Seer (The Seeker Series Book 3) (8 page)

“Mina let me in. We were both worried when your thoughts started going crazy and you wouldn’t answer us. What’s going on?” he repeated, shaking me slightly.

I brushed his hands away. “Calm down! I’m fine. My mom just told me that my father is on his way over here to meet me. I need to get cleaned up, so if you’ll excuse me…”

“I thought you didn’t know who your father was?”

“Yeah, well apparently my mother has been keeping secrets. I really don’t have time to go into it now. I’ll fill you guys in later, okay? Mina, can you get him out of here, please? Rémy, take Mina out for breakfast. My…dad,” I choked on the word, “will be here soon.”

“Come on, Rémy. Ally will be fine. We’ll stay nearby in case she needs us.” She tugged him away, continuing to soothe him as he sputtered his objections.

I pictured all the people that would be nearby in case I needed them and had to laugh wryly at the mental picture of them bursting through the door to rescue me from my own father.




He was punctual, ringing the doorbell exactly one hour after my mother announced he would. I wiped my sweaty hands on my skirt and pulled open the door to see a man in his late thirties with brown hair and hazel eyes. He wore a blue chambray shirt, open at the throat, and casual khakis; he was good-looking, which didn’t surprise me since my mom was beautiful. I stared at his face, trying to find any sort of resemblance. He stared back, probably trying to find the same thing.

“Ally. Wow. Um, hi.” He sounded nervous; he shuffled his feet and didn’t seem to know what to do with his hands.

“Hi, uh…” I had no idea how to address him, so I just let my statement die an awkward death. “Come in.” I led him to the living room and invited him to sit on the couch while I took a seat in the chair across from him. Neither of us said anything for several minutes, and then both tried to speak at the same time. This at least broke the ice. “No, you go ahead,” I said, laughing uncomfortably.

“I was just going to say I’m really glad you agreed to see me. I know you just got home last night and I really appreciate it.”

While I wasn’t aware I’d had much choice in the matter, I kept that snarky comment to myself. “Mom said you’ve been in Albuquerque for a few weeks already?”

“Yeah. When I found out you were in Europe, I decided to stick around until you got back. I wasn’t going to take a chance on missing you,” he said quietly. Sheesh. That was a nice thing to say. It was hard to not like him when he said stuff like that.

“So, where do you live?”

“In Dallas. I’m in commercial real estate. I’ve been doing some business here in New Mexico for the last few weeks.”

“Are you married? Do you have, um, other kids?” It was kind of an awkward question, but I wondered how he was able to hang around here waiting for me.

“No.” He shook his head. “I was married once, a long time ago, but no kids. No other kids, I mean. Sorry. I’m not used to, um, you know.”

“Suddenly finding out that you’re a dad?”

He looked up. “Yeah. It doesn’t come up every day.” We both chuckled. “Listen, Ally, I don’t want this to be weird.”

“Well, that ship already sailed.” This time we both laughed out loud. “So, um, crap. I don’t even know what I should call you.”

“How about Josh?”

I smiled. “Sure, okay. So, Josh, what do you say we go get some pancakes or something? I’m starving and I bet this conversation would be so much better on a full stomach.”

“God, that would be great,” he said, slumping in relief. “I was so nervous about meeting you that I couldn’t even keep coffee down this morning.”




guess I shouldn’t have been surprised to see Mina and Rémy sitting in a booth at the IHOP as Josh and I walked in.

—Are you all right, chérie?
Rémy asked silently.

—Fine. I’m doing okay. We’re just getting acquainted. I guess.

—We’re here if you need us, Ally.
This from Mina.

—Thanks, Mina. It’s okay. I just need to get to know him.

“Ally?” Josh waited for my answer to some unknown question.

“Sorry. What?”

“Booth or table?”

“Um, booth.” The hostess seated us in a booth near Rémy and Mina, but I shut both of them out of my head so I could concentrate on my father. We were both silent as we studied the menu. After a few minutes, I glanced up to see him staring at me.

