Authors: Ella London
© 2016 by Ella London
All rights reserved.
No part of this book may be reproduced in any form or by any electronic or mechanical means, including information storage and retrieval systems, without written permission from the author, except for the use of brief quotations in a book review.
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he doctor looked
from Ethan to Harper. “I take it that it’s a possibility?”
“Yes.” Ethan’s voice cracked and he cleared his throat. His eyes hadn’t left Harper and she knew that she probably looked like a deer caught in headlights. Pregnant?
“I can take a blood sample today and get the results back to you if you’d like?” the doctor asked. “So you know for sure.”
Harper felt the blood leave her face and she gripped the arm of the couch. Needles? “Can’t we just wait and see if in nine months a baby comes out?” she asked, her voice going a little high, a little borderline hysterical.
Ethan moved to her side and picked up her hand. “Are you okay?”
“Needles,” she squeezed out through her tightening throat. “I don’t do so well with them.”
“You can take a home pregnancy test,” the doctor said, “but sometimes they aren’t as accurate this early. A blood test will tell you for sure.”
She glanced over at Ethan. He looked a little pale but his grip was warm and firm. Solid. “It’s up to you Harper. Whatever you want to do. I’ll be right here next to you if you decide you want to.”
She squeezed his hand and swallowed. “Okay, I can do it now.”
“I got you.” He wrapped one arm around her shoulders and kept holding her hand while the doctor pulled what he needed from his bag and sat on her other side. The rubber tightened around her bicep and she cringed.
Ethan ran his thumb up and down the side of her neck. She leaned into his touch as the doctor wiped the cold swab across the inside of her elbow.
“You’re going to feel a little prick,” the doctor murmured quietly.
“That’s what she said.” Ethan’s warm breath washed over her ear and she laughed.
“Not that little,” she answered with a grin. “Don't sell yourself
Ethan chuckled and the deep rich sound seeped into her veins. She glanced up at him from under her eyelashes and saw that he was watching her too. Her pulse leapt at the warmth she saw in his eyes.
This was crazy. One night. They’d spent one unprotected night together and now there was a chance she might be pregnant? And why wasn’t he freaking out more? Most guys would have run screaming for the hills by now.
You don’t know for sure. It could be nothing.
But what if it’s not.
“All set,” the doctor said, pulling the rubber band loose.
Harper blinked. “You’re done?”
Ethan rubbed his fingers over the back of her neck. She leaned into his touch. This was the first time she’d had blood taken that she hadn’t felt like she was going to pass out. Once the doctor sat back, Ethan removed his hand but stayed at her side.
“I’ll get this rushed and call as soon as I have the results,” the doctor said.
Ethan walked the doctor to the door, and then after the man had left, Ethan disappeared into the kitchen. He came back with a sparkling water and a beer. She really wished that the beer was for her because she needed something to dull the flare of panic crawling through her veins.
“So,” he said, handing her the water.
“So,” Harper answered.
“I, ahhh...have no idea how long that will take.” He scratched the back of his neck before taking a long swallow from the bottle. He looked at her expectantly and she shrugged.
“I have no idea either.”
They sat in silence as the elephant danced around the room in a bright pink tutu.
“Can I get you…”
“Maybe we should…”
They both stopped and she wheezed out a laugh. Not awkward at all. She set the water on the coffee table and stood. “I’ll just get dressed and go.”
He didn’t say anything and she went back into the bedroom, keeping her eyes off the bed where they’d been having sex only a couple of hours ago. Her clothes were strewn all over and it took looking under a chair to find her panties.
It’s nothing. Right?
Harper groaned as she finished getting her clothes on. Fiery fingers of dread started seeping back through her veins and she shook them off. There was a simple way to know right now, to not have to wait for the blood test results. All she had to do was buy a pregnancy test and they wouldn’t need to wait for the doctor to call. Yes, a home pregnancy test might not be as accurate, but at least it would tell her
And more than that, it would give her something to do, would make her feel like she had some control over what was happening.
She’d leave, stop by the drugstore and take a cab home. When the test came back, she would call Ethan. With a plan in place, Harper felt slightly better. She twisted her hair into a side braid.
