While BAKED WITH LOVE, my book 3 installment to the MATCH MADE IN HEAVEN series is with my editor for a final round, here’s a little something about Maureen O’Dowd and her motivation for keeping silent on her love for Lucas I want to share. Secrets run deep in this family, and Maureen holds the biggest one close to the vest.
“Robert wants to come with us tomorrow. I mean, if you’re still willing to go shopping.” Lucas said when I came back. “When I told him about you helping me pick out a tux I realized he didn’t have any dress clothes with him. I want to get him something appropriate to wear to Cathy’s wedding. Okay with you? Can you spare him? I don’t want to leave you shorthanded.”
I grinned over at the boy in question. “I think the inn will survive without the both of us for a few hours, don’t you.”
One corner of his lips lifted. A tiny milk mustache lined his upper lip and he was so adorable I wanted to hug him. I loved this boy as much as if he were my own.
My heart pinged as I thought for the first time what it would be like if he were. Or if I had one of my own children to love and cherish. It was a dream I hadn’t allowed myself in several years.
Since Eileen’s diagnosis and subsequent death, I’d tossed out all thoughts of having my own family. The reason, to my mind, was a valid one. As twins we shared everything, the most important of which was our DNA. Eileen’s cancer had been rare, but as her genetic clone, such as it were, the fear the same cancer was somewhere looming about in me waiting to break free was always on my mind.
After Eileen’s diagnosis Cathy and Colleen had been tested to see if they carried the same rare genetic trait for the breast cancer she’d been afflicted with. Thankfully, they were both clear of it. I’d told them, when asked, I’d been tested too, which was a bold-faced lie, because I hadn’t.
The reason why not was easy: I was terrified of the results.
I knew in my head I should get tested to alleviate the worry not knowing caused. I even suspected that dread was the basis for all my sleepless nights. But the fear the test would confirm I was actually a carrier of the gene was so overpowering, every time I made an appointment to get tested, I canceled it.
By not knowing for certain whether or not I was afflicted I was able to convince myself all was well. By getting tested and possibly confirming the diagnosis, I was committing myself to a death sentence.
I’d argued with myself time after time if the disease were going to rear its head, it would have done so already, since everything else in our lives had coincided. We’d gotten our first tooth within days of one another; taken our first steps the same morning. We liked and disliked most of the same foods and each of us had an allergy to pineapple. My period had started three hours after Eileen’s. I’d been born four minutes after her, but my life had run along the same course as hers. Why wouldn’t the cancer do the same if it were, in fact, part of me? Eileen had been dead three years, and if the cancer were going to develop, conventional wisdom stated it would have by now.
And even knowing that, I still didn’t have the courage to be tested.
So many nights I’d stood in my kitchen, trying to bake away the anxiety. It was one of the main reasons I’d never told Lucas how I felt about him. It wasn’t fair to either of us for me to confess my love. I couldn’t start a romantic relationship with him, no matter how much I wanted to, for fear it would be ruined with a cancer potentiality.
The logical portion of my brain called me an idiot more times than I could remember, but I was leading with my heart here, and making most of my decisions based on emotions and not logic. I didn’t feel it was fair to Lucas or any man to face a lover’s illness and death. It was the same reason I’d opted out of ever having children. It wasn’t right to leave them without a mother.
So I’d kept my feelings to myself, content with having him in my life as a friend. Well, maybe content wasn’t the correct word. Satisfied didn’t seem appropriate, either, when I thought about it.
No cover or release date yet, but you know I’ll put them up as soon as I have them!
Here’s the mock-up cover I use when I’m writing to keep me in the mood:
As I’ve said before – my skillset is more words than graphics ( hee hee)
Until next time, peeps ~ Peg