Read Tagan's Child Online

Authors: ammyford1

Tags: #romance, #paranormal romance, #womens fiction, #chick lit, #contemporary romance, #romance suspense, #romance scifi, #romance adult, #romance sex, #romance action suspense

Tagan's Child

 

 

 

 

Tagan’s Child
by

 

Amelia Ford

 


 

 

 

Smashwords edition.

 

Copyright 2014 by
Amelia Ford

The moral right of the
author has been asserted.

All characters and
events in this publication, other than those clearly in the public
domain, are fictitious and any resemblance to real persons, living
or dead, is purely coincidental.

All rights
reserved.

No part of this
publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or
transmitted in any form or by any means without the prior
permission in writing of the author.

 

License Notes.

This ebook is for your
personal enjoyment only. This book may not be re-sold or given away
to other people. If you would like to share this book with another
person, please purchase an additional copy for each recipient. If
you're reading this book and did not purchase it, or it was not
purchased for your use only, please purchase your own copy. Thank
you for respecting the hard work of this author.

 

 


 

 

 

 

For my husband whose
encouragement and support are unstinting.

 

 


 

 

 

 

Acknowledgements

 

Thank you to all those
people who helped me on this journey. Without your help and support
this book would never have reached completion. You know who you
are. I would also like to thank the Wow Factory for producing such
a brilliant front cover. Finally, thank you to my amazing children
who have put up with a mum whose head has been in a fictional world
for a significant portion of the last three and a half years

 

Contents

 

Chapter 1

Chapter 2

Chapter 3

Chapter 4

Chapter 5

Chapter 6

Chapter 7

Chapter 8

Chapter 9

Chapter 10

Chapter 11

Chapter 12

Chapter 13

Chapter 14

Chapter 15

Chapter 16

Chapter 17

Chapter 18

Chapter 19

Chapter 20

Chapter 21

Chapter 22

Chapter 23

Chapter 24

Chapter 25

Chapter 26

Chapter 27

Chapter 28

Chapter 29

Chapter 30

Chapter 31

Chapter 32

Chapter 33

Connect with the
author

 

Chapter 1

“Goodnight
lovely boy.” I stroked the side of my eight year old nephew’s pale
face, noticing the purplish smudges under his eyes caused by a day
of crying. I tucked his duvet in around his shoulders. “Your mummy
would be so proud of you. I’m so proud of you, it’s been a
difficult day and you’ve coped with it so well.”

“I miss her
auntie Sophie.” His voice wobbled and I watched a tear roll down
each cheek. My heart went out to him. There had been times today
when my grief had threatened to engulf me, and yet in spite of his
tears and his own grief he had tried to be my pillar of
strength.

“Come here.” I
gathered him in my arms and he began to sob quietly into my
shoulder.

It was the
first anniversary of Katie’s death. A year ago today her life had
been snuffed out on a lane just outside our village when her car
had skidded on a patch of ice causing her to lose control and
nose-dive into a ditch. She suffered fatal head injuries. It was
the tragic end of a young woman’s life, the end of a doting mother
and the end of my very special sister.

“I know you
miss her, my darling, I miss her too.” My throat constricted. I
closed my eyes and took a deep breath willing my tears to stay put.
The pain my sister’s death had caused could only be matched by the
pain I felt for my nephew’s loss. No child should ever have to
suffer the death of their mother.

Toby took a
shuddering breath. “Do you think she can see us?” He wiped his
eyes.

“I’m sure she
can.” I gave him a reassuring squeeze. I sat back and put my hands
on his shoulders. “Your mummy is with you every second of every
day, watching over you, watching you grow into a clever, funny, and
wonderful young man.”

He gave me a
weak smile.

“She loves you
and is counting on you to hold your head up high and be brave.”

He sat up a
little straighter and wiped his nose on the sleeve of his pyjamas.
“I mustn’t let her down must I?”

His look of
fragile determination swelled my heart. “You could never let her
down.”

He was a
handsome little boy, tall and muscular for an eight year old with a
natural talent for sport and a distinct phobia of hairdressers.

I brushed a
curl away from his right eye. I felt a desperate urge to reassure
him and let him know he wasn’t alone. “I want you to know that I’ll
always be here for you. I may not be your mummy but I will always
look after you and keep you safe as if I were.”

Toby nodded and
his bottom lip trembled.

I wasn’t sure I
could hold it together for much longer. I got to my feet. “It’s
getting late and you’ve got school tomorrow.”

I said this
maybe a little too brusquely as I struggled to hold back the tears.
I needed to go downstairs and bury myself in the sofa so Toby
couldn’t hear my sobs. But not before I had made a significant dent
in the bottle of rosé chilling in the fridge.

I stood up and
switched the lamp off beside his bed.

“I love you
Auntie Sophie.”

“I love you
too,” I said, swallowing back the lump in my throat. I bent down
and gave him a kiss on the cheek. “Sleep tight and see you in the
morning.”

I made my way
down to the kitchen taking a deep breath and exhaling slowly in the
hope that it would ease the pain lodged in my chest. It had been a
tough day and I felt sad and wrung out. I knew that Toby would be
asleep in a matter of minutes. I, on the other hand, would struggle
to find any respite in sleep until the early hours of tomorrow
morning. Insomnia had become my new best friend since Katie’s
death. Why was it that, as an adult, I had lost that ability to
switch off? I envied that about children.