Ethan was still sitting on the couch with his legs spread wide and his hands clasped and hanging between them. He looked up when she came out, and his face was blank, his bright blue eyes duller now. His hair was sticking up a lot more than when she’d left him, like he’d been dragging his hands through it.
“I fucking hate waiting,” he said in a low voice.
So did she, which was why she was heading to the drugstore right then. She grabbed her purse and stood by the door. “I’m going to the drugstore...to buy a test because I hate waiting too. Do you...want to come with me?”
Ethan surged off the couch and exhaled roughly. “Fuck yeah. There’s one two blocks from here. We can walk faster than it would take to get the car.”
They walked to the elevator without talking and the walk to the drugstore only took a few minutes. It was a beautiful clear day out, the kind that Harper loved to spend at the Common soaking in the day with a book.
And maybe there would still even be time for that.
This test would show them what she already knew deep down—that she wasn’t really pregnant--and then Ethan could exhale and she could stop fighting back the panic.
A few minutes later, they stood in the drug store aisle that had pregnancy tests and condoms. The irony of it slapped her upside the head.
Ethan shifted from one foot to the other and ran a hand over the back of his neck. She noticed that he did that when he was unsure.
“So, which one?” he asked. It was the first thing he’d said to her since they left his apartment.
She didn't have a clue. There were almost two dozen different kinds. It would be really helpful if one of the boxes said
pick this one to see if you might be knocked up by a guy you barely know.
“This one says extra early detection.” Ethan handed her a box and she flipped it over.
Find out five days before your missed period!
It proclaimed. He gave her a lifted eyebrow and she threw it into his basket. He took a step back and cocked his head at the display. “We should get more than one.”
Harper nodded. “I’m not sure what the percentage of faulty tests are but if there is one, I’ll probably get it.” She grabbed another box that had
across the front but a different brand. “So this isn’t weird or anything,” she said.
He exhaled on a laugh. “No shit.”
They walked side by side down the aisle and he nudged her shoulder with his. “Should we get pickles and ice cream and maybe some wine so we’re prepared for both?”
Harper snorted, then laughed because she snorted.
When she glanced over, his shoulders were more relaxed and a grin turned his lips up. “Come on,” he said in her ear.
She tried to ignore the wash of goose bumps his hot breath sent racing through her body. “I’m moving as fast as I can,” she joked.
Ethan drew her to a stop. She had no idea what he was looking at until he took a bottle of prenatal vitamins off the shelf.
“So should we get some of these, just in case? There’s some important vitamin that you’re supposed to take early on in these things.”
What twenty four year old guy knew about prenatal vitamins?
She must have looked as confused as she felt because when he met her questioning gaze, he shrugged and tossed the bottle into the basket. “My sister had two kids. I remember seeing those when she came to visit.”
He had a sister?
“You have a sister?”
“Older. She lives in Cali with her husband. He’s a hot-shot environmental attorney who sues celebrities when they don’t follow the water restrictions. He’s kind of a prick but he loves his job, which I guess goes hand in hand.”
She was buying a basketful of pregnancy tests with a man she knew nothing about. God, she could be starring in some stupid romantic comedy, but the fact was, the real thing wasn’t funny at all. Those movies wrapped up in neat little ninety minutes bows, but this was her
. Possibly the life of someone else too.
The reality was, she knew very little about Ethan Wentworth. He vacationed in Tahiti. He raced cars. His family was mortal enemies with her family.
Oh, and he was easy on the eyes and he knew how to rock her world. Everything needed to have a child together. She shook her head, sighed, and glanced over at him.
He watched her with one eyebrow cocked up and the corner of his lips lifted in a grin. She was lost for a second. Would their baby have his gorgeous blue eyes?
The sound of her own mental slap echoed in her head. What the hell was she doing? Once the test came back negative, she was almost sure that he’d disappear. Between the shit with their fathers and a pregnancy scare when they weren’t even in a relationship, yeah, Harper could practically see the dust trail behind his feet.
