Published by: eXtasy Books
Author : Paula Calloway
Word Count :15823
Publication Date :2011-06-19
Series : #
Heat Level :
- Product Code: 978-1-55410-795-7
Seas rage and storms batter, but love's anchor endures.
Sixteen years ago, love lived in two young hearts and thrived at the beginning of life. Sixteen years ago, a rivalry surfaced that sent Mitchell to sea and left Anna to give birth.
The passing of time can assuage grudges, uncover hidden motives, heal wounds, and reveal family secrets. But when ties are tested and relationships strained by the opening of old injuries, can love endure rough and stormy seas?
She yanked on her robe, tightened it around her waist, and tromped downstairs. Hindered by a yawn, she halted at the sink and, her actions more remote than aware, pushed the coffeepot’s on button. Her absent stare out the window broken as the brewing started, the slowly rising aroma stirred her mind to life.
A screeched slide from above garnered her glance at the ceiling. “Readying the attic for your things, huh?” The last huffed gurgle signaled the brewing cycle’s completion. Anna grabbed a cup and spoon, added sugar and creamer, then poured the hot liquid into the cup.
She stirred her coffee, sat at the kitchen table, and sipped the wonderful drink. The liquid warmth soothed her throat. Her precious days off consisted of quiet moments like these, which relaxed her in every way. “I just wish they didn’t come so late in the morning. I need a teenage-proof alarm clock.”
The liquid slid down her windpipe. Anna coughed to clear her throat, but her voice failed to work. She turned her head toward the stairs as his heavy footfalls thudded on each step until her son stepped onto the solid kitchen floor.
Jason dropped into the chair on the opposite side of the small table. “Mom, we need to talk.”
She stared at her strapping teenager as the sunlight bounced off his wavy chestnut hair and highlighted his golden strands. His azure blue eyes sparkled with life and brimmed with curiosity. The slight bead of sweat on his brow indicated he worked hard to accomplish his task. This five-foot-eleven boy never slacked and behaved more like a man than many adults expected.
“I was scrounging in the attic. Mom, it stinks up there. I opened the window and turned on the fan to air it out. Guess what I found?”
Anna ignored the color drain from her face. “Please tell me the cover is not green.”
Jason grinned. “Deep, dark hunter green, rather worn, and very, very titillating.”
“You read my diary?”
“Yep. Didn’t know my mom blushed so prettily.”
Anna frowned. “Oh forbid.”
Jason placed the journal on the table. “Only to a certain point. Didn’t think the sex stuff was my business.” He leaned forward and wiggled his eyebrows. “So who was the handsome hunk you couldn’t resist? This man who charmed you into believing you were in love?”
She licked her lips. The subject of his father never came up before, and she deemed it her fault. “Wow. Um, will the answer of someone I loved deeply work?”
He shook his head. “You’re not getting off that easy, Mom. Not with the way you wrote about him.”
“I was afraid of such.” Anna stared into her coffee cup. “I was young and in love with him. We met when I was thirteen, he was sixteen, and you were born when I was fifteen.”
Jason sat back. “You’re skipping a lot, Mom. Especially about my father.”
“You know for sure?”
“I deciphered. It’s not hard since you give away information with your eyes, and you haven’t been with anyone else. Where is my father?”
Anna sighed heavily. “I fell hard for him, and no one else came close. The ocean called him, lured him out to sea, and he never made it back. He did some kind of maritime job with his grandfather.”
Jason narrowed his eyes. “Is he dead?”
She shook her head. “I never heard anything of the like, but I haven’t seen him since the day I learned I was pregnant with you. Grandma and Grandpa took care of everything. Grandpa didn’t want it any other way. As a matter of fact, he insisted I let him handle all of it. Except for the delivery room. He said that was Grandma’s job.” The gentle brush of his finger on her cheek wiped away a tear.
Worried, Anna met his gaze. “Please don’t leave me to find him.”
Jason sprang from his chair, dashed around the table, and knelt by her side. “I’d never leave you.”
She threw her arms around his neck. “I can’t handle losing you.”
He hugged her tight, then sat back on his heels. “I’m not leaving. I might find him just to punch him for abandoning you, but I’m sticking around for a long time.”
Anna pushed a lock of hair behind his ear. “Until you meet the woman of your dreams.”
Jason winked. “Guess you’ll have to make room for another woman because she’ll be moving in.”
Her laugh soft, she placed her palm on his cheek. “You’re a good son, Jason, and a strong man.”
“When I was ten, Grandpa said my father was dead. You told me you never heard of such. I need to know the truth.”
Anna gawked, her brow furrowed. “My dad did what? He had no right to interfere. It was my place to tell you about your father. I’ve waited a long time for you to come to me.” She sighed. “I guess I should have gone to you instead.”
Jason waved it off. “Don’t worry about what Grandpa said. What’s my father’s name?”
She stiffened. “What will you do with it?”
He stood. “Find him, hurt him, and force him to apologize to you for all the wrong he did.”
Anna stood and knew his love and respect for her compelled him back a step. She looked up into his eyes. “You can’t undo what happened, and a forced apology is never truly meant.”
Jason picked up her journal, his voice strained, “It’s my right, Mom. Please give me his name.”
“Yes, it is. His name is Mitchell Colton.”