Chapter 10 - Olivia

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Olivia was ready to kill him.

How dare he behave like a fucking lunatic in front of Chloe and drop the "Father Bomb" on her like that!

She'd never told Chloe about her father. One time when Chloe was three, she asked out of curiosity while they were reading a picture book with a daddy character in it. Olivia simply told her that her daddy left before she was born.

"Why?" she had asked as she traced a finger along the edge of the father character's face in the book.

"I don't know. He didn't tell me. But I will never leave you. Mommy loves you too much."

"How much?"

Olivia bent down and rubbed her nose with Chloe's in an Eskimo kiss. "To the moon and back," she always said.

Olivia buckled Chloe into her car seat as the memory played in her mind despite flickers of Cameron flashing intermittently.

Silence followed them as they pulled out of the water park's parking lot. Glancing at Chloe in the rear-view mirror, Olivia tried to swallow the lump in her throat as she attempted to read Chloe's emotions.

Chloe stared out the window, her little eyebrows pulled together in knots.

It was nearing dinnertime and Olivia hadn't pulled out any meat from the freezer to thaw. The plan originally was to eat at the park, now she'd have to figure something else out.

"It's almost dinnertime. How about we stop and get a pizza?" she asked.

Chloe made a negative noise and shook her head, no, her eyes glued to the window.

"Chicken nuggets?"

More head shaking.

"What do you want to eat, Chloe?"


"Well, we need to pick up something for dinner. Got any ideas?"

Chloe pursed her lips together. "Ice cream."

Goddammit, Cam!

Gripping the steering wheel tighter, she suppressed the anger that bubbled up as best as she could. "We can't eat ice cream for dinner. Maybe dessert."

"But we could have a snack."

"We're not going to stop for ice cream an hour before dinner," Olivia stated firmly.

Chloe fell silent, her fingers twisting the corner of her towel on her lap. Her bottom lip protruded out as her eyes remained fixated at the passing traffic out the window.

Olivia sighed and pulled up to a fast-food restaurant where she ordered chicken strips for Chloe and a hamburger and fries for herself. They sat outside on the patio under a big umbrella and watched the cars and pedestrians pass by.

Chloe picked at the breading around the chicken, not eating, with her bottom lip still jutting out.

Cursing to herself, Olivia knew she had to come clean, thanks to Cam and his big mouth.

"Chloe, you know I love you to the moon and back. Now, it's because I love you so much that I have to protect you from bad people."

"I know." Chloe didn't even lift her head to respond.

"Cam's not a good person. So, I don't want us to spend time with him, okay?"

That bottom lip jutted out further. Chloe stopped picking at her food and clamped her hands together in her lap. "Is he really my daddy?"

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