Two Out of Three
He said he needed her in his life...He swore that he wanted her more than he ever wanted any other woman...But love?
That was never part of the bargain.
Sarah Deardon loved two things: Dancing and Vincent Allen. She struggled for years to become the best at the studio while nursing her crush.
When a tragic accident destroys her dreams of dancing, Sarah turns her full attention to Mr. Allen and pursues him with the same relentless determination that she had used dancing.
Vincent keeps her at bay, trying to let her get through high school and college, even putting an ocean between them. His absence opens the door for the sexy rebel Robert Stewart.
With Robert in the picture, Sarah’s life takes a dramatic turn leading her across the country and back again. She seals her fate with a bargain and she finds herself torn between a life of stability and a passion that refuses to be denied.
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Reviews for Two Out of Three
This was a great read. It is a romance that keeps you interested. I didn't want to put it down once I started it. -- Nicole Galpin
Sarah woke up the next morning alone. There was no trace of Rob except a rumpled pillow beside her to give away their secret. She sat up in bed and gazed out of the glass doors leading to the balcony. She smiled and giggled at the idea of having a boy spend the night in her room.
It was exciting to do something so scandalous. If the girls at school knew—if the girls at school knew, she would be the topic of every bathroom conversation for the next month.
I hope Rob doesn’t go shooting his mouth off…
Trying to forget about the potential embarrassment waiting for her at school, Sarah said little on the ride to school. Beth was grateful after the argument the night before, she wasn’t aware that Sarah’s mind was elsewhere.
Sarah wheeled through the halls, trying to find Rob without looking obvious. A few boys managed to corner her and shower her with compliments until it was time for class. Still, Rob couldn’t be found. It wasn’t until English class that she felt his hot steamy breath on her neck.
“Why Sarah, I almost didn’t recognize you with your clothes on.” He teased. “Did you miss me?”
His voice sent chills through her body, causing her to shudder. “You shouldn’t say things like that. How can we be friends if you always say whatever it is that is on that filthy little mind of yours?”
“How can we be friends if we don’t say exactly what we think?” Rob asked.
Under his charm, all of Sarah’s inhibitions were forgotten. “You’re probably right. I wanted to ask you, how did you manage to get home and back here on time?”
Rob turned his face away so that she couldn’t see his eyes, “I only live about a half a mile away, right past the woods, in the old caretaker’s house. We rented it a few weeks ago.”
Sarah tried to hide her pity. The old caretaker’s house was rundown with holes in some of the walls and a muddy patch of a yard. How awful it must be to actually live there. Charles only did the bare minimum to keep the place up and keep him out of court, which was part of the reason he seldom rented it out to anyone.
Rob was eager to change the subject, “When will you walk again?”
Not prepared for his question, Sarah pulled away. “No one asks about that.”
“Nobody but me.” Rob said with a smile.
“Well, maybe you shouldn’t.”
Leaning closer, Rob gazed down at the legs she had hidden under her long skirt. He met her eyes and cocked on eyebrow, “You like it that no one asks. I bet even that Vince guy never asks.”
“No he doesn’t.” Sarah snapped. “He cares enough not to bring it up.”
Rob smiled with sarcasm, “You are a lucky girl to have such delusions about the man you love.”
Sarah could think of nothing rude enough to say back to him, but when she saw his teasing smile, her anger melted away. “Sometimes you are impossible.”
Weeks later, Sarah’s therapy ended. She was now taking slow steps anywhere and everywhere. Walking exhausted her, so she still had to suffer in her chair through the school day. She told no one of her recovery, only her family knew.
Sarah was convinced that no one needed to know. She refused to tell anyone outside of her family until Vince returned. She wanted him to be the first to know.
Still, as the days and weeks went by, Sarah couldn’t keep her secret to herself. She had to tell someone. She stood on her balcony and contemplated who to tell. She glanced toward the woods, knowing that the caretaker’s house was hidden on the other side. She was still dressed. She could just go.