I let Toby’s
dog, a Weimaraner called Mungo, out for a last wee before
retrieving the bottle of wine from the fridge. All I wanted to do
now was curl up on the sofa and cry until I couldn’t cry anymore. I
made my way into the lounge and poured myself a glass of wine. I
downed it and stared into the fire roaring in the log burner. My
tears began to fall. I put my glass on the coffee table and buried
my face in the cushions. I sobbed for my sister and the future she
would never have, for Toby who would never feel his mother’s
comforting arms around him again, and for myself, who felt the loss
of Katie so keenly that it had been a constant weight tugging at my
heart over the last twelve months.

Eventually, my
tears subsided and my grief was reduced to dry, chest heaving sobs.
Despite feeling exhausted, I knew if I went to bed now I would only
lie there, staring at the ceiling in the dark. I scoured the
sitting room for my Kindle. The days I could cope with, I could
keep busy and push the shadows of grief to the background, but it
was the nights I struggled with most when the house was quiet and
dark. Darkness only seemed to emphasise my sadness and fear.

Mungo barked
outside the back door. I suspected the reason he hadn’t barked
sooner was because he’d been through the rubbish bag I’d put out
earlier. I opened the door and he came trotting in licking his lips
confirming my suspicions. “You are a naughty dog!”

He gave me a
look as if to say ‘well, if you hadn’t left me out there so long I
wouldn’t have been forced to do it’. An uninvited blast of cold air
chased in after him and I shut the door quickly. “It’s chilly out
there Mung.”

He was
disinterested in my assessment of the weather and sat expectantly,
swishing his tail across the floor waiting for his last biscuit of
the day. I couldn’t help but chuckle. “Mungo, all you think about
is your stomach.” I held out my hand. “Paw!” I demanded. He quickly
obliged. I gave him a biscuit and he swallowed it whole. I smiled
and bent down to give him a kiss on his wet nose. Even though he
was Toby’s dog and his greediness knew no bounds, I was fonder of
the mutt than I cared to admit. He sauntered off to his bed and I
went back into the lounge, refilled my glass and sat back down on
the sofa.

Earlier this
afternoon, Toby and I had visited the place where we had scattered
Katie’s ashes. It was a beautiful spot and a great vantage point on
the South Downs. It was one of the places where we had all loved to
walk. We spent a long time sitting on the hill, looking into the
distance and reminiscing about the sweet, gentle, fun loving person
we had both lost. We laughed and cried and hugged one another, and
then walked down the hill to the village pub where they were
holding Hatherley’s annual Thanksgiving festival. It was a
celebration peculiar to our village and was a throwback to the
area’s farming roots. We stayed long enough to watch the procession
leave the pub as it began the traditional candlelit walk through
the high street, and then went home. Neither of us felt in the mood
to take part.

I sighed. Where
was my Kindle? I felt between the cushions of the sofa to see if it
had slipped down between them. There was no sign of it. I continued
to search for it until I remembered it was on my bedside table. I
checked the front and back door and switched off the lights before
scooting upstairs, leaving the darkness of downstairs behind me. I
passed Toby’s bedroom door and a sad smile crept across my face.
Katie had met his father, Tagan, at a bar one night whilst she was
at university. She quickly became besotted with him. Two months
later he walked out of her life leaving her pregnant and
devastated. She had tried to contact him but he never returned her
calls. Callous Bastard! He was obviously a player and my poor
sister had got her fingers burnt.

I brushed my
teeth and padded into the bedroom, sure enough, my Kindle was
there. I pulled on my pyjamas and climbed into bed. I had been
dating Marcus Hampton one of the junior partners at the local
doctor’s surgery for a couple of months now. He was keen and
clearly wanted to take our relationship further. I enjoyed our
meals out, trips to the cinema and a kiss at the end of the evening
but after a number of failed relationships, that was enough for
now. I liked him. He was nice looking and had a good sense of
humour, even if he was a bit short. The problem was, like with most
of the men I had dated, I didn’t feel we had much chemistry. I
remember Katie telling me that when she and Tagan had been together
it was like there was a palpable electricity that charged between
them. I had to take her word for it because I’d never felt anything
like that. I obviously wasn’t the chemical or electrical type.

When I really
thought about it I had never really let anyone get too close. I
preferred to keep men at a distance where they couldn’t hurt me,
disappoint me or die, just like most of the other important people
in my life had done. There had been a rather sad pattern to my
existence. I had lost my father, my mother and now my sister and
their deaths had left me with a debilitating fear of what the
future might hold. I was powerless against the nasty little voice
in my head which was always ready to whisper sickening doubts about
what could happen and what might be. I did my best to silence it
but it was never long before it resurfaced.

I sighed and
looked over at the bedside clock. It was getting late. It was
Monday tomorrow and the usual routine would begin for another week.
I hadn’t ironed Toby’s school shirt and I had to get to the Cash
and Carry first thing.

My phone
bleeped with a message. I picked it up.

‘Hi Gorgeous.
Hope today hasn’t been too traumatic for you. Just to say I’m
thinking of you. I’ve got a busy week ahead but can’t wait to see
you on Friday. Thought maybe we could catch a film and go for
dinner afterwards. Give me a call and let me know what you fancy.
Marcus x’

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