Annie and Stuart Rayburn have loved each other since high school. Their life is idyllic until their baby dies of SIDS, and Annie falls into a deep depression. Months of therapy help her recover, and they look forward to another child sometime in their future.
Despite his own grief Stuart tries to comfort Annie, yet when he reaches for her in the night, his advances are rebuffed. In a moment of weakness, he turns to another woman. Stu learns his night of infidelity produced a baby girl. The mother died in a car crash, and her will gives Stu custody.
Stu can’t deny the child is his, and he’s determined to raise her. He begs Annie’s forgiveness. Hurt and angry, Annie must face her demons, decide if she can forgive Stu, and love the innocent child, or divorce him and move on without the only man she’s likely to love.
“Josephine Lawrence died in a car crash two weeks ago.”
Josie dead? The nerves in Stu’s scalp tingled and shot down his spinal cord. He’d never wanted Annie to find out about his one-time indiscretion, but he wouldn’t wish death on Josie, either. “I’m so sorry to hear that. I didn’t know her well, but did know she was a valued associate at her company.”
“Yes, it’s been a great shock to her co-workers and to her mother. And that’s why I’ve called you here today. She left you the sole custodian of her child.”
His heart hammered in his chest. Why would she leave him custody? “I didn’t know Josie had children.” They hadn’t exchanged more than five words that night—that he remembered. “Why…why would she give custody of her child to me? We barely knew each other.”
Mr. Hampton removed a 5x7 professional photo from the folder and laid it in front of Stu.
Stu gasped for breath and pulled at his tie.