Lacey threw another log on the fire. Sparks flew and resettled. The night had cooled some, but the chill she felt was not in the air but deep inside the marrow of her bones. She hugged herself before turning around to face Pammy and Zach. Seeing her twin sister after all these years was the most wonderful thing and what she'd wanted more than anything for longer then she could remember, but how could life become so complicated so quick?
She sat down on the blue and yellow chintz sofa and stared at Zach and Pamela sitting next to each other on the matching couch across from her. They look like a couple, she thought. "We need to tell Zach a couple of things, Pam. Some stuff you know already." She stared at her hands. "Some you don't."
Pamela sighed. "Where the hell are you going to start?"
"Most people would say in the beginning, but it's all too complicated so we'll start somewhere in the middle. Pamela and I fell in love wtih Conner O'Shea when we were 17, but we didn't realize he was playing both of us for a long time. At first we were devasted and hated each other."
"But it didn't last," Pamela said. "And we decided to get even with him."
"When he thought he was dating Lacey," Lacey cut in....
"He was dating me," finished Pamela. "We kept that going for some time until....
"Until I got pregnant." Lacey's eyes filled with tears. "I met him by the piers one night and to be honest..." She looked at her sister. "Well, I really thought he loved me. I mean me, Lacey, not a matching set, but me all for myself." She wiped away a tear. "But I was wrong. When I told him, he denied it was his and said it could have been anyone's. I went hysterical, telling him I'd been a virgin, but he only laughed harder. We fought. I mean really fought on the piers. It started raining and..." Now Lacey began sobbing.
Pamela ran over and hugged her sister. "Lacey, you never told me this. Pregnant? My God. You should have told me..."
Zach ran his fingers through his hair, wishing he could say something to help, but kept his silence.
"No, Pamela, let me finish, please," Lacey cried. "The pier was so slippery and we just went crazy. Conner lunged for me, but I ducked and he fell off the pier, hitting one of the moored boats before he hit the water. I screamed for help, but it was too late. His body washed on shore somewhere near Glouchester a few days later."
Pamela gasped and covered her mouth. "But we all thought it was suicide. That's what Mom told me. She said he was so despondant over breaking up with you that he...he..."
"I know, Pammy," Lacey said. "That what Mom and Dad said I had to do. God forbid anybody in Rockport should find out that a child of the Winthrops was anything less than perfect. So they shipped me off to Aunt Marion's to have the baby."
"The baby?" Pamela whispered. "What happened, Lacey?"
"I had a little girl but they talked me into giving it up. I know she'd have a stable family, but I never regretted anything more in my life."
"Do you know who adopted her?" Zach asked.
Lacey nodded. "After years and years of looking, I just found out a week ago." She stared at her hands and then slowly lifted her head and stared at her sister. "You won't believe this but her adoptive parents are..... Katherine and Thomas Scott." She took a deep breath. "In Georgia."
Pamela's blood froze and a loud buzz sounded in her ears. The room began to blur. "It can't be. It can't. You're telling me that Frankie Scott's brother Tommy and his wife are the..."
"Yes. My baby's parents." Lacey swept away tears and sobbed in earnest. "She...she's not a lbaby any more, not even a ittle girl. This is her second year in college." She put her head into her hands. "I missed so much. So much."
Pamela flew to Lacey's side and sat on the floor beside her. "I know her, Lacey. I know her. Maura. Her name is Maura," whispered Pamela. "My God, Lacey. We've got to get her out of that family."