Hi, Welcome back. If you’re expecting Part 2 this week as I mentioned last week when I posted Part 1, you won’t find it.
I thought about the post and the rest of the scene all that weekend and decided not to extend the scene here. In fact, I deleted the entire post. For one reason, the scene was taken out of context for those of you who don’t know the story. You missed the beginning when Jake went though accepting the changes about to overtake his and his son’s lives.
In hindsight, it wasn’t fair to the book. Maybe it gave you the wrong impression about the story, when in fact, it is not about what Paige did. It’s about what happens after Paige did Jake wrong. It’s about a first love coming back into a broken-hearted cowboy, and a little boy’s life. That’s what the story should convey.
Therefore, the quote I included in the post, should’ve started later:
When one door closes another door opens, but we so often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door, that we do not see the ones which open for us.” ― Alexander Graham Bell
So this week, I choose to post a different scene from Whispers of Forever: Mending Christmas. I hope you don’t hold it against me for not continuing with the scene from last week. If you didn’t catch that post, all the better. LOL. ❤
In last week’s
Short Snippet Saturday excerpt, Paige had mentioned something awful she had done to ensure Jake would let her take Trace to live out of state. If only she could’ve seen into the future. Well, this is Jake dealing with the aftermath of the last cruel thing she had done…
Beth’s thoughtfulness lightened his heart, but with a shrug, he stood straight. “I want you to be there.”
Agreeing, she followed him to where Trace watched TV. “We’ll be in my office for a few minutes if you need anything.”
“All right, Dad. I like this show. It’s a marathon tonight.”
“Enjoy it.” In the hallway, he stopped and placed his palms against the wall like he needed to hold it up, when in fact, it held him up. His head lowered toward the floor. He closed his eyes, breathing deep. “I’ve been thinking about this moment all evening. I don’t want to know now.” After a few minutes he continued to the office, closed the door, and took his phone out. “I’m sure this message is notification to check my account, not the actual result over voice mail.”
Beth took a seat in a leather chair near the window that looked out at the front of the property, and she remained quiet.
Jake dialed. Listened. He played the message with his eyes closed, one hand against the desk to prop himself up. His body felt numb. Disconnecting the call, he nodded and took a seat at his desk. The strength he depended on most of his life dissipated into the hard wood floor beneath his feet. “Yeah. I have a message in my account.”
Beth came to him and put her arm around his shoulder. He logged in with his computer password and went to his account, again logging in there too. She placed her other hand on his shoulder and spoke softly. Sweetly. “Do you want me to read it?”
His heart raced faster with each letter of the password, and by time the account opened, he might have a heart attack or stroke. Each move was forced, because this was all done against his will, or his better judgement. Why had this happened? Had Paige hated him that much? “I have to do this myself, but thanks.”
He peered up at her, motionless, his hands still on the keyboard, his little finger ready to hit enter. His voice was sandpapery hoarse. “What?”
“What will you do… God, forgive me for saying this, but if the result is the same?” Beth stood behind, hugging him, and she leaned down until her cheek pressed against his head.
“How can I honestly answer? I love that kid, but to know he isn’t my flesh and blood, I don’t know how I’ll respond. Nothing can make me stop loving him…I hope.” Jake leaned his head back against Beth’s body, and she slid her hand over his shoulder to rest against his chest. Yeah, he was glad she was there. “I don’t want to feel any different, but what if I do? What do I tell him if I’m different toward him? He’s already lost his mother, for God sake.”
“He’s your son. My mom and dad loved me like their own child. I never felt like they didn’t. Honey, Trace won’t know, because I see how you are with him—I can’t imagine you changing. That boy is in your heart, your soul.”
“Because for almost ten years he was my child. That’s why I’m…” He hesitated.
“He is your child. You’ve raised him—have loved him through all the ups and downs…and he loves you.”
“There’s only one way to find out. Either way, he’s never going to know, Beth.” Jake blew out the breath building up inside his body like a gas ready to explode. He had never been afraid of anything, but he was terrified of this. What if the results turned out the same as her rigged test? He dropped his hands to his knees. What if he did tell Trace? Would he want to find his real father one day? “I don’t know if I can do this. I could lose him.”
“No one would know except you and I. If you want, I can leave the room so only you know.”
He grasped her hand. “No. You’re a part of this with me.” How could he ask her to love his son if he wasn’t sure himself that he could? Dammit. He was sure. One hundred percent sure. No matter what, that child was his, and he’d love him until the day he died, flesh and blood or not. Jake hit enter and clicked open the PDF attachment. He closed his eyes and took a deep breath before opening them. He read: “Child, Trace Lawton. Father, Jake Lawton. Are you reading this, Beth?”
Still standing behind him, she whispered with empathy in her voice, “Yes,” and squeezed his shoulders.
Jake scrolled to the bottom of the test, and read: “Probability of Paternity…
Thanks for reading!
If you want to know the results along with Jake, you know what to do. This first book in the series is $0.99, and it kicks off the Spin Off — Canyon Junction: Hearts in Love Series. For new visitors, please know it’s rare for me to write anything with a cliffhanger, but I couldn’t give away the results.
A Double Dutch Ranch: Love at First Sight Spin Off Novel.
Enjoy the rest of your weekend. I’ve had a whole inch and a half of snow already, and this morning was 24 degrees! Bah humbug.