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The Wedding Secret

Written by Kianna Alexander

Chapter Fifteen

Amir raised his glass of tea, taking a long drink. He sat at a table outside of Midwood Smokehouse with a steaming plate of brisket in front of him. He scooped a helping into his mouth, regarding the view of Central Avenue as he chewed.

Raheem, Amir’s older brother, sat across from him with his own meal. A mechanic by trade, Raheem owned a small auto shop near his Myers Park home. The three-year age difference between them had never kept them from hanging out, as they did each month when they met for lunch.

Working on his own plate of smoked wings, Raheem used a napkin to wipe the sauce away from his mouth. “You’ve been real quiet, Amir. What’s going on with you?”

Swallowing his food with another swig of tea, Amir braced for the admission he had to make. “There’s a possibility I’m about to be…a father.” The last two words were a struggle to get out.

Raheem’s brow lifted, the surprise showing on his face. “What? Really? Why didn’t you tell me you were involved with someone?”

“Because I’m not.” Amir cleared his throat. “I…uh…got into a little situation.”

Now Raheem looked even more surprised.

Taking a deep breath, Amir recounted the story, the same way he’d done with Q a few days ago. When he finished, he shrugged. “I never thought something like this would happen, but then I guess I wasn’t really thinking at all.”

“I know you’re not out here getting it in without wrapping it up.” Raheem gave him a censuring look.

“Nah, man. Never. But the wrapping couldn’t hold up to the getting it in, if you catch my meaning.” Amir popped a hush puppy into his mouth, savoring the warm, fluffy interior and its crispy outer shell.

“I see.” Raheem was quiet for a few moments as he put away another wing. He seemed to be mulling things over as he ate. Setting aside the bone, he said, “Listen. It sounds to me like you’re being stubborn about this. What’s her name?”

A charge went through his body as he spoke her name. “Renata.”

Raheem’s knowing look spoke volumes. “You have feelings for her?” He was asking a question, but his expression conveyed his surety of the answer.

Amir sighed. “Yes. I never planned to get involved. We had an arrangement that was supposed to keep feelings out of the equation.”

“Forget all that. If she means something to you, you should sit down and work this out with her. Being in your child’s life is one thing, and I know you’ll do the right thing on that end. But if you care about her, you owe it to yourself to at least see where things could go.”

Amir knew his brother was right. While he still had his doubts, he was wasting time by avoiding Renata. It was time he stopped hemming and hawing and saw about Renata…and his baby.

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Kianna Alexander

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