’s fully recovered.”

“Who are you and where’s my brother?” She laughed.

“Very funny. We need to talk tomorrow, so come straight to my office. No, in fact, come straight to my penthouse in the morning. I don’t want anyone in the office to overhear us.”

“You’re scaring me, Jack. What’s going on? Does this have anything to do with Bradley?”

“Yes. We’ll talk about it tomorrow.”

“Okay. I’ll be there.”

I walked into the living room and took a seat next to Hope and Lorelei on the couch.

“What does everyone want for dinner?”

Lorelei arched her brow at me. “Are you cooking?”

I shrugged. “I can maybe cook something. I make a mean hot dog and macaroni and cheese.” I grinned.

“He does,” Hope spoke.

“But, how about we order something in? Maybe a pizza, Thai, Chinese, Italian, Mexican. You name it.”

“I want tacos!” Hope expressed.

“Tacos sound good, Miss Hope. What do you think, Lorelei?”

“Tacos it is.”

“Are you hungry now or should we wait a while?” I asked them.

“We can eat later. I’m going to get a snack and then do my homework now so we can watch a movie later. Just the three of us.” Hope smiled.

“And what movie would that be?” I asked.


Cinderella
.”

I raised my brow. “Haven’t you seen that like a billion times?”

“Yes.” She giggled. “But I love it and you never watched it, have you?”

“No. I haven’t.”

“Good. Then we can all watch it together later.” She took Luna and walked away.

I followed her into the kitchen and cut her up an apple. I placed the slices on a plate with some peanut butter as she sat down at the table and started her homework. I took another plate of apples and handed it to Lorelei.

“Apples?” I asked.

She smiled as she took one from the plate and bit into it.

After dinner, Hope changed into her pajamas and summoned me to sit down to watch
Cinderella
.

“You can sit next to me, Jack.” She smiled as she patted the couch.

Lorelei fell asleep more than halfway through the movie. I wish I could have done the same thing.

“Isn’t Prince Charming the best?” Hope asked as she looked at me.

“He’s not all that.” I grinned.

She giggled. “Yes he is. He never gave up finding Cinderella, his true love. Then he made her his princess. That’s why he’s the best.”

“Do you have a crush on Prince Charming?” I asked.

“Maybe.” She giggled.

Just as the movie ended, Lorelei woke up. She looked like an angel while she slept and I couldn’t help but steal glances at her from time to time.

“Okay, kiddo. It’s time for bed. Go brush your teeth and I’ll be up there to tuck you in.”

“Okay, Jack, but I want my mom to tuck me in too.”

She went upstairs and I looked at Lorelei.

“You missed half the movie.”

“I’ve seen it a million times.” She smiled. “I can practically recite every line.”

“I bet you can.”

We both got up and went to tuck Hope in. When we reached her bedroom, she was already in bed. Lorelei pulled the covers over her and kissed her good night.

“Good night, kiddo.” I patted her head.

“Don’t forget to say good night to Luna.” She held her doll out to me.

“Good night, Luna.” I shook her small cloth arm.

Hope giggled as we turned off the light and stepped out of the room. I followed Lorelei into her room to make sure she settled in comfortably.

“Are you tucking me into bed, Jack?” She raised her brow.

“Do you want me to?” I smirked as I stood in front of her.

“I’m more than capable of tucking myself in.”

I ran my thumb across her cheek and stared into her tired eyes.

“Thank you for staying here. I know you wanted your own bed, but this way was easier for everyone.”

All I wanted to do was to climb into bed with her and hold her for the rest of the night. These emotions that consumed me were new and I wasn’t quite sure how to handle them.

“I’m sorry, Lorelei,” I whispered as I stroked her hair.

“For what?”

“Everything.” I leaned in closer and softly brushed my lips against hers.

She placed her hand on my chest and pulled away. “I’m tired, Jack. Good night.”

“Good night.”

I walked out of her room, frustrated as fuck, and went downstairs and poured myself a scotch.

BOOK: Something About Lorelei
3.01Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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