She stepped away from the balcony and glanced at the clock. Eleven-thirty. Everyone was asleep and she could steal away without anyone noticing, but she never dared to even think of such a thing before let alone actually do it.
With Indian light feet, she stepped into the hall. There was no sound from anywhere. She took a few more steps and realized the thick carpet hid the sound of her tread. She feared at any minute Charles would wake and find her. If he did, she knew his punishment would be extreme.
Somehow she made it outside without anyone waking up or any lights coming on. The cool night air hit her perspiration covered face. Now that she was safely outside she could breathe. She took gulping breaths and hurried toward the black shadows of the trees. Once there, she glanced back to reassure herself that the house was still dark.
Relaxing more, Sarah began to shiver as the chill of the night air set in. She followed the faint path through the woods that should take her to the caretaker’s house. She hadn’t been in the woods for over a year, and struggled to keep her bearings.
Her mild limp slowed her pace. She couldn’t see the Deardon house anymore and the trees blocked any light the moon may have given. Low branches were catching in her hair and she struggled to keep from tripping over rocks. Just when she was about to panic, she burst out of the trees and onto the bare lawn of the caretaker’s house.
She stood for a moment with a cold sweat trickling down her sides and tried to take in what she was seeing. The house was terribly small, only half the size of the ballroom in her own house. White boards covered the outside with chipping paint, the windows were dark, and throughout the yard were spare parts to cars and other mechanical things.
As she got closer, she heard quick steps inside the house. She tried to get back to the shadows and hide, but she tripped and fell backwards. In only seconds, Rob stood before her with a baseball bat in hand, his broad chest naked in the darkness.
Once he recognized her, he held out his hand and helped her to her feet. “Sarah, what are you doing here? And where is your wheelchair?”
Sarah brushed the dirt from her jeans and looked up at him, “I don’t need it anymore.”
“Robert?” A gravely female voice called form inside the house. “Who’s out there?”
“It’s okay, Mom. It’s a friend of mine.” Rob took a pack of cigarettes from his back pocket and lit one, the match flaming out in the night. “So, what did Vince say about that?”
Her green eyes darted away, “I haven’t told him yet.”
Rob smiled and took her arm, pulling her toward the door. “So what makes me so special?”
“Did I wrong you in a past life or something?” Sarah snapped, trying to pull away from him. “I thought we were friends. I was telling you something important. That’s what friends do, right?”
He nodded, “You’re right. I am your friend. I’m sorry.”
Sarah relaxed again, “I’m sorry, I shouldn’t have jumped down your throat. I couldn’t help it, I had to tell someone my secret—“
“And you chose me.” Rob interrupted and pulled her inside the house. “Thanks for your scraps.”
“You’re welcome.” Sarah replied without understanding what he was saying. She really didn’t care; she was too busy looking at the inside of the house. How small the rooms were! Everywhere there were empty beer cans and clothes scattered about and there were brown water stains on the walls.
Sarah stayed close as he led her down the hall and past an open bedroom door where a ratty haired blonde woman sat on the bed in a faded pajama shirt. As they walked by a much younger man came into view and handed that lady a beer. The television blared as the woman kissed the man and pulled him down on top of her.
“Sorry.” Rob whispered, blushing. He took her back into his room, a tiny little box of space that was dimly lit. Sheets of music were tossed about; she knelt and picked up a few sheets as Rob stretched out on the bed that was also covered with papers.
“What are these?” Sarah asked.
He sat forward and pulled them from her hands, placing them on an overturned milk crate next to his bed. “Nothing, just junk.”
“Do you play?” Sarah asked as she looked at the pictured of various musicians on his walls and the guitar that sat in the only uncluttered corner of the room.
Rob turned his back to her, his naked skin glowing in the dim light. Sarah had to fight the thoughts of what his skin would feel like under her fingers. Would it be smooth to the touch or would it be rough like his appearance? High on his right shoulder was a tattoo, a black guitar with a dragon cut into his bronze flesh.
