20. I Forgive You

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Asher POV

I put my shirt back on and walk outside after Baylor. When I walk outside I look around but don't see her. The sound of tears being stifled sounds from the side of the house and so I walk into the yard and to the edge of the house. When I look around the corner I see Bay sitting on the ground with her back against the wall. I walk over to her and sit on the ground next to her. She turns her head away from me so I can't see her tears. I gently grab her chin and turn her head towards me.

"You've seen me cry. Don't try to be tough now, darling. What's wrong?" I ask her and she wraps her arms around me and lays her head against my chest. I wrap her in my arms enjoying the warmth from her body.

"I don't want to talk, I just want to be here with you." She says through her tears and I let her lay against my chest for a moment until she clams down. We don't speak for ten minutes, just listen to the sound of our breath as we hold each other tight as if we will be ripped away from each other at any moment.

"What if he comes here? Is it over Asher? It's been quiet for two years but what if he is still watching me. What if he has known where I've been all along? Or if he followed you? He watched you for so long after I left. He knew when I called you Asher."  She says worriedly as she clenches my shirt in her fist. The mention of Gary sends shivers down my spine as the haunting gunshot from that night echoes through my ears.

"I will never let anything happen to you ever again." I tell her as I pull her back to look into her eyes. She nods her head and she looks down at the ground and away.

"It's Mia too now though." She says with a quiver to her voice and I wrap my arms back around her.

"I know that. Baylor I want to be a part of my family. Please let me." I tell her seriously, getting nervous with this conversation.

"I know. I'm trying, it's just, I feel as if we're risking our daughters safety for our own happiness." Those words. Those are the ones I've been dreading, anticipating with a nauseous twirl in my gut.

"We don't know that. Baylor it's been five years. I'm sure he doesn't even know where you are." I tell her and she gives me a small tight lipped smile and nods as she lays her head back down on my chest.

"Baylor?" A voice asks from beside us and we both look towards the voice. My body tenses as my blood runs cold. I stand up and push Baylor's frozen state behind me. Neither of us have the words to speak so her Mother continues.

"Bay can we talk please?" She asks, her eyes pleading with an unrecognized regretfulness.

"Talk? You want to talk? After your piece of shit husband killed your daughter and tried to have the other one murdered?" Baylor says slowly as she takes a deadly step towards her mother.

"I didn't know! I swear I didn't know!" She cries as she takes a small step towards Baylor but she backs up behind me.

"How could you not know?! I told you he set me up last time we talked!" Baylor screams at her with agony in her voice.

"I'm so sorry!" She begs and Baylor scoffs.

"You're sorry? I don't give a shit if you're sorry! Shove your apology up your ass!" Baylor yells back and her mom closes her eyes as tears begin to form.

"He told me you did it! That we were fighting and you didn't want me to go home with him so you jerked the wheel and caused us to wreck. I was drunk I didn't know what happened. I woke up the next morning with one less child. And yes I should have never treated you the way I did but I was so lost Baylor. My daughter had just been ripped away from me and he said you did it because you were jealous. I don't know why I believed him. I don't know why I abandoned you like I did. But please at least let us talk about it." She says now sobbing.

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