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Authors: Marilyn McPherson

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BOOK: A Family Affair - Next of Kin
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Suddenly a group of armed police stormed onto the roof, yelling that Tom drop to the ground. Ellen screamed beside him. As he kneeled, he reached for her, pulling her close and tight to his body.

While Ellen’s heart beat violently against his chest, he kissed her forehead, and realised that he finally had his answers. He had sensed for so long that someone had been manipulating him, and the truth was now out. The responsible person was the one trusted friend he had known the longest - the one he would never have suspected. For whatever reason, Hayden must have threatened Dr Walsh into lying about Ellen’s paternity test. Hayden had killed Colleen and Chloe too. Now Dr Walsh was dead as well. There was so much blood on Hayden’s hands.

Tom tried to focus his mind. There would be time to understand Hayden’s actions another day. But he needed to concentrate on what was in front of him. Ellen was wrapped warm and tight in his arms, and he held onto her, grasping in that moment everything which was good in his life. Their future would find a new normality and with Ellen by his side, it would be filled with love and with family.





Once Ellen was sure that Angus was sleeping, she softly kissed his forehead and returned to the balcony where Tom was stretched out reading in the afternoon sun.

“Is he asleep?” Tom asked, looking up.

Ellen touched his arm and kissed him too. “Yes. Fast asleep. We should have some peace for at least two hours.”

“Sounds good.” He settled back into his chair to resume reading.

Angus always resisted having an afternoon nap, but fell asleep quickly once he could be coaxed into putting his head down.

Almost a year had passed since that fateful day when Hayden jumped to his death from the top of Satinol, and many things had changed. Angus was a toddler now and there was another child on the way. She looked around with contentment. Tom had taken her and Angus to Tahiti to celebrate their second wedding anniversary, and it was wonderful to be back in the place where they had honeymooned so happily. Although the nausea was worse in this pregnancy, Ellen couldn’t be happier to have another child. This time there would be no doubt as to the child’s paternity.

The drama and uncertainty from their lives was a thing of the past. There was no need for personal security guards anymore. Police analysis determined that the man in the video was indeed Ted Blake, as Hayden had said. Hayden’s death left Ellen with mixed feelings. He wasn’t the man Ellen thought him to be. He had caused untold harm, yet he had been her father.

Life had become quiet and peaceful in the way Tom and she had always dreamed of. In Hayden’s absence, the business continued to flourish, and her family’s relationships seemed to find their rightful paths. Even Nikki and Kane had formed a lasting and happy union in which to raise their daughter.

Ellen learned that Nikki had been the one to hand the video file of Hayden to the police, after finding it in Kane’s possession. Kane admitted that he had blackmailed Hayden, which explained his sudden financial gain. Ellen remembered the two times when Kane had tried to warn her to stay away from Hayden. She had shrugged him off, but at the end of the day he had been right to be concerned about her. Her father had been a killer. In hindsight, it was no wonder Hayden hadn’t wanted a father-daughter relationship with her - he was probably incapable of bonding with anyone on a personal level.

Apparently when Nikki handed the video to the police, she hadn’t realised that the victim was Ted Blake, but had felt compelled to do the right thing by whoever it was. Of course, she couldn’t have guessed that by doing so, the life of her own biological father would come to an end. For that’s who he was.

Hayden’s will left everything to Nikki and Ellen equally, and shortly afterwards, it was confirmed that Ellen and Nikki were half-sisters. Neither Tom nor Ellen was ready to welcome Nikki back to the family, but maybe there was a chance they could have a relationship again one day.

Of her own accord, Nikki had learnt that she was switched as a baby. They guessed that Hayden had taken her as a newborn from her mother with the intention of leaving her at the hospital. For some reason, and no one would ever know why, he decided to take the stillborn baby of Sarah Rush, and replace it with his own. The first day of Nikki’s life didn’t really make sense, and wouldn’t until Nikki could find her mother. She needed to hear her side of the story. Unfortunately, no one knew who Nikki’s mother was and there were no clues on how to find her. Nikki had since hired a private detective, and assuming her mother was still alive, was hopeful of finding her. Hayden hadn’t said anything about Nikki’s mother before jumping to his death - only that Ellen and her sister needed to take care of business now. Ellen still didn’t understand what he meant. In any case, he was gone now and it didn’t matter any longer.

