Bayou Baby (Butterfly Bayou 2) - Page 87

“Cal says he was obsessed with you.”

“I told him that the night before had been a mistake and he got so angry with me.” They’d rarely ever fought, but he’d been a different Wes that morning. “I left and I didn’t see him again.”

“He went into the Army after that night.”

She nodded again. “He did, but I didn’t tell him to do that. Not once did I say he should go away. I couldn’t do what he wanted me to do. I couldn’t love him the way he needed.”

Harry’s eyes came up, catching her own. “Is Wes Luc’s father?”

She couldn’t say it.

“Damn it, Sera, why didn’t you tell him?”

She’d never heard Harry curse. “He left before I knew I was pregnant, and then I didn’t want to admit it even to myself. Then he was gone.”

“But his family wasn’t.” This was so complicated. It made his gut tighten with the implications.

“They never liked me. They didn’t like Wes being my friend.”

“That doesn’t mean they wouldn’t have cared about their grandchild,” Harry argued. “How pregnant were you when Wes died?”

She hesitated but finally answered. “Four months.”

“So you already knew you were going to have the baby, but you didn’t write to him? You didn’t tell him?”

This was what she’d wanted to avoid. “It wasn’t like he could come home. He’d already been deployed at that point.”

“Somehow I think he could have figured a way,” Harry replied. “And none of that explains why you never told my uncle and aunt. My uncle was still alive when you had Luc. He could have had two years with his grandson.”

“He could have taken his grandson away from me.” It was what Angie had told her, and she’d believed every word she’d said. She’d believed it because she’d heard it all from Wes. Ralph Beaumont had been cold and distant and far more interested in his family name and reputation than his children’s happiness.

“The state doesn’t just go around taking children away from parents.”

It was obvious he wasn’t going to listen to her. What had she been thinking? She’d held the secret for so long, she’d thought it would never come out. She’d thought she could have Harry and keep her secret, too. She slid off the bed, wrapping the sheet around her because they were definitely not cuddling down for the night. “I was scared. The Beaumonts hated me. They blamed me for Wes leaving, and then they blamed me for Wes’s death.”

She needed to get dressed. She couldn’t have this argument with him like this. She started for her bathroom.

“Where are you going? We’re not done.” Harry shifted to reach out and put a hand on her arm.

It was a lot like what Wes had done. He’d reached out and grabbed her, hauling her in and snarling at her. Telling her what a tease she was and how she’d wrecked his life.

She pulled away and closed the door between them.

Her hands were shaking.

“Sera, come out here and talk to me,” Harry said.

She had a pair of PJ pants and a T-shirt hanging next to the shower. She pulled them on as her brain raced, looking for a way out. Harry didn’t see his aunt the way she did. Despite the fact that she’d had a good day with Celeste, she didn’t believe for a second there wouldn’t be a fight if she found out about Luc.

He knocked on the door. “I’m not joking, Sera. You can’t hide in there and expect me to go away. You understand that this means I’m actually related to Luc. I had a right to know that. I had a right to know I had more family.”

She opened the door. He’d gotten dressed and stood tall and imposing. She couldn’t let him intimidate her. “You had a right to nothing. He’s my son. I am so sick of men telling me what their rights are. Wes acted like he had a right to me. He always did. Do you know what he told me that day? He told me he’d wasted years waiting on me to wake up and see how lucky I was he wanted to be with me.”

“I don’t see what that has to do with the fact that you’ve been lying to my family.”

She wanted so badly to throw Angie at him. Angie had known exactly what her parents would do, and she’d saved Sera. But she couldn’t put her friend in the line of fire like that. It hadn’t been Angie who screwed up their secret. “Celeste tried to have my house condemned. She did it because she thinks that land should be hers, should belong to her family. Can you imagine what she would have done if she thought she had a grandson out there? Wes’s child? I know she seems to have changed her mind about me, but she would have come after my son. I didn’t have any money. Zep was just starting to get back on his feet after getting himself into a lot of trouble. Remy was gone. Do you honestly think I didn’t want help? Do you believe I would have hidden this if I didn’t feel like I had to? Of course I would have told Wes if he’d lived. I would have had to. But I listened to all his stories about being raised by Ralph and Celeste. I did not want that for my child, and I don’t think he would have wanted it, either.”

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