I accidentally skipped over posting this chapter. Sorry.
Damon smirked as he pulled on his leather jacket, then gave a two-finger salut to the guard and walked out of the prison. He was eager to retrieve his motorcycle from the impound lot, but from the stormy look of the sky he was glad that Miranda had offered to pick him up in her car. It was going to be a bad one. He reached into his pocket for his wallet and pulled all the cash out, which he stuffed into his boot before he put his wallet back. Now it was time to meet his favorite lawyer.
A little sports car was parked near the prison gates, and as soon as Miranda saw him she opened up the car door to wave. He grinned as he approached.
“You are definitely my guardian angel,” he said as he climbed in. “You were brilliant today. Totally, completely, brilliant.”
Miranda laughed as she replied, “Just doing my job.” She brushed a strand of hair back and adjusted her glasses, then popped the car into ‘drive’ and pulled out onto the road. “Where to?”
“I don’t have any friends around here, so take me to a motel,” Damon said, then fished his wallet out of his pocket and opened it. “Shit!”
“Hm? What is it?” Miranda glanced over at him.
“Some dick head took all my money! Everything I had was in here, and now it’s all gone.”
“You’re kidding me, right?”
“I had a few hundred bucks when I turned it over.”
“They’re supposed to keep a record of all cash and give you a receipt. Didn’t they do that?”
“No one said anything about any receipts.” Damon lightly pounded his fist against the door in frustration. “Now I can’t get a room, and it’s starting to rain.”
Miranda frowned. “I can’t believe that the warden is letting that kind of theft go on right under his nose – the prison is going to hell.” She paused. “Tell you what, I’ll pay for a room for you.”
“That’d be great. Thanks.” He smiled as he reached over to touch Miranda’s shoulder. “You’re the best thing that’s ever happened to me.”
“It’s no big deal, really,” she insisted. “I’m really just trying to be a good lawyer, that’s all. We still have to fight for your paternal rights with your child, and that will go a lot better if you have somewhere to stay in town.”
“You’re gonna help, right? You don’t know what it’s like, knowing that I’m a father but not being allowed to be part of my kid’s life. I can’t believe Alice went and did something like that to me.”
“I’m going to fix that for you. Heck, if you can get yourself a job and an apartment, I might even be able to get custody for you.” Miranda laughed. “But then you’d be saddled with it for the rest of your life.”
Damon turned to look out the window for a moment, his mouth twisting downward. “Nah,” he replied sullenly. “I ain’t fit to raise anyone.”
“It’s smart to leave all the dirty work to someone else – let the warden be the one up to his elbows in diapers, right?”
“He’s fucking my girl,” Damon muttered darkly, but it was worse than that: the warden had married Alice. Sex was one thing, but he hated the thought of her caring for another man and giving him her obedience – especially after everything that he had taught her. She was supposed to belong to him. Even after he had left her.
“I’ll never understand what it is with men and younger women.” Miranda rolled her eyes. “She ran away and betrayed you, remember?”
“Yeah, I know. She just …” Damon stopped the lowered his voice to a whisper. “She hurt me.”
“Let her go, and move on. Just because she got knocked up and had your baby doesn’t mean that you should be hung up on her forever. She’s really not all that great of a catch, either. She’s quite dim, from what I can tell, and will probably never have a decent education or a job. You’re much better off without her.”
Inside, Damon was irritated. He wanted to smack Miranda and teach her to be more respectful, but such actions would destroy his chance at ever achieving his goals. He needed to play along. “Alice definitely wasn’t the sort for talking to. Not like you.”
Miranda’s cheeks turned a little pink, until a sudden crack of thunder caused her to jump and jerk the car towards the middle of the road. She giggled nervously to cover up her embarrassment as she corrected her driving mistake. “I’m sorry. That took me by surprise.”
Damon studied her placidly, then reached over and took her hand in both of his, stroking her skin with his index finger. “Hey. It’s okay,” he purred soothingly, his gaze fixed unwaveringly on her face as he leaned slightly closer.
This time she blushed for real and pulled her hand away. Switching into lawyer mode, she chirped, “The motel is just up ahead here. I’ll pay for a week so you have some time to get your feet under you, but after that you’re on your own.”
“Thank you, Ms. Miranda. I’ll pay you back after I get the money. I promise.” Damon backed off and turned to the window, frowning as the storm outside continued to grow in intensity. “Sure wish I had my bike.”
“I’ll drop you off at the impound lot tomorrow morning.” Miranda parked the car in front of the motel office. “Come on inside with me.”
After they registered and paid for a room, Miranda returned to her car. When she looked through the window at him, Damon waved and smiled, then stood and continued to watch as she drove away.
“Presumptuous bitch,” he muttered to himself.
Once inside his room, he dropped his bag on the floor and returned his cash to his wallet before kicking off his boots and lounging on the bed. He pulled out his phone to look up nearby restaurants that provided delivery, and settled on ordering a pizza. Then, he pulled up an old picture of Alice and stared at it, listening to the rain and thunder outside the window.
She had been flipping him off when he took photo, but he couldn’t remember why. He had gotten a good angle on her cleavage, and despite her scowl her eyes had been sparkling mischievously. He had never been hung up on a girl before, and it was a strange sensation, almost like a tightness in his chest that kept him distracted and listless. When he had seen her sitting in that car a couple of weeks prior, an uncontrollable rage had taken over him, and it had been the first time that anything had managed to drive him over the edge to such reckless abandonment. Without him realizing it, Alice had gotten under his skin.
Damon had never imagined himself as a father. While he had gone through all the motions of using protection, he had come to believe that he was incapable of getting a girl pregnant. The sight of that baby had blindsided him and left him numb, and he still couldn’t decide how he felt about it. He tried to imagine Alice sitting in the warden’s home and caring for his child, but the image wouldn’t come. He had not crafted her to be a mother. His best memories were of carrying her piggyback because she was too drunk to walk, and he had liked the way she had giddily nibbled on his ear and groped at his chest, all the while begging him to take her to bed.
Until the day that she had told him to ‘fuck off,’ and he had granted her wish.
After four years together, he had told himself that he was growing bored of her and that she had reached the end of her usefulness. Leaving had been easy. What he hadn’t expected was to find himself still thinking about her months later.
And that baby.
However, it would be useful to have a lawyer under his thumb, especially with the legal trouble that had begun brewing around him ever since he had dealt with that narc, so he had made up his mind to pursue Miranda. The way she had abruptly turned cold and sped off was a promising sign, because it meant that his action of comfort had made an impact. Come morning, he would have more work to do.