Nick stayed with me, knowing exactly when to slow his fingers, and when he eased them out of me, I watched him, utterly spent and dazed, my muscles nothing more than goo as he lifted those fingers to his mouth.

Holy crap.

A whole new wave of lust slammed into me as those fingers popped out. “Best breakfast I’ve ever had.”

Rolling onto my side, I reached for the bulge that had been pressing against my thigh this entire time, but he reached down, catching my wrist. My eyes widened. “You’re going to stop me?”

His expression tensed. “As much as I’m going to hate myself for this, I’m going to have to.”

“Why? You had your breakfast. I want mine.”

Nick’s brows rose.

“Protein shake,” I said, and my lips twitched.

A shock of laughter roared out of him. “Holy shit. You went there.”

“I did.” I tried to reach him again, but his grip tightened.

He let out a short breath. “What time do you have to go to work?”


At first I didn’t understand why in the hell he’d bring up that question, but then it struck me. The bliss faded. “Oh my God.” I jerked back and jackknifed into a sitting position. My gaze zeroed in on the clock. “Holy shit! I need to get ready.”

“Thought you needed your protein shake?”

I shot him a look as I lurched to my feet and thankfully didn’t tumble over. “That protein shake is going to have to wait.”

Nick stretched out, throwing his arms above his head as he eyed me from his reclined position. For a moment I couldn’t move as I stared down at him. A very irresponsible part of me wanted to say screw it and literally screw it, but I couldn’t. I backed away.

“Maybe later?” he offered, eyes hooded.

I drew in a shallow breath. “Definitely later.”

Chapter 17

With Nick working the evenings and me working during the day, there wasn’t a lot of time for us to see one another. I knew I could visit him at the bar, but what was developing between us seemed too new and fragile for me to become his personal barfly.

But that didn’t mean he was MIA after he left my place Thursday morning.

He texted that night when he arrived at Mona’s, and checked in on Friday when he got up, which was a lot earlier than I thought for someone who worked until one in the morning. Then again, now that I knew he had his grandfather to watch over, he was probably operating on minimal sleep.

Saturday night I’d done what was a first for me. I texted Nick before I went to bed. I’d done so giggling like I was sixteen, and his answering text left a smile on my face.

While you’re sleeping, I’m thinking about breakfast.

I so knew what he meant.

For nearly four days I’d been thinking about “breakfast” and when I could get a second helping, and those thoughts intruded at the most inopportune times. Like when Marcus was rattling off a list of things I needed to do or when Deanna from HR joined me for lunch on Friday. While she’d been talking about her daughter’s recent engagement, my thoughts had pranced into uncharted territory. I was wondering what it felt like to go to sleep and wake up in bed with Nick.

This was something I never really spent a lot of time thinking about.

Thankfully, the nausea hadn’t gotten any worse as the pregnancy progressed. At six weeks pregnant, it was still there, but I grew used to what I now considered a low-alert need to vomit. I knew that I was lucky, because some women had horrific morning sickness. From what I gathered the day I’d found out Avery was pregnant, she was one of those pour souls who spent the better part of the afternoon hurling.

My mom was convinced my pregnancy would be like hers—relatively easy—and I hoped that was the case. Maybe if I didn’t miss any time leading up to when I’d need maternity leave, my boss wouldn’t flip a lid as much.

But that didn’t mean Mom wasn’t worried. When I had chatted with her on Saturday, she tentatively asked if I’d given any thought to the future and if I was making any plans. The question jarred me. Beyond keeping the baby and working at getting to know Nick better and possibly being with him, I hadn’t made any plans outside of my doctor’s first appointment.

When Mom realized this, she told me that I had time, but there was no mistaking the underlying thread of worry in her voice, and that anxiety transformed over to me. What was I missing? I made my first appointment. I was taking prenatal vitamins and eating the right foods.

Well, I was also eating some wrong foods, but the struggle was really with my Cheez-It Party Mix.

Obviously, I hadn’t picked up a single drink since I found out, and I’d cut way back on the caffeine intake. But what else could I plan? It was too early to get obsessed with baby clothes or to start picking out baby furniture.

And the thought of baby furniture led to another major stressor.

Where in the world would I put a crib and all that jazz? In my walk-in closet? That sounded like child neglect or something.

As I drove to meet up with Katie and Roxy on Sunday morning, I came to the shaky realization that I was going to have to move again. I needed a two-bedroom. Maybe not immediately, but my one-bedroom wasn’t big enough to have everything the baby would need. I could afford a two-bedroom, but it would be stretching it. Definitely not comfortably.

But I wasn’t alone.

I remembered that as I parked the car, my grip easing on the steering wheel. Even our relationship never progressed beyond the physical, Nick would help me—help us.

The panic receded as I briskly walked toward the restaurant, chin down against the chill. Katie and Roxy were in their normal seats, and I joined them, rubbing my hands together to burn away the chill.

“I was wondering if you got lost.” Katie arched a blond brow.

I shot her a look. “I’m wondering if you know how cold it is outside.”

Roxy laughed as she eyed Katie’s getup. The latter was wearing magenta—not purple, but really magenta—colored overalls. Underneath them was a sparkly baby blue sports bra.

“Do they make sports bras with sparkles?” I asked.

“What? I wish. Do you know how much easier my life would be?” Katie stuck out a glossy bottom lip. “I spend at least an hour a day bedazzling shit and using a hot glue gun.”

My brows rose as I exchanged a look with Roxy.

“I’ve had severe hot glue gun burns. In places you do not even want to know about.”

“Wait.” Roxy pushed her glasses up. “I do want to know.”

I wasn’t sure I did.

“Sometimes you have to be wearing the clothes to make sure the embellishments look right,” Katie explained, quite seriously. “It’s not like they sell bathing suits with diamonds organized in the shape of a cock on the ass.”

My jaw unhinged, and immediately I pictured those bottoms and knew I’d never get that out of my head. Ever.

“Okay then.” Roxy smacked her hands off the table and quickly changed the subject. Drinks arrived and then our food was placed down. The steam was still rising off my omelet when Roxy’s shrewd gaze landed on me. “So what’s going on with you and Nick?”

I paused, a forkful of eggs and peppers halfway to my mouth. Roxy and I texted on and off, and she stopped over if I was home when she was visiting Reece, but I hadn’t talked to her about Nick or about the pregnancy. I wanted to, boy did I ever want to, because I wanted to tell someone other than Nick or my mom, but Roxy worked with Nick, and that changed things.