Rival Page 71

Sitting down in his office chair, he wheeled over to me. “I found something else, actually. I was going through all of her credit card statements, and this came up.”

He handed me a paper and rolled away.

I stared down, my eyes scanning but not really reading. Words jumped out at me. Words like clinic. Fallon Pierce. And Women’s Health. They came together as my eyes darted over the thin, white paper that started to crinkle in my hand.

Then my scanning slowed when I caught words like pregnancy termination and balance due.

My lungs were anchored to the floor. They wouldn’t expand when I tried to breathe, and I narrowed my eyes as the words condensed in my head like moisture in the sky coming together to form a cloud.

One big, dark cloud.

I blinked and looked at the date of the bill. July 2. A couple of months after she disappeared two years ago.

My eyes shot down to the balance due. Six hundred and fifty dollars.

I gripped the paper, my eyes burning with anger . . . horror . . . fear. I didn’t know what. I just knew I felt sick.

I closed my eyes. She had been pregnant. With my kid.

Six hundred and fifty dollars.

Six. Hundred. Fifty. Dollars.

“Madoc, Fallon’s a friend.” Jax spoke up. “But I just thought you might need to know about this. Was it your kid?”

The acid rolled in my stomach, and bile burned in my throat.

I swallowed, my voice sounding more like a threat, as I said, “I’ve gotta go.”

• • •

“Where’s Fallon?” I growled at Addie.

I’d stormed upstairs once I got home and found the bed empty. She didn’t have Tate’s car or her bike, so unless she left by foot, she had to still be here.

“Uh . . .” Addie’s eyes rolled to the ceiling, thinking. “Basement, I think. That’s the last time I saw her.”

Her hands buried in dough, she nodded to the stove as I walked around to the basement door.

“You both haven’t eaten dinner,” she yelled behind me. “I’m packing it up! Okay?”

Ignoring her, I pummeled down the stairs, letting the door slam behind me.

The cement stairs were covered in carpet, so I was virtually silent charging down. The lights were on, but it was ghostly quiet.

I spotted Fallon right away.

She sat in the dip of her half-pipe, lying back against the incline with her legs bent up.

Dressed in a long, white cotton nightgown, her wet hair told me she’d just showered.

“I came down here so Addie wouldn’t hear the yelling,” she admitted before I said anything. Her hands rested on her stomach, and her eyes were glued to the ceiling.

“You know that I know.”

The half of her face that I could see was relaxed and accepting, as if she’d expected a storm.

“Jax called when I was in the shower. He wanted to warn me. Said he was sorry, but he felt that you should know.”

Every soft step up to the pipe was made with clenched muscles. I was f**king pissed. How dare she be this calm! She should be feeling what I’m feeling.

Or at least scared!

“You should’ve told me,” I snapped, my deep voice coming from the pit of my stomach. “I deserved the truth, Fallon.”

“I know.” She sat up. “I was planning to tell you.”

Goddamn her. She was still so calm, looking at me with sincere and unfailing eyes. Speaking with a golden voice. She was handling me, and that pissed me off even more.

I ran my hand through my hair. “A baby?! A f**king baby, Fallon?”

“When was I supposed to tell you?” Her voice was shaky, and tears watered her eyes. “Years ago when I thought you didn’t want me? This past summer when I hated you? Or maybe the last two days when things between us were more perfect than anything has ever been?”

“I should’ve known about it!” I bellowed. “Jax knew before me! And you just got rid of it without me knowing anything about it. I should have known!”

She looked away, her throat moving up and down like she was swallowing.

Shaking her head, she kept her voice soft. “We weren’t going to be sixteen-year-old parents, Madoc.”

“How long did you wait?” I bared my teeth, sneering. “Did you even think about me before you did it? Or did you rush to a clinic as soon as you found out?”

Her pained eyes shot to me. “Rush?” she choked out. Tears spilled, and while she tried to hold them back, her face was contorted in agony. Red, wet with tears, and pained.

Getting up, she charged past me, and I grabbed her arm, pulling her to my side.

“No!” I shouted. “You stay here and fight. Own this!”

“I didn’t rush!” she yelled, getting in my face. “I wanted the baby, and I wanted you! I wanted to see you. I wanted to tell you. I was breaking, and I needed you!”

Her head dropped, and her shoulders shook as she cried, and that’s when it hit me.

Fallon loved me even then. She didn’t want to leave, so why would I think she’d want to go through that without me?

Her hands fisted at her sides, and she stood there, shaking with silent tears but too strong to crumble completely.

“The Valknut,” she gasped, looking up at me with desperate eyes. “Rebirth, pregnancy, and reincarnation. It was always with me, Madoc.”

She closed her eyes, the quiet streams of tears cascading down her beautiful face.

The weight of what she went through alone slapped me in the face, and I remembered the signature on the bill I now had tucked in my pocket.

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