“Ready?” she asked, reality making her voice a little low.
Ethan cupped her cheek. “Everything okay?”
A short laugh escaped before she could stop it. She dropped her gaze to his basket and blew out a breath. “Do you really want me to answer that question?”
“Look, whatever happens, we’ll figure it out. I’m here Harper, okay?”
He looked so sincere that she nodded. He had no idea how much it meant to her to hear him say that. After the scandal with her father broke, almost everyone she thought were friends had abandoned her. She could count on one finger the ones who still answered their phones when she called.
“Thank you.” Her gaze tangled up in his and she hoped that he could see how much she meant it. He took another small step closer and she pulled her bottom lip between her teeth. She should not be turned on in the vitamin aisle of a drugstore but Ethan’s stare was only fanning the flames.
His gaze dropped down and he ran his thumb over her lip, pulling it free from her teeth. Her breath lodged in her throat. He made her entire body come alive with just a touch and it was everything she could do not to dart her tongue out and run it over the tip of his thumb.
He crowded closer, the heat from his body radiating down to her bones. When he slid his hand around to cup the back of her neck, she bit back a groan. It didn’t help that she had a very recent memory of just how good he could make her feel. His eyes darkened and she watched the hunger inside them grow.
Heat pooled between her legs and she let out a soft, breathy moan. If he wanted to bend her over the display of playground balls, she wouldn’t argue.
“Fuck, Harper,” he growled. “This is…”
Before he could finish talking, his phone started singing
We are the Champions
and with a deep sigh, he pulled away. “Sorry, it’s my father’s ringtone. I need to take this.” He took a few steps and turned his back as he answered. “Yeah?” His shoulders stiffened. “What the fuck does that mean?” His knuckles turned white around the handle of the basket he was still holding. “So what now?” His voice had gone hard. Cold. “Yeah, let me know what you need me to do.”
He pulled the phone from his ear and his hand dropped to his side. He stood there, tense and not turning around.
“Everything okay?” she asked, a terrible feeling sinking into her stomach.
When he finally turned around, his eyes were like ice. He was scowling at her and she took a step back. That look, the same dislike that he’d had on his face on the courthouse steps when their eyes first met, made the lines of his face harsh and unyielding.
“Did you know about this?” he ground out. His voice had gone hard.
“I don’t know what you’re talking about, Ethan. What did your father say?”
“Like you don’t know about the lawsuit,” he scoffed. His jaw hardened and he glared at her.
“Lawsuit? The one against my father?”
Ethan shook his head with quick frustration. “Not
“Then I guess I’m lost…”
He lifted the basket and shook it in her direction. “My dad told me he’s just been informed that your father is suing him for defamation of character. Defamation? Really? Your father is the low life bastard who stole millions of dollars from us and now he thinks he’s going to sue
Cold waves washed down over her spine. What the hell was her father thinking? What was he
“I didn’t know anything about it, Ethan…”
He glared at her. “Hard for me to believe you knew nothing about this. You’ve been by your father’s side every step of the way, standing behind him, keeping solidarity—“
“But that’s not how I really feel,” she insisted.
“Who knows what’s real with you and your father?” Ethan said, his eyes narrowing.
So now he was lumping her in with her dad. She wanted to cry, but held her tears. “I know you’re upset, but you have to believe me. I had no idea my father was bringing any kind of lawsuit against your family.”
“Save it, Harper.” He turned away and shook his head. “I’m the fucking idiot here.”
The ache inside her chest that had started when she saw his cold eyes exploded and she could barely take a breath. He had no idea how much she despised her father for what he’d done. And now Ethan thought that everything was up for question...God, did he think she could do something like fuck him to get pregnant on purpose?
Or fake being pregnant to mess with him?
“Ethan.” Her voice broke but he didn’t turn around.
His shoulders were stiff and he stood there, hands clenched at his sides.
Obviously he really did think she was capable of those things. Tears burned her eyes and she had to get out of there before they broke free. Without a word she spun around and rushed toward the exit. Behind her Ethan finally called out her name but the tears had started and there was no way she would let him see what his words did to her.