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Chapter 7

"Mom, I understand." I tried explaining to my Mother. We've been bickering on and on about Mariah. Apparently, my parents plan on going on a cruise, but Mariah isn't allowed to go.

"Shayla, you really don't understand. David won't do it. Matthew won't do it, not even Robert will do it, and you know how much Mariah loves being with Andy."

"Have you talked to Andy about it?" I sighed.

"Robert won't even let me speak to my grandchild!"

"Mom, I just don't know what to tell you."

"No, you do know what to tell me. You just don't know how to put it nicely."

"Mom, that's not it. My thing is that the cruise is only for three days. It'll take somewhere around two days for Mariah to get here. By the time she gets here, you all will be about finished with the cruise. That's not right and with my schedule there's no way that I could be able to keep up with Mariah."

"What's up with Katherine? You know she'll do it."

"You didn't hear a word I said, did you?"

"Don't talk to me like that, Shayla. I'm still your Mother."

"I apologize, but how about I call Robert right now and talk to him about it."

"He won't listen to you..."

"I'll try my best. I'll call you right back." I hung up the phone and put it in the cup holder.

"Moms is really persistent, isn't she?" Janet laughed.

"You haven't seen the half of it." I sighed as we pulled into the driveway.

"That Byron kid just doesn't leave you alone, does he?"

I shrugged, "I kind of like the attention."

"You tease!" Janet laughed.

"He and I both know I'm married. I don't think I'm teasing anyone." I laughed. We walked in the house and Janet headed for the living room as I began to make my way up the stairs. Michael was going to be here later, but before that Janet and I had an appointment made at the spa. I opened the door to my bedroom and put my purse and jacket on the bench at the end of our bed. Just as I began to take my earrings out, I noticed a slight stirring under the blankets in the bed...

I paused. "What in the world?" I whispered to myself as I reached down to take off my shoe. I walked over to my side of the bed and slowly began to reach toward the blankets to snatch them off. Suddenly, a blotchy, discolored hand reached out and grabbed me. "Ahh!" I screamed as I began beating the hand with my shoe.

"Ouch!" The culprit yelled as he came out from underneath the blankets. "Have you really had to protect yourself since I was gone?" Michael looked up at me as he rubbed his hand.

"Michael!" I screamed and jumped on him causing him to fall on his back onto the bed. I kissed his cheeks and lips over and over again. "You scared me, ya know?" I laughed.

"I noticed." He smiled.

"I've missed you so much..." I looked him in the eyes and kissed him again.

"I've missed you too, baby."

"What's all that racket, Shayla?" Janet ran into the room until she spotted Michael. "Well, lookie here," she smiled. "The prodigal son has finally returned."

"Hey, dunk." Michael smiled as he turned around to look at his sister. I looked back at his discolored hand. What in the world happened since he's been gone? I'll ask him about it later. I honestly do not want to kill the mood right now.

"I thought you would be back at eleven. That's what Shayla kept telling me."

"Yeah, well, I made that up to surprise her." He smiled as he looked back at me. I smiled and kissed him again.

"Surprise, huh? Well. you sure did surprise the heck out of us, kiddo, because we have a spa appointment in an hour. Now, Shayla, what are we gonna do about that?" Janet folded her arms.

"Well, you already know I'm going to bail out on that one, sis," I lay my head on Michael's chest. "get one of your friends or sisters to go with you." Michael kissed my forehead.

"Oh, so you're just gonna bail out on our appointment because Michael's back?"

"Janet, we can always reschedule."

"Oh, no. You suck. I'll definitely be making my way home now." Janet left. "Because I'd much rather be at home by myself any ol' way."

"What's she mad about?" Michael asked.

"Nothing." I kissed him again. "I'm just glad that you're back, baby."

"Me too."

I looked down at Michael's hand again. When was he going to tell me about this?

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