The #NazandRoz #andPenny Series - Chapter 9
Hey, loves! We’re back to the Naz & Roz (and Penny) blog series where once a week, I update with a new chapter. Do enjoy.
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Naz and Roz Blog Series
New York: Part 1
“And this is the room where Penny will be staying, correct?” the woman CPS had sent in to do a walk-through of Naz’s Manhattan penthouse. Now, Roz’s penthouse, too.
“That’s right,” Roz said. “She’s sixteen—she needs privacy, and her own space to be alone in when she feels the need, doesn’t she?”
“Being that she’s a suicide risk—”
“She is still sixteen.”
The woman nodded, and scratched something on the paper in her hands before looking back up at Roz. Then, her gaze drifted to where Naz was lingering at the end of the hallway, closer to the sitting room in the penthouse. The wall of glass windows behind him sat in front of a baby grand that had once been his grandfather’s.
Naz tried not to feel edgy when the woman looked him over, but it still made him feel uncomfortable all the same. He didn’t know why, but her stare was just a little too pensive. Like she was considering something about him, but the problem was, she didn’t know fuck all about him to know anything. Anything she thought were all conclusions she had drawn on her own, and he wasn’t here for that shit.
“And this man—Nazio Donati, yes?—will also be living in the residence,” the woman said.
“He owns the penthouse?” Roz’s question came out slightly sarcastic, and yet still annoyed at the same time. “He’s also been my long-term boyfriend for over—”
“Not husband,” the woman interjected.
“Because that could present a problem. The girl will need to be brought into a stable household. We consider that to be, more often than not when presented, a couple that has proven their—”
“The only reason she isn’t my wife is because she has spent the last several years on an entirely different continent than me,” Naz said sharply, “and I thought it wasn’t appropriate to marry someone when we couldn’t begin an actual marriage together in the same house, let alone country, but okay.”
That made the woman clear her throat. Roz, to her benefit, shot Naz a small smile. This whole fucking charade was getting on his goddamn nerves, and Naz wasn’t the type to let small things get to him like this, but here they were … doing exactly that.
From the paperwork … to the officials being in and out of his goddamn house, to this bitch trying to insinuate that their home wouldn’t be an appropriate place for Penny to be fostered until she was eighteen, or something else came about that would mean she needed to be moved. It all just pissed him off spectacularly.
He never asked for this.
None of it.
But Penny didn’t ask for her life to be the way it was, either. And Roz couldn’t help that she had a heart of gold. Which meant Naz was going to do whatever he needed to do for Roz, including getting Penny under their roof.
The woman cleared her throat—frankly, Naz could have asked her to repeat her name, but she wasn’t important enough for him to give a shit to know it. “All right, well, Rosalynn, I will get all of this filled out, and put into the system so we can … hopefully have Penny with you as soon as possible. From what I understand, she has asked to be allowed to live with you as well, and judges often consider older teenager’s requests when needed.”
“She … did?”
“Penny,” Roz clarified, “she asked to live with me?”
“Apparently. Have a good day.”
It was only once the woman was gone from their penthouse, and Naz had followed Roz into the kitchen where she could pick up the bottle of water, she’d discarded earlier did he finally speak to her.
“So, if they’re going to push that line,” he said, “we’ll get married.”
Roz, standing at the island with her back turned to him, spun around to face him with wide eyes. “What did you just say?”
“If they push the line about the fact we’re not married or common law, then we can get married, Roz. It takes twenty-four hours after getting a marriage license to get married at the City Clerk’s office. It’s not a big deal.”
“No, it isn’t,” Naz said. “It’s easily fixed. They won’t fuck us around with her because of that, I assure you.”
He’d make sure of it. Also, his family, and Roz’s, had deep pockets and a lot of fucking contacts to use. Some money shoved into the right hands, and all these issues were going to go away, anyway.
A small smile played at the edges of Roz’s lips. “So, you’re telling me that despite the fact we haven’t even told our parents that we’re expecting a baby … or that we’re bringing a sixteen-year-old girl into our home to live with us, we should get married and add that to the pile, too.”
Well, when she put it like that …
Naz shrugged. “They would understand.”
It didn’t matter.
“I don’t think we’ll need to do that,” Roz said. “We are the best choice for her, and like Rebecca said, Penny did ask to live with me.”
That was the bitch’s name.
Naz filed that away for later. “So, does that mean you don’t want to do that at all, then?”
Because that was really going to fuck up the plans he’d been working on from the moment he knew she was coming home to him—long before he even knew about the pregnancy, too. He’d scrap those plans if they needed to jump into marriage for the sake of Penny, but that was a different thing.
“What, get married?”
“Yeah, babe,” Naz said, shrugging.
Roz gave him a look from the side. “You’ve never asked, Naz.”
“Yet,” he returned, “I have not asked yet.”
His girl grinned. “Exactly.”
Naz nodded at her water. “Take that prenatal vitamin, too, while you’re at it. You didn’t take it this morning.”
She had so many things to think about, he was picking up the slack in other areas for her. He didn’t mind, though. Wasn’t that the whole point of loving someone? When they needed you, no matter what, you were there?
Because that’s what Naz had been taught.
That’s what he knew from his parents.
This was the only way he knew how to love Roz.
“Yeah, I will,” she said, giving him a wink. “And what are you dressed up for?”
By dressed up, she meant the fact he’d shrugged on his leather jacket, and had his Doc Martens laced around the back, ready to go out.
“I need to meet up with Luca,” he said. “Business stuff, you know.”
Roz nodded. “Okay. And then dinner tomorrow at your parents with everybody, right?”
Naz grinned. “To share the news, yep.”
He couldn’t fucking wait.
She came across the kitchen, pushed up on her tiptoes, and pressed a sweet, lingering kiss to his lips. “I better call across the pond, and see if Penny wants to talk today.”
Naz swept his thumb across her cheek. “She’ll talk for you.”
Roz was literally the only person Penny cared to talk to on a personal level, now. Anything beyond giving a few words to police or her therapist, and Penny shut the fuck down. She also didn’t have a problem meeting Naz’s gaze on the few times they met, but she wouldn’t say a single word to him.
Not even hi.
“Okay, go play with my brother,” Roz said, patting him on his cheek.
Naz chuckled. “Play, right.”
She could believe that.
He didn’t mind letting her.
After all, the second Roz had told him about one of her last meetings with Penny before they left England where the girl explained a network of people were involved in this … thing that victimized Penny, well, time started ticking down.
Naz was about to really get started.
Some people just deserved to die.
Roz didn’t need to know that, though.