Nixon (Raleigh Raptors 1) - Page 11

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I stared at her, searching for something else to say.

She nodded, tugging her bottom lip between her teeth. “I meant what I said. I don’t want anything from you.”

“Stop saying that,” I whispered, slamming my eyes shut as gravity shifted beneath my feet. Lawyers. Paternity test. Child support. Visitation. Rights. Custody. My mother’s face. God, my mind wouldn’t stop.

“Nixon.”

I opened my eyes and focused on hers.

“Look,” she started. “I don’t know what your damage is, but it’s obvious you have some. And I get it. At first, I was seriously pissed at your reaction, but I thought about it, and I get it. You’re an NFL star who makes more money than most people could ever spend in a lifetime. I bet I’m not the first girl to come at you with a pregnancy claim, am I?” She tilted her head, exposing the long line of her neck.

“No.” Even now, I wanted to trail my tongue from her collarbone to her jaw.

“Do you have any other children?”

“Hell no.” I drew back. There had been at least a dozen claims over the years and all but two had come from women I’d never even slept with.

One of them was standing right in front of me.

“I see.” She looked away.

I had a feeling that she didn’t, but I wasn’t in any position to correct her. Hell, I was barely standing, because if that lab report was true…Don’t even let yourself think it.

“Well, there’s your proof.” She tucked her hands into her back pockets and rocked back on her heels. “But if you want more, I have an ultrasound appointment next week with my doctor. You’re welcome to come.”

“I am?” She couldn’t have shocked me more if she’d tossed a bucket of ice water on me. I’d never been invited to a doctor’s appointment.

“Well…yeah.” She looked at me like I’d grown two heads. “Half of what’s growing inside me is yours, so it only seems fair that you get to come, right?”

Yours. Suddenly the tiny apartment felt infinitesimally smaller.

“Right.”

“And I added your name as next of kin and signed a release, so you have access to my records. You can call and confirm those results yourself if you want. They’ll give you the information.”

She wasn’t hiding anything. In fact, she was exposing herself just so I’d see that she was telling the truth. My emotions jumped around so quickly that they never had time to land.

“And I talked to a lawyer. I’ll have the papers ready for you to sign next week if you want to relinquish—”

“No.” I shook my head, my entire body revolting at the idea of signing away the chance that the baby was mine…and if those dates were right—if this wasn’t the most carefully constructed lie I’d ever come across—it was mine. “When is your appointment?”

“The third at three-fifteen.” She swallowed. “I don’t know if you have practice or anything.”

“I’ll be there.”

“Promise?” she asked, challenging me with a raise of her eyebrows.

“If I say it, I’ll do it. I never make promises I don’t keep.”

And I sure as hell wasn’t starting with that one.

* * *

This wasn’t a doctor’s office. It was one of those horror-houses at a carnival. Clearly they wanted to terrify women. Why else would they show a diagram of a baby’s head that looked to be the size of a bowling ball, pressing up against a tunnel that was maybe the size of a damned nickel?

“You look like you’re about to faint,” Liberty joked from the exam table, where she sat kicking her feet under one of those long, printed skirts without a care in the world.

“Have you seen the dimensions here?” I pointed to the poster-sized diagram.

She flashed a smile and shook her head. “It’s no big deal.”

“No big deal?” My eyes widened.

“I’ve seen babies born all over the world,” she said with a shrug. “Doctors, no doctors. Pain meds or natural. The heart of the Andes or the jungles of Africa. It’s all the same.”

“No doctors?” My chest tightened at the thought of her giving birth somewhere without proper medical care. Nick had had the best doctors and it still hadn’t made it.

“Relax, big shot. There are plenty of doctors here in Raleigh. Speaking of here, you guys are in town this weekend, right?” she asked, leaning back on her hands.

“Yeah.” I turned away from the horrific poster and took a seat on the stool next to the table. “We have four more preseason games before the real ones start.”

“You looked good out there last weekend.” Her gaze dropped down my torso with a little grin. “Good…form and all.”

“Really.” That look was going to get her fucked on the exam table if she kept it up—I wanted her that badly. I wanted to remember every breath, every shudder, every sigh. I wanted to recall with crystal clarity the exact sound she made as she came. The half-memories were killing me.


Tags: Samantha Whiskey Raleigh Raptors Romance
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