Title: Innocent Tears
Author: Iris Blobel
Genre: Australian Contemporary Romance
Becoming a parent can be daunting at the best of times, but for Flynn McCormack, a business lawyer in Melbourne, it pulls the feet right out from underneath him. He’s become a father to six-year-old Nadine literally overnight. He didn’t know about her existence, and the news throws him into chaos, even more so when he is asked to take over custody. With the help of Emma, an employee at the hotel where Nadine and her grandparents are staying, Flynn tries to do the right thing. Yet, the right thing in his eyes differs from his parents’ ideas, and Emma is voicing her opinion, too, leaving Nadine right in the middle of it all, still grieving the loss of her mother. There’s no doubt she’s afraid about where and with whom she will settle. Will a letter Flynn receives help him decide what to do?
Emma woke to the ringing of the phone, and after a bit of fumbling around, she managed to answer it. “Hello?”
She had to blink her eyes several times before she was able to read the clock across her room.
“Emma? It’s Flynn McCormack here.”
Emma rubbed her eyes and instinctively pulled the duvet closer to her chin.
The stillness was deafening. There was no reply, but she could hear his gentle breathing and knew he hadn’t hung up.
“Are you still there? You just woke me in the middle of the night and I’m—”
“I need help.”
Emma yawned. “At one-thirty in the middle of the night?”
“She won’t stop crying.”
Leaning on one elbow, Emma asked quietly, “What happened?”
Growing impatient, she moved the hair out of her face. “Okay. How about you give me some details?”
Another deep breath. “Can you come over?”
“What?” She almost screamed. “What?” she asked more quietly.
“I need help. Nadine’s sobbing in the room, missing her mum.”
“What happened? What did you say?”
“Hey, what makes you think I said something? We had dinner, she had a shower, and I tucked her into bed.”
She rubbed her eyes to wipe away the last remnants of her sleep. “And then?”
“Nothing. I turned the lights off and left.”
“Okay. Could she be scared?”
His grumble told her he was not only getting impatient, but also overwhelmed with the situation. “How on earth would I know? She’s not talking. Just sobbing for her mum.”
“Have you tried giving her a hug?”
He hesitated. “Nope. Tried dolls, tried calm music, hot milk, movie—”
“Try a hug!” She leaned her head into her hand.
“Okay, will do, but I’m not good at… you know, hugs.”
“Well, you must’ve done it at least once, otherwise…” Emma rolled her eyes at her own immature reply. “Never mind. Sorry!”
She heard some soothing words to Nadine on the other side of the line. “Put her on the phone. I’ll talk to her. And Flynn?”
“With all due respect, try and put yourself in her shoes. Within three months she’s lost her mother and has been carted off to a man she doesn’t know, who doesn’t know how to hug. How would you feel? Of course she’s upset!”
She threw herself back onto the bed. “To hell with you, then.”
Emma turned and checked the time on the clock again. Moving her hands through her hair, she stood in one quick movement and walked to the bathroom. She hadn’t bothered switching on the light, and let out a shriek when she bumped into Jack.
He turned the light on and rubbed his face. “For fuck’s sake, Em. It’s almost two o’clock in the morning. Keep the voice down.”
“Jack? You’ve given me a fright.”
Eyes wide, he glared at her. “Who on earth did you expect at this time of the night?”
Amazon US https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07JH4H1XQ/
Amazon CA https://www.amazon.ca/dp/B07JH4H1XQ/
Amazon UK https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B07JH4H1XQ/