I’ve been working on the rest of chapter 4 of Heir Force and ran across this section that should have been posted before Spencer Visits with His Neighbor. I had written that as a new scene and then forgot about this one. But you’re a forgiving bunch, right?
So this is right after Spencer let Kate know about John’s will and legal guardianship of Sarah. Kate gets a phone call from Jen and she drives over to Kate’s. This is where it continues:
The phone rang two hours later, waking her up. She thought at first not answering, but curiosity got the better of her. She looked at the caller ID. It was Jen.
“Hello,” Kate answered.
“Hey, Kate. It’s Jen, how you doing?”
“Awful.” She started to cry and moan.
“Kate? What’s the matter? I know John’s gone, but—“
“I’m a mother,” she wailed.
“Pregnant? With John’s—“
“Kate, you’re not making any sense. I’ll be over in a few minutes.”
Ten minutes later, Jen was knocking on her door. Kate ran fingers through her hair and opened it.
“Wow, what happened to you?” Jen gingerly stepped inside, not sure she wanted to come in. She followed Kate to the living room after shutting the door. Buttons came running to see who was so brave to come in.
Jen looked around at the messy living room, blankets and pillows on the floor, papers strewn across the table. “Did you have World War III in here, or what?” Jen picked up the blanket, folding it before tossing it back to the sofa. She tossed the pillows into the corner and sat down. “Now, what on earth are you blubbering about? Are you pregnant?”
Kate sank into the chair. “No.” She wiped fresh tears off her cheeks. “John has a daughter.”
“What? From who? When? How? Never mind that part,” she waved her hand as if to erase that question.
Kate looked at Jen’s astonished face, which matched her own.
“Have anything to drink?” Jen got up, heading for the kitchen. She opened the fridge and took out a lone wine cooler. She was a little shocked herself. “I don’t understand.” She took a long swallow after opening it and handed the bottle to Kate who looked like she needed something more along the lines of brandy, which she knew wasn’t available.
They sat back down in their spots, passing the bottle back and forth.
“John had a ‘celebratory one night stand relationship’ after getting his last promotion and got a girl pregnant. It wasn’t until the girl was a year old that he found out he was a dad. He never told me, because as you know, my mother left me and I have chosen not to have any children of my own. Now the little girl’s mother is dead. John’s dead. Her name is Sarah.”
“But—“ “I know. John listed me as her legal guardian.” Kate flopped her head on the sofa back with a long sigh.
“I don’t know. Figured we might get married eventually and maybe he’d take custody after he settled in one place, I don’t know.” Kate threw up her hands in frustration.
Silence filled the room like a heavy fog coming in off the ocean. “Wow.” Jen drained the bottle, setting it on the table with a loud thunk. “Sorry.”
Kate shook her head.
They sat in silence a few minutes. “Are you going to keep her? How old is she? Where is she?”
“I’m not sure I have a choice in keeping her—it’s legal and all that. It’s such a shock. I don’t even know the first thing about being a mom. And according to the papers she’s around 2 or 2 and a half.”
“Wow.” Jen leaned her elbows on her knees and looked at Kate. “That sure explains a few things.”
“What do you mean?” Kate asked, not sure she wanted to know.
“Kelly told me once, that John sometimes talked about a little girl he knew, but never said her name or how he knew her. And sometimes it seemed like he was kind of sad when he’d see school children or something. She wondered if he had a child somewhere, but didn’t ever ask. Now we know.”
“Yep. And now she’s mine.”
“Kate, I’m so sorry. If you need anything, please let me know. I’ll be praying for you double-time.”
“I think it’s going to take a whole lot more than prayers to get me through this one. For the next sixteen years.”
Until next time,