A Family for Christmas

A Family for Christmas by Mary Eason Read Free Book Online

Book: A Family for Christmas by Mary Eason Read Free Book Online
Authors: Mary Eason
rationally.” This new tenderness in was something she’d never associated with the old Jack. He turned her to face him, tracing a rough thumb down her cheek.
    “Okay, so you didn’t know you were pregnant at the time. Surely in all these years you had to see the resemblance.”
    “I did, but he looks like Sam as well.”
    “He’s the image of me at that age. Sammy has my eyes, my hair. He’s my son. How could you not tell me that I’d fathered a child?”
    She shook her head her voice had gone flat. “Jack, you made it clear you never wanted to see me again. What was I supposed to think?”
    After another moment, Jack knelt in front of her and gently took her. “I know. Oh, Rachel, I’m so sorry. I realize how much I hurt you. I’ve never forgiven myself for what I did to you. I thought I was doing what was best for you. You were so young , barely eighteen . I thought being married to me would only hold you back. You were just getting started with your life. I’d just finished the university and was still trying to find my place in my father’s business. I didn’t know if I could take care of you the way you deserved . ”
    For a second, looking into Jack’s blue eyes, she was almost persuaded. And then she remembered Jack’s father.
    “Don’t. You did it for yourself and for your father. You wanted out. It’s as simple as that. You wanted your freedom. You were tired of playing with the little local girl. You wanted to be free to date other women. You wanted more than just me. Well you got your wish. You want to know why I didn’t tell you about Sammy? It’s simple -- I didn’t believe you’d want any reminders of the mistake you made with me.”
    He stumbled to his feet and away from her. “We need to talk about this, but it’s obvious we need to do it when were both a little bit more rational. I’m leaving now, but I’ll be back, so just in case you were thinking of running again, don’t. This time I won’t let anyone stand in my way. Not even you. I’ll find my son. And you.”
     
    Chapter Four
     
    When she woke the following morning, it was to Sammy tugging at her hand. She was still on the sofa, where she’d curled up and fallen asleep. Her old dog Nikkie lay at her feet.
    “Momma, I’m hungry.”
    Rachel sat up and tried to put some order to her hair. “Okay, honey, I’ll make you something to eat. Go wash your face and hands.” She tried to control the uneasiness inside of her long enough to make breakfast for Sammy, but she couldn’t eat a thing.
    Instead, she drank black coffee and considered her options. Jack knew her too well. She wanted to run. The desire to pack up, return home to Colorado, and never look back was stronger than she’d ever imagined. In her heart, she knew she couldn’t. Sammy needed her to put aside the anger and the fear and be strong for him. She couldn’t run away from that.
    “Momma.” The impatience ton in Sammy’s voice made her realize he’d been trying to get her attention for some time.
    “I’m sorry, baby. What did you say?” She brushed aside that familiar straying lock of hair from his forehead, so much like Jack.
    “Can I go play with Jason today?”
    “Oh, honey, I don’t know. I’ll have to call Amanda and see what she’s got planned for the day. Is that what you want to do ?”
    Sammy nodded and the familiar protectiveness that was always there whenever she looked at him returned. She’d do whatever was necessary to keep him happy. And nothing Jack Bryant could try, no matter how much money he had, would ever change that.
    “I tell you what, you finish your breakfast and I’ll call Amanda and see if we can schedule some play time this afternoon. I thought this morning you and I could do something nice for Gran.”
    “Like what?” Sammy’s enthusiastic response showed in his eyes. He loved his grandmother so much.
    “Well, Gran hasn’t gotten her Christmas tree up yet. So, I was thinking you and I could put up the

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