Sarah leaned closer, almost reaching her hand out to touch it, “When did you get this?”
Glancing at it, Rob smiled like a little boy. “Last year. It was my way of declaring what I was going to do with my life. What a joke.”
The room held the small glow of one lamp, perhaps it was the courage of the shadows that made her reach out and brush his blonde hair back from his face. How soft it was!
“Why do you say that?” Sarah asked.
He pulled away as if her touch burned him. He cast a cold glance at her, “Sarah you of all people know how it is. Dreams never last, so why should I waste my time?”
Sarah’s mind played back to the music, she remembered the hole that filled her heart. She knew all too well what he was feeling. “You can’t just give up. It’s a part of you. It’s the air for you and the water you drink, you would die without it.”
“Sort of like sex?” Rob asked with a mischievous smile that brought Sarah out of her reverie and back into the cold reality.
She met his eyes and didn’t pull away; she had to save someone from the agony she felt. “It would be like cutting off your arm if you gave up. You still feel it, but you can’t do anything. It’s awful, it really is. I’d sell my soul to be able to still have my dream. If you don’t try, you deserve what you get.”
Rob lowered his head into his hands; his voice was tired and flat. “Sarah, look around you. Look at where I live. This is who I am. There is no escaping it.”
“No,” Sarah corrected him. “You’re afraid of failing. You’re afraid of not having what it takes.”
Rob raised his head and starred at the yellowing wall in front of him, “No, I’d just like to have a chance to get away from here. I want to go somewhere where no one knows me and they have to judge me by my music. The—“
“The talent you have. The way everything you are comes out in it.” Sarah whispered. “Then everyone would have to take back everything that they said about you and no one could ever hurt you again.”
Rob met her eyes again, “I find it hard to believe anyone or anything could hurt you.”
“What the hell do you know?” Sarah snapped. “I died the day they told me I couldn’t dance. I blinked and everything I loved was gone.”
Rob looked down at the floor, “Everything except for Vince, you still have his undying love.”
He was mocking her pain. Sarah pulled away and slapped his face, sending him backward with the force. “You dirty bastard, you have no right to mock me.”
His face broke into an arrogant smile that showed his perfect white teeth. She slapped him again. He fell backward again, she towered over him like an Amazon giant. “You laughed at me once. Never do it again.”
He sat up, rubbing his cheek, his eyes cold. “You’ve got a really bad temper, you could hurt someone, but if you slap me one more time, I will take that baseball bat to you like you deserve.”
“Don’t threaten me Rob Stewart. I won’t tolerate it.” Sarah hissed. “I’ve faced bigger and better than you and I’m still here.”
Rob was unaffected by her display, he crossed his arms and narrowed his eyes to mere lines of blue cut into his face. “Poor little rich girl, that is the exact reason I think a good beating would benefit you. Someone needs to put you in your place, don’t force me to be the one.”
Doubling her hands into fists, Sarah’s courage began to fail. He was so much bigger than her. “If you ever lay a hand on me, I’ll kill you.”
In the blink of an eye, Rob was on his feet, backing her against the wall and pinning her with his powerful arms. He was so close; leaning down his long bangs brushed her face. “But you wouldn’t mind if Vince laid his hands on you. You’d let him touch you wherever he wanted to.”
Sarah’s blood flowed cold through her veins, her green eyes slowly raised to meet his, “Leave me alone you son of a bitch.”
“I think I admire you even more when someone has you beaten.” Rob said, dropping his arms and stepping back.
Sarah leaned back against the wall, gasping for air. “You’ll never beat me. No matter what, I’ll always have the last word.”
He sat up and took another cigarette in his mouth, exhaling the smoke to circle around her head in a fog.
“Is winning so important to you?” Rob asked.
Sarah laughed with ease, sensing the argument was over. “Yes it is, sort of a bad omen isn’t it? Like a guarantee to never win.”
