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I knock on the door and wait, much like I did the other day.

And just like before, I hear the loud shuffling from the other side, before the door opens to show me Danny, yet again with a bottle of alcohol. His distaste for me is clear, but he just turns his back and disappears around the corner, and I guess that’s my cue to go in.

My nose scrunches as I shut the door behind me. Stale cigarettes and an aroma of just… mustiness.

I walk around the corner where Danny disappeared, and I see him in the lounge, slouched on a chair, sipping the alcohol he had in his hand, and the TV quietly on in the background.

“Fuck you want now?” he says, but it lacks the usual anger that he fires my way. I move and stand in front of him, blocking the TV, and he rolls his eyes.

“Is this what you’re going to do with your life? Piss it all away just like your mother?” I say, because I have no idea how to get through to him anymore—and really, I never did, not once she got her claws back into him. I never wanted to use my child as bargaining chip, but fuck, the guilt I feel for letting it get like this is indescribable.

“Don’t speak about my mother,” he says quietly, like he’s intending on trying to frighten me, but really, seeing him like this is terrifying the life out of me.

“Fine, I didn’t come here to talk about her, anyway, but it’s like looking at a carbon copy of what she is.”

“Fuck off.”

I roll my eyes because it seems all he wants to do is swear at me and drink his life away.

“Danny, please, listen to me,” I plead as I crouch down in front of him, my desperation to help my boy taking over.

“Yeah, right,” he says with a scoff.

“Why won’t you listen when I tell you that I care?” I ask.

“Because you don’t. All you’re doing is trying to… I don’t fucking know… ease whatever guilt you’re feeling for abandoning me?”

“Christ, Danny, how many times? I did not abandon you. Your mother has done a stellar job of warping your mind.”

“Again, don’t talk about her like that,” he grits out.

“Well what do you expect me to do, huh? You won’t listen, you think she’s some kind of ray of sunlight sent from above, and for some reason, you choose to ignore that she’s a drunk with a gambling problem.”

“Stop it.”

“No, I will not stop it because I will not see you in the gutter with her,” I say loudly, my desperation and frustration at the whole situation taking over.

“It’s nothing to do with Mum,” he shouts. “It’s fucking Cameron.”

Floored. Fucking floored. “What? What are you talking about?”

“She doesn’t want me.”

“So?” I say incredulously. I mean, I get it, she’s amazing, and I’m desperately trying to push the guilt down that I feel rear its head, but still… they can’t have had anything like what I have with her… could they?

“I love her, and she doesn’t want me. For fuck’s sake, she was my first.”

“Look, son, first girlfriends are hard to get over—”

“No, she was my first first…” he says, and I pause for a second. Shit, can this get anymore fucking complex?

“Danny, you can’t seriously be blaming this behaviour on her?” I say, and it’s like I’ve unleashed a monster as he surges forward and pushes me. I land on my arse, unprepared to be shoved, and I feel his fist connect with my cheek. Fuck. I quickly get my bearings and push him off of me, before I restrain him with his hands behind his back.

“You want her, do you? Is that why she’s working with you?” he shouts, and my heart is practically beating out of my fucking chest. He’s smack bang on the money, but now is not the time to have a revelation about it.

“You need to calm down,” I say gently, as he tries to wriggle out of my grip.

Tags: Lindsey Powell Romance