‘This is a letter to my father,’ he said, wiping a hand across his eyes. ‘My real father.’

‘You mean…?’

‘Harold Marriott was infertile.’ He looked down at the words he’d just read as if to make sure they hadn’t suddenly disappeared. ‘He had testicular cancer as a young man and after the treatment was unable to father a child.’

‘So you’re not…’ She couldn’t get the words past the sudden lump in her throat.

‘My mother was five months pregnant when she married him,’ he said. ‘She hadn’t told my real father of my existence because he was already married, but when she knew she was dying she decided to write to him…but, probably due to her sudden decline in health, the letter was never sent.’

‘Oh, Jake…’

Jake pulled her to him and hugged her tightly, his head buried into her neck. ‘You were right, Ashleigh. You were right all along. I am not my father’s son.’

Ashleigh looked up at him, her eyes brimming over. ‘I would still love you even if you were his son. I’m happy for you that you’re not but it makes absolutely no difference to me. I love you and I always will, no matter what.’

No matter what. Jake breathed the words deep into his soul, whereAshleigh’s love had already worked a miracle of its own.

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