A little snippet of Ari and Caden’s beginning
Ari looked like she’d been through hell though. She stood to the side with her arms wrapped around her middle, looking like the world was ending.
“We’re finished,” she said in a surly tone.
“No, we’re not.”
Ari poked him with one finger. “You are leaving. That’s the same thing.”
“I’m coming back. It’s only school.”
“Caden, you know that isn’t going to satisfy your father.”
“You’re overreacting, Ari.”
Arden winced in sympathy. “Oh, kid.”
Ari’s eyes narrowed. The fury squint. If they weren’t breaking up before, they were now, he thought.
He watched with a certain level of amusement as the kid wriggled under the squint. “Overreacting. He agreed that if I….”
“If you leave me here alone and go off to school, he’d leave you alone for good, let you do what you want. Like hell.”
Arden watched Ari closely. This was different. This wasn’t the usual flare of temper. Ari was afraid and hurting. Arden felt his back go up.
He started to interrupt, but Ari glared his way and he stopped. She turned those big, teary eyes on Caden. “You know what? Go. I’m not gonna keep you.”
“Ari,” Caden’s voice pleaded with her. She turned away and headed for her bedroom, walked in and locked the door. You could hear the lock in the silence. Caden went to the door. “Ari, please. Listen to me here….”
Arden looked at the kid’s back as he pressed one palm to the wood of the door, and he felt a little sorry for him. He was young and naive. Carnes was a vindictive son of a bitch, and that would never change. That boy would never get anywhere with his old man.