April's Secret Storm

A Seasons Saga Novel

by Brenda Ashworth Barry

Just when Beth Ann and Kaylob try to put the kidnapping behind them and believe things are calming down. Secrets that were long buried, come barreling at them like a storm. Everything Kaylob thought he knew about his world, turns out to be anything but...

New love for Frankie could also be on the horizon and will be brought about through the secrets that were kept from Kaylob. The question is, will Frankie be ready to settle down and give up his playboy lifestyle? However, through a tragedy Frankie finds shelter and comfort from an unexpected person.

The saga continues with some heart break and happy news. But the big question is, can Kaylob enjoy anything, when his life has been turned upside down?

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Chapter One

Coming to Dublin had been an enormous mistake. Hadn’t Beth Ann said, if she were right about Kaylob and his parents, this was a potential earthquake of an eight-point magnitude, on the scale of emotions? At age twenty-four, after everything she’d lived through, she thought nothing could blow her mind. Yet, here she was, being blown away. Her head was spinning, in the humongous library filled with floor-to-ceiling books, watching Kaylob hug the woman who was supposed to be his long-lost aunt, who just happened to have identical blue eyes and the exact same cleft in her chin.

She knew another storm was brewing.

“I’ve waited so long for this day,” Lillian said lightly and wrapped her arms around Kaylob, while he stood there stiffly.

They had expected Ireland to be gorgeous, that was a given, but neither one of them had been prepared for this kind of lifestyle. It was an enormous surprise when, only a half hour earlier, they had pulled up to the fairytale castle with the ocean drop all around. It took their breath away.

Lillian was miles above the word elegant. Beth Ann couldn’t help but stare at her dreamy chiffon dress with all the flowing layers and its embroidered sleeves and collar. Even when she glided into the room, one could tell she had class and charm.

“I’m so glad you’re here.” Lillian’s voice broke. “I’ve heard so many wonderful things about you, Kaylob, and I can’t believe this day has finally come.”

Beth Ann examined his face. Uh oh, he was not happy, that much she knew by the irritation etched in his eyes.

In her wildest imagination, she couldn’t have thought this up. Not like this. Sure, she had suspected Kaylob’s parents may have adopted him, but when she found out Lillian was his aunt, there was no reason to believe anything else.

Kaylob stepped out of Lillian’s embrace. Beth Ann could almost feel the frost in his voice when he spoke. “So tell me, Aunt Lillian, why is it that we are just meeting?” He leveled a look at her, which held her attention.

Holy thunder. And Beth Ann had thought her childhood was full of twists and turns. This by far was exceeding anything she had gone through. Beth Ann had become the woman she was today because of her bumpy upbringing. She had always measured time by the sound of wheels going down the freeway and watching the landscape go by. There was no question in her mind, living on the road with her family, and spending so much time in the car as they traveled from one state to another, had given her a gateway to her imagination. Even the rain droplets on the window of the old, rundown station wagon had brought her hours of entertainment, she had turned the streaming droplets into race contests.

Beth Ann recognized when things weren’t right with people. Now, Lillian’s face showed nervousness. And the resemblance between the two of them was uncanny. Jesus, even her hair color was almost the same as Kaylob’s.

All these years she wondered why Kaylob had not looked anything like Harold and Jackie, his parents. When they were kids, she had speculated about this difference. He was tall and handsome, with a wide smile and fun spirit. His parents had dark hair, were much shorter, and were rarely happy.

Beth Ann had to close her mouth because it was still hanging open. Just as she did, Lillian pulled a handkerchief from her pocket and wiped her eyes.

“I know we should have met sooner, but at least we are meeting now.” Lillian fidgeted with her collar.

“Yes, I would agree, waiting until 1975 is a little long.” Kaylob’s eyes narrowed. “We should have met sooner, much sooner.”

They had waited to take this trip and it was supposed to be relaxing, not uncovering some family secret.

Not after what they’d been through. Beth Ann had been kidnapped, which had been horrifying. The year before she had been attacked by some creepy robbers, right after Kaylob was found alive in a POW camp. Didn’t they deserve a break and some peace in their lives? All of it was enough drama to last them a lifetime, or at least sell their story to Hollywood. However, there was no way she’d star in it, even though she’d won a Tony and was an actress and singer.

Lillian cupped his face. “Let’s just focus on the here and now.” Her lips trembled. “All that matters is that we’re together.” She glanced over at Beth Ann, then crossed the room toward her.

“It’s so nice to meet you. I’ve heard all about you from Jackie.” She pulled her into a warm hug and Beth Ann felt her trembling.

Beth Ann didn’t know why, but she couldn’t hold back the tears. Maybe because she felt an instant connection.

“Aunt Lillian?” Kaylob’s voice sounded stern.

Lillian turned and faced him. “Yes?”

“Just who are you really?” He gave her a pointed look and her smile vanished.

For a minute Beth Ann was expecting her to say, “I’m your aunt of course.”

But instead a look of resigned sadness flowed across her face. She waved towards the couch. “Can we sit down? I wasn’t expecting to have this conversation so quickly.” She busied herself, refilling their cups of tea from the service tray that was sitting on the coffee table, all the while avoiding their eyes. Her hands shook a bit as she poured.

Beth Ann moved closer to Kaylob and took his hand. Right away, she noticed his sweaty palms. Oh God, he didn’t need this. Why had she agreed to this trip?

She had mixed emotions about this reunion, and yet, if Lillian was his birth mother and he knew Jackie and Harold had adopted him, wouldn’t it be a good thing? On the other hand, maybe his life would feel like a big fat lie. Thinking about everything, made her nauseous and her stomach flipped upside down.

Oh no, she was going to throw up.

“I’m sorry. I need to use the powder room, I know where it is, the butler showed us.” She must be turning green because Kaylob shot her a worried look. “I’ll be right back.” She dashed off to the bathroom, hoping nothing else would happen while she was puking her guts up.

"April's Secret Storm" by Brenda Ashworth Barry


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Historical Romance
Women's Fiction
? Heat Level: 3