Chapter Thirty-Four

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Standing in a room she'd never been permitted to step foot in before made Leigh realise just how far she'd come. Just a couple of months ago she was an employee of Donne Farm and that was it but now standing in front of Maggie her presence was different. It didn't feel as though she was standing opposite her boss and for Maggie it felt the same. Leigh had become more than an employee of the family, she had become family herself and devastation struck Leigh upon realising she had no choice but to confront Maggie about her secret relationship. It wasn't the sort of thing that should have been asked about as a relationship was very personal but she needed to know nonetheless.

Leigh knew all too well how it felt to have her own secrets exposed when she wasn't ready for them to be. It happened when she first began a relationship with Robert and it continued right up until At The Top ended. Her secrets were used to further her career- not by a choice of her own- and they were used against her. By no means was Leigh an angel but if she could prevent the same thing from happening to someone else then it would all be worth it. As Maggie stood in front of her waiting for the confrontation Leigh felt ever more uncomfortable and couldn't seem to find the right words.

"I don't know how to say this and I just want you to know that I tried everything I could to prevent this from happening but-"

"Leigh, honey. Just spit it out," she said with a small smile playing on her lips, her words coming from the heart.

"At the wedding-"

"Leigh..." she warned.

"I'm sorry I just know that this is none of my business because it's your life and... I know about your relationship with the pastor." Maggie was evidently taken back but didn't say a single word until Leigh had finished speaking. "Robert, my ex-boyfriend who was at the wedding took a video of you and the pastor in the back room of the barn. My mother Leanne sent him here to dig up some dirt that should could use to blackmail me into going back to LA. I couldn't let that video get out because you've always been so good to me and a better Mom than my own has ever been. But now that I'm back here she is gonna to release the video online and I don't know what's gonna happen. She always spins things in a negative way and destroys people's lives if she can't have what she wants. I'm really sorry Maggie but I just thought you should tell Brett and Jamie before they find out from a gossip site."

"Oh honey..." She approached Leigh who was on the verge of tears and wrapped her arms around her in a tight hug. "You're an amazin', selfless young woman but you don't need to look out for me. I can take care of myself. I'm a fifty-five year old woman, I've had my fair share of drama in my life and a little story on the internet is nothin' compared to what I've been through.

"Leanne hasn't been a Mom to you but without her you've grown into a strong, beautiful woman who thinks about others before herself. But for once I want you to think about yourself  because you have you're whole life ahead of you and you can't be stuck tryin' to protect others. It's not fair to sacrifice yourself at every turn. I appreciate what you did for me, I really do but it wasn't worth everythin' you put yourself through."

Leigh let the tears slide from her cheeks as the conversation with Maggie continued and it made her realise all the more reasons she did what she did and why. "You've been like a Mom to me from the moment you hired me and that's something I never had growing up. Leanne was there but she never cared about me in the way that you have and I just wanted to do something for you to show you how much I appreciate everything you've done for me."

"Darlin', sacrificin' your freedom and your dreams to keep my relationship a secret doesn't even compare. Those two things aren't even in the same league and if you had just spoken to me in the first place there would have no need to go. I wanted to wait until all three of my children were together before tellin' them about me and Pastor Nick and I did the mornin' after the weddin'."

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