Author: Kate L Mary
Genre: New Adult Mystery Romance
Publisher: Twisted Press
Publication Date: February 5th, 2020
Hosted by: Lady Amberâs PR
Kate L. Mary is an award-winning author of New Adult and Young Adult fiction, ranging from Post-apocalyptic tales of the undead, to Speculative Fiction and Contemporary Romance. Her YA book, When We Were Human, was the 2015 Children's Moonbeam Book Awards Silver Medal Winner for Young Adult Fantasy/Sci-Fi Fiction, and the 2016 Readers' Favorite Gold Medal Winner for Young Adult Science Fiction, and her dystopian novel, Outliers, was a Top 10 Finalist in the 2018 Author Academy Awards for Sci-Fi/Fantasy, and the Winner in the 2018 Kindle Book Awards for Sci-Fi/Fantasy.
Amazon US: http://amzn.to/2FQl4m1
Mom stands in the doorway, her arms crossed over her chest and her black hair a mess. The sloppiness isnât like her; sheâs typically so put together. But Mom isnât who I need to be focusing on right now. Iâve been asking her whatâs going on for two days, and Iâve gotten nowhere. Dad will tell me.
I put my back to her and focus on Dadâs face. âWhy didnât you come see me?â
He rubs the back of his neck. âIâm sorry, honey. I should have I justâ¦â He sighs and pinches his nose the way he does when heâs stressed. âI couldnât be around her right now. Itâs too hard.â
I take a deep breath, willing myself to stay in control. âWhy? Whatâs happened?â
Dadâs gray eyes move to Mom. âYou didnât tell her, Charlotte?â
Momâs shoulders slump even more. âShe was hurt. I didnât want to add any undue stress.â
He puts his head in his hands and digs his fingers into his scalp like heâs trying to crush his own skull. âYou should have told her eighteen years ago.â The words hiss through his teeth. âYou should have told me.â
âWhatâs going on?â I gasp for breath between the words. Iâm close to hyperventilating.
Dadâs eyes meet mine. They are so full of pain. âWhat the nurse saidâ¦â
My mouth pops open. âI am adopted.â
He winces. âNo.â
âI donât understand. What, then? Whatâs happening?â My stomach feels like itâs full of rocks.
âYour blood type is AB.â Every word makes his face scrunch up even more. âYour mom and I are both O.â He looks away when I shake my head. I still donât understand. âThereâs no way I could be your father.â
The room spins and I want to curl up in a ball, but I canât move. My heart. I grab my chest and squeeze. Mom steps forward with her hand out. One look from me and she stops.
âWhat?â The word is so quiet Iâm not even sure I said it.
Dad takes my hand. The one that isnât trying to hold my heart together. âIâm still your father.â
âBut youâre not? Not really?â
He shakes his head, and I blink. Tears drop from my eyes onto my legs, leaving dark circles on my jeans. This canât be real. Things like this donât really happen, right? Not to normal families like ours. Not to one of the few couples who are actually happy together and still in love after twenty years of marriage.
âYou didnât know?â I canât look at Mom, so I focus on Dadâs eyes. When he shakes his head, my stomach convulses and jumps to my throat.
I turn to Mom. âYou knew?â
She doesnât even try to deny it or defend herself. All she does is stand there, staring at us with those unflinching blue eyes of hers. Mine are the same color, but they have more life in them. Iâve always attributed that to my dad. What a joke!
âI have your personality!â My voice shakes and I want to get up and run away, but my body is too battered to make an escape. I do stand up. âYou!â I scream at Mom. âYou cheated on Dad? How could you? And to lie about it all these years!â
She finally cracks. Tears fall from her eyes, and she takes a step toward me. I back away. Pain shoots through my body. At this point, I donât know if itâs physical or emotional.
âItâs not what you think,â she says. âWe were split up.â
âCharlotte, stop it,â Dad says.
âWhat? Itâs true!â
Dad shakes his head. âWe broke up for one month. You were cheating on me long before that. You only came crawling back when you found out you were pregnant. I was an easy target.â He sounds so bitter. I canât blame him.
âWhat do you mean you broke up? You mean you got separated?â
Momâs shoulders slump. âI was pregnant when we got married.â
I shake my head and she puts her hand up to stop me. Why does she look so calm and put together suddenly? All those times sheâs fallen apart over the tiniest things, and now when the world is crashing down around me, sheâs as cool as a cucumber, whatever that means.
âWe told you we got married two years before you were born. That isnât true. We were dating, and I met someone else. I didnât mean to cheat; it just happened. For a time, I thought I wanted to be with him, but it didnât turn out well. When I found out I was pregnant I went back to your father.â She turns her eyes on Dad, but he wonât look at her. âI didnât know then! Not for sure. She could have just as easily been your baby.â
âBut you found out later.â
Mom nods, but thereâs no way he can see.
My legs shake. I sink back onto the couch just as Dad gets to his feet. He puts his hand on my shoulder, and I stare up at him. He isnât looking at me, and he isnât looking at Mom. Heâs staring at the door. One squeeze of my shoulder and heâs gone, pushing past Mom without even glancing her way. The wind howls when he opens the front door, and when it slams shut my heart splits in two.