Eight years ago Erin Harrow fled her hometown in the wake of shame and scandal. She’s back now, as Erin Bennett the rich widow of recently deceased billionaire Sheldon Bennett. She’s returned to claim what is hers and to set the record straight on some very important issues.
Gabe Harrow has never quite recovered from his ex-wife’s flight to oblivion, and he’s never forgiven her for disappearing without leaving a trace. She’s back now and determined to take from him the one thing that gives his life meaning, his daughter Jenny. But then, she’s Erin’s daughter too.
Jenny swallowed before saying. "Kim's dad comes to see her every other weekend. Now that She's back in Summerville do you think That Lady will come to see me?"
As painful as it was, Jenny had to be told. "I don't think so."
Tears collected in the corners of her eyes. "Daddy, why doesn't my mother like me?"
Gabe's heart went out to his young daughter. "Don't be foolish. Of course, your mother likes you."
"Why doesn't she come to see me?" Jenny asked, and then added, "She came to see you."
There seemed to be no answer to that question, short of telling the truth. Gabe took a deep breath. "Your mother can't see you without my permission. That's what she came to see me about."
Jenny's voice soared with elation. "She wants to see me?" Leaning forward she asked anxiously, "When, Daddy, when?"
Resentment at being put in this difficult position made Gabe's voice sharp. "I'm not sure you should see your mother."
"But I want to," Jenny argued, "And she wants to see me. She wouldn't have come to see you if she didn't. Why Daddy? Why can't I see her?"
Gabe wasn't the villain in this little scenario. Why, then, did he feel like one? "There are some extenuating circumstances."
"What's that supposed to mean?" Jenny came directly to the point. "Did you tell my mother she couldn't see me?"
Her bald question caught Gabe unaware. He extended one hand in supplication. "Jenny, please try to understand."
Jenny was unyielding. "Is that what you told her?"
Gabe reacted automatically and foolishly. "Yes it is."
Jenny's eyes swam with tears. "Why did you do that, Daddy? Why?"
If Gabe weakened now, he would never be able to carry through with what he knew he must do. "I did what I thought was best for you."
"No, you did it because you're still mad at my mother. You're mean, Daddy, really, really mean."
"That's enough, young lady." Gabe knew he was handling this situation badly. He stood and paced the length of the patio before turning to regard his daughter with troubled eyes. "You're going to have to trust me when I tell you that it's best if you don't see your mother." He waited, expecting his daughter to launch into one of her familiar temper tantrums. That he could handle.
She stood and quietly promised, "I will see her. You can't stop me." With that cold pronouncement, Jenny walked away, leaving Gabe gazing after her in surprised wonder. He called out, "Come back here, Jenny, now!"