Abandoned at birth, afflicted with an incurable skin disease, she leads a lonely life. In her teens, she is miraculously cured, but with that cure comes the discovery of supernatural powers, ones she needs to hide from the world.
Her whole life changes after she meets Warren. Upon learning he’s her brother, a young man with the same abilities, she has to fight the growing attraction she feels for him.
The siblings become involved in intrigue and danger. They also learn there are those that want to liquidate them. Why? Who are they?
“I don’t know why you want to leave, baby girl. We love you. I love you like I birthed you. You can live with us as long as you want.”
Trina looked at her foster mother’s pleading face, her chocolate eyes brimming with tears. “Momma Julia, I’m nineteen now, and I’ve got a full-time job. I need to stand on my own two feet.” Her heart bled at having to say goodbye, but she had no choice. Placing her arms around Julia’s stout body, she hugged her hard and stroked her braided black hair. “Hush, don’t cry. I’ll visit. I promise. You’re the closest to a mother I’ve ever known.”
“But you’re still so young,” Julia said softly.
“Nonsense. Rachel got married at twenty. And JJ went to college and after that never came back to live at home. Come on, Momma. I’ll be fine.”
It was true. Momma Julia had become like a real mother to her. From when she’d been found as a newborn infant and placed in various hospitals until she was three, then for five years moved from one foster home to another, she’d known no real love, no motherly affection. When she was eight, the system had placed her with Julia and Joe. They had two older children of their own, Rachel and Joe Junior, or JJ as everyone called him, and they fostered up to two other kids that often rotated. Only Trina stayed with them permanently, and in the end, she was the only foster child left in their care. They had applied for adoption a number of times but were rejected for unknown reasons. Julia didn’t take in more foster kids because of Joe’s age and Trina knew Julia had a hard time letting go of her, and she hated having to say goodbye.
It wouldn’t be a permanent goodbye. She’d always regard Julia as her mother and would never abandon her. “Ssh, don’t cry. I’ll be fine.” Trina stepped back, held Julia’s shoulders, and looked at her at arm’s length. “Look into my eyes.” When Julia didn’t comply, Trina tilted her chin and made her. “Would I lie to you? I’ll visit. I promise. And I’ll phone.”
She watched Julia contain her sobs, then swipe at her cheeks to wipe away the tears. “You’re my beautiful black momma,” Trina told her and that caused another outburst of tears, so she again took the weeping woman into her arms. She loved her foster family but didn’t think of them as foster anymore. They were her parents, and their children were her brother and sister.
The foster care system had fought Julia when she’d applied to foster Trina, and they had continued to look for a white foster family. No one had wanted Trina—a child with a horrible skin disease that had kept her in hospitals for three years of her young life. Then the specialists gave up trying to cure her and released her into foster care. Foster parents, unable to deal with Trina’s affliction, became frustrated, were ashamed to be seen with a child that looked like a big wart. So she was passed on from one home to another and attended different schools all the time where children shunned and bullied her, parents warning their kids in not too soft a voice to stay well away from her. After all, who knew if what she had was contagious.
Until Julia. She had to swallow a lump in her throat as she thought about how she’d first met Julia. Trina had once again been abandoned. Even though she was so young, the memory was as clear as a bell. The social worker who took her to yet another foster home rang the bell, and a beaming black lady had opened the door, bent down to her level, and had clasped her tightly to her bosom. It was the first time in her young life that she’d ever felt warmth and love.
Julia Swords had been a lawyer in her younger days. When she became pregnant at age thirty-five, she stopped practicing law to raise her two children. She’d homeschooled her own children. Unable to have another child, Julia and Joe decided to foster. The other kids they had cared for over the years had attended public school. Trina was the last addition to the family and the only foster child left in their care, but Julia had decided to homeschool Trina, too, so she wouldn’t have to deal with ridicule and bullying at school. She’d taken Trina to doctors, homeopaths, nature healers, anyone she could find, to discover a cure for Trina’s strange skin affliction.
Every Sunday, they’d taken her to church, where the minister laid hands on the little girl and prayed for healing. When Trina entered puberty, it was suddenly gone, and it hadn’t come back.
Her father interrupted the emotional scene and Trina’s thoughts.
“Jules, stop your bawling.” Joe lowered his newspaper and glared at Julia over the top. “The girl needs to find her place in life.”
“Shut up, old man. You don’t understand,” Julia told him while trying to stop the tears.
Joe merely grumbled and continued reading his paper. He was a kind man. Much older than Julia, he pretended to be grumpy, but in reality, he was a teddy bear. Trina cared for him, too, though not like she did for Julia. “Momma Julia, I should go now. It’s getting late.” She kissed Julia on the cheek, then Joe on his balding head, and headed for the door.
“Wait. I’ll be back in a minute,” Julia said over her shoulder while she rushed to the kitchen.
Trina waited impatiently and glanced at her watch. She’d have to run like hell to catch the bus. Julia came back carrying two plastic bags.
“I made your favorite cookies, and there’s some other stuff in there. Now don’t talk to strangers, and make sure you lock your door tight, girl. You call me tomorrow, you hear?”