“Lachlan, I liked you better when you didn’t talk so much,” I tell him, keep my eyes focused on those lights. I make a point of counting them as they zip past. I make a point of not thinking about his question.
I hear him scratch his beard in thought.
“I don’t get any complaints from Kayla,” he says.
I roll my eyes, happy to have something else to latch on to. “You couldn’t do any wrong in that woman’s eyes. That’s love, mate. And honestly, I’m truly happy you have it. You deserve love most of all.”
A few moments pass. “You know,” he says, “we’re not going to have any.”
I glance at him. “Have any what?”
“Kids,” he says. He shakes his head. “We discussed it, but…she’s not sold on the idea and to be honest, neither am I. A kid with my genes…isn’t very fair.”
I have to say, I’m surprised to hear Lachlan say this, only because of the intensity of his love for Kayla. On the other hand, I’m not surprised to hear her stance on it. Kayla has all the maternal instincts of a rattlesnake. I mean that in the nicest way.
“Well, that’s too bad,” I tell him, “because genes or no genes, I think you’d make a wonderful father. A far better one than I ever was, that’s for sure.” I sigh, pinching my eyes shut for a moment. When I open them, we’re pulling up to the airport. “But you do what is right for you. If you don’t want them, don’t have them. The last thing the world needs is another child that isn’t wanted. You and Kayla have your dogs and each other and very busy lives. It’s enough. Believe me.”
“I’m pretty sure Jessica is going to lose her mind when she finds out,” Lachlan says, calling our mother by her name as he usually does. He pulls the car up to the Departures curb. “I’m her last chance at grandchildren.”
“She had a grandchild,” I snap, the words pouring out like poison. My blood thumps loudly in my ears. “His name was Hamish.”
Images of Hamish fly past me. Ice blue eyes, reddish hair. A big smile. Always asking, “Why? Why dada?” He was only two when he was taken from me. He would be nearly six years old now. I always looked forward to him getting into school. I knew his curiosity would lead him to bigger and better things. Though I wasn’t in love with Miranda at the end, I was in love with my boy. And even when I had the selfish nerve of dreaming of a different life for myself, he was always my first concern.
It wasn’t supposed to happen that way.
Lachlan is staring at me, wide-eyed, remorse wrinkling his brow. “Brigs,” he says, voice croaking. “I’m sorry. I’m sorry, I didn’t mean it.”
I quickly shake my head, trying to get the anger out of me. “It’s fine. I’m sorry. I just…I know what you meant. It’s been a long day and I just need to go home and get some sleep.”
He nods, frowning in shame. “I get it.”
I exhale loudly and then try to perk up. “Well, time to go through security hell. Thanks for the ride, Lachlan.” I reach over into the backseat and grab my bag before getting out of the car.
“Brigs,” he says again before I close the door, leaning across the seat to look at me. “Seriously. Take care of yourself in London. If you need anything for any reason, just call me.”
The fist in my chest loosens. I’m a grown man. I wish he didn’t worry so much about me. I wish I didn’t feel like I needed it.