Taking her hands into his, Rob pulled her down to the bed. Lying side by side, Sarah rested her head on his bare shoulder. Rob crushed out his cigarette.
“Did you ever think that you would be here?” Rob asked. “Lying in bed with a guy you’ve only known a few weeks?”
Sarah giggled and smiled up at him, “No, but then I never thought I’d have a friend I could relax around.”
“You weren’t too relaxed a minute ago.”
“No, but I was being myself. I’m done pretending to be something that I’m not, people are just going to have to deal with me as I am.”
Rob stretched his neck to glance down at her with an easy smile on his face. “People wouldn’t recognize you if you showed them the hellion behind those green eyes.”
“No one, but you.” Sarah said laughing, “Because you and I are just alike. We had to be friends or we’d kill each other.”
Shifting, Rob pinned her arms back over her head. Sarah gazed up at him, feeling his strength and longing to escape, but also longing to do all the things she read about in books.
He smiled to disarm her thoughts, “The night is still young.”
Beth burst into Sarah’s suite the next morning, her forest green dress flowing at her knees like a flag of war. She pulled the sheets off her daughter in one swift motion. “Wake up!”
Sitting up in bed, Sarah gazed wide eyed at her mother. Her guilt evident in her jeans and white shirt from the night before that she still wore. She could say nothing as Beth paced the room.
“Sarah, you weren’t in your bed last night.” Beth scolded. “Where were you? Who did you sneak out to go see?”
In a flash Sarah was out of bed and storming into the hall, “So just like Dad, you’re just going to tell me what a tramp I am. Thank you so much.”
At her heels, Beth followed. “Don’t take that tone with me Sarah; I’m not going to tolerate it.”
Going down the steps two at a time, Sarah burst into the foyer. “Of course you’ll tolerate it. You tolerate everything around here!”
Beth was right behind her, “We are not talking about me. Now answer me, where were you?”
Sarah turned and faced her mother, her temper back under control. Now she just wanted to hurt her mother. “I was out giving my body away to the highest bidder. And you know what else? It was good. I loved every minute of it.”
Charles appeared in the doorway, drawn in by the argument outside his office door. “Well, like mother like daughter. I should have known it would be like this.”
“Stay out of this Charles!” Beth screamed.
“Fine,” he said with a shrug and crossed his arms. “I could have told you she’d turn out like this though. She’s no better than that bastard that fathered her.”
Silence fell then as both women turned to stare at him in disbelief. Sarah felt the room spin as her mother paled.
It’s true…My entire life has been a lie….
Sarah turned her fury on her mother, “How could you not tell me?”
Without a word, Beth turned and retreated up the stairs to the safety of her rooms. There was no time for Sarah to try and stop her. Sarah tried to chase her, but her legs were tired from the sprint down the staircase. When she reached her mother’s door, she found it locked.
Sarah beat against it with small fists, “Open the damn door! You can’t hide from this anymore!”
A shadow appeared behind her, sending a chill through Sarah. If it was Charles, there was no one to protect her. Spinning around, Sarah faced a woman that could have been her mother, but this was a stronger, tougher, and harder version of her mother.
The woman smiled and tilted her head to the side, “She won’t come out, and she’ll keep that up until it’s her that you feel sorry for.”
It was Sylvia, her mother’s estranged sister. Sarah shrank back against the door; this woman looked as though she could tear Sarah apart. Seeing that this woman saw her fear, Sarah straightened her spine and glared at her.
“Well at least you inherited your mother’s arrogance.” Sylvia said with a smile and a shrug of her shoulders. “If only you had gotten her blue eyes too, then maybe Charles wouldn’t have figured it out.”
With those words still hanging in the air, Sylvia laughed in a hollow way and retreated down the stairs. Sarah watched her go, crawling to the banister to see her bags by the front door. In the heat of the argument, no one must have heard her enter.
