Put Out (Kilgore Fire Book 5)By: Lani Lynn Vale
This book is dedicated to my dad. The man that was my best friend until he and my mom divorced. The man that I had to work my ass off to have a relationship with. The man that, after having a new child, forgot he had two others.
I just want you to know that my kids will never have that happen to them. Their daddy loves them so much that they’ll never need you. He’s everything to them, and although it pains me that you’re not there for them, I know that they won’t go one single day without knowing that they are loved by every single person that counts.
Golden Czermak aka Furiousfotog—I love you. (Not in a weird way) I love your work. You never fail to provide me the most scrumptious eyecandy there is, and I can’t thank you enough for doing that.
Matthew Hosea—ever since I first saw you, I knew you’d be perfect on one of my novels. I’m so thankful that I could finally find a character that fit you.
You’re making it difficult to be the parent I always imagined I would be.
-Angie’s secret thoughts
15 years old
“Do you see him yet?” I asked my little sister.
My little sister stretched to the tops of her toes then shook her head. “No.”
“Mom,” I said. “Do you see him yet?”
Mom, although I knew she’d rather be anywhere but here, shook her head.
My parents had divorced only a few short months ago, and not by my mother’s choice.
With their divorce came a financial strain that left my mom unable to go a day without working, less we lose the roof over our heads. Especially now that my father wasn’t helping pay for it.
“No.” She looked around.
I felt for my mom. I really did.
“You don’t have to stand with us. You can go to the car,” I tried again.
My mother looked down at me like I’d grown a second head.
“I’m not leaving you in the same vicinity with that woman,” my mother said. “But nice try.”
I looked over at ‘that woman’ and cringed.
‘That woman’ was my father’s new wife, the woman he cheated on my mother with. The one who had two kids the same age as my sister’s eight, and my fifteen.
“Why are they even here?” I asked, fisting my sign in my hands. “They don’t even know him all that well. They’ve seen him like twice.”
And it was true.
My father was in the military. He was deployed more than he was here, and I had no clue how those girls were ‘so in love with their daddy’ like their sign said since they’d only seen him twice. Once for a birthday party for the girl my age that my father had dragged me to, and once for the marriage of my father and that woman.
“Oh, there he is!” my sister cried, pointing in the direction of the runway.
We watched as his plane taxied, and then moved up until the walkway was in place.
We watched even more as my father started down the long walkway in our direction.
His eyes, though, weren’t on us.
They were on his new family.
Then, as if it were some cruel joke, my sister started running towards my father, not realizing what was going on…not realizing that my father’s eyes weren’t even on her.
God love my sister, but she was slow. Not slow as in mentally disabled; slow, as in she was slow to catch on. To realize what my mother and I already had.
Which I guessed we should be thankful for right then.
Had she been faster, I was sure that he would’ve pushed her down in order to get to the other little girl running toward him.
I watched in horror as my father swooped down and scooped that little girl up like he should’ve done to Ariel. Pulling the girl in his arms, he swung her in a circle as he lifted her high above his head, practically knocking Ariel down in the process as the little girl’s ridiculously high heeled shoes swung out behind her.
“Jesus,” my mother cried, running forward.
My mother swooped Ariel up into her arms, then started running toward me, staring over her shoulder at the man we all used to know.
“Let’s go,” my mother murmured, tears already tracking down her cheeks. “I can’t breathe here.”
I looked down at the sign that said, ‘Welcome home, Daddy. I missed you’ and hurried to catch up to her, my feet dragging slightly.