Finding Forever

By: Melody Anne

Whitney stared at the man for several more moments and decided that he seemed to be speaking the truth.

“Why would I want to take my niece and nephew to meet a man their father obviously didn’t want them to know?”

That seemed to throw this man off.

“I’m sure it’s nothing more than a family misunderstanding, one that can be worked out if we all meet in person,” Liam said after a brief silence.

“Where does your father live, anyway?” she asked as she pulled out a chair at the kitchen island and sat down.

Liam stood there stiffly. She didn’t offer him a seat. Hell, she didn’t want him staying long.

“He resides in New York state.”

“That’s all the way across the country, Mr. Felton.”

“It’s hardly across the planet, Ms. Steele — just a simple ride on a private jet.”

“Private jet? Are you kidding me?”

“My father would only provide the best and most comfortable method of travel for his grandchildren.”

“So, you are those kind of people,” she stated.

This again stopped the man for a moment. “What do you mean by that?”

“The type of people who buy others,” she said, feeling that she was perfectly clear.

“Are you calling me a snob without knowing anything about me?” he asked, taking a step closer to her.

She immediately wanted to step back, feeling suddenly nervous around this man. He wasn’t the type of person she normally spoke to, let alone had an intimate conversation with in her own kitchen which was less than the cleanest at the moment.

“You’re wearing what I’m sure is a suit that cost more than my car. I’m just calling it as I see fit.”

He smiled, but it wasn’t a smile that made it to his eyes. “Which means that I’m very certain of myself, and I always get what I want.”

Whitney was so stunned by his words, she didn’t know what to say. She was pretty sure she’d just been threatened, but he’d done it so smoothly, she wasn’t exactly certain of it. How did she reply to that? She wasn’t exactly sure.

She took a deep breath before speaking again.

“I’m sure you have good intentions, but seriously, there’s no way I’m taking these kids across the country to see some man they’ve never even heard of. For all I know it could be a trap.”

“I can assure you there is nothing underhanded going on. I have some information here on our family for you to peruse. It proves our relationship with Vincent. And, of course, you would be our guests and wouldn’t be forced to stay against your will.”

“I still don’t think we’re going to be taking any trips. Why doesn’t your father just come here himself if he’s so anxious to meet the children?”

“My father doesn’t travel much these days.”

“The children are in school, Mr. Felton. I can’t just uproot them,” she said with frustration. This man didn’t easily take no for an answer.

“We’ve already contacted the school, and we have private tutors on standby. The children could complete their lessons while visiting.”

“You contacted the school? That was a bit forward, don’t you think?” Whitney wanted to scream, but she somehow managed to keep her tone calm. How did this guy pull that off? Oh, of course. The school administrators took one look at that fancy suit and salivated. Potential donations.

“We didn’t want you to have any concerns about this visit of theirs. This is very important to us,” he said before leaning forward, his eyes intense. She suddenly found herself finding it difficult to breathe. “I will not return to New York without the children.”

“Well, I guess you’ll be moving to Oregon, then. I hope you’ll enjoy it here. It rains … a lot.” Whitney got up from her seat to get away from this man. She immediately began ushering him toward the front door.

“Ms. Steele, my father isn’t in good health, and this may very well be his last chance to see the children. Please don’t deny him this — not after he just learned of losing his son.”

Whitney wanted nothing more than to throw him out without another word, but that wasn’t who she was. This man had hit her where it hurt — in her kind heart.

“Okay, Mr. Felton. I’ll look over your documents. I promise you. But you can tell your father that I highly doubt we’ll ever meet.”

“Please, at least ask the children,” he said. “I understand you have guardianship over them, but we are their family as well.”

“I told you that I’ll think about it. If I feel that the children should hear about this, I’ll talk to them. They’ve been through a lot, though, and I don’t want to upset them any further. I can’t give you any more than that right now.”

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