- Pearl got a shock when her ex-husband Duncan called her and told her he was in Maine.
- Quinn came to Pearl to tell her of Duncan’s arrival and ended up comforting her over the news.
The Lawrence Farm, the next morning
Pearl Tyler sat in the kitchen, drinking a cup of hot tea. She had a terrible night trying to sleep. Over and over again she heard the voice of her ex-husband Duncan as she tossed and turned in bed. “I’m in Maine Pearl. I miss you Pearl, and I realized I still love you. I was stupid to abandon you and our child for Bridget but I told her it was over last week. I’ve come to take you back home with me, where you belong. I was wrong. I made a giant mistake. But I want to rectify it. I want us back together and I want to be a father to our child…”
She grabbed both sides of her head to block him out. She didn’t know what she was going to do now. She knew Duncan wouldn’t listen to her demands to leave her alone. She thought about contacting his parents but could only imagine the verbal insults her ex-in-laws would spew at her. Even though they were glad she divorced their son, they were unhappy that she decided to leave Lancaster, meaning they wouldn’t be able to be around their grandchild. But Pearl figured they didn’t want anything to do with the baby anyway.
The sound of the phone ringing jarred Pearl away from her thoughts and she went to answer it. “Hello, Lawrence residence.”
“Good morning Pearl, it’s Gene.”
“Hi Gene, how are you?” Pearl asked.
“Fine, but I wanted to tell you that Iva and I won’t be back until later today. We’re off to buy a new van. We managed to get old faithful running but I don’t know how much longer she’s going to last.”
“I’m sorry to hear that,” Pearl replied.
“Me too, but it’s time. Iva’s excited though. She wants a red van but I’m not that adventurous yet,” Gene said, laughing. “Hey Pearl, did Sadie ever get in?”
“Yes. She’s upstairs sleeping.”
The doorbell rang. “Gene, someone’s at the door. I have to see who it is.”
“Okay Pearl, take care. Goodbye.”
“’Bye.” Pearl hung up the phone and made her way into the living room to answer the door. She was pleasantly surprised to see Damien Collins standing there. “Damien,” she greeted him.
“Hi Red. I was up early so I thought I would come over and see if you were awake.” He leaned in and kissed her on her forehead. “I’m glad to see you’re up.”
Pearl moved so he could come inside. “I didn’t sleep well last night,” she told him.
Damien closed the door and frowned at her. “I hope it wasn’t the baby.”
Pearl shook her head. “No, she’s fine.” She turned away and stared out the window. “I got an unexpected phone call last night and it shook me all up.”
Damien wrapped his arms around her shoulders. “Was it someone from back home?”
“You could say that.” Pearl turned around to face him. “It was Duncan, my ex-husband. He’s in Maine.”
Damien’s mouth dropped open in shock. “You’re kidding.”
“I wish I wasn’t. He should be here in Haven before nightfall.” Pearl looked down at her swollen belly. “He wants to get back together and take me and the baby back to Lancaster.”
Damien was aghast. “You can’t let him do that Pearl!”
Pearl gazed back up at him. “Believe me, I won’t. I want nothing to do with him.”
Damien wrapped his arms back around her. He couldn’t risk losing her. He decided now it was time to tell her how he really felt…
The Nightshade home, same time
Jude watched his brother Quinn toss and turn in his bed, murmuring incoherently. He knew he had gone to see Pearl Tyler last night after he left to tell her about Duncan. God help that man, he thought to himself. He’s in for one hell of a fight for his ex-wife.
Suddenly Quinn yelled out. “Pearl!” He awoke with a start, sitting straight up in bed.
“Quinn, are you okay?” Jude asked, rushing to him.
His brother rubbed his eyes and looked around the room. “Christ, what a nightmare.” He looked up at Jude. “I dreamt that Pearl was taken away by this shadowy figure. I ran after her but I was too late—she was gone.” He leapt out of bed. “I’m going to see her and make sure she’s okay.” He headed for his closet and pulled out a pair of dark blue jeans and a black v-neck sweater.
“Quinn, maybe you should leave Pearl alone today,” Jude suggested. “I know you were with her last night. If she knows Duncan is in the state, she needs some time to deal with what’s going on. It’s not going to be easy on her, if he’s as big a jerk you say he is.”
Quinn put the clothes on his rumpled bed. “She shouldn’t be alone Jude.”
“Gene, Iva and Sadie are with her,” Jude pointed out.
Quinn snorted. “Those three are about as comforting as a pile of mismatched socks. Besides, she’s starting to warm up to me Jude. It won’t be long before she feels the way I do.”
