Home > Happily Ever All-Star: A Secret Baby Romance(2)

Happily Ever All-Star: A Secret Baby Romance(2)
Author: Sosie Frost


Mistake.

The middle button on my blouse had teetered on the brink of surrender all day. A pep talk at lunch and a bit of scotch tape on the inside of my shirt had bolstered its fortitude, but I’d asked for miracles.

The straining button popped from my shirt, and a faux-pearl flung across the office to lodge in Lachlan’s ear.

Too bad we weren’t playing golf. That hole in one might have made for a good story instead of a potential trip to the emergency room to check his ear drum.

“Ow!” He shook his head. “I’m sorry! I’m taking the test!”

The button dropped to the floor. I kicked it away and slapped a hand over the blouse. No need to encourage my chocolate cannonballs to blast out of my shirt as well. My new body was one hell of a battlefield, and the only person losing was me.

My waist hadn’t changed…yet. My chest was out of control—like a Willy Wonka curse that punished me for sneaking Reese Cups for breakfast instead of Greek yogurt. Years of chess clubs, library study sessions, and medical school hadn’t prepared me for this sudden boon to my appearance.

Sure, it was unethical to say I was a proctologist, but it had scared away the team and halted the flood of phone numbers, party invitations, and wildly inaccurate anatomical drawings.

“Lachlan, you shouldn’t have to count on your fingers.” I rubbed my head. “There’s no math questions. It’s all memorization.”

He buzzed his lips. “I might need to redo the test.”

First do no harm. Do no harm. Do no harm.

“Are you sure you didn’t hit your head on the field today?” I asked.

“Nah, still conditioning.” He yawned. “Sleep deprived though. The baby isn’t sleeping through the night yet.”

I forced a smile.

Uh-oh. Was it a smile? Or did I flinch?

Oh god, he didn’t realize I was pregnant did he?

If anyone found out, I’d be ruined.

Then again, if Lachlan Reed couldn’t repeat a series of three numbers forwards and backwards, there was no way this Sherlock had deduced that I was pregnant. We were just making small talk. Conversations held by normal people who weren’t competing for a cutthroat, prestigious fellowship. My secret was safe, and so was my job.

I still couldn’t believe I nearly blew this chance on the wrong man.

Technically, I had done more than blow him.

I restarted the test for Lachlan, but the instant his hand clicked the mouse, the laptop went black.

He leapt away from the computer. “That wasn’t my fault.”

I had the feeling most disasters in the Rivets organization were Lachlan’s fault.

I clicked the mouse. Nothing. Pressed the power button. Nothing. I reached for the power cord, but I didn’t expect the snap.

A moment of terror stilled me. Was it a rib? The heel of my shoe?

Oh God, I wished it were my neck.

Nope. It was my bra. The jagged slip of the underwire punched inwards. I yelped and burst upright.

Lachlan jerked away. He tripped over the power cable, whipped the laptop off the desk, and ducked as it smashed against the floor.

“That…might have been my fault.” Lachlan handed me the spritzer bottle. “Go ahead.”

I gave him one squirt. “You know…you’re young. You probably haven’t had any concussions yet.”

“Really?”

“Would we really be able to tell a difference?”

“Awesome! Can I go? Gotta get home and see my son.”

“Please.” I pushed him to the door. The underwire attempted to puncture my lung, and I forced a smile. “I’ll…do your assessment later.”

Much, much later.

A flash from the hallway blinded both of us. The team’s photographer—Elle—came to collect her husband. She carried both a camera and her four-month old baby boy. She trusted Lachlan enough to hold the child, though I suspected she’d hook her husband to the baby leash when they ventured into a crowded public location.

“How’d he do?” Elle tucked her camera into a converted diaper bag. Her little boy reached for the dyed red ends of her hair. “Is he healthy?”

A man that irritating would outlive all of us. “We didn’t get very far, but I think he’s okay. He…might have some undiagnosed ADD issues though.”

“Well, obviously.”

Lachlan took her hand. “Let’s go, Red. I got some rookie hazing to take care of.”

Elle rolled her eyes. “You’re hazing?”

“Yep.”

“So…explain to me how you got taped to the goal posts yesterday?”

“That was an accident.”

“Right.” She poked her baby’s nose. “Say bye-bye to Daddy, Nick. He’ll probably be hogtied and stuffed in a locker tonight.”

“That only happened once.”

Elle thanked me, nuzzling both her baby and her husband. The two deliriously happy, wretchedly sweet, and unabashedly perfect lovebirds scampered away with their lovely family, shared smiles, and squirming baby boy.

And that was fine.

So I didn’t have a husband. Or a boyfriend. Or a supportive father for my unborn baby.

I did have a killer rack and peppermint flavored burps. What more could a girl want, especially with an MD and specialization in neurology? Plus, I had been offered a fancy new office converted from my very own Ironfield Rivets’ supply closet!

Modern day fairy tale, right?

I retreated to my office and closed the door. My laptop rested in shards on the floor. The fellowship didn’t leave much in the grant for new computers, but it was better to ask for forgiveness than to tell the organization I was three months pregnant.

Even if I denied it for a long as I could.

It’s not a pregnancy. It’s heartburn.

It’s not morning sickness. It’s a two-and-a-half-month flu.

That’s not a baby in the sonogram. Just a friendly, neighborhood tapeworm.

At least I had a bit of privacy to fix my bra now. The damn thing mutinied under my shirt, and I struggled to unlatch it before the straight-jacket permanently embedded in my skin.

The cracked underwire had shredded through my blouse. The material, already stretched too thin courtesy of my freed jubilees jiggling their way to freedom, ripped from arm pit to sleeve. The bra tangled in what remained of my shirt. I gritted my teeth and tugged.

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