Sins of the Mother Chapter 1 “There’s no doubt about it - Cliff Barnes is the father of the child.” When her knees buckled at Harv Smithfield’s revelation, it was Bobby who prevented her fall. Bobby - her hero, always. Baby brother-in-law deserved a medal for all the times he had rescued her from herself. Bobby collected her listless frame into his arms and ferried her up the staircase, as far from the public spectacle as possible. Gossip of the paternity conundrum was rife in their elite circle and he didn’t doubt that certain friends of the family had attended his mothers cocktail party with the worst of intention. “Sue Ellen,” Bobby loosened his hold of her arm, wary of her inability to remain steady on two feet. The reality of the DNA result winded her and the panic buffered so hard, she battled to breathe. The walls of her marital bedroom seemed to close in, the roof mere inches above her head and Sue Ellen sunk onto the brim of the bed in a shaken state. A helpless whimper escaped her throat in between laboured breaths and Bobby crouched down in front of her feet. They could hear the fury in Jock’s voice as he declared the test null and void, and how frantically Miss Ellie attempted to calm him. Bobby silently prayed his father would quieten, as his every word caused Sue Ellen to bristle. “Bobby,” her voice was a timid whisper and it shivered his name. “I don’t know what to do. What do I do?” His failure to respond nauseated Sue Ellen and she hurtled into the en-suite, where she hurled the contents of her stomach into the toilet. He had promised that whatever the outcome of the DNA test, he would remain her family - after all was said and done, he was still the uncle to baby John - but it was painfully obvious that even Bobby was unprepared for the result. “Bobby,” his wife hurriedly entered the room with the baby in her arms and a hastily-packed duffel. She was welcomed with the vision of Bobby and Sue Ellen lurched over the toilet. Pam afforded her sister-in-law a short but sweet, sympathetic smile. “Grab her coat, Bobby. We don’t have much time. Daddy and Cliff are downstairs,” she blurted out, as rapidly as she rammed a selection of Sue Ellen’s clothes into a suitcase. Bobby expressed his confusion, his forehead lined and Pam explained; “I booked a suite at The Sheraton.” Unlike her husband, Pam had foreseen the fallout that both he and Sue Ellen had prayed would not occur and she had also devised a temporary solution. Bobby’s frown developed into an incredulous scowl. “Pammy?” The reaction seemed far-fetched; yet, Bobby also failed to envision that J.R. and Sue Ellen could ever repair their relationship after such a catastrophic betrayal. The two of them rapidly rammed a selection of Sue Ellen’s clothes into an empty suitcase, while Sue Ellen stretched her arms across her chest, in an attempt to self-soothe. “Come on, hun,” Bobby prompted her to follow Pam’s determined lead. The arrival of the Barnes men had captured the attention of most, which fortunately allowed a swift exit from the rear entrance of the house. As Bobby sped away from Southfork and Pam tenderly soothed baby John, Sue Ellen peered back at the home she had known and loved for over a decade.