The Soul Mate Page 10

“What the actual fuck, man?” Trent raised the clipboard in his hand then dropped it down in front of me.


I glanced at the chart.

“Mrs. Ramirez. You filed her paperwork all wrong. In fact, everything you’ve touched this morning has been fucked in one way or another and the nurses are blaming your assistant and your assistant is blaming the nurses. Before all hell breaks loose with every employee of the female persuasion, tell me what’s going on?”

I scrubbed a hand over my face. “Shit. Okay. I’ll look at the files and fix everything. I’m sorry. I’m just a little distracted today, that’s all.”

“No kidding. You’ve asked Jean seven times if the hematologist reports are back. Do you think someone has leukemia or something?”

“No, not that.” I blew out a sigh, then pushed my sandwich away from me before motioning to the chair in front of my desk.

“You remember the girl I was looking for? Bren? The one who—”

“Snuck out of your apartment like you’d been holding her hostage? Yeah, I remember. You about to tell me you tracked her down and don’t know what to say?”

“Oh, I talked to her. Yesterday when she came in to see if she was pregnant.”

Trent’s jaw slackened. “You’re shitting me?”

“Oh, how I wish that were the case, because it was awkward as fuck, but nope. It definitely happened.”

“And you’re just telling me this now?” Trent demanded, spearing me with that betrayed and pissed off look like I’d just violated the man-code.

“There’s nothing to tell for sure, yet. I didn’t want to be an alarmist,” I reasoned, kicking back and stretching my legs out in front of me.

“When you couldn’t find her after your night together, you deemed it a dire emergency, holing up in your apartment like a pussy-whipped fool. Now she might be pregnant and you decided it wasn’t worth mentioning?” His voice had hopped up an octave as he stared at me, incredulous.

“When you say it out loud it sounds stupid,” I admitted with a half-smile.

“So, you’re waiting to see…” Trent started.

I nodded, finishing his sentence for him. “…to see, when her blood results come back to find out if she’s pregnant.”

“So, what are you going to do?” Trent leaned back in the chair and folded his hands in his lap. “You seem pretty chill about the whole thing, weirdly enough.”

“Only one thing to do. If she’s pregnant, I take care of the baby and figure out how to be a good dad.”

“Obviously. But what about her?” Trent pressed.

I leaned my head back, staring at the tiled ceiling for a long moment before answering. “That’s the thing, isn’t it? I like her—”

“I remember that much.”

“But I mean, I really like her. We went on a sort of impromptu date last night, and I like who she is as a person. I want to get to know her more, but with this baby thing between us and not being sure how she actually feels about me, it makes things way more complicated.”

“Well, seems like it would make her want to make it work, right?” Trent shrugged.

“Exactly why I want to get to know her better before we find out about the pregnancy. There’s no way to know our real feelings. Once those test results come in, we’ll never know if a natural relationship could have developed between us. We’d always wonder if we were just trying to make things work for the baby.”

“I don’t get what’s so wrong with that,” Trent said. “We’ve seen plenty of couples who are trying to make it work because they got pregnant.”

“I know that. It’s just that don’t want either one of us to settle, you know? If we didn’t know the results—if there was some way of keeping the possibility of a baby out of the equation—we could date like normal people and see if there was a chance. If not, no hard feelings. And if so…”

“Then you know it’s the real thing with or without a baby.” Trent nodded. “Sounds good to me. So just don’t look at the results, then. Seems simple enough.”

“Are you kidding?” I said with a harsh laugh.

“No. What do you have to lose? She wants to keep the baby regardless, right? So what’s the harm in waiting a little longer?”

I thought back to the stack of custody papers she’d handed me on Friday night. “Yeah, she does.”

“What difference does it make, then? She gives up drinking for a month. You put the results in an envelope and date until it’s time to open the thing.”

“But if the pregnancy is ectopic or something—”

“Then I’ll know the results and run things smoothly as they normally would go,” Trent said. “Now, I came in here to tell you the hematologist just dropped off this week’s tests. What do you want me to do?”

My stomach clenched into a tight knot. Could I live with not knowing about the baby for an entire month? If it meant I got a shot at developing a real relationship, naturally, with Bren, then the choice was easy. For me, at least. I just hoped she’d let me lead in this situation.

“I guess pitching her the idea couldn’t hurt.”

“It can’t. I’ll go take care of everything.” He pushed himself from his seat and strolled from the office, and I stared down at my half-eaten sandwich, suddenly no longer hungry.

Could I really do this? As badly as I wanted to rip into that envelope, I knew that Bren deserved to be the first person to know.

More for something to do than anything else, I picked up the sandwich on my desk and took a bite, barely tasting the food before swallowing it. In a matter of minutes, Trent returned, a sealed, unmarked envelope in his hand.

He sat it on my desk on top of the clipboard holding my litany of mistakes. I wondered if he’d done that on purpose.

“Here you go,” he said, his tone totally flat.

I searched his face, but he looked impassive as ever.

“What?” I asked.

Trent shook his head. “I told them not to tell me unless there was a pregnancy and a potential problem. Only one person in this office knows the truth and I’m not telling you who it is.”

“Right.” I nodded. “Smart,” I muttered, impressed in spite of myself.

“Now, you should probably call your girl. I imagine you’ve got some talking to do.”

Trent slipped from the room again, and I glanced at my phone before pulling out Bren’s intake form and dialing the number there. The phone barely had a chance to ring before her clear, crisp voice sounded on the other end.

“Hello?” she said, her voice washing over me like honey.

“Hey,” I started, “it’s Mason.”

“Oh, hey.” The nervous spark in her voice heightened. “Do you have the test results?”

“I do, and everything is fine, but I think we should talk about it in person. Is there any chance you could meet me in my office this afternoon when you get out of work?”

“It’s my day off,” she said. “Is there a time you had in mind?”

I glanced at the clock. It was nearly one—not time to go home. But then, Trent did owe me a favor or two…

“I’ll have my partner cover my appointments for this afternoon. Could you come in now?”

“Um, sure. You said you’re sure everything is okay?”

“I’m sure. I just think it’d be better to talk in person.”

She agreed and hung up, and then I forced myself to take a deep breath and focus on the work in front of me. With a quick note to my assistant, I asked her to work my schedule around. Then I stared at the intake and patient records I’d ruined earlier that day.

With any luck, not knowing for the next month might get easier. But right now?

Right now I kept staring at the clock every few minutes, waiting for the buzzer to sound and let me know that Bren had finally arrived. After ten torturous minutes, though, it finally did.

“Let her in,” I told my assistant, then sat up straighter in my chair as I waited for the door to creak open and Bren’s pretty, heart-shaped face to peek around the corner. When it did, I had to bite my tongue to keep from breaking into a huge grin at the sight of her.

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