Until I Make You Mine - Page 18

I didn’t want to prolong this. And then, as if he knew this was the right time to talk about it, my father stepped into the kitchen.

“Damn, Maggie. Smells incredible in here.” He walked up to the pan and picked up the ladle, scooping out some of the sauce and blowing on it before tasting it. He hummed in pleasure and looked over at my mom, smiling. And then he leaned in and kissed her. “Perfection as usual.”

“Thanks, honey.”

But my mother had her focus on me, the look of concern still on her face. It wasn’t like I was trying to hide how nervous I was.

My father looked at me then, his brows furrowed, the lines on his forehead becoming more prominent. His short dark hair was speckled with white, giving him a salt-and-pepper look. And although in his face you could tell he was an older man, his body showed he worked hard for a living, doing manual labor. He was strong and muscular, and the dedication in him was evident.

“What’s going on, Kace?”

Now I had both of my parents staring at me. I guess waiting until after we ate wasn’t an option.

Exhaling roughly and lifting my hand to rub the back of my neck, I thought about how best to say this. But in the end just coming out with it was probably the right way.

“It’s about me and Shiloh,” I said and felt the shift in the air.

“What do you mean Shiloh and you?” My father was the one to speak and then my mother smiled.

“Honey, you know what that means. Kace has himself a little girlfriend.”

I could’ve groaned at my mother’s words. “Little girlfriend” was definitely not what Shiloh was to me.

She was everything. My soulmate, the love of my life, the end of everything. Without her I was nothing. But I didn’t tell my parents all of that. They wouldn’t understand, would probably say I was too young to know what I wanted in life, to know that what I had with Shiloh was real.

My father didn’t say anything at first, but he kept his focus on me, his stare intent. “No, Maggie. This is something much more, isn’t it?”

I nodded slowly as I stared at him.

“You love her.” He didn’t phrase it like a question.

“I do.”

“But honey, you’re so young. Both of you are,” my mother said, but it wasn’t as if she were coddling me, treating me like a child. I could hear the concern in her voice.

I gave her a smile, one that I hoped told her this was the real deal for me. “Mom, I have loved Shiloh for longer than I can even remember and she loves me. I won’t let that go. I can’t.” I took a deep breath and looked between my mom and dad. “I’m going with her when she heads off to school. I have to do this.” The silence in the room was deafening, and I expected my parents to try and talk me out of it, to tell me how foolish I was, how stupid and young I was.

But they were silent, just watching me, maybe processing everything I said.

“I care about the family business. I want to be part of it. But I love Shiloh. She’s my life, Dad, Mom. I have to go and be with her. This was my decision, not hers. And I hope I didn’t just disappoint you.”

My mother gave me a sad smile and embraced me immediately. “Sweetheart, you can never disappoint me. I understand. I want you to follow your heart and be happy.” She pulled back and cupped my cheek, smoothing her thumb along my skin. She moved back and looked at my father. He still had yet to say anything.

Although my dad wasn’t an angry man, didn’t lash out, didn’t get upset easily, I was worried about his disappointment, that he’d be sad I wasn’t going to be around for the next four years to help with the business.

“I’m sorry.” I wanted to say more, but I didn’t know how to phrase it, didn’t know how to make things better. He lifted his hand and placed it on my shoulder, giving a gentle squeeze.

“You love her, and I understand that.” He looked at my mother then and smiled. “When I first met your mom and fell in love with her, there wasn’t anything I wouldn’t do. If she moved across the world, I would’ve followed her, no questions asked, no hesitation. Hell, I would still do that in a heartbeat.” He looked at me and gave my shoulder another squeeze. “I’d never be disappointed in you for following your heart. I know you’ll be back. This company was built for you, for the legacy of our family. You do what you have to do, and know that when you’re back home with Shiloh, I’ll be right here waiting for you. The business will be ready for you to take over.”

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