Home > After the Game (The Field Party #3)(4)

After the Game (The Field Party #3)(4)
Author: Abbi Glines

Although I had seen an ugly side to Rhett recently. He clearly wasn’t above being an ass, especially to Gunner. I wondered if Gunner could believe Riley now that he knows the kind of person Rhett really is.

The idea that it was possible Riley hadn’t been lying was there. But I just couldn’t bring myself to accept that Rhett was so twisted and sick he’d actually rape her and lie about it. He had his issues, but he wasn’t cruel. Not like that.

Shaking my head and wishing I could get all this out of it and think about something else, I headed for the attic stairs to escape to my bedroom, which was now up there.

My old bedroom door was open, and my cousin Maggie was sitting on the bed with a book in her hand. I paused and stopped at the door.

“Where’s West?”

She glanced up. “He’s spending the afternoon with his mom.”

He was good about that. Making sure his mother was okay and staying stable. After his father’s death, they had been through some rough patches.

“That’s good,” I said, still standing there.

Maggie folded the page and closed the book in her lap. “You need to talk about something, Brady?” She tilted her head and studied me like she already knew the answer to this.

Maybe I did need to talk.

I shrugged. “Not sure.”

She sighed and held up her book. “Might as well talk. You’ve interrupted my reading.”

I knew if anyone would keep their mouth shut, it was Maggie. She didn’t stir drama or participate in it. She also paid more attention to people than most, and I trusted her opinion.

I walked into the room and sat across from her in the chair that was placed in the corner.

“I gave Riley Young a ride home in the storm. She had a kid with her. A little girl not much older than a baby, really.” There. I had admitted it.

Maggie stared at me a moment and said nothing. “Is that it? You gave a girl a ride and you feel the need to open up about it?”

I thought Maggie had heard the story of Riley Young already. “Did you miss the part where I said Riley Young? As in the girl who accused Rhett of rape and almost lost him his scholarship?”

“I know who Riley Young is. Y’all have bashed her enough. I’m aware of the story. But she had a small child with her, there was a storm, and she was out in it with the child. I would think anyone would offer her a ride. If you hadn’t, then you should feel bad. But you did, so I’m not getting what this whole conversation is about.”

Sighing, I leaned back in the chair and stared out the window a moment. How could I explain this to Maggie? She didn’t jump on the team of hating anyone. She was patient and forgiving.

“The little girl called Riley Momma,” I said, hoping to get more of a response from her.

Maggie’s eyes widened. “Oh, so she has come back with a baby. Could it be Rhett’s?”

Finally she was getting it. “That’s what has me thinking. She lied on Rhett to get money out of him when she found out she was pregnant. That is all that makes sense. And when Gunner finds out about this, his life is going to get even more complicated. He has enough on him as it is.”

The frown on Maggie’s face looked firmly directed at me. As if I had done something wrong. “Or Riley could have been telling the truth. From the little I saw of Rhett Lawton, I don’t rank him high up there in moral standards. Why are you all so sure she lied?”

The same exact thing that had been plaguing me came so easily out of her mouth. But then, she wasn’t talking about a guy who had been like an older brother to her. She didn’t know Rhett. Not like I did.

“Rhett was a talented athlete. His family was the wealthiest in town. He was powerful, and the town made him feel that way. Is it so hard to believe he could take something that wasn’t his? If he was everything all of you claim, then why did Riley try and pin it, as you say, on Rhett? Wouldn’t she have known that it wasn’t going to end well if she did? If it had been me I would have been terrified to lie on Rhett Lawton. Just seems she took a very scary route to make things easier on herself.”

Everything she said made sense. All of it. But I couldn’t just believe Riley or reach out to her. She was still the enemy. But what if she was innocent?

I stood up. “It’s not that easy,” was all I could say.

Maggie shrugged. “No, it’s not. Especially for Riley.”

Have You Seen Thomas?



No Lawton had shown up at my door to demand I leave town. That was a good sign. It was possible Brady was being the good guy that he liked to wear as his label and keeping his mouth shut. The last thing I wanted was a Lawton to show up and demand to see Bryony.

I wish I’d never told anyone the truth. If I had just kept quiet about the father and left town quietly, then this wouldn’t be a problem. Bryony never needed to know who her father was. I dreaded the day she’d ask me about him, because I knew it was coming. When she started school and realized the other kids had two parents, she was going to want to know.

Right now she had my dad, and her pops was good enough. She wasn’t lacking for attention and love. I was thankful for my parents and their support through all of this. Not once did they question my story. When everyone else had called me a liar, I had feared that they might too. But they hadn’t.

Instead, they quit their jobs, found work far away from here, and moved us out of this town. All for me. I’d never forget that sacrifice. Because of them I had never felt alone through the process. Many girls weren’t as lucky. I had met several at the teen pregnancy support group I went to once a week. I’d fought the idea at first when my mother brought home the pamphlet. But one day I decided it wouldn’t hurt to give it a shot.

Those meetings gave me the courage to become a mother. They helped me realize I wasn’t the only girl out there in this situation. They saved me in ways my parents couldn’t. One day I intended to start my own facility for teen moms.

“Momma, samich.” Bryony was tugging on my jeans asking for her favorite snack. Two pieces of toast with ketchup in the middle, cut up into four small squares, with no crust.

I bent down and pulled her close to me in a tight hug. “I love you,” I told her.

“Okay,” was her reply, followed by a wet kiss to my cheek.

I couldn’t imagine my life without her. I didn’t want to. The pain that Rhett put my family and me through was all worth it for this. My daughter. I’d live through it all again if I could have this.

“Where is Thomas?” Grandmamma asked, walking into the living room with a confused frown on her face. Thomas was the cat she had when I was a little girl, and he had passed away from cancer when I was nine.

“Around here somewhere,” I replied. There was no use telling her he was dead. It would upset her, and she’d just start asking for him again in thirty minutes.

“I’m going to fix Bryony a snack. Come to the kitchen with us and I’ll slice you up a pear with some cottage cheese.”

She paused, still searching the room with her eyes for Thomas. “Do I like that?” she asked me.

Pears and cottage cheese had been her favorite snack for as long as I could remember. “You love it.”

She nodded then sighed with a sag to her shoulders. She would start looking for Thomas again soon. But for now it seemed like she might be letting it go.

“Okay,” she replied, and I took Bryony’s hand and led them both toward the kitchen.

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