Home > To Hate Adam Connor(12)

To Hate Adam Connor(12)
Author: Ella Maise


So it was my last day alone, and I was up on my perch again, watching my temporary neighbors as discreetly as I could as Adam jumped into the pool. The little version of him sat on one of the lounge chairs playing with his iPad, kicking his little legs every now and then. Holding on to the ladder, I rested my chin on the wall and stayed vigilant. Repeating the process every day for the rest of the week.

Because you never know, right?

 

 

Chapter Four


Adam


I swam to the other end of the pool and came up for air. My arm muscles were burning, and the pounding in my head was getting worse as the hours slipped by. I wiped the water off my eyes and spotted Aiden sitting in the same exact spot he’d been occupying for the last thirty minutes, eyes focused on his iPad, face happy.

I looked over his head and my eyes caught sight of his nanny, Anne, standing just outside the door of the house. We had two nannies. The other one was Marta. She stayed with Adeline, half nanny, half assistant to Adeline, and Anne stayed with us when it was my week with Aiden. She gave me a shy smile, and I nodded at her. It was good that she was keeping an eye on Aiden.

Leisurely, I swam back to my son’s side, making sure to splash some water close to his seat before I got out. He was looking over his shoulder and laughing at something. When he realized I was close, he took off his headphones and grinned at me.

Just looking at him constricted something in my chest.

“What’s up, bud?” I asked, walking toward him.

“I’m bathing in the sun, just like Mommy.”

I chuckled. “Good for you.”

“Are you ready to do pushups now, Daddy?”

“Not today, buddy,” I said as I reached his side and grabbed my towel.

He lost the big smile on his face and gently put his iPad down. “Am I not a good teacher?”

“Not teacher, trainer,” I reminded him.

“Did you find a new trainer? I can do better. I really can, Daddy. I can work you harder.”

I laughed quietly and sat next to him. “Why would I look for someone new when I have you? You’re working me really hard, little man. I can barely keep up.”

The worry in his eyes disappeared, and he patted my arm with his little hand. “Okay, you can rest today. Can we do pushups tomorrow if you rest today?”

“I have to take you back to your mom today, remember?”

Copying me, he sat up and rested his elbows on his knees. His feet didn’t even reach the ground yet. After giving me a quick glance, he smacked his hand on his knee. “Oh, man. Tomorrow? Will you come and take me tomorrow so we can do pushups?”

“You have school tomorrow, Aiden.”

“Oh,” he whispered, and his eyes dropped to the ground. “You think Mom will let me come back here after school so I can help you do pushups?”

“How about we work out together when you come back next week?”

“Can I tell my friends I’m your teach—trainer?”

“Of course.”

He jumped down and started bouncing on his feet, everything okay in his little world again. “They’re gonna be so jealous when they see my muscles!” He lifted his arm up and flexed his impressive little muscles, pressing and prodding with his index finger.

The more I looked at him, the more persistent the ache in my chest got.

Christ!

Why would Adeline do this to me? Why would she hurt me by limiting my time with my son when she had no interest in spending time with him?

Almost six months before, she’d sat right across from me in a hotel room in Canada and told me she needed to get a divorce. It was completely unexpected; hell, I’d fucked her hard and fast only twenty minutes before that. Thinking she was messing with me, I was stupid enough to laugh, get up from my seat, and press a kiss on her forehead.

I remember jokingly saying, “You’re breaking my heart, sweetheart,” but when she rose up and faced me with that serious look on her face—that look where she stayed silent until you understood what she wanted, what she needed, and gave it to her—I knew she meant it.

We talked until the sun came up, and she told me becoming a mom so young had killed her creativity. She told me she wasn’t as passionate about her career as she used to be, and that it was Aiden’s fault, that he was taking over her life. She explained that she wanted to go back to the times where she didn’t have to audition for the movie she wanted to be in; she wanted them to be handed to her. She explained in not so many words that she was starting to regret the decision she had made five years before, that she had made the wrong decision, that she couldn’t bond with Aiden. And then she reminded me, again in not so many words, that while she was happy our marriage didn’t seem to have a negative effect on my career, it was time for her to be the most sought-after actress in Hollywood again.

Aiden hadn’t been in our plans, not when we were both at the peak of our carriers. We were young, successful, and in love. The world was our playground, but then a pregnancy changed everything. Adeline herself made sure it changed everything. Before I could wrap my head around being a dad, I was married. Sure, I was in love with her. She was my world and all that crap you believe at the age of twenty-three, but when I watched her walk down that aisle toward me, it didn’t feel as right as it should’ve felt.

It was early.

I felt trapped.

It was a setup, and it was necessary.

But I learned to ignore that gut feeling I’d had for that brief moment and told myself there was no reason for us to wait when we loved each other enough. A few years down the road I would’ve married her anyway, right?

So I married the girl I loved for an unborn little baby because we couldn’t have a scandal as big as Aiden. That was what my own family had told me.

My face must’ve hardened, ’cause I felt tiny fingers pulling on my face and patting my cheeks. “Can we swim now, Daddy?” Aiden asked, looking into my eyes.

“I thought you didn’t want to swim.”

“I didn’t, but now I do. SpongeBob is over, so we can swim now.”

“We have three hours to get you back to your mom, Aiden. It’s gonna have to be a quick swim, okay? Then you’ll help Anne pack the toys you want to take with you.”

He nodded eagerly and gave me a quick kiss that melted my heart.

“Go get your arm floats,” I said in a gruff voice, and he ran off, squealing.

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