A Little Dare(5)

By: Brenda Jackson

She nodded, feeling much appreciative. Had he wanted to, Dare could have handled things a lot more severely. What AJ had done was a serious offense. “Yes, I understand, and I want to thank you.”

She sighed deeply. It seemed fate would not be forcing her hand today after all. She had a little more time before

having to tell Dare the truth.

Dare sat down at his desk with a form in front of him and a pen in his hand. “Now then, what’s his name?”

Shelly swallowed deeply. “AJ Brockman.”

“I need his real name.”

She couldn’t open her mouth to get the words out. It

seemed fate wouldn’t be as gracious as she’d thought after all.

Dare was looking down at the papers in front of him,

however, the pause went on so long he glanced up and looked at her. He had known Shelly long enough to know when she was nervous about something. His eyes

narrowed as he wondered what her problem was.

“What’s his real name, Shelly?” he repeated.

He watched as she looked away briefly. Returning her gaze she stared straight into his eyes and without blinking said. “Alisdare Julian Brockman.”


A ir suddenly washed from Dare’s lung as if someone had cut off the oxygen supply in the room and he couldn’t

breathe. Everything started spinning around him and he

held on to his desk with a tight grip. However, that didn’t work since his hands were shaking worse than a volcano about to explode. In fact his entire body shook with the

force of the one question that immediately torpedoed

through his brain. Why would she name her son after him? Unless ..

He met her gaze and saw the look of guilt in her eyes and knew. Yet he had to have it confirmed. He stood on non- steady legs and crossed the room to stand in front of

Shelly. He grasped her elbow and brought her closer to him, so close he could see the dark irises of her eyes.

“When is his birth date?” he growled, quickly finding his equilibrium.

Shelly swallowed so deeply she knew for certain Dare could see her throat tighten, but she refused to let his

reaction unsettle her any more than it had. She lifted her chin. “November twenty-fifth.”

He flinched, startled. “Two months?” he asked in a pained whisper yet with intense force. “You were two months

pregnant when we broke up?”

She snatched her arm from his hold. “Yes.”

Anger darkened the depths of his eyes then flared through his entire body at the thought of what she had kept from

him. “I have a son?”

Though clearly upset, he had asked the question so quietly that Shelly could only look at him. For a long moment she didn’t answer, but then she knew that in spite of everything between them, there was never a time she had not been proud that AJ was Dare’s son. That was the reason she

had returned to College Park, because she felt it was time he was included in AJ’s life. “Yes, you have a son.”

“But—but I didn’t know about him!”

His words were filled with trembling fury and she knew she had to make him understand. “I found out I was pregnant the day before my graduation party and had planned to tell you that night. But before I got the chance you told me about the phone call you’d received that day, offering you a job with

the Bureau and how much you wanted to take it. I loved you too much to stand in your way, Dare. I knew that telling you I was pregnant would have changed everything, and I

couldn’t do that to you.”

Dare’s face etched into tight lines as he stared at her. “And you made that decision on your own?”

She nodded. “Yes.”

“How dare you! Who in the hell gave you the right to do that, Shelly?”

She felt her own anger rise. “It’s not who but what. My love for you gave me the right, Dare,” she said and without

giving him a chance to say another word, she angrily

walked out of his office.

Fury consumed Dare at a degree he had never known

before and all he could do was stand there, rooted in place, hell-shocked at what he had just discovered.

He had a son.

He crossed the room and slammed his fist hard on the desk. Ten years! For ten years she had kept it from him. Ten solid years.