Moon Island (Chapter Twenty-one)

"Sam, I want to see the kids more often."


"Because I love them."


"Because they're my kids, goddamn it."

"Sorry, but I'm going to need more than that."

"Sam, I'm warning you."

"Or what?"

"Jesus, Sam. All I'm asking is for you to let me see my kids – our kids – a little more. I only see them, what, every other week for a few hours. Supervised."

"You also happen to own a sleazy strip club and date even sleazier strippers."

"Hey," said Allison, looking up from her smart phone. "I used to be a stripper."

I covered the mouthpiece and lowered my voice. "Were you sleazy?"

"Sleazy, no. Good, yes."

I rolled my eyes and uncovered the phone. "So, you see my point, then," I said to Danny.

"I see that you're a controlling bitch."

"As always, nice talking to you, Danny."

"Wait, wait!" he screeched as I made a move to hang up. "Don't hang up. I'm sorry."

I didn't hang up, but I didn't say anything either. I looked out across the outdoor deck. So beautiful. This could have been a resort.

"You there, Sam?"

"I'm here."

"Sorry, I didn't mean that."

"Yes, you did."

"Okay, I did, but it's only because you're being a little unreasonable."

"Danny, I'm going to say this with all the sincerity I can. I really don't give a shit what you think about me, but I do know one thing, and one thing only: until you sell that sleazebag of a strip club you own and quit bringing your skank-whores home, you will never, ever be alone with my kids."

Someone from a nearby table looked over at me. Oops. I might have raised my voice a little.

"You can't tell me when I can or cannot see my kids."

"I can and I did."

"I'm giving up the law firm, Sam."

I snorted. "To run the strip club full time?"

"It's a lot of money, Sam. Easy money."

"You are choosing easy money over your kids. Strippers over your kids."

"You have it wrong, Sam. I don't date the girls."

Just hearing the word "girls" made my skin crawl. "No," I said, "you just fuck them."

"You can't tell me what to do, Sam.

Who to see and who not to see. How to live my life. How to make money."

"No, but I can tell you this."

He sighed. "What?"

"You will never, ever be alone with my kids."

And I clicked off the phone.