Blow Up

[Thia’s POV]

I watched as many emotions flashed across Leah’s face. It looked like my assumption that something serious happened between her and Asher was right. However, it was clear she didn’t want to talk about it, and I had no intention of pushing her.

"I don’t want to discuss it." Leah finally sighed. "Can you just trust me to be able to handle my own problems?"

"What about Arabia?" I asked slowly.

If Asher and Leah weren’t getting on well, what would happen to her? It was already enough that Leah wasn’t able to tell Asher about her, but now she may never be.

"Why are you bringing her into this?" Leah hissed, trying to keep her expression neutral. "This doesn’t concern her at all."

"How does it not?" I asked, remaining calm. "Are you planning to just raise her all on your own? That’s ridiculous."

I knew that I was treading on thin ice by bringing up Arabia, but Leah needed to realize that she couldn’t keep her a secret forever. Asher had a right to know about her, and Leah deserved to have her child’s father in her life.

"If all you’re going to do is scold me, you can get out." Leah snapped. "Now!"

"I won’t."

I wasn’t about to leave Leah alone in this state. As her sister and guardian, it was my responsibility to take care of her and help her, whether she liked it or not. Leah was still young in so many ways and still had a lot to learn.

"Now, what happened with you and Asher?" I continued. "If that bastard hurts you in any way, I will be sure to make him pay."

"I don’t want or need your help." Leah growled. "Stay out of my business!"

Before I could respond, Leah turned and darted out of the room. I remained in place as I listened to her footsteps heading down the stairs. It was only after I heard the front door open and slam shut that I got up and let out a long breath.

"Fuck." I sighed, running a hand through my hair.

A small whimper followed by a wail sounded from the next room, indicating that Leah’s little escape had woken the very child in question.

"Auntie’s coming." I murmured, making my way out of the room and towards Arabia’s room.

When I arrived, the infant was in a full rage over being woken from her afternoon nap. I was sure that she probably wanted to feed, but Leah wasn’t around to provide the nipple, so I could only bottle feed her formula and hope that would suffice.

"Come here, beautiful."

Leaning over, I scooped Arabia into my arms and began to make my way downstairs. As expected, Ashton stood at the bottom of the stairs waiting on me with a look of question on his face.

"What did you do to her?" He asked as soon as I made my way past him. "Weren’t you the one that said not to push?"

"Not now." I snapped, trying to control my annoyance over his cocky attitude. "Do you know if there are any premade bottles in the fridge?"

"I think there is one." Ashton responded, beginning to follow me.

"Great, hold her while I warm it up for her."

I didn’t allow Ashton to argue as I handed Arabia over and made my way into the kitchen. As he stood behind me with a crying baby in tow, I quickly prepared a bottle and then took Arabia and sat down.

"Now, what happened?" Ashton pushed after I began to feed Arabia. "Did you push a little too much and piss her off?"

"I only pointed out that she and Asher needed to fix whatever was going on for Arabia." I responded. "Leah thinks that she doesn’t need any help and can do everything alone, but Arabia needs both her parents, not just one."

"That may be true, but it isn’t our place to tell Leah how she should deal with her own life." Ashton pointed out. 

I bit back my argument as I took in Ashton’s words. If I was being honest, it was pretty damn funny to hear those words coming from his mouth. Especially since he was the one that was ready to kill Asher when we found out that Leah was pregnant.

"I thought you would be thrilled with the prospect of being able to kick Asher’s ass." I smirked.

"Sure, I would love nothing more than to do that." Ashton confirmed with a chuckle. "But weren’t you the one that said I needed to learn to accept him since he would be family?"

"Family..." I repeated with a frown. "I hope, for Leah’s sake, that he does end up being just that."

"Even if he isn't, I will help Leah find an outstanding man." Ashton assured.

"Outstanding?" I giggled as Ashton wrapped his arms around me. "There isn’t anyone that measures up to you."

"Oh yeah?"

"Yeah." I giggled.

Letting out a sigh, I took pleasure in the feeling of Ashton’s lips beginning to plant kisses along my neck. I knew he was doing this to help me calm down, and he was doing a damn good job of it.

"Let me burp her and get her back to sleep." I managed while Ashton’s teeth glided against my skin. "Go wait for me in the bedroom."

"Yes..." Ashton began to respond as a loud banging started from the front door. "Who the fuck?" He growled, turning and making his way out of the room.

Before I could get up and follow, I heard a string of profanities escape Ashton's lips from the other room, followed by the sound of something shattering on the floor.

Realizing that something was very wrong, I got up and made my way into the living room, where Ashton and Antoine stood. 

"What's wrong?" I asked, taking in Antoine's swollen eyes and Ashton's shaking body. "What's going on?"

For a moment, neither man answered me as I watched and waited for a response. It was only when I was ready to ask the same question again that Ashton turned and fixed his agonized gaze on mine.

"It's my dad." He said slowly, trying to keep his emotions in check. "He was murdered."

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