By: Kathi S. Barton

“Mother,” he said with mock shame. “The things you think of me. And I know better than to try and have unprotected sex. You’ve told us often enough growing up what would happen if you found out. I, for one, want to keep all my appendages, thank you very much.”

She flushed slightly and Royce grinned. “I love you, son. But you do know that you irritate me to no end, correct?”

Laughing, he got up and grabbed his jacket. “Come on, beautiful. Lets you and I have lunch together. I want to run a few things by you.”

They were to the lobby when his cell phone went off. He pulled it out to see that it was from the hospital. Royce answered with a bit of concern.

“Mr. Hunter, it’s Abby from the hospital. Miss York is…she’s… Oh my, there is someone in the room with her and they are going at it loudly, sir. You told me to call when there—”

“I’m on my way. If whoever it is tries to leave before I get there, try to at least get their name. I should be there in about five minutes.” Royce turned to his mom. “I’m sorry, but we’ll have to do this some other time. I have to—”

“I’m going with you. And don’t even try to argue because you know it’ll do you little to no good and only make you later. Let’s go.”

Sighing heavily, knowing she was correct, he nodded and went to the doors to his car. The limo was just coming to a smooth stop as they stepped out into the warm sunshine.


“I said to get out of here. I don’t give a shit how you found out, just get the hell out of here.” Kasey pulled the pillow out from behind her head and threw it at the man in front of her. “Get out!”

“Now, Kasey, that ain’t no way to treat your daddy. I’ve been busy, is all. You know how it is trying to make a living. I was just wondering about how you’re gonna sue that fancy company you work for is all.”

Gilbert MacDonald had run out on them when Kasey was born. He’d been pissy, Kasey’s mom had told her, when he’d found out she was pregnant and ripping mad when Kasey had been born a girl and not a boy. Over the years he’d come around when he wanted something, money usually, and to knock around Leah York, Kasey’s mom. Until Kasey got big enough to fight him back, then he would only come for money. Like now.

“I don’t have any idea what you’re talking about. I got hurt and I have no insurance and no money and, if you go near my mother, I’ll hunt you down and hurt you so bad you’ll feel it for a month.”

Gilbert moved closer to the bed, his eyes dark with anger. She’d forgotten that she was helpless and that was the way he liked his women. When he drew back his fist to hit her she closed her eyes and waited for the pain. She couldn’t fight him in the condition she was in.

“You’ll back away from that girl right this minute or, so help me, I’ll be causing the pain.” Kasey turned to see what the hell Mr. Hunter was doing here. “Are you all right?”

She nodded. Mr. Hunter had her father in a full nelson. She wasn’t sure how that had happened, but was immensely glad that he did. Kasey started to explain who the man was, but a woman, a very beautiful older woman, came to the other side of the bed and started checking her injuries.

“She doesn’t appear to be hurt, Royce. Why don’t you take the trash out and I’ll make sure the nurse comes in and gives her something for—”

“You know, I’m right here. I don’t need anyone to bring me anything for pain, and I certainly don’t need you to call her if I did.” Kasey looked at the woman. “You have to be related to him. I’ve never met a pushier bunch of people in my life.”

Kasey wouldn’t admit how badly she hurt right now. Nor would she admit how grateful she was for the intervention of Mr. Hunter. The woman simply started laughing, much to the surprise of Kasey.

“Oh my, you have to be the secret. Yes, I’m related to Royce. I’m his mother, Annamarie. And you would be…”

“Mother, don’t do this. She works for me and was—” He’d just stepped back in from taking her father out of the room. She didn’t worry about her father coming back soon, but he would be back.

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