The Switched Baby Scandal

By: Theresa Meyers

Scandals in San Sebastian, Book 1


Chapter One

“What do you mean she’s not mine?” Taylor Lawrence’s eyes narrowed and her heart slammed against her ribs as she reread the lab report. Twice.

But the words and numbers didn’t change. They didn’t even budge. The pungent, antiseptic odor of disinfectant that lingered in the air and the visually sterile white walls of the office only added to her discomfort. She pinned the young lab technician to his seat with an intense gaze. He squirmed like a specimen under the scrutinizing lens of a microscope before readjusting his glasses with the point of his index finger.

Folding his hands together, he audibly swallowed, his Adam’s apple bobbing. “Well, Ms. Lawrence, the results of the test are conclusive within a 99.98% accuracy.” He nudged again at his slipping glasses. “Not only is this child not Mr. Severin’s, there is also no chance that she’s yours, genetically speaking.”

She blinked.

Was he out of his mind? He didn’t know what he was saying. Of course Emily was her child. Even if her ex-fiancé, Michael, had turned out to be just a sperm donor in the situation, Taylor knew beyond a doubt that she and Emily were bound together.

The test was wrong. Period.

She squared her shoulders and crushed the paper in her palm, leaning in toward the tech. “Look, I spent eight hours in labor having Emily. I’ve sung her to sleep every night for the last four years. Of course she’s mine!”

He nodded, pressing back into his chair, his eyes widening at her tone. It was obvious that he believed the results weren’t lying and that she was on the verge of being a nutcase.

This wasn’t like her. She was cool, calm, and collected, not a raging drama queen like some of her clients or an eccentric like her mother. She needed to get a grip. He wasn’t going to tell her anything to help her if she came on too strong. Taylor took a deep breath and pinched the bridge of her nose to ward off the pressure building behind her eyes and reined in her exasperation so she could get some answers. The results were a mistake. It was the only explanation. She glared at the lab tech. “Look, there’s something wrong with these results. Perhaps the samples were mixed up in your lab with someone else’s.”

The tech shifted uncomfortably in his chair. “We have procedures in place that keep that from happening.” A little irritation leaked into his tone. “All I can give you are the results of the DNA test, Ms. Lawrence. I’ve really never run across this before. We performed the extra test free of charge only because the markers in the DNA and your daughter’s were completely different when we did the sampling.”

Taylor crossed her arms, trying to get a hold of the uncertainty now churning inside her like a bad case of the flu. There had to be something she could do about this. She’d saved for six months to be able to afford the testing. The attorney had said it was necessary to pursue the paternity case against Michael after he’d gotten married and refused to help support Emily any longer. Where would this leave her and Emily?

“What about running it again?”

“We did. We also sent your blood samples to another lab for comparison. The results have come back the same each time. I’m sorry, but perhaps the hospital where you had her can make more sense out of this than we can.”

Taylor slapped her open palm down on the desk. “But I need to use these test results as evidence in court for a paternity suit.”

He shook his head, his hands coming together to form a steeple. “I wouldn’t use these results. The tests prove Mr. Severin isn’t the father of the child and you aren’t her mother. You’d be laughed out of the courtroom for trying to use them and likely raise issues regarding your legitimacy as her guardian.”

Taylor could picture the scene in her mind with the judge and attorneys laughing and pointing at her. Worse still, a flash of them taking Emily out of her arms, tears streaming down her little girl’s face, shot through her mind. She couldn’t let that happen.

“We can run them again if you’d like, free of charge, Ms. Lawrence. But I’m certain the results will be the same. Perhaps the hospital made a mistake.”

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