Caitlin Spencer Martel’s newly formed but strained relationship with her biological grandfather causes a rift within her family. She discovers a new meaning of the word deception. Does Caitlin maintain her integrity, or does she become influenced by her ruthless, take-control grandfather, Lukas Bucklin?
Lukas has it all—money, wealth, power, and most importantly control, or so he thinks. He has finally formed a bond with his granddaughter and intends to name her the heir of his empire worth billions. On the eve of a board meeting, he receives a threatening phone call. The caller knows what he has done. He revises his will again. He can’t make the announcement, not yet. He has to flush out another devious loose cannon that is on a rampage to destroy his family and legacy.
Caitlin is flown to New York City on the Bucklin private Learjet for the board meeting. Lukas devastates her when he doesn’t acknowledge her as a viable board member nor as his granddaughter. She doesn’t know her grandfather is protecting her and he doesn’t know that she has her own agenda for the meeting. She rises to the occasion and proves that she is Lukas Bucklin’s heir and unwittingly aligns herself with him in the path of a revengeful greedy psychopath.
Lukas is forced to distance himself from everyone close to him, especially Caitlin. She can never know the truth, no one can. It would be devastating and cause a rippling affect that would tear the family apart—the family Lukas strived to protect for decades.
Whoosh, hiss, whoosh, hiss. The sound of the respirator reverberated in the private hospital room. The stroke victim lay prone on the bed, to his left loomed the machine that forced air into his lungs, on the right stood the other annoying device. A line ran from the intravenous bag into his thinly veined eighty-three-year-old arm. He wasn’t comatose but might as well have been. He was always in control, he had power, he made things happen! Not now. That damn stroke couldn’t have come at a worse time. Not that a stroke ever had good timing but he was Lukas Bucklin, a multi-billionaire. He had finally reunited with her and there were issues he still needed to resolve. His steel blue-gray gaze roamed the room; he had to make a recovery and fast. He was a fighter, always was and always would be. A shadow appeared in the doorway, the night nurse with a syringe in hand. Lukas knew what would happen next. In his immobile state he wasn’t quite sure if he welcomed the sedative that was about to be plunged into his veins or cursed it. One thing he knew for certain, the dream would come. He would have it over and over again. He may be paralyzed, machines keeping him alive but he still had his wits about him. He knew, he was aware, and most of all he had to get out of this damn bed.
The nurse strode over to his bedside and had the nerve to patronize him with a pat on the head and ask him a question. Like he could answer. “How are you, Mr. Bucklin? It’s time for your nightly medication.”
The syringe plunged into the port of the IV bag. Lukas’s eyes watched the liquid enter the line. It wouldn’t be long now before he relived the most significant part of his past. Drip, drip, drip, the medication flowed. Soon, very soon, Lukas would be thrust into the past and nightmare he created. His eyelids began to flutter, it wasn’t a nightmare. He did what he had to do for his child. He drifted off into a slumber thinking of his child…
The screams from the maternity ward that pierced the hallway were unbearable. A female’s voice screeched, “Oh no! Our baby is dead?”
A male voice choked with emotion responded, “Constance, nothing could be done.” A pause and sniffle. “They were twins. One was stillborn but the other one survived and is beautiful.”
The female voice, stifled with tears, countered, “But our baby is in an incubator and may not live! I can’t lose both of them, Jack, I just can’t. It will kill me.”
Outside of the door, Lukas Bucklin overheard the whole conversation. Dressed in hospital scrubs, he knew what he needed to do. He would make everything all right, he always did.
While Lukas drifted off into a medicated void, the silhouette of a female figure stepped from the shadows of the darkened hospital room. She retrieved a cell-phone from her purse and punched in the pre-programmed speed dial number. When the phone answered on the other end, she spoke one statement. Her voice croaked and the tears she held at bay caused her throat to become raw. “The stroke was bad, it doesn’t look good.”
A stern male voice responded, “Thanks for calling.”
An abrupt click confirmed the phone had been disconnected. The cell-phone dropped to the floor. She didn’t have time to analyze the unemotional response of the news she had just delivered. Alarms began beeping and Lukas flailed in his bed. She crept over to him, her face wrinkled with fear. Did the cell-phone call interfere with the electronic equipment in this room? She leaned closer. He was trying to speak, the tube in his mouth made this task impossible but a few words were coherent when she struggled to read his lips. “I-I-I-I’m sorry—of—I-I-I hurt. I did what…for m-my son. Please forgive me J-J-J-J…” The rest of the name in which Lukas sought forgiveness remained a mystery. His body tensed and went still.