A Different Blue Page 54

Wilson smiled wryly. “Yes . . . there is that.” He turned up the radio and The Killers streamed out into the Vegas night, “Miss Atomic Bomb” making the dashboard vibrate. I thought the conversation was over when Wilson reached up and punched the knob, silencing the music.

“What if he had?”

“Had what? Asked me to marry him? Get real, Wilson.”

“Would you want to keep your baby then?”

“And we could be a happy little family?” I squeaked, incredulous. “It's bad enough that this baby has our combined DNA. It doesn't deserve to be raised by us, too.

“Ahh, Blue. You wouldn't be a bad mother.”

“I wonder if that's what someone told my mother when she found out she was pregnant with me.”

Wilson swung his head around, surprise evident on his handsome face. I shrugged, pretending nonchalance. I didn't know if I would be a bad mother. I didn't know if I would be a good mother. But I knew I wouldn't be as good a mother as Tiffa Snook, not yet anyway. And that was the bottom line.

Thursday came. I had slept poorly all week, worried that Mason would show up with his parents in tow and that they would sue for custody of my unborn child. If that happened, I would be keeping my baby. Giving her up to Tiffa and Jack was one thing. Giving her to Mason and his parents was another. But Mason was unaccompanied in the courtroom when I arrived Thursday morning. He was an adult and didn't need permission for what he was about to do. I wondered if he had even told his parents. He wore a tie and a shell-shocked expression, and I felt bad all over again.

When the judge questioned him, making sure he understood his rights as well as the rights he was terminating, he nodded and then looked at me. I didn't sense anger anymore. He just seemed stunned. With a notary looking on, he signed the documents, and Tiffa and Jack hugged each other tightly as if they too had been terrified of a derailment. I felt faint with relief and struggled to hold back a sudden flood of emotion. As soon as the proceedings were over, I found Mason. I owed him that much.

“Thank you, Mason,” I said quietly, extending my hand.

Mason slowly took my outstretched hand in his. “Why didn't you tell me sooner, Blue? I know we were never serious, but I . . . I wanted to be.”

It was my turn for shock. “You did?” I never thought Mason liked anything about me but the sex. It occurred to me then that my low opinion of myself may have blinded me to his true feelings.

“I know I can be an ass**le. I drink too much, I say things I shouldn't, and I get mad too easy. But you could have told me.”

“I should have,” I acquiesced. We stood awkwardly, looking everywhere but at each other.

“It's better this way, Mason,” I suggested softly. He looked at me then and nodded.

“Yeah. I know. But maybe someday you'll give me another chance.”

No. I wouldn't. Mason was part of a past I didn't want to repeat. But I nodded noncommitally, grateful that there was peace between us.

“Take care of yourself, Blue.”

“You too, Mason.” I turned and made my way to the door. Mason called out behind me, and his voice seemed awfully loud in the almost empty courtroom.

“I never pictured you with a guy like Adam.”

I turned and shrugged. “Neither did I, Mason. Maybe that's part of my problem.”

Chapter Eighteen

“Why is your recliner in the middle of the floor?”

“I like to sit under the vent.”

“Are you cold? Don't be shy about turning up the thermostat. This little space isn't exactly expensive to heat.”

“Wilson. It's August in Nevada. I'm not cold.”

“So . . . why is the recliner in the middle of the floor?” Wilson insisted.

“I like hearing you play at night,” I admitted easily, much to my surprise. I hadn't planned to tell him. “The sound travels through the vent.

“You like to hear me play?” Wilson sounded shocked.

“Sure,” I said easily, shrugging as if it was no big deal. “It's nice.” Nice was an understatement. “I just keep wishing you would play something by Willie,” I teased.

Wilson looked crestfallen. “Willie?”

“Yes, Willie,” I insisted, trying not to giggle. “Willie Nelson is one of the greatest songwriters of all time.”

“Huh,” Wilson said, scratching his head. “I guess I'm not that familiar with his . . . work.”

He looked so flummoxed that I couldn't help myself and burst out laughing. “Willie Nelson is a country singer – an old-timer. Jimmy loved him. Actually, Jimmy kind of looked like him, just with darker skin and less scruff. Jimmy had the braids and the bandana, though, and he had every album Willie had ever put out. We listened to those songs over and over.” I didn't really feel like laughing anymore and abruptly changed the subject.

“There's one song you play that I especially like,” I ventured.

“Really? Hum a bit.”

“I can't hum, sing, dance, or recite poetry, Wilson.”

“Just a bit, so I know which tune you like.”

I cleared my throat, scrunched my eyes closed, and tried to think of the tune. It was there in my head, like a cool stream of water. Beautiful. I attempted a couple of notes, and gaining confidence, hummed a few more, still with my eyes closed. I felt quite pleased with myself and opened one eye to see how my humming had been received.

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