The door slammed shut behind her.

Trip cringed when he heard it. He had just fixed the springs on it last week.

Oh well. He got up off the couch, and headed over to the living room, where she usually did her homework after school.

"Rach?" he called out.

"In here." she mumbled.

He followed her voice to the living room, and found her sitting on the couch, her arms crossed and a look of anger on her face.

"What is it Rach?" Trip asked, sitting down beside her.

Rachael was silent a moment, then turned to face him. Her young features turned serious, and Trip knew that she wasn't just a little girl anymore.

"Dad," she started, "Am I really your daughter?"

Trip sucked in a deep breath of air. This was the question he had been fearing for fifteen years, hoping that it would never come.

"Look, Rach," he said, sliding across the couch and grasping her hand, "You know I love you, right?"

Rachael nodded.

"And I'd do anything for you."

Again, the girl nodded.

"I'm not your father." Trip said softly.

A tear silently streaked down his face as he spoke. He looked down, afraid to face the judgement of his daughter.

"Dad," Rachael said, drawing Trip's attention back to her, "You'll always be my father to me. Always." To prove her point, she moved forward and wrapped her arms around him.

Top of Form 1

Bottom of Form 1

#