“Sorry,” he looked down quickly. “You just—”


“You look so much like my grandmother.”

“Excuse me? I look like a grandmother?”

“No,” he said, laughing. “Like
grandmother. Like pictures I’ve seen of her when she was young. She was beautiful and had the same red hair. I can’t believe I have such a beautiful daughter.”

“Thanks. That’s really nice.” His staring made me uncomfortable; he seemed to understand and stopped when I looked everywhere but at him. “So that’s where I got this hair, huh? I’ve always wondered.”

The waitress came to take our orders, putting a momentary halt to our conversation. Once she left, he picked it up again. “So, your mom said that you already graduated from high school, a year early? You must be pretty smart. And you’re going to start at the university this fall? Any idea what you want to study?”

“Um, I think I want to study English and education, maybe a double major. I’d like to teach high school English. I think.”

“Well, that sounds great. What else do you do? What are your interests? What about friends? How about boyfriends?”

“Whoa, slow down,” I said. “That’s a lot of questions.”

“Sorry, sorry. I just feel like I missed so much of your life already. I want to catch up, but I guess pummeling you with questions isn’t the way to go about that, huh?”

“No, I understand. I have a lot of questions for you too. How about we take turns? So, my interests. Well, um…” I paused to think. I couldn’t exactly tell him about my interests in the Seer world, so that limited my options. “I was a cheerleader this last year, mostly because I used to be a gymnast and I’m small. I was a flyer—you know, the one they throw around?”

“Yeah. Wow, that’s great. Are you going to continue in college?”

“Oh, no. I’m not that good. Besides, I didn’t really care for the social crowd that went along with cheerleading.”

“Oh. What kind of social crowds do you like?” He looked puzzled.

“I think it’s my turn to ask a question, actually.”

He gave me a surprised, yet admiring nod. “Go ahead.”

“Okay. Well, what are your interests? Besides real estate, I mean.”

“Hmm. I like golf and biking. Not very exciting, huh?” He shrugged.

“Oh, I don’t know. I’ve never tried golf. Biking sounds fun, though. Mountain biking or racing?”

“A little bit of both. Do you ride?”

I shook my head. “No. I mean I do know how to ride a bike, of course. Mom and Grams taught me but I haven’t ridden since middle school.” The waitress brought our meals and we spent a few minutes concentrating on our food. “Speaking of my mom, you’re really mad at her, huh?”

He finished chewing and looked thoughtful. “Yeah, I am. I’m trying to understand everything she went through at the time, and I do. What I don’t understand are the years since then. Ally, you’re almost an adult. I missed your entire childhood. She stole that from me. I’m having a very difficult time forgiving that.”

“I know, Josh. I’m not sure how I feel about it all yet, either. I mean, I haven’t exactly had time to process any of it. But please, please don’t sue my mom.”

“What are you talking about?”

“Mom said you had consulted an attorney about your paternity rights. I know she should have told you, but I don’t want her to have to face a lawsuit right now,” I pleaded with him.

“Ally, I consulted an attorney about my paternity responsibilities, not my rights. I hope you want to spend time with me and that we can have some sort of relationship, but I realize that 17 and a half is a bit late to try and get parental rights or custody. I’ve never paid a cent of child support. That’s what I asked about. I’m not going to sue your mother.”

“Oh, thank God. I was worried. Yeah, of course I want to get to know you. And don’t worry about child support. We’ve done fine through the years. I don’t need any money.” I was so relieved he wasn’t going to take my mom to court for anything.

“Well, we’ll see about that, okay? I take this responsibility seriously. I’m not going to be a deadbeat dad.” We both chuckled at his attempted humor. I could probably like this guy. “So, is it my turn for a question? Tell me about your friends, especially any boyfriends that I’ll need to run a background check on.”