Great, just what we need, one more person to add to the crazy cocktail…
Late that night, in a darkened room, Sarah sat before her mirror. Voices drifted up from the dining room as Sylvia and Charles drank themselves into a stupor.
“So what are you doing back?” Charles demanded, already his words sounded slurred.
“I came to visit Beth and the children.” Sylvia snapped.
“What made you leave Europe? Wear your welcome out already?”
Sylvia’s deep throaty laugh drifted up the stairs, “I got caught up in a little bit of a scandal. It seems that the royals don’t have much of a sense of humor.”
“Typical.” Charles snapped. “Your father, God rest his soul, always said that you were a troublemaker.”
“Well,” Sylvia said with a sigh. “Looks like you need all the help you can get. You sort of spilled the beans and I don’t think Beth will just forgive you for that.”
“I don’t care.”
“Yes, you do.” Sylvia explained, the sound of a heavy dinning chair sliding across the marble floor. “So, until this whole mess blows over, I’ll just make myself at home. You’re going to need all the help you can get.”
“The last thing I need is another damn woman in the house. There’s too many here already.”
Charles had to really hate her. Her green eyes were a constant reminder that at one time another man had the heart of his wife. She was blamed for the sins of a father she never knew. Where was he? Did he even know she existed?
We’ve all been living a lie…
Even as Sarah gazed at herself in a modest blouse and skirt, she knew she was still lying. She wasn’t the girl in the mirror. There were so many questions, but no answers. Only one person knew those.
Sarah’s body was numb, but her mind knew just what she needed to do. She changed into faded jeans, a tee shirt, and her old sneakers. She knew that getting answers from Beth would be a battle, but she was ready for it.
The door to her mother’s rooms was closed, Sarah stood before them gathering all of her anger before she knocked on the door with such force the hinges rattled.
“Mother,” Sarah called. “I’m not going away this time. Let me in.”
“You got what you wanted. Charles isn’t your father.” Beth sobbed from the other side of the closed door. “Now go away and leave me alone.”
Pounding at the door again, Sarah let her temper take over and push out any feelings of remorse that may come up. “You’re not getting off that easy. Now open the damn door.”
There was no answer from the other side, Sarah hit the door once more before she turned and went down the staircase. It didn’t matter. She would go to the one place where she could get an honest answer, even if she didn’t want to hear it.
No lights were on at Rob’s house, Sarah couldn’t turn back now, and her anger was too strong to be ignored. She entered the house boldly, dispensing the usual formality of knocking. There were no cars in the gravel drive, so she assumed that Rob was home alone.
Inside the house was dark, purple shadows hung about the walls. Sarah was used to the clutter now and avoided the many piles, going straight down the hall to Rob’s room. The door squeaked loudly when she entered.
Rob was asleep on his bed. In repose, his face lost the stone-like look and his features softened. When he relaxed, he seemed so much younger, like a dangerous child with a bad temper. He was the only one that she could trust now.
She took a cigarette from his pack on the overturned milk crate and lit it. She coughed as the smoke burned her mouth and throat. How could he smoke these?
Rob stirred, sensing someone watching him. His blue eyes focused on Sarah. She sat in the floor across from his bed. He struggled to sit up.
“Sarah, what’s going on? Is that a cigarette in your hand?”
“Yes.” She choked out, feeling like shards of glass were in her throat. She inhaled again, not coughing this time. “I hope you don’t mind me coming in like this.”
Leaning out of bed to take the pack from her, Rob smiled. He lit himself a cigarette and ran his fingers through his hair, making the pale strands stand up on end. “So, what brings you out tonight?”
She exhaled so that the smoke wreathed about his head like he had done to her so many times. “Not much, just another happy night at home.”
Rob leaned back against the headboard and patted the space beside him. Sarah didn’t hesitate, she kicked off her shoes and stretched out beside him. Rob reached across her for the ashtray.
“So, out with it. What happened?”
