Bayou Baby (Butterfly Bayou 2) - Page 95

“Mrs. Beaumont,” Annemarie said. “You have a guest.”

Sera seemed startled. She obviously hadn’t expected a crowd. “I’m sorry to interrupt. I was going to drop this off with a note. I didn’t think anyone would be home except Harry.” She turned to Celeste with a long breath. “Mrs. Beaumont, I want to thank you for the kindness you showed me yesterday, but I’ve decided it’s best I don’t attend any of the festivities. I’m going to finish my house and then perhaps we can talk about what a fair price would be. I’m probably leaving Papillon.”

She was leaving? He stepped up. “Sera, we need to talk.”

“No,” Celeste interrupted. “She needs to tell me when her son was born. I want the truth and I want it now. If she doesn’t tell me the truth, I can get legal.”

The bag dropped from Sera’s hand as quickly as the color left her cheeks. She turned his way. “What did you do?”

Lost it all. That’s what he’d done.chapter fourteenSera felt a fine tremor in her hands. Celeste’s face was perfectly blank, but her eyes stared right through her.

“Sera, I’m so sorry,” Harry was saying.

She ignored him. It didn’t matter. She was here and it was everything she’d feared. Since the day she’d realized she was pregnant, she’d known she would have to deal with the Beaumont family one way or another. If Wes had come home, he probably would have used Luc to convince her to marry him, and that would have been a whole other fight. When he’d died, she’d put this off and hoped for the best, but deep down she’d always known she would have to stand alone. Oh, her family would be behind her, but she had to do this on her own. “Luc is my son. I don’t have to tell you a thing about him.”

“Is Luc my grandson?” Celeste’s words came out measured, but Sera had learned that sometimes a snake was perfectly still right before it struck.

“Luc is my son and he has my name. I had him by myself and I’m raising him by myself.”

“Only because his father died,” Celeste said between clenched teeth. “Tell me I’m wrong.”

There was a bit of sympathy for Celeste inside Sera’s heart. She had no idea how she would handle it if anything ever happened to Luc. Devastation. It was what Celeste had to be feeling. The poor woman was a tidal wave of grief and rage, but Sera wasn’t going to let herself drown in it no matter how much sympathy she felt. “I don’t know what would have happened if Wes had lived, but I do know Luc is my son and I get to make the decisions concerning him. Now that Harry has made one of those decisions for me, I suppose we should talk.”

She could be calm and rational.

“It wasn’t Harry’s fault,” Angie said.

He might not have said the words out loud, but Celeste had figured it out because he knew. All this time she and Angie had managed to keep the secret. Harry had known for one day and it was already out.

“We’ll do more than talk,” Celeste commanded, ignoring Angie completely. “You’ll bring that child to me. You’ve had years with him. You took him from me. You stole years of my grandson’s life.”

“And what would you have done if I’d come to you?” Sera asked, surprised at how steady her tone was. The time she’d spent with Celeste had made her understand the woman wasn’t all bad. And Wes had truly loved her.

“I would have done what I’m going to do now. I would have called a lawyer and asserted my rights.” Celeste proved she could revert to her normal, controlling, arrogant self with ease. “You should leave my house now and get ready because I’m coming for you, Seraphina. You need to think seriously about every move you make because I will have private investigators watching you twenty-four-seven.”

Sera felt her stomach clench. She’d known there would be lawyers, but she hadn’t thought about investigators. They would be tracking her, trying to find ways to make her look bad.

“Aunt Celeste.” Harry started to move in front of Sera, as if he could protect her.

He couldn’t. He’d gotten her into this mess, but he was going to find out he couldn’t do a damn thing to get her out.

Celeste simply moved around him. “They’ll watch your every move and document it until I can prove you’re an unfit mother.”

She heard Harry gasp in shock.

Poor Harry. He was going to lose a lot today and she felt for him, but she couldn’t ease his soul now.

“I’m not. I’m a good mother,” she replied, holding her ground. “And I assure you my son loves me. I’m willing to talk about letting you get to know him if you can be reasonable, but if you think I’m giving you control over anything concerning him, you’re insane.”

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