Since the boys birthdays were less than a week apart, Shelby and Philip decided to have just one party for both of them. They had invited the family and a few of the boys’ friends to the party.
Shelby took a few minutes to catch her breath and regain her sanity in the kitchen. She smiled when Nakusa came in. Seeing her sister glowing and her round belly made her happy.
Shawn sat down at the table to talk to Campbell. He saw the man sit beside him. Before he could say anything to him, the man got up and left.
Andy had watched and frowned. He looked at Shawn to see what he was going to do and watched him walk outside.
Shawn followed the man and called out to him. “Mr. Fortner.”
Daniel heard the young man and stopped. He had heard the rumors and had spent years trying to find out if they were true. He never had any luck. Now the man that people are saying is his grandson is standing there in front of him.
He looked at the young man. “I know who they say you are.”
Shawn was a bit surprised by the old man’s tone. “I can prove it if that is what you need.”
Daniel shook his head. “What proof do you have?”
“I have the results of the DNA test that was done when my mother was recovering. She didn’t know who she was. The explosion made her forget. By the time she had her memory back, she was getting ready to have me.”
“Why didn’t she come to me?”
“She was scared. She considered herself to be too damaged to be wanted by anybody.”
Daniel’s heart hurt to hear that she thought that way. “She was my daughter. I would have loved her no matter what.”
“She didn’t think anybody could love her. At least not until she had me.”
Daniel frowned as he listened. “What about your father? Didn’t he love her?”
Shawn shook his head. “My father was a donor. Mom looked through a list and picked him.”
Daniel thought about what he was being told. “She was alone and went to a sperm bank in order to have a child?”
Shawn nodded. “She was afraid to come home and be rejected so she created her own family on her own terms so she would not have to be alone.”
“Where is your mother now? Is she here in Willow Creek?”
Shawn shook his head. “She passed a year ago.”
He saw his grandfather’s shoulders slump and the look of pain on his face. “I’m sorry. She made me promise to come here to find you.”
Daniel reached out to his grandson and hugged him tight. “I am glad you kept your promise.”
Shawn pulled back and looked at his daughter. He smiled and looked at Daniel. “I’d like you to meet your great-granddaughter, Clare.”
Daniel looked at the young girl. He could see Annika in her eyes. “You have your grandmother’s eyes.”
Clair looked at him and nodded. “Dad tells me that all the time.”
Daniel leaned down and hugged the girl. “I am so happy to meet you, Clare.”