Home > The Storm (The Storm #3.5)(3)

The Storm (The Storm #3.5)(3)
Author: Samantha Towle

“Condoms aren’t infallible, Jake.”

I scowl at Stuart, and he releases a sigh. Tipping his head back, he runs his hand through his hair. When he looks at me again, I see it written all over his face—there’s more.

“There’s something else,” he says quietly. “The suit isn’t filed just against you. There’s one against—fuck, how do I say this?”

“You just fucking say it,” I snap again.

I don’t mean to snap, but it’s kind of hard not to right now. And Stuart knows me. He knows how I am. He knows I don’t mean it.

“Jonny,” he breathes the name out.

My heart stops.

“The suit is also filed against Jonny. Same woman. She’s not sure who the father is—you or Jonny.”

Jonny. My dead best friend.

“What the actual fuck? How can she file against Jonny? Jesus Christ!” Standing, I shove my chair back and it slams into the wall behind me.

“Do you remember a girl named Tiffany Slater?” Stuart asks.

Tiffany Slater. I toss the name around my head and come up dry.

“No,” I growl.

“I remember her. She was part of that group of girls in the early days. I drove her home a few times. She was sweet. Blonde hair. She stuck in my mind because…well, she suddenly dropped off the radar, stopped coming around.”

“Plenty of girls stopped coming around when they realized they weren’t getting anything more than a fuck from me.”

“She was one of the girl’s that you and Jonny used to share.”

“I don’t remember her!” I yell. “I screwed a lot of women back then! Jonny and I shared a lot of women! You know that! Doesn’t mean I knocked any of them up!” I drag my hands through my hair. “So, what? She’s claiming that her kid is either mine or…Jonny’s?”

It’s right then, right as I say those words, that the ramifications of what this could mean hit me.

If that kid is mine…


I don’t want anything to come between us.

But…if that kid is Jonny’s, then it means…it means I’ll get a piece of him back.

I slowly sink down into my chair.

“Jonny,” I breathe out his name, my eyes meeting Stuart’s.

“Yeah,” he says quietly.

I know he’s thinking the same thing.

I rub my eyes with the palms of my hands. “How old is the kid?”

“He’s thirteen.”


“Yeah. His name is Storm.”

I let out a humorless laugh. “Original.” I lean back in my chair, dragging my hands down my face. “So, why now? Why claim paternity after all these years?”

Discomfort flickers over Stuart’s face, and his hands curl around the arms of his chair. “She’s…dying, and she is the only family he has.”

“Jesus Christ,” I exhale. “What’s”—killing her—“wrong with her?”

“Cancer,” Stuart says quietly.

I stare at the wall behind Stuart. A hundred thoughts speed through my mind. The solemnness in the room is silently eating away at me.

“So, now what?” I quietly ask him.

“I call Jonny’s dad. I’m sure his lawyer will have spoken to him by now. Then, we arrange for this DNA test that they’re asking for. And I make sure this doesn’t get leaked to the press.”

“And…what do I do?”

Stuart gives me a steady look. “You go home and tell Tru.”

Fear curls in the pit of my stomach. Resting my elbows on my desk, I run my hands through my hair. “How do I tell her this?”

“Gently. You tell her gently, Jake.”

“This is gonna hurt her—badly.”

“It will, but she’s strong. You’ve both gotten through worse.”

I know he’s referring to Tru’s car accident—when she almost died, when I was close to losing her.

I can’t lose Tru, no matter what.

Tru, JJ, Billy, and Belle—they are everything to me.


My life is perfect. Fucking perfect. I have the woman of my dreams and the best kids a man could ask for. And now this? It’s going to rip all of that apart.

When I woke up this morning, surrounded by the most important people in my life, little did I know I’d be hearing this potentially, life-changing news a few hours later.

I guess I can never escape my past. It was destined to come back and haunt me in one way or another.

“I’m gonna go make these calls.” Stuart stands. “Anything I can do before I go?”

I move my eyes back to his face and shake my head.

“It’s going to be okay, Jake. You’ll do this DNA test. We’ll find out that he’s not yours, and then everything will go back to normal.”

“And what if…” I can barely bring myself to say the words because, yeah, there is hope in me. “What if he’s Jonny’s?”

“Then…” A small smile touches his lips. “Then, our world is about to get a whole lot brighter.”

And if Storm is not Jonny’s and he is in fact mine, then my world is about to get a whole lot darker.

Standing in the doorway, I watch her…the first, last and only woman I will ever love.


She’s barefoot in the kitchen, hips swaying to the sound of Etta James’s “At Last,” as she softly sings along while uncorking a bottle of wine.

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