Home > The Storm (The Storm #3.5)(12)

The Storm (The Storm #3.5)(12)
Author: Samantha Towle

“Don’t be sorry.” She smiles. “You lived a different life back then.”

Her eyes move from me to Bob. “Mr. Creed.” She smiles as she puts down the book in her hand on the small table by her chair, and she starts to slowly get up.

“Don’t get up,” Bob says, stopping her, as he walks over to her. Leaning down, he takes her hand. “Thank you,” he says to her in earnest, “for giving me a part of my Jonny back.”


I can’t stop the blur in my eyes or the burn in the back of my throat.

Irrespective of everything, the fact that she kept Storm hidden from us for thirteen years doesn’t matter because, now, we have something we never dreamed we could have.

Pressing my hands to my hips, I look to the floor, blowing out a breath.

Marie is quiet behind me.

“I don’t deserve your thanks, Mr. Creed—”

“Please call me Bob.”

“Bob, I kept Storm from you for thirteen years. You have a right to be angry about that.”

“None of that matters now. And I know you must have had your reasons. My Jonny…he was easy to love, hard to handle.”

Fuck. This hurts to hear.

I pinch the bridge of my nose, exhaling another breath.

“I know the way Jonny lived his life. He and Jake both.”

My name brings my eyes to them, but neither of them is looking at me.

“Tom and Denny, too. And if you took on one of those boys, you took them all on. They always were a package deal. And I can understand not wanting to raise a baby around the kind of lifestyle they all lived back then. They were pretty wild.”

She lets out a relieved-sounding laugh. “Yeah, I guess I was a little wild back then, too—before Storm was born. I changed the minute I found out I was pregnant.”

Bob rubs a hand on his back, and I can see that he’s struggling with standing.

“Let me get you a chair, Bob.” I get an armchair and pull it over, opposite Tiffany’s chair, so Bob can sit. I take a seat on the edge of the sofa adjacent to them.

“Marie, you can get back to the shop. I’ll be okay here.”

Marie gives her a dubious look. “You sure?”

For fuck’s sake, what does she think we’re going to do to Tiffany?

“I’m sure.” Tiffany smiles.

“You want me to make some tea before I go?”

“Do you want anything to drink?” Tiffany asks Bob and me.

“I could drink a tea,” Bob says.

“Jake?” Tiffany looks at me.

“I’m fine,” I say.

“Tea for me and Bob would be great. Thanks, Marie.”

Tiffany watches Marie leave the room.

Then, she looks at Bob and me. “So, I’m sure you’ve got questions for me.”

“Look, I don’t want to be the asshole here, and at the risk of sounding like one, I’m going to get straight to the point. Obviously, you’ve come to us now because you need help with Storm. Without a doubt, that will happen. But I want to know how you see this playing out,” I say.

Bob gives me an annoyed look. But I don’t regret my words. It’s best to get this out of the way. Then, I’ll ask everything I can about the kid.

She stares at me for a moment. “I’m Storm’s only family. Honestly, I haven’t properly thought this through. I just know I’m running out of time.”

“We don’t need to talk about this now,” Bob cuts in. “This is a conversation for another day. Right now, I just want to know all there is to know about my grandson.”

Marie comes back with the tea, so I clamp my lips shut and let Bob ask his questions about Storm.

I listen intently for the next half an hour as Tiffany tells us about Storm’s life—how good his grades are in school and that he has some behavioral issues. But she skirts around that, glossing over details like any good mother would.

He likes music. That makes me happy. He plays guitar. That makes me even happier.

He’s Jonny kid for sure. The more she talks about Storm, the more I hear Jonny in her words.

I’ve stayed silent with my own questions for long enough, and now, I have to ask them. It might anger Bob, but I need to know. “Tiffany, I have to know…why didn’t you come to us when you found out you were pregnant? We could have helped. Jonny could have known his son.”

“Things were wild back then. We were all doing drugs and each other. It wasn’t a decision I came to lightly. Back then, I was in love with Jonny. Jake, you and I…” She looks away. “Well, I was with Jonny, too, and over that time, I fell in love. But I wasn’t his only. I wasn’t stupid enough to think I was or ever would be.”

“That might be, but he would have cared for his son.”

“Maybe you’re right. But back then, I couldn’t take that risk. When I found out I was pregnant, I didn’t know if the baby was yours or Jonny’s. God, I was so scared. My parents were deeply religious. I was already a huge disappointment, an embarrassment, to them. I didn’t know what to do. So…” She blows out a breath. “I decided to tell Jonny. No offense, Jake, but Jonny was always so much more approachable than you. He was less…intense, I guess. So, after I plucked up the courage to go see him, I went to your place in New York. There was a party happening, like usual. You weren’t there. Neither was Tom or Denny—that I saw. I looked around for Jonny. I finally found him in his bedroom…” She turns her eyes to Bob. “I’m so sorry to be saying these things about your son in front of you.”

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