The Immortal Who Loved Me(Argeneau, book 21)(59) by Lynsay Sands
“But if you’re right and he’s been in my life all these years, then he didn’t stay away,” Sherry pointed out. “Maybe he was her life mate and—”
“He stayed in your life, not your mother’s,” Lucian interrupted.
“She was there too,” Sherry said quickly.
“She was also married to and sleeping with her mortal husband,” Lucian said grimly. “A life mate could not stand by and suffer that.”
Sherry scowled now and shook her head. “Well, this is all stupid speculation anyway. My parents were married a full year before I was born. My mother was not the type to be unfaithful. And she would have told me if my dad wasn’t my father.”
“Are you sure about that?” Lucian asked, obviously not agreeing with her.
“It would explain your father’s absence in your life,” Basil pointed out gently. “If he knew you weren’t really his child . . .”
Sherry simply stared at him with dismay for a moment, and then lurched to her feet and stumbled past Stephanie’s legs to hurry to the hall leading to the bedrooms. She was suddenly desperate to be alone.
“Let her go. She wants to be alone.”
Basil tore his gaze from Sherry’s retreating back to scowl down at his brother’s restraining hand on his wrist. Her stricken face at the possibility that Richard Carne might not be her father had set him back a bit, and he’d been slow to follow. But now he wanted desperately to go to her and help her through this.
“Take your hand off me, or I shall remove it for you, brother,” Basil said coldly.
Lucian considered him briefly and then shrugged and released him. The moment he did, Basil slipped around the coffee table and made his way to the bedroom he had shared with Sherry last night. His gaze scanned the empty room quickly as he entered. The sheets were tousled, their night clothes from the evening before strewn everywhere, but she was nowhere in sight. However, the door to the bathroom was closed.
Pushing the bedroom door closed, he crossed the room and then hesitated and pressed an ear to the door. All he could hear was her heartbeat and breathing.
“Sherry?” he called softly. “Are you okay?”
There was a brief silence and then, “Yes.”
Basil reached for the handle and found the door was locked. Releasing it, he asked, “Can I come in?”
“Sherry—” he began worriedly.
“I’m fine, Basil. I just . . . I’m going to curl my hair and straighten my makeup. Go on back and help with the lists. I’ll be out in a bit.”
Basil shifted his feet, peered at the door and then back to his feet. She was hurting. He knew she was hurting. What they had suggested shocked her, rocked her world, in fact. He wanted to comfort her, but it seemed she didn’t want comforting. She really wanted to be alone.
Turning away from the door, he glanced around the room again and then gathered up their clothes. Folding them neatly, he set them on the chair, then turned his attention to making the bed. The entire time he did so, he listened for sounds from the bathroom, determined that if he heard what even vaguely sounded like a sob or weeping, he would break in and comfort her whether she wanted it or not.
He didn’t hear that, though. Instead, he heard the occasional metallic click and a clatter that he suspected came from her curling iron being used and then set on the counter while she gathered fresh strands of hair to wrap around it. She really was curling her hair, he realized, and shook his head. As he gave in and headed out of the room to leave her in peace, Basil acknowledged that he had no clue when it came to women.
A man would have beaten the hell out of someone or something after such news, but a woman? His woman? She didn’t weep and wail or beat up anything, she curled her hair.
“I told you she wanted to be alone,” Lucian said as Basil returned to join them.
“Shut up, brother,” Basil muttered.
In the bathroom, Sherry unplugged the curling iron and left it on the counter to cool as she began to brush her hair. Her mind was an utter blank. She’d wanted to be alone to absorb the possibility that her father wasn’t her father, and she’d known she wouldn’t be able to do that with Basil there. He would have hugged her, offering comfort, but it would have turned into passion and—It had just seemed better to be alone. But even alone, her mind didn’t seem to be absorbing it. It was like someone telling you that the sky was yellow when you have known and seen it as blue all your life. It just wasn’t computing.
Sherry turned and opened the door to walk out into the bedroom. She’d heard Basil moving around in the room so wasn’t terribly surprised to find it tidied up. Her gaze slid to the bed and she considered lying down, but Basil had just tidied the room. Besides, she wasn’t tired. In fact, she was actually feeling quite restless . . . and her mind was racing. Her father was not her father. She didn’t even know how to feel about that. Basil was right, it would explain why he had so easily withdrawn from her life, because while she’d been unresponsive to his few attempts to speak to her, he hadn’t tried very hard to overcome that . . . which had always hurt her. But if it was true, why had she not been told? She could understand why it might have been kept from her as a child, but once she was older . . . and especially when her mother was on her deathbed. She would have expected her mother to at least tell her then.
Her mother had been weak and hospitalized after her first heart attack, but survived a week before a second one had taken her life. Sherry had spent every night of that week with her, the two of them talking, sharing memories and so on. During those talks there had been many opportunities for her mother to tell her that Richard Carne wasn’t really her father. Why wouldn’t she do that?
Because it wasn’t true, Sherry decided. It couldn’t be. Her mother would have told her.
But Basil was right, it would explain a lot, she thought in the next moment. Why she was such a changeling. Why she’d grown up pretty much without a father from the age of eight on.
But Sherry just couldn’t believe that her mother wouldn’t have told her.
Unless her mother had been afraid that she would be angry or think less of her on learning it.
This not knowing one way or the other could make her crazy, Sherry thought grimly. She needed to know the truth . . . But the only one with the answers she needed was the immortal they all thought had been such an integral part of her life for so long.
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