Authors: Mary Smith
Copyright 2016 © Gone Writing Publishing
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PUBLISHER: Gone Writing Publishing
Thank you for making me laugh as I write these dark topics.
Table of Contents
Coach: Taden Long
15 – Hamilton Baer*
56 – Alden Brockman
11 – Ladd Hanes
28 – Edgar Hopp
81 – Zerrick Justice
88 – Finlay Mackey
67 – Gage McLoyd
16 – Vance Pemberton
53 – Jarvis Richter
72 – Remington Rosin
65 – Kyson Wick
86 – Bas Zorn
6 – Cable Dirks
4 – Keaton Jaco
32 – Walker Lange
2 – Dag Limon
5 – Ivan Rodin
7 – O’Dell Tillman
57 – Shade Wooten
50 – Teo Elgin
* - means Captain
I hate Spanx more than anything, but I have to wear them to make this black sweater dress fit. I scratch the outside of my thighs because the wool leggings are killing me.
I knock on Remington’s Rosin’s door and pray this isn’t some sort of prank or evil doing.
No, it won’t be.
Remington doesn’t seem to have what I call asshole DNA. He first came to me around New Year’s, while I’d been working on his finances, and asked me out. He and I sat for many hours figuring out his money and got to know each other.
“Maxima.” His smile shines bright. “I’m really glad you’re here.” He steps to the right, allowing me to walk into his home. His very big home.
“Wow, you have a nice place.” I look around the large foyer and living area.
“Thanks.” He places his hand on the small of my back. “I have everything set up for us over here.”
He guides me into the dining room. “You didn’t have to go all out, Remington.” He has candlesticks and fine china along with a massive meal.
“Please don’t be too impressed. The food is catered and the place settings are rented.” He holds out my chair. “If I actually made this meal, we’d be having chicken wings or pizza on paper plates.”
I gracefully sit down and smile up at him. “You could have done that; I’m not picky.”
“Nah,” he waves his hand. “This is much more appropriate for you.”
My cheeks flare at his kind words. I’m not used to hearing such things about me. I’ve been overweight most of my life and recently struggled to go from a size twenty-four to a fourteen. I don’t turn a lot of heads.
“Wine?” Remington picks up the bottle.
“Please,” I answer. As he pours, I say. “Thanks for inviting me over. This is quiet nice of you.”
“Um…” He hands me the filled wine glass and takes a seat next to me. “I have an underlying reason as well.”
“Oh.” My heart sinks. “What is it?” Does he assume he gets to have sex with me? No, it can’t be about sex. Fat girls don’t have sex with men like him, and I
have sex with him.
“I need a favor, and it’ll be the biggest favor I’ll ever ask of anyone.” He sounds scared.
“What is it?” I ask again. My hands begin to tremble and I place them in my lap. This can’t be good in any shape, form, or fashion.
“I never told you, but I have a daughter. She’s eight and the light of my life. Her name is Arabella Grace.”
“Oh.” It’s nice to hear someone say their daughter, their child, is the number one priority in life. “You shouldn’t be nervous about telling me about her.”
“No. I mean, I’m not nervous talking about my daughter. However, let me tell you about her mother. Normally, I don’t talk bad about people, but being with Rickie and marrying her was the worst mistake of my life. Arabella is my greatest gift. However, Rickie has really gone off the deep end, and Arabella is suffering.”
I lean back in my chair. My heart already goes out to the little girl. I know how she feels, even without fully knowing her. But I can feel there’s more to this.
“Anyway, I want to take Arabella away from Rickie, and I’m having trouble.”
“How so?” I tilt my head.
“I’m a single man whose career has him on the road more than at home.” He takes a deep breath. “I need to show the judge, the court, I can give Arabella a safe, stable, and nurturing home.”
My heart stops, thinking of a million scenarios in my head. “Remington, could you please get to the point?” My head might explode if he keeps going around and around.
“I need a fiancée.”
My mouth drops. “What?”
“I’m asking you to move in here, pretend to be my fiancée, and help me raise my daughter until I can get full custody.”
He’s staring at me; the seriousness and urgency are rolling off him. I have no words. If someone were to ask me my name right now, I couldn’t answer them.
“I know I’m asking the biggest favor anyone could ask. There’s no amount of money I could ever repay you for this.”
I stand quickly, almost tipping the chair over. I have to pace and begin walking around the room. Pacing helps me think. The motion lets me feel like I’m doing something, and it calms my racing thoughts.
I know Remington is a good guy. If he says his ex-wife is bad, then she is. But, I would be lying to a judge about Remington and I being a real couple. Everyone knows I’m the world’s worst liar.
