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Father's Day 2024


We're going to be having dinner with the boys soon, so today is a drive-by post. I have a quick snippet for you from Protecting Medusa, of course a dad snippet. Haha.

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            She jerked away when he leaned nearer. Her heart raced crazily, and her legs felt like rubber. “I’m not interested in a relationship with you, other than as you are Jason’s father and I am his aunt.” He didn’t need to know she’d admired the photos Jason had of him, or that just the sound of his voice when he flirted on the phone caused her to imagine getting up close and in person.

            He lifted one eyebrow. “Desi’s been telling stories? After all this time?”

            She moved around him to stir the sloppy joes. “Desi’s got nothing to do with it. Though, now that you mention it, her taste in men is known not to be very good, and my type is completely different from hers.”

            For a second, he remained silent, but then Ryder laughed behind her. She ground her teeth together.

            “I’ve seen your type, Mena, and your taste in men isn’t so hot. I think it’s time you tried a different flavor.” His hands settled on her shoulders, making her tense even more.

            “You should get dressed. Mom and Jason will be here any minute,” she said, hearing the quaver in her voice. “And put your gun away.”

            His breath warmed the top of her head, and she held her own, waiting. But he simply gave her shoulders a gentle squeeze and moved away.

            Leaving her to wonder how he’d seen any of her dates.

            Better than imagining him going upstairs to finish dressing.

            She frowned into the skillet, stirring more vigorously than she needed to. Had he really been spying on her? For how long? She didn’t even remember the last date she’d had. 

            When her mother’s car pulled into the driveway beside hers, she inhaled deeply, forcing some of the tension from her shoulders and neck. After three days of forced solitude, she wanted to see her family. Very much.

            Jason burst through the back door. “Aunt Phila!”

            She smiled and held out her arms, bracing when he flung himself at her. “Hi, baby.” She scooped him up, even though he really was getting too big for that. She kissed one of his cheeks, then his mouth, then his other cheek, while he giggled. It was their ritual for whenever she’d been away. A kiss for each day they’d been apart.

            He wrapped his arms around her neck, tight. “I missed you.”

            “You know I missed you, too.” She caught sight of her mother coming in and gave her a strained smile. Her mother lifted one eyebrow, and Philomena shook her head. “How was school today, buddy?” She set him on his feet and unzipped his coat.

            He shrugged out of his superhero backpack and his coat, bouncing the whole time. “You know the hamster in our room? Harvey? He got out of his cage during recess today, so we had to crawl around looking for him till Nita found him hiding under the bookcase in the back corner. Oh, and we got a new girl in our class today. Her name is Rose, and she has red hair and a million billion freckles on her face. And Eddie brought a picture of his new German Shepherd puppy with him. Eddie’s gonna train him to be a guard dog an’ keep bad guys away. He said I should come see him this weekend. Can I go?”

            Philomena relaxed a bit more, listening to him while she heated some frozen vegetables and set the table.

            When Jason came up for air, he frowned at the table. “Hey, how comes there’s four plates, Aunt Phila?”

            Her spine stiffened, and she took a quick breath as she turned from the stove.

            “Because I came to visit, little guy,” Ryder said from the foot of the stairs.

            “Daddy!” Jason shrieked and met his father halfway across the room.

            Ryder’s grin was as big as Jason’s, and he swung his son around in a big hug while Jason clung tightly to him.

            Philomena watched as they greeted one another, doing silly guy stuff--funny handshakes and high-fives, and hugging again--and her heart squeezed in her chest, painfully. She’d never seen such naked delight on her nephew’s face. Or imagined it in his father’s.

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I know the parent holidays are hard--I miss my dad more on days like this--but I'm happy my boys have such a good dad and plan to celebrate with a pretty tasty dinner for the family. If you're struggling today, I see you, and I know it's hard.


I hope you all have a great week ahead!

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