“Ha ha. My stepdad the cop has already done that, I’m sure. I don’t have a ton of friends; I’m not really a social butterfly or anything. My best friend is Tara. We’re planning to get an apartment together this summer. My friend Mina might move in with us if we can find a three-bedroom we can afford in a semi-decent area of town.”

“What about boyfriends? You seem to be purposely avoiding that subject.”

“You are really coming off as fatherly and over-protective, you know?”

He smiled. “Good. That’s what I was going for. Okay, let’s hear it. You do have a boyfriend, don’t you? It’s too much to hope for that you don’t.”

“Yes, I have a boyfriend. Calm down. He’s really nice and I think you’ll like him.” I couldn’t help but be flattered by his concern.

“And? How old is he?”

“He’s 19.”

Josh choked on his coffee. “Isn’t that a bit old?”

“No, it’s not. It’s perfect, actually. You need to wait to meet him before passing any judgment, okay?” I knew I sounded defensive and cranky, but I was not about to put up with my brand-new dad butting his nose into my dating life.

“Sorry. It just took me by surprise. I’ll withhold judgment until I meet him. When do I get to meet him? What’s his name?”

“His name is Jack and you can meet him in about a month when he gets back from basic training. He joined the army right after we graduated.”

“Army, huh? Well, I guess that’s okay. Is he going to college?”

“Yes, of course. He’s brilliant and is going to study mechanical engineering. My turn. What about you? Any girlfriends?”

“Not recently. So, I can’t meet your boyfriend right away, but how about any of your other friends?” he asked, slyly changing the subject.

I stared at him for a moment, trying to decide if it was worth it to pursue my previous line of questioning. “Well,” I sighed, giving up, “you can meet two of them now.”

“Ally, chérie!” Rémy and Mina approached our table. “It has been ages!” Right. At least forty-five minutes.

I rolled my eyes and introduced them. “Rémy, Mina, this is my father, Josh Harrison. Josh, these are my friends, Rémy Giles and Mina Addair. Mina is staying with us for a few weeks.” Rémy was his most charming as he chatted with my father for several minutes before ushering Mina away.

“So, they’re not from around here, huh?” Josh asked.

I laughed. “No, they’re not. Rémy is from France and Mina is from Ireland. I was overseas with them for the last few weeks. They’re really good friends.”

“Can I ask how old he is? I get the feeling he’s not in high school.”

“He’s 22. Mina is 19.”

“He’s not your boyfriend, though, right? Please say no.”

“Definitely not. Don’t worry.” I had a moment of guilt as I remembered kissing Rémy. I fervently wished that had never happened.

“Well, good. He seems way too sophisticated to be dating my 17 year old daughter.” He picked up the check the waitress had left and pulled out his wallet to leave a tip. “I’d better get you back to your grandmother’s house. I’ve got some work I need to do. Um, can I see you again? Maybe I could take you out to dinner tomorrow night?”

“Yeah. I’d like that, Josh.” As we walked to his rental car I felt the hairs on the back of my neck raise as if I were being watched. I looked around the parking lot, trying to see who it could be, but saw no one. Creepy.




-y shit, Ally!” Tara flopped back on my bed as I filled her in on my bombshell du jour. “You have the most exciting things happen to you! My life is so boring!” She stared at my ceiling for a moment before sitting up and pulling me down beside her. “Are you okay? I mean, how are you doing with this?” That’s why she’s my best friend.

“I don’t know, Tara. I’m kind of in shock, to tell the truth.”

“What’s your dad like? Is he nice? What do you call him?”

“Well, he seems nice enough, I guess. I call him Josh. ‘Dad’ would just be too weird. God, Tara! How could my mom do this to me? And to him? I’m so pissed at her right now I can barely think straight!” I reached up to wipe away the tears I couldn’t keep from overflowing.

“Oh, sweetie! I know, I know. You have every right to be mad at her. It’s perfectly normal,” she soothed me, rubbing my back and handing me a tissue off my nightstand.

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