Daniel Morgan's past returned to haunt him when a freshman girl showed up wearing his college sweetheart's face.
Lynette Tyler was determined not to face her past, when she learned her daughter's favorite new teacher was the man she had forced out of her life when she got pregnant.
When Daniel learns that Kat is his daughter, he dares to ask God for the dream he had let go years before... to finally be a family. He pursues Lynnete's love through tragedy and shame, learning to forgive each other and themselves. The biggest hurdle isn't whether Kat would forgive them when she finally finds out the truth, but whether Lynette can let go of the past long enough to let them have a future together.
They had gone all out to make the place a home. Daniel chuckled silently to realize he felt far more comfortable here than he had ever felt at far richer, more stylish homes. It reminded him of the Randolph's house. Their living room served as the Green Room, make-up room and whatever else they needed for Homespun Theater. Daniel had always felt comfortable and part of the family there. Just like he felt here. Despite it all. For a moment, he stood still and savored the sensation, right behind Lynette's chair. He was loath to move away from her to sit at the head of the table, where a turkey card with his name on it waited.
"Dr. Morgan, could you say the blessing?" Bekka asked. Her innocent look took on a nasty twinkle when Mike nearly dropped the bowl of dressing and his mouth dropped into a stunned 'O' of surprise.
"Ah -- sure, Bekka. I'd be honored."
Daniel glanced at Lynette and felt his face warm. She didn't look at him, didn't seem surprised by the request. Had Kat told her mother about his faith? He had never made a secret of his beliefs, but Daniel always kept two steps back from the line that couldn't be crossed while teaching in a secular university. He stayed standing, bowed his head, and folded his hands while he waited for everybody to take their seats. Bekka watched her two roommates as they fidgeted and glanced around and finally folded their hands and closed their eyes. She glanced at him, offering a tiny smile. Daniel had to smile. He hoped she knew how much he appreciated, and yet dreaded, this opportunity.
"Father God, thank you for this day. For these friends. For the warmth and bounty spread out before us while so many in this world have no home, no friends, no family, no food. Please help us to carry our gratitude away from this table and spread it in the world. Thank you for the miracle of just being together today, of being a family for just a moment in time."
Lynette's head jerked up and her eyes opened and their gazes locked, while Daniel felt ice fill his belly. That had been a stupid thing to say, hadn't it?
Instead of the fury he expected, Daniel saw tears glimmer and fill her eyes. She offered a smile.
It was more than he expected. He smiled back.
What he said in the rest of the prayer, he could never recall. It had made some kind of sense, because no one looked strangely at him when he finished and they raised their heads. Lynette looked away and tried to wipe her eyes without looking like she wiped her eyes.
Daniel stayed standing, not sure what he was going to do. He only knew he had to divert attention away from her. He owed it to her.
"A toast." He spied the chilled bottles of cider on the serving table set a few feet away. He bowed, earning grins and chuckles from his students. "To our hostesses." He stripped the foil from the bottles and twisted the metal caps open as he spoke, and filled the mismatched glasses Kat had pulled out for the cider. "To friendship. To all the dreams filling this apartment. I hope all of you go wherever your dreams lead you." Joe passed the glasses around the table as Daniel continued. "May we always stay friends, and always have fond memories of this day."
He raised his glass and met Lynette's now-dry, composed gaze. She nodded and raised her glass a little before she sipped.