And he did look slightly better. Last week, dark blemishes under his eyes marked his exhaustion and he’d seemed paler than normal, but today he appeared a little more like himself, with the exception of the sling his right arm was in. Although his arm wasn’t injured, it helped keep the chest wall muscles stable.
“Hi,” I greeted him as I shoved my arms into my jacket. “How are you doing?”
Brock gave me a tight-lipped smile. “Hanging in there. You?”
“Good. I’m heading out to lunch.”
He stopped in front of the door to Marcus’s office and looked over his shoulder, the movement awkward and stiff. “You meeting up with Nick?” The mischievous gleam appeared in his eyes.
Good God, I felt my cheeks start to heat as my heart did a funny little dance in my chest. I couldn’t even say that was new or wonder what the hell was up with it. Every time I saw Nick or thought of him, I got all fluttery, and I was just going to fully embrace that flutter at this point, because it wasn’t going anywhere. At all.
“I have a doctor’s appointment,” was all I said, because that was all Marcus knew, and I was pretty positive that the news of our impending parenthood hadn’t made its way back to Brock.
“Ah, the doctor’s,” he said, reaching for the door. “I’m beginning to hate that word.”
“Understandable.” I buttoned up my jacket. “See you later.”
Since my doctor’s appointment was between Plymouth Meeting and the city, Nick was meeting me there. The drive wasn’t too bad once I got out of the city, and I made it to the office with about fifteen minutes to spare.
As soon I stepped out of the car, the doors on another car parked a few spaces down opened and Nick stepped out. The flutter was there, like a butterfly was darting around inside my rib cage.
My throat was suddenly dry as I stopped in front of my car and waited for him. As he came into complete view, my gaze did a slow drift over the long length of him. I doubted there was a time that Nick didn’t look good, but today he was absolutely stunning. I don’t know what it was about the dark denim jeans and the black vee-neck sweater that got my girlie parts all kinds of happy, but I was wondering if we had time for a quickie before the appointment.
“Hey,” Nick said, dipping his head and kissing the corner of my lips. Ever since I told him about the whole not kissing thing, he’d made it a point to kiss me. A lot. I wasn’t complaining. Reaching down, he took my hand in his. “You ready?”
I nodded as I held up the questionnaire that had been mailed to me. My entire life history was on those pages. “I’ve done my homework.”
“When? This morning?” He started toward the entrance.
Grinning, I let him guide me across the parking lot. “No.”
“Last night after I left?”
I laughed. “Maybe.” When he squeezed my hand, the flutter started all over again. “It almost took me an hour. Whoever is going to read this thing is going to know me better than my mom does.”
Nick chuckled as we approached the doors. Turkeys created out of construction paper adorned the glass. The creators had used the finger-as-feathers technique, and my stomach did a little tumble, because at some point something similar would be tacked to the fridge.
I simultaneously wanted to cry and laugh, jump around and throw myself on a bed.
Checking in was a breeze, and as we took our seats in the warm waiting room, I looked around. Pregnant women everywhere. Which was expected, but I was sure I’d never seen so many pregnant ladies in one place before.
And all different stages of pregnant.
A blonde across from me had a tiny bump that stretched her pale blue sweater. There was a brunette near the check-in window who looked like she was halfway through the pregnancy, her cheeks flushed prettily as she scribbled on a notepad. Next to me was a woman who looked like there was a good chance she might give birth right in the middle of the waiting room.
Her stomach was the size of two basketballs.
Nick leaned over and whispered, “Okay. This is going to sound weird, but I’m picturing you with a belly like that, and I find that kind of hot.”
I turned toward him slowly and started to grin. “Seriously?”
“Yeah,” he winked. “I’m looking forward to it.”
“Why?” I whispered.
One side of his lips kicked. “Because it will be my baby . . .” He placed his hand on my stomach, over the jacket. “ . . . in here, and holy shit, that’s a huge turn-on.”
Oh. Oh. Wow.
I looked away from him as another woman sat beside the one who was still rubbing her distended belly. The newcomer could be a contender for who was going to pop out a baby first. The two immediately started chatting; they obviously knew one another, and I tried not to eavesdrop, but I couldn’t help it.
“How’s the swelling, Lorraine?” the newcomer asked.
She shifted, wincing as she barely lifted her leg. My gaze dropped to her feet—holy crap—her feet. They were so swollen she was wearing flip-flops and it was like forty degrees outside.
“It’s gotten better,” she replied.
What? That was better? I quickly looked away as the other woman started talking about how she had to take her wedding ring off. Nick leaned back, extending his arm along the back of my chair. The blonde across from us was joined by her boyfriend or husband, and he and Nick did some kind of weird male head nod at one another. I glanced around and saw the brunette openly staring at Nick.
My lips pursed.
“This is the last one, I swear,” Lorraine, the heavily pregnant woman, said to her friend. “If Adam thinks he’s getting another baby out of me, I will castrate him myself.”
Nick pressed his lips together as his gaze flipped to the ceiling. “Ouch,” he murmured.
Discreetly, I elbowed him and his lips twitched. Turning his head toward me, he dipped his chin and kissed my temple. Swollen feet and castration forgotten, the fluttering turned into a waltz. The brunette watching him sighed.
We didn’t have to wait too long until we were called back and ushered into a room, and then the questions began—the same damn questions I’d procrastinated in answering were asked, and thank God Nick was there, because I was pleased when he also got the third degree.
How were my periods? And that was awkward to talk about with Nick staring at the door. What about my habits? Any known genetic disorders? Were we interested in genetic testing?
Unsure, I glanced at Nick, who was sitting on one of the small plastic chairs. “What . . . what do you think?”
“I think it wouldn’t hurt.” He stretched out his long legs, crossing them at the ankles. “I say let’s do it.”
“All right,” I agreed, resisting the urge to swing my feet from where I was perched.
The nurse smiled. “We can take the blood here for the rest of the tests, but lab results won’t be back for a few days.”
And the questions began once again. Have I been pregnant before? What medication was I taking, and a million and two more questions. When she was finally done, I wondered if she was as exhausted as I was.
“Dr. Connelly can do an ultrasound today if you like, along with the initial exam, and she’ll try to get a picture of the baby.”