The Soul Mate Page 11

It felt like all the oxygen had been sucked from the room. In washed-out shorts and a faded blue blouse, she was knockout. Her hair was long and wavy today, and her wide-set gray eyes stood in stark contrast to her pale skin.

Due to nerves or morning sickness? I couldn’t help but wonder.

“Please, sit,” I motioned to the chair Trent had occupied before and she settled in easily, though she hitched her purse a little higher on her shoulder rather than setting it on the ground. I double-checked to make sure the door was closed, then picked up the envelope containing our combined fate and handed it to her.

“What’s this?” she asked, then moved to open it, but I stopped her.

“Wait,” I said, holding up a hand. “I have a proposal, and you can decide whether you want to open it when I’m done, all right?”

Chapter Ten


Two minutes after he was done with his little speech, I was still blinking back at him in stunned silence.

“So, let me just get this straight,” I said, finally finding my voice. “You want to wait until I’m almost two months pregnant to find out if I’m pregnant at all?”

It sounded ridiculous—ludicrous, even. I had to be missing something.

But no, he just sat there with those clear blue eyes staring at me, as if this was the most obvious solution on the planet.

“I’ve thought a lot about it and I think this is the only way.” He nodded. “To know if there’s definitely something here that has nothing to do with this potential baby, which I think there is.”

“Right.” I took a deep breath and stared down at the envelope. “I guess…I just don’t see why it matters. Like, either we get along and everything is great or we don’t and then have seven months instead of eight to figure out how we’re going to raise a baby.”

Both of which, of course, were terrible options.

After all, I didn’t want to see where this led. Hadn’t I told him as much by sneaking out that night? And hadn’t I made that loud and clear when he’d asked me about it at dinner?

He was a nice guy, a romantic. A hot, successful doctor with a heart of gold and magic hands.

He was exactly the kind of guy a girl could fall for.

If a girl wanted to fall. Which I, most definitely, did not.

“I just don’t think either of us should settle,” he said. “If we find out that we have a baby coming, we’ll want to make it work between us for the baby’s sake.”

“Or we could never try and successfully co-parent because we never crossed that boundary to begin with,” I countered, half hoping he would agree and half hoping that he’d shut me down.

He tapped his fingers on his desk, staring long and hard at the wood before his gaze rose to mine again. “Do you really think that’s an option? We’re going to spend years co-parenting together not knowing what it’s like to be with each other again—after everything that happened that night—and we’ll both never have a moment of weakness and want to find out? Maybe you can, but I know I sure as fuck can’t.”

His gaze burned through me, and again I remembered the heat of his body against my skin, the weight of his as he moved on top of me, filling me with so much pleasure I felt like I could explode.

I swallowed hard, tamping down any lingering desire. Dismissing it as irrelevant to our future. “The attraction is not something I can deny,” I admitted.

“So this is the only way. The right way. Let’s see where it goes.”

“But if we have a baby on the way, there are things we need to discuss. Giving up a whole month just to pretend this isn’t happening—”

“Then let’s not. If it’s that important to you to get a plan together, let’s go somewhere and set one up. You and me. Once all that is laid out, we’ll be able to continue not knowing. Unless, of course, you hadn’t planned on keeping the baby?”

Automatically my hand moved to my stomach, and I considered what he’d said. The words had been free of hurt or judgment, and I knew he was allowing this to be my decision, but the choice had already been made. In truth, it had never been a question at all for me.

“I’m keeping it,” I said. “If there’s a baby.”

He nodded. “If there’s a baby.”

He held out his hand and nodded toward the envelope, and I handed it to him. He stuffed it in his pocket, shrugged off his lab coat, then moved past me to the row of hooks behind my chair. Picking up the leather jacket hanging there, he put it on, then held out his hand to me again. “Now let’s go. Time’s a-wasting.”

I followed him, and together we walked through the office, through the atrium of the building, and finally out onto the street, where a friendly row of shops greeted us.

“You like frozen yogurt?” he asked.

I nodded.

“Good. There’s a really good place over here.” He nodded toward a little shop with a pink awning. We approached it, and then he held the door open for me.

I stepped in and stared at the wall of options, momentarily overwhelmed.

“They have dividers,” he said. “You can get more than one.”

He handed me a cup with four-way divider in it and I went to town pouring pistachio, coconut, chocolate-covered pretzel, and salted caramel yogurt into my cup. When I was done, I met him at the buffet of toppings and noticed him shoveling chocolate-covered raspberry jellies onto a massive serving of chocolate yogurt.

“Chocolate lover, huh?” I asked.

He nodded, then made for the brownie bits like he’d never seen anything so decadent before in his life. “For sure.”

“I’m more of a yogurt purist.” I squirted fluffy whipped cream on top of each of the sections of my yogurt, then set it on the scale for the friendly-looking cashier.

“I’ve got it,” Mason said, “Just give me a minute.”

He stopped in front of the hot fudge canister and poured a healthy dollop on top of what had to be a two-thousand-calorie dessert.

If I’d been worried about having to be super healthy around him just because he was a doctor, his actions blew that theory out of the water. We were going to be ourselves, and that made me smile.

When I looked up, I saw the cashier eyeing him like she wanted to devour him, and a surge of jealousy coursed through me before I got hold of myself again.

“All set,” he said, then shelled out the money to pay for our treats before making his way to one of the little white tables in the front of the store.

I grabbed a cheery-looking magenta spoon and joined him at the table, ready to dig in.

“Okay, so, down to business.” He took a spoonful of what had to be pure hot fudge, then said, “You want to talk about the baby. Let’s work it all out so you won’t need to worry about it for at least a month.”

“Well, there’s the complex stuff.” I played with my pistachio yogurt. “Like, I’ll need to learn a lot. I’m an only child—I don’t have much experience with babies. I’ll need to consider looking into classes and such.”

“I’ve got you covered.” He shrugged. “I know everything about babies. When your milk comes in, the benefits and detriments of nursing, all of it. I know every stage of pregnancy backward and forward.”

“Right.” I tilted my mouth to the side. “But what if something is wrong?”

“I have a friend who will look after you just to be on the safe side.”

I took a deep breath. Okay, that made sense. “And what about the other stuff…the exciting stuff?”

“Like what?”

I shrugged. “I don’t know. Picking out a name. Picking out colors for the nursery. I won’t get to do any of that. Plus, what if you really want to name your son after yourself and I want a different name?”

“Something wrong with the name Mason?” He raised his eyebrows.

“No, I just had a different name in mind.”

“What’s that?”

“For a boy, it’s really important to me to name him Jacob.” It had been my father’s name, the name my parents would have given me if I’d been a boy. The name my brother might have had if my father had lived long enough to have another child.

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