“Describe your daughter to me.” I continue walking around the room. I hope talking can help me calm down as well.
“Arabella is great. She loves books and reads all the time. When she isn’t reading, she loves to color and play with her American Dolls.”
I rub my temples. I do my best to keep my mind in the present and not think about
childhood. This isn’t the time. But, I can’t let a great man lose his daughter. Moreover, I can’t let an innocent daughter miss out on a happy childhood when she has a parent who loves and adores her. The pain in his eyes says it all.
“When do you need an answer?” I stop and study his face once more.
“I’m not sure, Remington.” I sit back down in the chair.
“I know this is something you can’t just decide in a split second.”
“I’d have to move in here?” It’s a question I already know the answer to.
“Yes. Arabella would have a stable, secure home.” He sips his wine, and I can see his hands are shaking. This is a strong, determined hockey player. The best in the league, but right now, he’s a father pleading for help.
So, many questions flood my mind. “I can’t…I can’t think.”
“Do you want to leave?”
“I need fresh air.” I walk out to the front porch, letting the cool air calm me down.
My mind flashes to
both so much. All the horrid memories came rushing back, but is this Rickie as bad as mine? Is she worse? Flashes of
did to me fill my head. I can only hope it’s not something she’s going through.
I turn, and Remington is standing by the door, hands deep in his pockets, looking extremely nervous. “I need to think,” I tell him again.
“If you say no, I’ll understand.” His voice is low, sincere.
“Give me time.” I rush out the words without thinking. “I’d need to meet your daughter too.”
Remington seems to perk up a bit. “She’ll be here in April.”
I nod. “I have to go.” I bolt back into the house, grab my purse, and without another word, head to my car. I leave him on the porch.
“Today is the big day.”
I nod at my therapist, Caryn Hammons.
I’ve been coming to her for almost two years now. Even though she’s young, she has a bright mind and gives me the best feedback. It took me a long to find someone whom I could trust with my secrets.
“I meet her in an hour. Well, when I leave here.” I rub my hands together. “I’m nervous.”
“I believe I would be too.” Caryn smiles. “Have you thought anymore of his proposal?”
“Every single day.” I sigh. “But I have no answer yet.”
“You’re a smart woman. You will choose what is best for you.”
God, I hope she’s right.
My hands are shaking as I pull in his driveway. Being around kids has never been an issue for me. I think kids are great, but I’m not generally around any. Most of the time, I like being alone.
I ease out of the car and walk up to the door. I take a deep breath and knock, nervous even though Remington and I have spent time together since his request. He quickly answers the door and smiles. He’s really is sexy. His black hair is short but thick, and his dark brown eyes seem to look right into my soul. We have talked a few time since I left here on Valentine’s Day, but I’ve kept the conversations about hockey, work, and the weather. All of which were safe topics in my mind.
“Hi.” I rush out first.
“Hi.” He exhales softly. “Come in. She’s in the kitchen.”
He leads the way, and I try to calm myself down before reaching her. She’s the first thing I lay my eyes on. She has Remington’s black hair and dark brown eyes. Her face is more round than his heart-shaped one.
“Arabella, this is Maxima. I told you she’s my friend who wants to meet you.”
The little girl hops down from her chair and comes right up to me, sticking out her hand. “Hi, I’m Arabella Grace Rosin.” Her smile is so bright it makes me smile as well.
“Hello.” I take her hand, kneeling down to her eye level. “I’m Maxima Keck.”
“I’m coloring,” she blurts out. “Do you want to color?”
“I’d love to.”
Arabella tugs my hand toward the table. She and I color in her Disney Princesses book. She’s talking non-stop about the drive from Liberty, Maine to here. I never thought a car ride could be so much fun, but apparently Arabella had a blast with Remington.
We had a lunch of grilled ham and cheese sandwiches and big glasses of chocolate milk. Arabella has moved the conversation to school and her friends. She still has said nothing of her mother.
After we finish with lunch, she and I play with all her dolls in her room. Remington went all out on her room. Its bright pink and purple with a huge canopy bed and every toy a girl could dream of. I’m having a lot of fun with her, and her energy is contagious. Before I know it, Remington is coming in and asking about dinner.
“Dad, can we have chicken wings?” Arabella jumps up and down.
“May we,” he corrects her with a smile. “And have you asked Max if she likes chicken wings?”
Arabella rushes back to my side. “Max, you have to try Dad’s wings. They’re the best ever.”
I giggle. “Okay, I’ll have wings with you.”
She claps her hands and runs back over to her dad, hugging his waist.
“All right, clean up in here. Max and I need to talk for a moment.” Remington looks over at me. I stand and follow him downstairs to the kitchen.