“Mom and I had a fight. A really big one.”
“What about?” Rob asked.
“My father.” Sarah said with a sigh. “Apparently, it isn’t Charles Deardon and Mom has been lying to me my entire life.”
Rob’s head jerked around, but he said nothing. He let Sarah explain the scene in detail.
“She wouldn’t tell you who he was?” Rob asked when Sarah finished the story.
“No,” Sarah replied with another sigh. “She won’t come out of her damn room.”
“Did you have any idea about any of this?”
“I don’t know, I guess I felt it in a way.” Sarah whispered, thinking of the many times that Charles struck her or punished her without mercy. She felt a tear sliding down her cheek and brushed it away with the back of her hand, hoping Rob didn’t see.
Rob took her in his arms, expecting her to pull away. He said nothing as he pulled the sheets up around her. Within seconds she was fast asleep. It was then that he wiped the last of the tears from her cheeks.
Rob stood on the veranda of the Deardon house, the huge white door intimidating even him. He could feel the power and wealth within, two things that he himself did not have. At least six times he stepped back down to the drive, reconsidering his plan and thinking of returning home.
It was a warm September morning, only about nine o’clock, but the day promised to be unseasonably beautiful. The veranda smelled of late summer with just a hint of the leafy scent of autumn. Rob hated to disturb the peace of the morning, but he knew he had to do this.
He marched to the door, pounding on it with all of his strength. The sound echoed through the huge rooms behind the door. He was waiting, hoping someone would answer quickly before he lost his nerve. Soon enough he heard the clicking of heels and the door flew open.
Leaning back against the door frame was a beautiful woman in a tight black dress and cascading auburn curls. She was beautiful, but there was something about her that even at first glance seemed off somehow.
Rob straightened and tried to keep his eyes off her low cut dress. “May I speak to the lady of the house?”
“The lady of the house?” The woman repeated with a hallow laugh that sounded so much like Sarah’s. “Good luck with that.”
“I’m a friend of Sarah’s, and—“
The woman stiffened, worry wrinkling her face. “Sarah? Do you know where she is?”
“She stayed with me last night.”
Stepping aside, the woman motioned him inside. “Lucky girl, she’s got good taste.”
Rob ignored the compliment as he walked through the door, “I need to talk to her mom. Is that you?”
Once again the woman smiled, “Do I look old enough—Never mind, don’t answer that. I’m her aunt, Sylvia.”
With swaying hips, she took him up the staircase. Rob followed close behind, amazed at the size and extravagance of the house. He was afraid to touch anything, worried that things would break if they came in contact with his clumsy hands.
Sylvia came to a set of white double doors and threw them open, “Beth, you have a visitor.”
Rob wasn’t sure if he was supposed to go in or not. He glanced back at Sarah’s aunt, but she was already walking back down the stairs. Clearing his throat, he stepped into the luxurious suite.
The sitting room was empty and the doors leading to the bedroom were open. Beth sat in a chair by the balcony, but she was so far away she seemed unreal. He crossed the rooms and stood beside her, but she didn’t move. He was just about to say something to get her attention when she looked up at him with red rimmed eyes.
“What are you doing back?” She asked in a confused whisper. “You’re supposed to be dead.”
Great…Sarah didn’t tell me she was crazy…
“Excuse me?” Rob asked, unsure of what she was asking. “I’m a friend of Sarah’s.”
She turned away, clarity coming to her blue eyes. When she turned back to him she smiled, “So, what are you doing here? Did Sarah ask you to come?”
“She didn’t ask me to come. She doesn’t know I’m here.”
“Where is she? Sylvia said she was gone.”
“She stayed at my house last night.” Rob confessed. “She should still be asleep.”
Beth looked up at him with narrowed eyes, sizing him up. “So, she didn’t ask you to come, but you’re here.”
She tilted her head, “Does this mean you are in love with my daughter?”
Rob knelt beside her, “No, but I don’t like to see her hurt. She cried herself to sleep last night.”
