Sara Calhoun has a perfectly orchestrated life. Until she opens her door one morning to come face-to-face with Ryan, the son she'd loved...and given up for adoption twenty-one years ago. Sara's memory of the night Ryan was conceived is virtually nonexistent, but the aftermath continues to haunt her. Three men went to jail after that night, but were they guilty? And which one is her son's father?
Ryan, now a police officer, believes the case is rife with inconsistencies, but the only man who can help them uncover the truth is Mark Dalton--one of the accused. Still, Sara can't believe she feels so...secure with Mark. He's an enigma and her worst nightmare, isn't he? Or maybe not...
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July 09, 2007
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Excerpt from Sara's Son by Tara Taylor Quinn
May 24 1:00--Lunch 2:00--Interview (It's the retired cop. Credentials in folder.) 2:20--Meeting with Rodney Pace. (Presentation schedule included in red folder on desk.) 6:30--Dinner with partners from Mr. Calhoun's firm. Hanrahan's.
Note: Proof Sheriff Lindsay's book. Sign checks and contracts before leaving. (In blue folder.) Further note: Don't forget to eat.
SARA CALHOUN SMILED as she read the final line Donna had jotted on the daily agenda, which sat atop a newly readied pile of folders on her desk at the National Organization for Internet Safety and Education early Thursday morning. The red-eye she'd taken from a PTA conference in Anaheim had just landed at Port Columbus International Airport half an hour before. She couldn't remember the last time she'd eaten.
If she'd gone straight home to shower without stopping at the office first to review the day's materials, she could have had breakfast with Brent.
Glancing at the plain gold watch on her wrist--a college graduation present from her parents--Sara sat, pulled the pile of folders onto her lap and started to read.
THE DOORBELL RANG just as she was finishing her makeup. Stroking a couple of coats of mascara onto her lashes, Sara quickly dropped the tube in the sectioned container on her dressing table and raced to the stairs. Maybe it was just a salesperson, but she couldn't stand to not answer.
She never let the phone ring, either.
It was five to nine. She'd spent so long at the office already that she was now late for work. But the sun was shining, May flowers were in bloom and an entire lovely summer stretched ahead.
Sara slowed at the bottom of the stairs, taking a deep breath to compose herself as she smoothed a hand down her slim brown skirt and brushed the pockets of her jacket. Dignity and class were her mantras. Always.
Brent expected this from her. "Can I help--" The ready smile froze on her lips. A cop was standing on her doorstep.
Something had happened to her dad. Or Brent.
The young man's mouth moved, but at this moment Sara couldn't concentrate sufficiently to make out his words. "What?" she asked, willing herself to hear what he was saying. "What happened?"
"Are you Mrs. Sara Calhoun?"
"Yes." She wished she weren't. Law enforcement officials never came to deliver good news. She ought to know. She'd grown up with one.
"You are." The young man's gaze deepened, studying her. "Yes," she managed to say, bracing herself.
And nothing happened. Officer Mercedes, according to the thin nameplate above his left pocket, just stood there, apparently at a loss for words.
"Can I help you?" she finally prompted, mystified. She was the one getting the bad news--wasn't she?
"I...uh...I've been planning this moment for a long time and I thought I was completely prepared. But now I have no idea what to say."
Planning this moment? One didn't usually plan to deliver bad news.
He looked so lost, so young, Sara's heart caught. "You're sure it's me you want to see? I'm Sara Calhoun, formerly Sara Lindsay. I'm married to Brent Calhoun. He's an attorney...."
Relief made her talkative. "Antitrust. Yes, I know," the tall, well-built officer said with a rueful grin. And a nervous twitch at the left corner of his mouth.
He ran his hand through his short sandy-colored hair, his raised arm drawing her attention to the belt at his waist--and all the defensive paraphernalia strapped there. That gun looked heavy.
"And, yes, you're the one I'm looking for." The kid was young, his green eyes switching back and forth between innocent and knowing as he stood there, shifting his weight. He couldn't be much more than twenty-one, which made her thirty-seven seem ancient.
"What'd I do? Forget to signal a turn? I have a habit of doing that, though I'm working on it," she said, brushing a strand of hair back over her shoulder. This had to be his first house call.
He frowned and then, glancing down, his face cleared. "Oh, the uniform," he said. "I'm not here on official business. I work the night shift in Westerville--just got off duty and finished my paperwork."
Westerville, a north Columbus suburb a bit west of the New Albany home she and Brent had purchased six years before. There was a park within walking distance of every home in their area. Barely thirty when they bought it, she'd still believed that her workaholic husband was going to agree to have the children they'd always said they were going to have.
"Speaking of work, I'm late," Sara said now, suddenly anxious to be on her way.
"I can come back another time."
"No." She shook her head. What could a young cop possibly have to do with her that would justify a second trip out? Or any trip? "I'm listening."
"And I'm finding that there's just no way to say this except outright."
She waited. "I'm your son."