Episode 6 by Aubrey Wynne
The purse fell from her fingers; the contents spilling back onto the kitchen floor. Why would his own brother refuse to tell him? Tears blurred her vision. She had never tried to keep her son a secret or hide the identity of his father. Jenna had always owned up to her mistakes. Scott Parker was one of her bigger blunders, but he had given her Jacob.
She blinked to focus on the picture again, his blue eyes and dark hair giving her strength. The disappointment in her belly surprised her.
Devin was a high school crush for god’s sake. Yet, she had dreamt of that kiss for over twelve years.
“Stop stalling and tell me what’s going on.” His voice grated against her nerves, and anger replaced the shame. Her face reddened as her temper took over.
“I’m not stalling, I need to choose my words. It’s not like we’ve kept in touch, and I’ve hidden this from you,” she answered, her eyes narrowing. “You never even acknowledged me in high school. The entire town followed your adventures around the world, while you left your brother to run the family business. Now you return like the prodigal son, and demand to know about the intimate details of my life?”
“You don’t have the right to know anything unless I choose to share it.” Jenna bent her head to hide the tears and scooped up the contents of her purse once again. Getting control of her emotions, she stood and held out her hand for the book. “May I have that back, please?”
His head jerked up, and she saw the remorse in his eyes. Worse, she saw defeat. She jumped at a crack of lightning and a deep rumble overhead. Heavy rain beat against the roof, making it hard to hear his quiet words.
“I’m sorry. You’re right, it’s none of my business.” He hesitated then continued, “Unless I’m related to that little boy… What’s his name?”
“Jacob. And yes, he’s your nephew. But I am not in a relationship with your brother, though he is persistent.” She let out a long breath. “Look, I’d love to chat about old times but it’s late, and I’m exhausted.”
“At least drink your coffee first. Like you said, you’re tired. The caffeine will do you good on the way home.” Devin handed her the cup, still steaming. Their fingers touched, and she drew in her breath.
“I know I seem like an irresponsible ass, but I came home to try to set things straight with the company.”
She heard the sincerity in his voice and suddenly felt sorry for him. This is funny. I’m feeling bad for one of the Parker boys. “If your company goes under, it will devastate this town. What the hell happened?”
“Now who is demanding?” A smirk formed on his perfect lips. “But you’re right, I have to fix this. How well do you know my brother?”
“I see him every other weekend when he picks up my son, occasional dinners during the week. Why wouldn’t Scott tell you?”
“How old is he?”
“He’s four now—” Another flare of lightning brightened the darkened windows, then lights blinked and went out.
“Shit!” She heard more cursing and a drawer slide open. A flashlight clicked on, casting shadows as it moved. “Let’s go in the living room and I’ll start a fire. It will give us more light.”
‘I really need to get home.” Did she? Her parents had Jacob for the night.
“Sorry, I can’t let you drive in this storm. I don’t want my nephew’s mother getting in an accident… Besides, now that I know you’re kind of family, maybe you could help.”