Sacred Vow (Angels Halo MC Next Gen #5) - Terri Anne Browning Page 0,1

eyes widened. “What, like she’s sick?” He practically whispered the last word. I understood why. After Aunt Raven had gone through her cancer treatments, we’d all been terrified that something like that could happen to our own mother.

“No,” I told him, shaking my head. “I think—” I broke off, not wanting to voice what I really suspected.

“Tell me, Riv,” he commanded. “If it’s bothering you this badly, I want you to tell me. No secrets, baby.”

Tears filled my eyes, because I was keeping a huge secret from him, but it was better—safer—if he didn’t know. “I-I think she might be cheating on my dad.”

“Fuck,” he choked out and pulled my head to his chest. “For real?”

I nodded, taking a moment to get my emotions under control before lifting my head. I did think Mom was cheating on Dad. With the shady way she’d been acting recently, there really wasn’t any other explanation. She was sneaking around, hiding things, and lying about places she’d been.

Just a few days before, she’d been late getting home, and when Dad asked her where she’d been, she’d said she was with Aunt Quinn. He hadn’t even questioned what I knew was a lie, because I’d been at my aunt and uncle’s house. Aunt Quinn had been home all day, but my mother hadn’t even stopped by.

So where had she really been?

The thing about my mom was that I knew she loved my dad. She would kill for him. Offer up her own life in exchange for his. But I’d noticed she never fully trusted him. Then again, she’d never seemed to trust any man. I got it, though. Her own father had shot her, had nearly killed her, all because she’d ruined his political career.

If a girl couldn’t trust her own daddy, how the fuck was she expected to trust any other male?

But that didn’t give her an excuse to cheat on my dad. He was a good man. He took care of Mom and me, working his ass off for the family-owned bar and the MC to provide for us. Not that we needed to worry about money. When Grandpa Hank—the man who’d stepped in as Mom’s surrogate father and my honorary grandfather—had passed away, he’d left all his money and other assets to the two of us. Money wasn’t an issue. I never had to work if I didn’t want to with just the money from the trust fund Grandpa Hank had set up for me when I was born.

Dad was a hard worker, and he’d never once looked at another woman. He loved Mom, worshiped her. All she had to do was bat her lashes at him and he was gone for her, giving her anything she even hinted that she wanted.

And while I knew Mom didn’t completely trust Dad, I’d never doubted her love and devotion to him in return.

Not until now.

I honestly didn’t want to think she was cheating, but it was the only logical conclusion. Why else would she lie about where she was?

Maverick kissed the top of my head. “It’s going to be okay, baby. Don’t worry about your parents.” His arms tightened around me. “Focus on what you want for your birthday, instead. You still haven’t told me what you want.”

“Just you,” I told him truthfully and tried to burrow myself deeper against him. “I only want you for my birthday.”

I felt more than heard his growl as he tipped my head up and lowered his lips to mine. “You will always have me, River.”

Wanting nothing more than to melt against him and have him make everything better, I let him hold me for a few more minutes before that overwhelming feeling that I needed to get home began to make me anxious. Pushing up onto my tiptoes, I kissed him hard. “See you tomorrow,” I promised before rushing out the back door.

As I hurried to my car, I saw two of the trash cans had been overturned, and one of the bags was ripped open. I didn’t give it a second thought, figuring some animal had gotten into it. On the drive home, I had to pass Hannigans’, my family’s bar, and was thankful to see my dad’s bike in its usual spot.

Some of my anxiety eased, but for some reason, I pressed a little harder on the gas. Once I was home and had my car in the garage, I ran inside.

Only to freeze when I walked into the kitchen and found my mother standing

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