Homestands (Chicago Wind #1)

Homestands (Chicago Wind #1) by Sally Bradley Read Free Book Online

Book: Homestands (Chicago Wind #1) by Sally Bradley Read Free Book Online
Authors: Sally Bradley
he goose-stepped past. “We’ll get you when we’re done.”
    His marching turned to shuffling. “Aye, aye,” he mumbled, then left the room.
    Mike sat down with a laugh. “I’m surprised he listened to me.”
    They were alone. And Mike was smiling. She squeezed the dishcloth in her hand and turned her back on him, scrubbing the peninsula. “This is all a dream to him. Imagine if you were his age and found out your dad was…”
    “Frank Thomas?”
    His boyhood hero. “Well, something like that.”
    “He seems like a good kid, Meg.”
    “He is. Thank you.” She spread the dishcloth over the sink’s edge and looked around. What else could she do?
    “Will you sit down? It’s hard to talk when you’re working.”
    That was the point, but he was right. She couldn’t postpone their conversation any longer. She pulled a chair as far from him as she could without being ridiculous and sat down, arms crossed.
    “Thanks for dinner.” Mike leaned forward, elbows on knees, fingers intertwined. “You hit most of my favorites.”
    She acknowledged his compliment with a nod, waiting for Monday’s wrath to return. “Thank you for being civil in front of Terrell.”
    He studied her, his mouth forming a half-smile. “Actually—” He gave a small laugh. “I’ve been thinking about you for a long time. I’ve wanted to see you.”
    She blinked away her surprise, forcing a fake smile. “Should I feel flattered?”
    “Feel however you want. I guess that doesn’t impress you, though.”
    “Not when you walked out on me.” Where was he going with this? “Why are you here, Mike? I thought this was about you taking me to court.”
    “We’re not going to court—unless we can’t work this out.”
    He was crazy if he thought she’d hand over any part of Terrell’s custody. “What are you expecting?”
    “I want to spend time with Terrell. Lots of time.”
    “So you want weekends or…” She dragged out the last word, hoping he’d catch her sarcasm. It was awfully hard for a guy to parent when he traveled half the year.
    “Meg.” He straightened. “I’m not trying to take custody from you. He’s lived without me for six years, he looks happy and healthy here, and as much as I hate to admit it, I can’t take care of him by myself. Between my games and travel, he’d be living with a nanny half the time.”
    “Three fourths of the time.”
    Mike held up a hand. “Whatever.”
    Silence fell between them. Mike sat still, watching her.
    Meg eyed him back. What was behind this sudden change? “Did your lawyer tell you that you wouldn’t win custody?”
    “I didn’t talk to a lawyer. When I thought it through, I knew it wouldn’t be right. Having a dad all of a sudden has got to be a shock to him. I can’t shake up his life any more than that.”
    Interesting. Mike Connor with a conscience. Well, she’d take it, whatever his true motive. “How do you plan on this working?”
    “I can call when I have free time and we can get together, hang out, do whatever six-year-old boys do.”
    “Terrell would like that.”
    “Good. During the off-season I can watch him while you’re working, keep him at my place every now and then.”
    She gave a non-committal shrug. Until she knew Mike’s character—if he had any—she wouldn’t agree to a thing.
    “Who watches him when you’re working?” he asked.
    “My neighbor, Jill. Her husband’s been—” She paused, embarrassed at what she’d almost said. Well, Mike might as well know. “Clark’s been like a father to Terrell.”
    Mike nodded, but his mouth twisted and he toyed with the rim of his cup. “Jill keeps him at her house? Nearby?”
    She nodded. “Next door. Jill and Clark are good friends. They have a little boy too. Samuel, after Samuel in the Bible.”
    Mike stared blankly.
    What was she thinking? Mike wouldn’t know that story. It was new to her too. “It’s a story in the Bible. A woman who couldn’t have kids.” She waved her hand

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