SHORTS FROM THE SHELF – Haunted by Dreamer Shores Part 2
SHORTS FROM THE SHELF features short serialized fiction by author Shannon Muir, administrator of SHANNON MUIR’S THE PULP AND MYSTERY SHELF, that may be later released as part of e-book or print collections. The story line featured currently is “Haunted by Dreamer Shores,” which will run over the next four consecutive days. This is Part Two.
Collin finally put the gun down on a nearby table.
“When you pushed me into becoming a pregnant exotic dancer, you told me it would be a lot less disgraceful to marry me if I was a knocked-up celebrity before our marriage. That meant you cared what someone else thought. At the time, I thought you just meant your own self-image. But that doesn’t add up. Then you tried to look like the strong, dominating man in front of my father but once we were alone you backed off while trying to maintain your bravado. Who are you really, Collin, and what’s going on?”
“You really want to know?” he asked, sounding surprised and vulnerable.
“I tried so hard to get you to marry me and my parents wanted your money not because they wanted to take down their longtime rivals, though it wouldn’t have hurt. The reality was that my Mom was really sick, and we thought maybe a marriage might give her a chance to be a grandma and have a family. Your parents only saw you as a pawn for gain. I hoped maybe our family could get what we wanted, and maybe help you in the process. Your family was much more messed up than we thought, though.”
“How is your Mom now, Collin?”
“Now she’s running out of time. Maybe a year, if we’re lucky.”
Breah walked closer to him.
“Listen, Collin. I understand why you’re angry and upset. You don’t want to lose your mother. Even though I know both our families wanted to use our marriage in their own ways to get ahead, they wanted to do what they felt was best to preserve their families. At least yours seems to have somewhat of a heart. I can’t say that for mine ”
“All I want is for my mother to know she has a grandchild on the way, maybe even see one, before she dies,” Collin struggled to say. “And your family made us a promise. When you turned me away, you didn’t follow through.”
“It makes sense to me, Collin. But asking me to do this by force is not the way.”
Olly quickly stepped between Breah and Collin.
“No! You’re my wife, Breah. You can’t go back to him!”
Breah turned and looked at Olly.
“I didn’t say I would. I also remember I promised never to physically cheat on you with anyone else. But I do have an idea that might allow all these promises to be kept. Olly, if I could keep all my promises to you, would you welcome more children into our lives?”
She read puzzlement in Olly’s eyes.
“Please, Olly, trust me. I just have to know you are ok with having a few more children under foot. We know you can’t have any of your own.”
“Breah, I love you. Your children will have a home here, provided you can do everything you say.”
Breah looked back at Collin.
“I would be willing to undergo artificial insemination in a laboratory and see if I can conceive. If I get pregnant, your family can have the grandchild they want and I can keep my wedding vows. All the families can have the publicity of one altruistic family doing something for another. Are you willing to try this, Collin Weatherford? If not, we’ll have no choice but to report you to the police for breaking and entering. That negative publicity would benefit no one, least of all your mother.”
Collin dropped to his knees and burst into tears.
“After all I did to you, after all I forced you to do, why would you even make an offer like this?”
Breah leaned down to Collin’s level.
“Collin, I’m to blame too. I treated you pretty horribly as well. If you’d been more open with me, maybe I would have done things differently. But our choices are where we are. I can’t even guarantee this will work. If it does, I would require that I get custody and your family get visitation rights. This has to be on my terms.”