Oceans Between Us Online - Helen Scott Taylor
Oceans Between Us
Helen Scott Taylor
Copyright © 2012 by Helen Taylor
Cover design © Helen Taylor
The right of Helen Taylor to be identified as the author of this work has been asserted by her in accordance with the UK Copyright, Designs and Patents Act, 1988.
This is a work of fiction. All the characters in this book have no existence outside the imagination of the author, and have no relation whatsoever to anyone bearing the same name or names. Any resemblance to actual events, locales, or persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.
All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without the prior permission of the Copyright owner.
Thanks must go to my trusty critique partners Mona Risk and Joan Leacott who always give me useful feedback on how to improve my stories. Special thanks to my editor Pam Berehulke who went above and beyond the call of duty on this one and made some tremendous suggestions.
"I demand to see my son." Dino struggled to moderate his voice when he really wanted to shout into the phone.
"I'm sorry, Mr. Rossellini. That's just not possible. The baby belongs to the couple who adopted him."
Frustration made Dino pace across the office to stare out the dirty window at the busy London street below. "But I'm his father. How is it possible that you can give him to someone without my consent?"
The woman from the adoption agency released a long-suffering sigh that hissed down the phone line. "I've already told you, sir, there was no father listed on the birth certificate. If we'd had your name, you'd have been contacted before the adoption went ahead."
Dino cast a dark glance at his manager who returned his gaze with a sheepish smirk. Freddy had kept Rachel's pregnancy a secret from him on purpose.
He turned his attention back to the unhelpful woman on the phone. "Had I known about my child, I would never have allowed this to happen. You will please get him back from these people." Even as the words came from Dino's mouth, he knew in his heart his son was lost to him. How could the British authorities allow a child to be adopted without the father's permission? This would never happen in Italy.
"That's just not possible, Mr. Rossellini. According to the law, you no longer have any rights to the boy. I wish I could help you, but I can't."
"I'll appeal to the court," he said, trying to think of a way to make her take him seriously.
"That won't do any good. If you consult a solicitor, he'll explain the relevant law. The child now legally belongs to the couple who adopted him."
Dino turned away from Freddy and lowered his voice, hating that the architect of his heartache would hear him beg. "Just let me see my son once, please."
"I'm sorry, Mr. Rossellini. I can't."
"A photo, then."
"No, sir." The woman's voice softened. "I really am sorry, but you can't have any contact with the baby or the adoptive parents. There's nothing more I can say."
Pain stabbed through Dino's chest. He pressed a hand over his heart, struggling to draw breath. For a moment he feared he might cry right here in front of Freddy. How could Rachel have done this to him? They were no longer a couple but he'd thought they were still friends. Surely she'd known he would love his child and want to give him a home. But Rachel was vulnerable, easily manipulated by Freddy.
Dino put down the phone and leaned his hands on top of Freddy's smoked glass desk, staring him down. "Why did you hide Rachel's pregnancy from me?"
"Dino, mate, I had your best interests at heart. Think of your career. How could you tour if you had to look after a baby?"
"I would have married Rachel. We'd have found a way to manage."
"It's selfish to expect Rachel to tie herself down with a baby. She didn't want a kid holding her back when she has the world at her feet." Freddy laughed. "Believe me, you had a lucky escape. Not every woman would have agreed to adoption."
Cold seeped into Dino's muscles as if every scrap of warmth had been sucked out of his world. He'd let Freddy dazzle him with promises of wealth and fame. He’d lost sight of what was really important in life, family, loyalty, and love. He'd even let Freddy talk him into