Solid Soul(3)

By: Brenda Jackson

“I fully agree.”

He reached into his pocket and pulled out a business card. “This is how to reach me if you need me to do anything further on my end. I talked to Marcus but things didn’t go well. I did the one thing you indicated I should not have done, which was demand that he stay away from Tiffany. I don’t think I’ve ever seen him that angry or rebellious.”

Kylie nodded as she took the card from him. She didn’t want to think about her upcoming talk with Tiffany. “I appreciate you dropping by and bringing this to my attention.”

“Like I said earlier, I apologize that my approach wasn’t more subtle. But Marcus’s last words to me this morning were that nobody would stop him from seeing Tiffany. I was furious and still riled up when I decided to come over here.”

He sighed deeply and then added, “It’s not easy raising a teenager these days.”

“Don’t I know it,” Kylie said softly, feeling terribly drained but knowing she would need all her strength when she confronted Tiffany after school.

“Well, I’d better be going.”

“Again, thanks for coming by and letting me know what’s going on.”

He nodded. “There was no way I could not let you know, considering what they’d planned to do. Have a good day, Ms. Hagan.”

As Kylie watched him walk out of her shop, she knew that as much as she wished it to be so, there was no way that this would be a good day.

The moment Chance got into his truck and closed the door, he leaned back against the seat and released a long sigh. If the daughter looked anything like the mother, he was in deep trouble. No wonder his usually smart son had begun acting downright stupid.

Kylie Hagan was definitely a beauty. He had noticed that fact the moment he had walked into the flower shop and headed straight toward the counter. When she had come from behind that same counter and he’d seen that she was wearing a pair of shorts and a T-shirt, he’d thought the outfit fit just right on her curvy, petite body and showed off her shapely legs too perfectly. Braided dark brown hair had been stylishly cut to accent her face. Her creamy chocolate skin complemented a pair of beautiful brown eyes, a perky nose and an incredibly feminine pair of lips.

How in the world could she be the mother of a fifteen-year-old when she looked barely older than twenty herself? She looked more like Tiffany’s sister than her mother. Perhaps Tiffany had been adopted. There were a lot of questions circulating around in his mind, but the foremost was what the two of them could do about their kids who seemed hell-bent on starting a relationship that neither was ready for.

He understood Marcus’s interest in girls—after all he was a Steele—and Chance could distinctly remem-ber when he was younger. He had fallen in love with Cyndi when he’d been just a few years older than Marcus, and had married her before his nineteenth birthday after she had gotten pregnant.


He would never forget that day when Cyndi had come to him, a mere week before he was to leave for Yale University, to let him know she was having his baby. He had loved her so much he decided not to accept a full college scholarship and leave her alone. Instead, he had married her, gone to work at his father’s manufacturing company and attended college at night. It hadn’t been easy and it had taken him almost six years to get a degree, but he and Cyndi had made the best of it and he could look back and honestly say that although there were hard years, they had been happy ones.

And then the unthinkable happened. Cyndi had noticed changes in a mole on the side of her neck, a mole that was later determined to be cancerous. Even after surgery and chemo treatments, four years later, on the day Marcus should have been celebrating his ninth birthday, they were in the cemetery putting to rest the one woman who had meant the world to Chance.

He straightened and started up his truck. Although he would never think of marrying Cyndi as a mistake, he couldn’t help but remember her plans of attending college; plans that had gotten thrown by the wayside with her pregnancy. If he had it all to do over, he would have been more responsible that night when they had gotten carried away by the moment.

And then on top of everything else, he couldn’t forget the promise he had made to Cyndi on her deathbed; a promise that he would make sure that their son got to do everything they hadn’t done, and take advantage of every opportunity offered to him, which included one day attending a university that would give him the best education.

That was the reason he was driven to make sure Marcus did well in school. Of course it was Chance’s hope for him to one day join the family business, the Steele Corporation, but if Marcus wanted to do something else after finishing college, then he could do so with Chance’s blessings.

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