She turned toward the door to find Preacher leaning against it. He wasn’t wearing a shirt, just a pair of jeans.
“Watching you drool over my president is gross,” Bear said.
She couldn’t stop herself from laughing.
Preacher flexed his arm, showing off his muscles.
Bear made a gagging sound while Robin admired the man she’d left in bed.
“You should have woken me,” Preacher said, coming toward her. He kissed the top of her head, and she closed her eyes, leaning back and basking in his love and touch.
“I was only coming down for some coffee. It’s all good, I promise.”
“Don’t worry, Preach, I’ve been keeping my daughter company, telling her about all the things that are wrong with me.”
“That’s what I worry about.”
She smiled. Sipping at her coffee, she didn’t mind the heat as it slid down her throat.
“So, what’s happening today?” she asked.
“You want some pancakes?” Preacher asked.
“I’d love some.”
“I’ll take some with chocolate chips and syrup,” Bear said. “Damn, I haven’t had your cooking in so long. You need to bring my daughter around more often.”
“Yeah, because that is so not weird,” she said.
“It’s not. Believe me,” Bear said.
She finished her coffee, getting up to pour herself a second cup as Bear excused himself to go to the bathroom. When they were alone, Preacher pulled her close. He stopped mixing up the batter to talk to her. “Are you okay?”
“Yeah, I’m fine.”
“I don’t like you leaving me alone in bed.”
“Sorry, I didn’t mean anything by it. I promise. I was just coming down to have a drink. That’s all.”
He tilted her head back. “You’re sure?”
“Yeah, of course. Why would I lie?” she asked.
“I … I want to make sure you’re feeling okay. If you’re ever worried or sad, I need you to tell me. To talk to me.”
“I will. I promise.”
“Did you go into Bishop’s room?” he asked.
“That’s a subject change. No, I didn’t.”
“I don’t know. What does it matter?”
“Because I’m curious about, you know, you, everything. All of it.” He stroked her cheek. “I know you and Bishop were close once. I don’t know what could trigger your memory.”
She thought about what her father had said. “Does it bother you?”
“Does what bother me?”
“Me not having my memory back. Do you wish I was the old Robin? Does it bother you that I don’t remember us, the baby, anything?”
He sighed but didn’t answer right away. It scared her a little.
What if he really loved the old Robin and she could never remember the past? Would he hate her? Would he want her to change?
There were so many questions and fears rushing through her, she didn’t know who to trust.
“Don’t freak out.”
“I’m not freaking out.”
He raised a brow. “I can tell you are.”
“Okay, a little, but you tell me you wouldn’t freak out a little in my situation. I’m struggling. There’s a part of me I don’t know. I don’t know if I’m ever going to remember anything and it scares me, a lot. It freaks me out.” She shook her head. “I’m sorry, I really shouldn’t say anything.”
“No, it’s not.” She blew out a breath. “I honestly don’t know how to feel right now.”
“I love you, Robin. Yes, at times, I wish you could remember me. I know there’s a lot we’ve been through together but then I think about the two years you were gone from my life. I don’t know if they were good or bad years, and if they were bad, I don’t think I want you to remember them. They were part of your life, but I don’t know how you’re going to react to them. I’m going to be by your side, regardless. If you remember, great, if not, I’m just pleased to have you in my world. I didn’t stop looking for you, and I will never stop looking. You’re my life, my love, and I vow to protect you.”
She smiled. “Thank you.”
“Does this mean once the annulment comes in you’re going to make an honest woman out of my daughter?” Bear asked, coming back in.
She groaned. “Seriously?”
“Yes,” Preacher said, startling her. “I’ll make an honest woman out of her.”
As far as marriage proposals went, she didn’t have any comparison, and she found it rather sweet.
“I can’t go back there,” Bishop said.
His hands shook and fear gripped him. In all his twenty years, he’d never been afraid of his father.
Preacher hadn’t been the best kind of dad, but he’d never been mean. Sure, there had been a couple of beatings through the years when he’d done something wrong, and even he knew he deserved some of the punishments. He’d never been a good kid.
Robin was always the good one.
He’d been the one who liked to find danger and play with it. It often meant Robin ended up hurt, but he hadn’t cared enough to stop. All he ever wanted to do was have some fun, no matter the cost.