“At least she slept.” Beth said with a dramatic sigh.
“I think she needs some answers.”
Beth smiled down at him, but her blue eyes turned cold. “That is no business of yours or hers. Besides, it would only—“
“Hurt her?” Rob guessed. “She’s already hurting.”
She laughed coldly and starred out at the gardens. “That’s life, she needs to learn to just accept disappointment.”
Rob considered slapping that arrogant smile off her face. What was it with the women in this family? They all brought out the worst in him. “Maybe life was like that for you, but it doesn’t have to be for Sarah. I don’t want it to be that way for her.”
“You really care about her, don’t you?” Beth asked in a soft whisper.
He looked up and saw the tears flowing down her cheeks. Rob stood, “Sarah is my friend and I do care about her, but she’ll change after this and I can’t help her.”
Beth reached up and touched his hand, “Tell her to come home.”
He turned to leave, but stopped and smiled down at her with boyish charm. “Please, don’t tell her I was here.”
Beth was already starring back out over the gardens. “Don’t worry, I’m good at keeping secrets.”
Sarah sat on the edge of her mother’s bed, not knowing what to expect. Gone were the feelings of safety and security that used to encircle this room, now she just felt small, vulnerable, and totally on guard.
She perched there with cigarette in hand, cursing herself for feeling guilty over that when her mother had done so much worse. Still half asleep, she fought the urge to lay back and return to the safe world of dreams. Only minutes before, she was comfortable in Rob’s bed, and then he was shaking her awake. Beth had apparently called and demanded to see her.
Now Beth paced the room, more attractive than Sarah had ever seen her. The pale ivory silk of her robe fluttered about her like wings, Sarah turned away. She had seen her mother dramatic like this before.
“Mom,” Sarah sighed. “What do you want?”
“No Sarah, what do you want?”
Sarah smiled, contempt filling her. Beth was just performing, just like before. “Mom, if I remember, last night you had nothing to say to me, or tell me. It didn’t matter what I wanted.”
Turning to her daughter, Beth’s eyes filled with tears. “Sarah, don’t make this harder than it has to be.”
“Oh no, the last thing that I want to do is to make things harder on you.”
Beth heard the sarcasm in her daughter’s voice. “Sarah please, this isn’t easy.”
Beth face hardened and she stood straighter. “Sarah, shut up and listen to me. If I had my way, I’d take this to my grave, but you wanted to know. Well, your father’s name was Chris DeVille.”
Sarah said nothing. She was afraid if she spoke, Beth would stop talking and she needed to hear this.
“I met him in Atlanta. I thought he was perfect and planned on spending the rest of my life with him. My parents hated him and constantly pressured me to break up with him.”
Sarah couldn’t contain herself any longer. “Does he know about me? Did you ever even tell him?”
Beth’s face hardened and paled. When she spoke it was like she was forcing the words out of her body. “He’s dead. He died before you were born. I married Charles and that pretty much brings you up to date.”
It was all so matter of fact. Sarah tried to digest it all, but it was still so hard to believe. She used to think her father hated her. There was a strange comfort in knowing it was just her step-father that hated her. She didn’t know why the titles mattered, but they did.
Sarah stood to leave, but Beth took her arm. “Sarah, wait. Can I ask you something?”
I’m not in the mood to offer forgiveness just yet…Just back off and give me some time…
Beth looked directly into Sarah’s eyes, “You spent the night at that boy’s house.”
“Did you sleep with him?” Beth demanded. “Do I need to be worried?”
Sarah jerked away, hurt and offended that her mother would be worried about that after dropping the bombshells she just did.
“Like mother like daughter.” Sarah hissed. “Only I don’t love him. I’m just using him for sex.”
She was at the doors before Beth could stop her. Helpless, Beth could only watch her daughter leave. She hated to admit it, but the truth had come too late and Beth had the sinking feeling that it would now stand between them forever.