Jude gave his brother a look of uncertainty. “Are you sure about that? She’s probably just being nice. Have you forgotten that Damien likes her too? She may just decide being with him is better.”
Quinn put his hands on hips in exasperation. “Why does everyone think that she can’t have any real feelings for me, and wants to be with that mongrel instead?”
“Well brother, you’re not the most romantic person in the world. Most women don’t like to be treated like pieces of property,” Jude replied matter-of-factly. “You don’t want to love them, you want to possess them.”
Quinn sighed and sat on the bed. “I can’t help it. Women are scarce in this town. And don’t tell me there’s Astrid and Sadie. I wouldn’t touch those two with a ten foot pole.” He glanced down on the carpet. “It’s lonely living here. You don’t have the difficulty I do because you don’t crave companionship. That’s why I want Pearl so much. She’s different.”
“You don’t deserve to be lonely Quinn. But the way you approach a woman—it’s unnatural,” Jude said softly.
Quinn chuckled bitterly. “That’s because I’m unnatural, and so are you. Champagne and roses are not my style little brother. He looked at Jude. “Now get out of here so I can get dressed.”
Jude shook his head and left his brother alone. He wondered if Pearl was warming up to him like he said, or trying to prepare him for heartache.
The Lawrence farm, the barnyard
Pearl and Damien were outside enjoying the fall sunshine. Sadie was still sleeping and they didn’t want to disturb her with their talk about Duncan.
Pearl sat on a tree stump and stretched out her arms. “It feels good to be outside,” she said cheerfully. Damien sat down on the ground beside her, crossing his long legs. “What are you going to say to Duncan when you see him again?” he asked.
“The same things I told him when he called last night, that I wasn’t going with him and he would regret it.” Pearl rubbed her stomach. The baby was starting to get active. “I don’t get it Damien—after all these months, he wants to give our marriage another chance. Why throw away a gorgeous young blonde that has no qualms about shagging to go back to his old and dull pregnant ex-wife? He must be taking crazy pills.”
Damien took her hand. “Stop talking about yourself like that Pearl. You are not old and dull. You are gorgeous, kind, sweet and interesting. Any man would be lucky to have you.”
Pearl was taken aback a bit by Damien’s passionate reply. “You know, I think living in this backwater town has messed both you and Quinn up. You two are good-looking men who could have your pick of any woman. Granted, she’d have to get used to the claws and the fur and the fangs, but surely you can do better than someone divorced and pregnant.”
Damien stood up and started intensely at Pearl. “No Red, I don’t think I could do any better.” He scooped her into his arms. Pearl started to get a little uncomfortable. He was getting too close for comfort again. “Damien, I think we should go back inside. Sadie might wake up and I know she’ll want breakfast.”
He continued to gaze at her. It was now or never, he thought. Best to tell her now and get it over with. “Pearl, there’s something I need to tell you—“
But he was interrupted before he could declare his love to her. “Did I come at a bad time?” the voice of Sadie Todd spoke out. Pearl and Damien snapped their heads towards the house. Sadie was standing in the barnyard, still in her nightgown, grinning like a Cheshire cat.
“Good morning Sadie and no you didn’t. We were just getting ready to go inside. You must be hungry,” Pearl said, breaking away from Damien, a little relieved.
“Oh, just a little. I see that Uncle Gene and Aunt Iva aren’t back yet,” Sadie replied.
“They called this morning while you were asleep. They’re going to buy a new van,” Pearl explained.
Sadie clapped her hands and jumped up and down like a little girl. “That’s awesome! It was about time they got rid of that old clunker.”
“Come on, let’s get something to eat, I’m starving,” Pearl told Sadie and Damien. “I am eating for two you know.” She looked at Damien. “Did you eat this morning?”
“Mmm hmm,” he murmured, still a little upset at Sadie’s lousy timing.
“That doesn’t mean you can stay for a while,” Pearl said. She took his hand and began to lead him to the house.
As the two followed Sadie, Damien was still intent on telling Pearl how he felt. If I don’t, that means Quinn will have more of a chance at her and I can’t have that.
All three had just made it to the front porch when they saw Quinn’s black Corvette pulling into the driveway. They exchanged uneasy glances. “This isn’t going to be good,” Sadie dryly commented.
Coming up next:
- Quinn and Damien have it out over Pearl.
- Pearl tells her two would-be suitors she is not ready for romance.
- Duncan argues with Bridget over the phone over his plan to reunite with Pearl.
- Megan tells Damien to fight for Pearl.