“What makes you think you can swan back into our lives and tell us what to do?”
“I’m not trying to tell you what to do,” Bobby said.
“It sure sounds like it,” John said, his arms crossed in front of him.
Bobby leaned back against the couch. John looked so much like Linda, but he acted just like Bobby used to. And Bobby knew he’d had a hand in the anger that rode in every line of the boy’s face.
“I’m sorry,” he said. “I know I’ve said it several times already, and it doesn’t make anything better. But, I am sorry. I screwed up, and I paid for it. You and Adam shouldn’t have, though.”
“You were out for more than a year before Mom died. Why didn’t you ever come to see us?” There was a hard bite to the boy’s voice, but his lip was trembling.
Damn it. That was a question he never wanted to have to answer. But, he didn’t want to lie. it was never something he enjoyed doing, and especially not to his oldest son. “I signed away my rights when I went to prison. I wanted your mom and both of you boys to have a chance at a better life. And when I got out, I promised her I wouldn’t drag you down.” He saw shocked pain on John’s face now and swore to himself. “Do not blame your mother,” he said. “It was the right thing when she didn’t know if I was going to stay on the right side of the law.”
“But, you have?”
He wished John didn’t have to ask him that, but he couldn’t really blame the boy, either. “Yes,” he answered truthfully. “I have.”
John nodded after a moment. “Good. I’ll see if Adam wants to see you. It’s up to him, though. I won’t make him do anything he doesn’t want.”
“I wouldn’t ask that of him, either.” But, he was glad he was getting a chance of at least being a part of his sons’ lives again. Now, as long as he didn’t screw it up again.
If you’ve read Flames of Redemption, you may recognize these characters. And at least one of them may make a reappearance in the series.