James had chosen his moment carefully. Warren was taking Megan out fishing thatevening, so he would have Teresa and Emma alone together in the house. Emmamanaged to get through their evening meal despite her nerves, again pretending tojust be a friend of James.
James was feeling confidenteverything would go well. Emmahad dressed nicely, hadcomplemented the meal…And Teresa was in a fairly goodmood. Their finances were still inruins but she’d managed to forgetthat tonight.He couldn’t wait to introduce her.They might not share anyDNA, but as far as James wasconcerned she would be a part ofthe family.
In a pause in the conversation James blurted outthe truth with no warning. Emma Eff was in factEmma Marshall, his step-mothers long lostdaughter. In shock, Teresa physically recoiledand spat that Emma was a liar.
James, confused by Teresas reaction announced he would ‘leave them to get to knoweach other again’ and fled. Teresa just stared across the table at this stranger. Could itbe true? She hadn’t thought about her daughter for so long, had managed to block itall out… Here at last was evidence of the mistakes that lost her a business career andled her to baby-sit for Warren at Pablo’s bequest.
Emma just sat there, mute. Waiting for her mother tosay something. Teresa melted. If it was true, if this wasthe baby she had given up then she had been granted asecond chance. A chance to make things right.She began to speak, to explain and to apologise.
Whatever she said, Emma didn’t speak. When Teresa wasthrough she just nodded and left the house. Teresa wasdistraught.Why would Emma track her down and then leave herhanging like this? What had she said to offend her?
She was in bed when Warrenreturned with Megan, but the nextday her husband begged to knowwhat was wrong. He could tell shewas terribly upset, could he help?
The floodgates opened. At last Teresa told Warren everything about her past. How shehad been stalked and then accosted during her business internship by a friend ofPablo. How she had been made pregnant by his forced attentions… how she had givenup her baby in the hope she could move on with her life. When she had gone to her bosses for help and support, they turned on her. The man, Emma’s father, was powerful. Rather than prosecute him they had hounded her out. She could never work in business again. Pablo offering her a job for Warren had been a lifeline.
She could see Warrenwas crushed, andbegged for him not tobe angry.Yes, she had kept all ofthis from him for years;but she was soashamed of that wholeperiod in her life shehadn’t told anyone. Nothim, not Bernice…Could he forgiveher, what was hethinking?
Warren was angry and hurt. She must think him aright llama not to have confided in him. She kneweverything about him, from his childhood, his firstmarriage to Miranda… everything. He thought theywere a unit, a team. He couldn’t help wonder whatelse she had kept from him.
He knew deep down he wasn’t beingfair, that what she had been through wasawful… But he couldn’t keep theresentment and hurt from pouring out.Teresa was shocked by his outburst,where had her easygoing, lovinghusband gone? But when he started venting about every little frustration he’d ever had in their relationship she fought back. This wasn’t a platform for him to attack her over anything and everything. He was hardly perfect either, he had ruined them.. Soon she was ranting too.
The two of them had never fought like this before, words and accusations werepouring out of both of them. Did she have Megan to trap him and live comfortably…was Megan even his… did he plunge the family into debt on purpose or was he juststupid… did he still love his dead wife more than her… could this be the end?