Chapter 23 (Part 2)

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Grace's father? So this is the man who put his daughter out on the streets. Why is he here? "Come in. We've been waiting for you."

I cautiously enter Grace's dorm and find her sitting on the couch with an older woman with long blonde hair and blue eyes. Sophie sits on her lap chatting with her.

"Daddy!" Sophie exclaims when she sees me. She hops off of Mrs. Valentine's lap and runs to me. I pick her up easily and place a kiss on her head.

"Aaron, I'm sorry." Grace says, giving me an apologetic look. "When I didn't show up for my classes this morning, the school called my parents. They showed up here. I know you wanted to keep Sophie away."

"Young man, why are you insisting on keeping our grandchild away from us?" Mr. Valentine asks.

"Are you really asking that question?" I glare at him. "You left your fifteen year old, pregnant daughter on the streets to fend for herself for nine months! And when she finally returns to you, you send her here to a boarding school instead of spending time with her. I don't want my daughter anywhere near you people."

"Daddy," Sophie says, placing her small hands on my cheeks to grab my attention. "Grandma, and Pop Pop say they take me to get toys and eat cake! And they say I get a new room at their big, big house!" The excitement in Sophie's eyes makes me want to smile, but at the same time I want to punch something.

"Why would you lie to her? She's a little girl."

"Don't make us liars." Mrs. Valentine says. "She's our granddaughter and we want to be able to spend time with her."

"Grace, how could you let them do this? I thought you were on my side."

"I understand your reasons, but I feel my parents should have a second chance, just like you gave me. They're really not as bad as you think."

"You struggled for nine months of your life because of them and you're just going to overlook that? Who knows what kind of damage they could do to Sophie. Are you even thinking about our daughter and the outcome she could have?"

"I'm always thinking about our daughter! I'm her mother! And I believe that having my parents in her life would benefit her."

"Wow. I can't believe this is happening right now. No, I don't want your parents around her. I'm taking Sophie home, we'll see you later."
"Young man." Mr. Valentine says as I head for the door. "I suggest you get the best lawyer you can afford because we're going to see our granddaughter no matter what. It's not just you and Sophie anymore. There's more to this family now."

*Victoria*

I rush around the house trying to get myself ready for the dance. Unfortunately my boss called me in to work and now I have less than an hour to get ready.

"Relax." My mom said. "Go take your shower and I'll take care of everything else."

"But..."

"Go!" she cuts me off and pushes me towards the stairs.

I reluctantly do what she says and take my shower. By the time I get out, my dress, shoes and makeup are laid out and my mom holds a flat iron in her hand.

"Come on, there's no time for day dreaming. We want you to look your best tonight. It's the first date!"

"Mom, I told you this isn't a date!"

"Oh, I know a date when I see one. Now come one so you won't be late."

I slip on my dress and shoes and do my makeup as my mother does my hair. Once finished, I look myself over in the mirror.

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