I’m a mother, an artist, a recent divorcee, and my son’s in trouble. I’m not sure what I can do about it or even if I can help. But at the age of sixteen he might spend his life in jail. He’d gotten into trouble before, but I naively thought that was all behind me. Let me backtrack a bit and start at the beginning.
I divorced my husband, Archie Beckett, recently enough to feel the scars, but as each day passes the wounds become less painful. With Archie twelve years my senior, I was the classic trophy wife and he was the big time Hollywood director. At the time, my parents had just died in a horrific accident and the idea of being alone seemed too frightening to contemplate—and I was pregnant. I quickly learned the difference in our ages and lifestyles wasn’t a good recipe for a successful marriage. Add a child to that, along with a series of affairs on his part, and the marriage was over years before the divorce papers were signed.
After the divorce, I spirited Travis away to a remote home in the mountains. I needed to get him away from a group of friends that had sucked him into doing things I never thought he’d do and I needed to escape the Hollywood atmosphere that suited me about as well as a square peg in a round hole.
But that’s where it all began…in this idyllic place I’d found for myself and my son. A place where I thought both Travis and I could be safe and escape our past. And everything was going well. . .Travis had adjusted to the new laid back lifestyle, we’d reconnected as parent and child, and—more importantly for him at least—he’d been accepted into his peer group.
And then something happened beyond my comprehension. Travis is charged with murder. As a mother I know I will fight with my last breath until I find out the truth.
“This is insane. My son didn’t murder anyone. He couldn’t possibly have a gun. I don’t own one and he’s not old enough to buy one.” Her knees went weak. It took every ounce of willpower to remain standing. Something was very, very wrong.
The cop gave her one of those ‘that’s what parents always say’ looks and snatched the keys from Travis. The other cop came around to join him and they rifled through the vehicle, tossing out a soccer ball, a pair of football cleats, some DVDs, books and an old skateboard.
Jillian struggled to breathe. She couldn’t imagine Travis doing something violent, but she also couldn’t have imagined him getting involved with drugs and he had.
One worry at a time.
“We’d like to look through the house.”
“What for? You pulled in right behind him. It isn’t like he had time to hide a gun.”
“But he might have dropped it off earlier and then returned to the scene of the crime.”
“Are you crazy? We don’t own a gun. I don’t believe in them. And I told you Travis isn’t old enough to buy one.” She tempered the vehemence of her words as she recognized he could have purchased one illegally if he’d wanted to. By the time they’d left Los Angeles, he’d been hanging out with gangbangers and wannabes. Anything was possible.
She glanced at Travis. Immediately, her fear escalated. He looked guilty, confused, scared. While the motherly instinct to quiz him curled around her, caution took over. Based on the look on his face, he shouldn’t say a thing.
To ensure he didn’t, she held onto his hand and squeezed. Although it might be foolish in the long run, she authorized the officers to look through the house. At least she’d have a few moments alone with her son.
As soon as they marched through the open door, she drew him into a hug once again. “Travis, you need to tell me what happened.”
He shook his head. “Mom, I’m not sure. I can’t remember. But I. . .think. . .I might have done it.”
The earth suddenly opened up and swallowed her whole.
You can read more about Jillian in Accused, published by Two O’s Publishing
About the author
Wendy lives in the Chicago area. She has a Masters in Social Work and worked in the child welfare field for twelve years before she decided to pursue her dream of writing.
Between teaching college classes, trying to get her morbidly obese cat to slim down and tempering the will of her five-year-old granddaughter, who’s determined to become a witch when she turns six so she can fly on her broom to see the Eiffel Tower and put hexes on people–not necessarily in that order–somehow Wendy still manages to fit in writing. She spends the remainder of her days inflicting mayhem on her hero and heroine until they beg for mercy.
She has written three books in the Hard Targets trilogy, Hard to Kill, Hard to Trust and Hard to Stop. In addition, she has a contemporary romance through Entangled Publishing called The Millionaire’s Deception, Bad to the Bone, a self-pubbed Christmas short story called The Christmas Curse and two interracial romances, Fractured and Mama Said.
Visit Wendy at www.wendybyrne.net, on Goodreads, on Twitter, on Pinterest, on Amazon and on Facebook.