Canyon(6)

By: Brenda Jackson


Canyon shifted his gaze back up to meet Keisha’s eyes. In a voice shaking with fury, he asked, “Would you like to tell me why I didn’t know I had a son?”





                      Two

Keisha drew in a deep breath while thinking about what she would say, and from Canyon’s tone of voice she knew it better be good. She’d often wondered how he would react when he found out he had a son. Would he deny her child was his like her own father had done with her?

Instead of answering his question, she countered with one of her own. “Would it have mattered had you known?”

She saw surprise flash in his eyes just seconds before his lips formed a tight line. “Of course it would have mattered,” he said with affront. “Now tell me why I wasn’t told.”

Keisha could tell by the way her son held tight to her skirt that he sensed something was wrong, and she knew how anxious he got around strangers. Although she wished otherwise, the time had come for her and Canyon to talk. But not now and not here.

“I need to get Beau home and—”

“Beau?”

She lifted her chin. “Yes. My son’s name is Beau Ashford.”

The anger that flashed across his face was quick. And although he muttered the words, “Not for long,” under his breath, she heard them.

She slowly pulled in a deep breath and then carefully exhaled it. “Like I said, Canyon. I need to get Beau home to prepare dinner and then—”

“Fine,” he cut in before she finished. “Whatever you have planned for tonight, I’m included.”

Like hell he was. “Now look here, Canyon. I—”

She stopped talking when she saw Pauline Sampson, owner of the day care, approaching them. Pauline had been one of Keisha’s first clients when she’d begun practicing law five years ago. She was also a friend of Mr. Spivey’s wife, Joan. Pauline was smiling but Keisha saw deep concern in every curve of the woman’s lips. There was also a degree of curiosity in her eyes.

“Keisha, I happened to glance out my window and saw you were still here. I just wanted to make sure everything was okay,” Pauline said smoothly.

If everything wasn’t okay, Keisha had no intention of letting Pauline know. “Yes, everything is fine, Pauline.” She hadn’t planned on making introductions, and she was aware that Canyon knew it. She really wasn’t surprised when he took it upon himself to make the introductions himself.

Extending his hand out to Pauline, he said, “How are you, Pauline? I’m Canyon Westmoreland, Beau’s father.”

Keisha watched Pauline’s brow lift in surprise. “Westmoreland?”

Canyon flashed Pauline what Keisha knew to be his dashing smile, one known to win over jurors in the courtroom. “Yes, Westmoreland.”

She saw interest shine in Pauline’s eyes. “Are you related to Dillon Westmoreland?”

Canyon kept his smile in place. “Yes, Dillon is my oldest brother.”

Pauline’s smile widened. “Small world. I can definitely see the resemblance. Dillon and I went to high school together and serve on the boards of directors of several businesses in town.”

“Yes, it is a small world,” Canyon agreed, glancing at his watch. “If you don’t mind excusing us, Pauline, Keisha and I need to get Beau home for dinner.”

“Oh, not at all,” Pauline said, beaming. “I understand.” She then glanced up at Keisha. “Have a good weekend.”

Keisha doubted that would happen now. “You, too, Pauline.”

She knew not to waste time talking Canyon out of following her home. He wanted her to answer his question—not tomorrow or next week, but tonight.

When Pauline turned to go back inside, Keisha moved toward her car and gasped in surprise when Canyon reached down and picked up Beau. Keisha opened her mouth to warn him that Beau didn’t take well to strangers. She closed it when instead of screaming at the top of his lungs, Beau wrapped his arms around Canyon’s neck.

Canyon adjusted their son in his arms. “I’ll carry him to the car for you.”