Ana Seymour

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Book: Ana Seymour Read Online Free PDF
Author: Father for Keeps
directly. “I’ll be feeling better when you leave town.”
    “Kate!” Jennie exclaimed at her sister’s rudeness.
    Carter gave a half smile and extended his hand toward the visitor. “Kate’s interested to know the purpose for your stay in Vermillion, Flaherty.” The two men shook hands. “What exactly are your intentions here?”
    Sean looked around the group. Jennie walked over to stand next to Carter, who slipped an arm around her waist. Kate glared up at him from her seat on the settee.There was less warmth in the room than in an icehouse at midwinter.
    “I came back to see Kate, to see if we could resume…if we could find…” He stumbled over the words, then cleared his throat and started again. “Of course, now that I know about my daughter, it just makes it all the more urgent.” He shot Jennie a glance to make sure that she realized that he was keeping her part in his return a secret. He wouldn’t reveal that he’d learned of Caroline’s existence from Jennie’s letter.
    “Caroline’s my daughter,” Kate began, her voice shaking. Carter put a steadying hand on her shoulder.
    “No one will deny that you are the father of Kate’s child,” Carter said in a lawyerly tone. “We’ve asked you here today to discuss the ramifications of that admission.”
    This was not the discussion Sean had expected. He’d hoped Kate had come to her senses. He’d hoped for some kind of tender reunion, had even pictured taking her back to his room at the hotel to rekindle the passion they’d been so quick to find eighteen months ago. He felt awkward standing before her as if at some kind of tribunal.
    “May I sit down?” he asked, gesturing to the highbacked chair.
    “Of course.” Carter sat down again on the settee, and Jennie sank to a low stool beside him, leaving her hand in his.
    As Sean took his seat, Kate spoke again. “You’re not taking away my baby, Sean.”
    He looked up in surprise. “Is that what you think of me, Katie?”
    “We just want to get this straightened out,” Carter explained. “As the father, you might have certain rights.”
    “By all means, let’s get it straight,” Sean replied. He was beginning to get angry. “I have no intention of taking Caroline away from anyone. A baby belongs with her mother. But she belongs with her father, too. I’m here to try to make that happen.” He shifted his gaze directly to Kate and spoke intently. “I want us to be together, Kate. I’m asking you to forgive me and to give me—to give us—that chance.”
    There was a long moment of silence during which it was obvious to everyone in the room that Sean’s words had somehow reached their target. Kate’s expression had softened and there was a look of something like longing in her clear eyes.
    Finally Carter stood, pulling Jennie up with him. “I think I hear the baby,” he said.
    Jennie gave him a puzzled glance. “Barnaby’s with her.”
    Carter lifted an eyebrow and gave a slight nod toward Sean. “Maybe we’d better go check to be sure,” he said.
    Jennie looked from Sean to her sister, then back to Carter, who nodded again. “All right.” She let him lead her across the room and out the curtain. “We’ll be close by if you need anything,” she told Kate. Then the couple ducked through the curtain and Sean and Kate were alone.
    “Did you really come back for me?” Kate asked finally. “To try again?”
    Sean wasted little time in moving in at what appearedto be a wavering of the opposing forces. He got up and swiftly crossed the room to sit next to Kate on the settee. “I haven’t stopped thinking about you in all these months, Kate.” This much he could say with complete sincerity.
    Kate’s gaze became unfocused and drifted toward the window. “I couldn’t believe it when you left,” she began slowly. “We were so happy. My world had become a paradise, and then suddenly you were gone. You didn’t even come to say goodbye, just that cold letter…”
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