Home > Lost and Found Family(2)

Lost and Found Family(2)
Author: Jennifer Ryan

“Assign some of the work to the programmers downstairs and take some time to yourself during this trip.”

“They’re as overworked as I am. Besides, look around. There are twelve laptops representing my various projects.” She took on the big, complex projects that had catapulted the company’s name and profits. “Be thankful I’m not taking more than the three.”

“Only twelve right now.” Abby opened her mouth in mock surprise.

At any given time there could be more than twenty laptops in Sarah’s office. Twelve wasn’t so bad. The fact that she’d only work on three projects while away meant she might get more than four hours of sleep at night. Maybe. Probably not.

Abby headed for the door. “I’m out of here. Make your call, then go home, see your kids, and get some sleep tonight because tomorrow is going to be one hell of a day.”

“Thanks, Abby. Go have some fun for both of us.”

She wished she could ditch work, cancel the trip, and go to Hawaii with the boys instead of Carmel.

She picked up the letter from Luke again and cursed Margaret for going to an attorney when a simple phone call would have sufficed. She did not look forward to the long car ride tomorrow, facing Sean’s mom, and dredging up all those memories of him, what had happened, and a past she tried to bury but always seemed to find a way to rise to the surface.



Chapter Two


Excitement warred with anxiety in Margaret’s stomach. “They’ll be here tomorrow. I can’t wait to see my grandsons. It’s been too long.” She regretted that in her grief and because of her anger and resentment, she’d let so much time go by.

“I told you the letter would work.” Luke stood in the kitchen, wearing a tailored suit, tie loose. Luke was a defense attorney. When she asked Luke for help with her Sarah problem, he’d convinced her to start with a letter requesting to see the boys.

She was surprised it worked.

And she had Luke to thank for it.

He and Sean had been close as brothers growing up, though they’d gone their separate ways after high school. Still, she thought of Luke as a second son.

But she’d kept the bad blood between her and Sarah private until now.

“Two years is a long time to let this go on.” Luke didn’t understand.

Depression had stripped her of any sense of time. One day dragged into the next. “At first, my grief was too great to see anyone. A mother shouldn’t outlive her child. When Sarah took over Sean’s company, I got angry. After the funeral, she didn’t grieve him, she just took everything and shut us out.”

Sarah got everything Sean worked so hard to build and erased him from the boys’ lives.

They probably didn’t even remember him. Their own father. It made her sick.

So she put her foot down and insisted on this visit. She deserved to see her grandsons.

The company envelopes Sarah sent monthly sat piling up on the credenza behind her desk in the library. They reminded her of all Sarah had taken and Sean had lost.

She refused to open them and allow Sarah to rub it in her face.

“I bet you miss the boys. Take this time to try to mend the relationship with Sarah so it’s easier for you to visit the kids.” Luke’s sympathetic tone didn’t lessen the turmoil roiling inside her.

“She wants nothing to do with me or Bridget.” Her daughter, like her, hadn’t liked what Sean told them about Sarah either.

“No one really wins in court. Everyone pays a price. Remember, Sean loved her.”

Margaret waved that away. “And look where that got him. Dead. She and Sean came from different worlds. It was obvious she only wanted to use Sean to elevate herself from a poor foster girl. She had no family and little education before she ended up at MIT.”

“Really?” Interest lit Luke’s eyes.

Margaret had a brilliant idea. “You should look into her teenage years. She got into trouble. Sean didn’t know all the details. Find out what really happened. If she’s got a criminal past, that will help my case.”

Luke’s eyes turned thoughtful. “I’ll look into it, but juvenile records are sealed. And you should really try to come to an agreement you can both live with.”

“I want to be prepared. Just in case.”

Luke pressed his lips tight. “All right. If that’s what you want, I’ll see if I can find out anything.”

“I want her to pay for what she’s done. Short of that, I want to see my grandsons whenever I want.”

Luke sighed. “Do you know anything else about her life before she met Sean?”

“No. Not really. They met at MIT. She wasn’t doing well in school.”

“Sean told me how hard and competitive it was there. Lots of people dropped out or couldn’t cut it. Most graduates are headhunted for top companies and the government.”

“Exactly. He had a bright future ahead of him. But he fell for a pretty face, her charm, and then she rushed him into a wedding at the courthouse. Not even a proper ceremony with family and friends.”

“I remember hearing about it from a mutual friend.” Just out of college himself, Luke had gone to work for the family law firm, building his reputation for winning difficult cases.

“The poor girl married well and got the life she always wanted when Sean used the money he inherited from his father to start his own business. He said she constantly pushed him to make more money, so she could keep spending it. Just before he died, he told me he wanted to divorce her and take the boys. She was too busy doing God knows what to be bothered with them. But she got it all, and now she’s head of the company—but I assure you someone else is doing the work for her while she continues to reap the rewards. Those boys probably never see her because she’s at the spa, shopping, and lunching with friends.”

“Some people care more about money than who they use and hurt.” Disillusionment filled Luke’s words.

Margaret smacked her hand on the table. “That’s her.”

Luke put his hand over hers. “It’s happened to me many times. Someone finds out who I am, and how much I’m worth, and something changes. They don’t see me, but what I can do for them.” Luke sat back with a sigh. “Sean must have been disappointed by her and the marriage. I get why you’re angry, but why do you hold her responsible for his death? She wasn’t driving the car.”

Margaret clenched her hand into a fist. “No. But he was working late into the night, making deals to keep her happy. He should have been home with the boys, enjoying the life he had already made for them.”

“Focus on your grandkids. Enjoy your time with them. Take this opportunity to watch how she interacts with them and see how they’re doing. I imagine this will be the most time you guys have spent together.”

“I’m surprised she went along with the six weeks. But that will be long enough for me to really get to know the boys and them to become comfortable with me.” So that if she had to take them from Sarah, they’d be happy to stay with her. “But I’m not sure I can endure her that long. She refused to send the boys alone, so I have no choice. You’re right, though, this is the perfect opportunity to make sure those boys are being taken care of properly. She couldn’t even cook when she and Sean got married. I only hope she’s put aside her selfish behavior and finally put those boys first.”

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