Maddie Conrad quietly stole into her parents room, knowing that they wouldn't be back for hours and that her Aunt Tandy was blissfully unaware that anyone was awake upstairs. Daphne was fast asleep, Maddie heard her snoring in the hall as she tiptoed from her own bedroom. She headed for her Mother's extensive walk in wardrobe – a room that always fascinated Maddie – what seemed like a million different outfits, dresses for award shows and events, comfortable "mom" tees and jeans, and her favourite performance outfits. Her and Daphne had spent hours in here with their mother – picking outfits for shows, playing dress ups and playing with all the expensive jewelery and makeup. Their Mother though, had never let them go past the shoes – to the last shelf that held a few boxes, a safe for their mothers most expensive heirloom jewelery, and opposite, a rack of her very old award show dresses and sentimental clothing like her wedding dress.
Maddie knelt down and felt to the back of the bottom shelf, grasping a handle and pulling out a metal box. She'd remembered walking in here one day to find her mother sitting on the floor crying with this box open next to her. She had been forbidden to touch it, and until now she'd had no reason to betray her mother's trust. But now she knew there was a secret, something that was being hidden from her and Daphne that was making her Mama and Daddy argue a lot, apart from the presence of Deacon. She'd heard her name mentioned in several of the arguments, usually her father begging her mother not to tell her anything. They'd always kept it as quiet as possible, although you could always hear the anger in their whispers. It had only started up since Deacon had started coming around more, and her Mama had told her and Daphne that they were now a couple.
The box was heavy, so Maddie sat on the floor and opened the box there. Not as comfy as the bed, but maybe she'd be able to hide quickly if she heard someone in the bedroom. There was a large stack of papers, a lot of photos and a small leather bound book, she looked briefly at a page and realised her Mama had been using it as a journal. Maddie flicked through the photos quickly, noticing that all of them were small intimate concerts of Rayna and Deacon at places like the Bluebird. There were a couple of contracts, her mother's, her's and her sister's birth certificates, and then at the bottom was a paper that caught her attention, it had her name on it in big bold type.
"Madeline Virginia Conrad's DNA does not match with that of Theodore Richard Conrad, the possibility of him being her father is 0%" She read, and she gasped. She heard car doors shutting outside and panicked. Her mother and Deacon were back. She shoved all the papers in the box and pushed it to the back of the bottom shelf, shoved the paternity test and the leather bound journal in the band of her pants under her t-shirt in case she met anyone in the hall way and quietly but quickly made her way back to her bedroom, turning off her bedroom light and jumping under the covers just as she heard her mother's heels on the stairs. The door opened an Maddie sat up.
"Mama?" she said, yawning.
"Sorry to wake you, sweet girl. Just wanted to check on you before I went to bed. See you in the morning, I love you."
"Love you too" Maddie replied, lying back down and listening as she heard the door to her Mother's room finally shut, and she sat up and clicked on the light. She could guess now, that if Teddy Conrad wasn't her real father, then it couldn't be anyone but Deacon Claybourne. And she wondered, if it was possible, that this leather journal she'd just stolen from her mother would tell the truth.