Neither Tom nor Ellen blamed Nikki for Hayden’s death. Hayden had lived in the world by his own rules, and both of them knew it had been his choice to jump. He would have gone to jail for a long time if he’d allowed the police to restrain him. Tom found it hard to reconcile the friend he thought he had with the man police later described as a despicable monster. It only became harder as the police unravelled his many secrets.

Soon after Hayden’s death, Tom ruled that in the Bradley family from that day on, all facts would be put on the table. There would be no more secrets, regardless of the implications. Given that pronouncement, Kane had to be told that he was the father of Angus. He didn’t seem very surprised when they told him. In fact, he looked relieved. Tom still wanted nothing to do with his half-brother, but everyone agreed that Alice and Angus had a right to know each other. They were half-siblings after all.

Surprisingly, Kane was civil about the matter. He didn’t make any accusations, and did not demand anything from Tom. He asked for a few hours every second weekend for access, and said upfront that he wanted to keep Angus’ paternity out of the courts and newspapers. He wanted the affair to be managed discreetly, which Ellen appreciated. He genuinely seemed to be thinking about Angus, and putting his son’s needs above his own.

Kane had grown up, and changed. Maybe fatherhood had done that for him, or maybe it was his relationship with Nikki. Whatever it was, the connection he used to feel towards Ellen seemed to have disappeared, and Ellen was thankful for that.

Margaret was perhaps the one who struggled with the truth more than anyone. She was back in their lives, and making a real effort to be civilised. However, the bond she once shared with Angus was never rekindled.

Ellen touched her growing bump. They already knew it was a boy - a brother for Angus, and Tom’s first biological child. They would name him Jack.

It had been a winding road, but the family affairs had somehow worked out just the way they were meant to.


The End



Note from the Author

If you enjoyed my book, please support my writing by leaving a review. Thank you.



How to Contact Me:

: [email protected]

: Marilyn-McPherson-Author



Books by Marilyn McPherson


A Family Affair
by Marilyn McPherson

From the moment they first met, life would never be the same again. Despite their age difference, Ellen Jackson allows herself to be swept into the rich and powerful life of Tom Bradley, the CEO and owner of Satinol Cosmetics. They believed nothing could come between them, but they were wrong.



A Family Affair - First Born
by Marilyn McPherson

Although plagued by the tragic events of the previous year, Ellen Jackson continues her whirlwind romance with Tom Bradley, the fabulously successful CEO of Satinol Cosmetics. Tom’s devotion is unmistakable as he plans an opulent wedding for Ellen, but a small misunderstanding may cost them everything. Will Ellen’s unplanned pregnancy strengthen their love or tear them apart?



A Family Affair - Next of Kin
by Marilyn McPherson

Whilst the foundation of Tom Bradley’s life is the love he has for his wife and son, he is compelled to understand the mystery force which has been manipulating those relationships. In the final chilling conclusion to A Family Affair, the Bradley closet will be prised open, and the family’s dark secrets revealed.



by Marilyn McPherson

Ever since Jane Thompson lost her husband, her long days at the office and solitary nights at home have been filled with a sad emptiness. But just as she is giving up on life, a new employee starts work in her office. Cameron is successful, charming and handsome, his presence alone able to light a beacon of happiness inside her. But is he everything Jane imagines him to be?



The Faithful Watcher
by Marilyn McPherson

Lucy Shaw is a young girl with an extraordinary gift. Kept isolated by her aunt in a small rural town in Australia, she senses that one man has been in her life all along, watching her from the shadows. When Lucy turns 18 and her Aunt dies, she moves to the city to attend university. The man in the shadows follows her there. Will Lucy work out who the watcher is, and what he wants with her?



Lottie’s Patch
by Marilyn McPherson

Like the companion plants in their vegetable patch, Lottie and Walter Brown’s long marriage had been enriched by their mutual care. Their daily lives revolved around the rich bounty harvested from the patch given freely to the neighbours who shared their small cul-de-sac. Theirs was a simple quiet existence until a new season brought change, and Lottie’s patch would never be the same again.

BOOK: A Family Affair - Next of Kin
5.59Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

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