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His Lover's Little Secret Andrea Laurence 2022/8/3 13:54:42

A strangled cry escaped her throat. “Gone? He’s missing? How?”

Gavin shook his head softly. “Not missing. Kidnapped. A ransom note was left.”

Sabine’s brain started to swim in panic. She could barely follow his words. She couldn’t possibly have heard him right. No one would take Jared. Why would anyone take Jared? “What?” she said, but she couldn’t understand his answer. Nothing made sense.

Gavin stood up and offered his hand to her, but she didn’t know why. “Sabine, please,” he said at last. “We have to get back to New York.”

She took his hand, standing slowly until she was looking into his eyes. His eyes. Just like her son’s. That’s when the fog in her brain cleared, and all that was left behind was red fury.

Her baby had been taken. Her sweet little boy, who had been nothing but safe under her care. Until now. Until he became the son of one of the wealthiest men in Manhattan. Then he was just a pawn in the games of the rich.

Her gaze locked on his, her lips tightening with anger. Gavin reached out to touch her face, but she swatted his hand away. “Don’t you touch me,” she warned through gritted teeth. “This is all your fault.”

It was as though she’d slapped him across the face. He flinched and stepped back. “What?”

“I never should’ve listened to you. You said he would be safe with your parents.”

“Of course. Why would I think someone would kidnap our son?”

“Because that’s the world you live in, Gavin. You might be appalled by the way we lived with our tiny apartment and our old, worn furniture, but you know what? Jared was safe! He was a safe, happy little boy who didn’t know what he was missing. And now he’s a rich little boy, scared and alone because being your son made him a target.”

“You think I’m the reason he was kidnapped?”

There was hurt in Gavin’s eyes, but she ignored it. She was too deep in her rage to care. “You are absolutely the reason he was kidnapped. What did the ransom note say? Did they want millions of dollars? They wouldn’t have gotten that from me, no matter what. I have nothing to offer, nothing anyone could possibly want, unlike you.”

“I don’t know what the ransom note said aside from the fact that they would call with instructions at 5:00 p.m. If we leave now, we can get back in plenty of time. Can you stop yelling long enough to pack and get on the plane?”

“You bet I can. I don’t want to be on the island with you for another minute anyway.” Sabine spun on her heel and ran from him, kicking pink sand as she headed for the stairs. She leaped up them two at a time until she reached the deck and raced for the master bedroom.

“What is that supposed to mean?” he said, charging in behind her.

“It means I wish I’d never run into Clay on the street. That the last two weeks had never happened. I should’ve gone home to Nebraska so you could never find me. If you weren’t a part of Jared’s life, I would have my son with me right now. This is exactly why I didn’t tell you that you were a father.”

The hurt expression on Gavin’s face quickly morphed into anger. His dark eyes narrowed dangerously at her. “That is a load of crap and you know it. You didn’t tell me about Jared because you’re a control freak who couldn’t stand someone else being involved in decisions for your son. You didn’t tell me because you’re selfish and you wanted him all to yourself, no matter what the cost to him.”

“You bastard! I was protecting him from the life you hated.”

“Yes, because it was so much better to suffer for your child and get sympathy than to give up your child dictatorship. Martyrdom doesn’t look good on you, Sabine.”

Her cheeks flushed red with anger. She didn’t know what to say to him. There wasn’t anything else to say. She turned her back on him and focused on packing and getting home to her son. She threw open her bag and chucked everything within reach into it. Whatever was too far away wasn’t important enough to worry about. By the time she had her things together, so did he. He was standing at the front door, a car waiting for them in the driveway.

She couldn’t speak. If she opened her mouth, she would say more horrible things. Some she meant, some she didn’t. It was probably the same for him. Yelling made her feel better when she felt so helpless. Instead, she brushed past him to the car, giving her bags over to the driver and climbing inside.

The ride to the airport was just as silent. Her anger had begun to dissipate; this wasn’t the time to start blaming and arguing. That time would come later, when Jared was home safely and she could think of something, anything, but her son’s welfare.