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The waiting…

#excerpt #unedited #baby
The scene: Shannon is 1 day late with her period, the first month of trying.

I slept with my hand on my belly all night, curled up against it like I’m cradling a priceless item. A fragile robin’s egg. A rare jewel.

Declan’s balls.

My eyes open, the sound of male slumber beside me so much a backdrop to my life that I don’t notice it most mornings. His warm body is next to me, curled on his right side, shoulder peeking out from under the covers. Declan needs a haircut, his hair longer than usual. Without an assistant to run his life, he’s forgetting those little details. A good wife would help him out. A good wife would schedule a haircut for him. A good wife would step in and take over.

Screw that.

Also, I like his hair like this. Wavy and rakish, it makes him feel a little less controlled. More dynamic and dangerous, like I’m sleeping with someone familiar yet new.

A fullness in my lower torso brings me back to the reality that today is the day. We’re here. Yesterday, my period was due and it didn’t arrive. Day one of babywatch begins. I should jump up and take the pregnancy test and get it out of the way. My bladder is screaming for relief. I should march into the bathroom and confidently face my future. I should make one single, simple move toward resolution. Information is power.

Instead, I stare at the ceiling, inventorying my body for answers.

Why? Why do I do this when the answer is a few steps away?

I don’t know.

Heaviness fills my limbs. My uterus feels like a polished, warm rock inside me. Declan makes a low, breathy sound, then turns over, wrapping one arm around my waist in sleep. The light pressure of his forearm against my bladder makes me wince, but I don’t move.

We’re at the very edge of an abyss. The minute I know I’m pregnant, life changes.

The reality is what it is.

It’s the knowing that terrifies me.

Eyes opening, Dec looks at me, a slow, satisfied smile making his face a world of its own. “Morning,” he says, coming in for a quick kiss. “Did you test yet?”

“No.” Tears come, small and bright.

“What’s wrong? Did your period start?” A soothing hand begins to rub my elbow, as if he already knows the answer to a question I’m trying to hold back.

“No.”

He brightens more, long lashes closing over the tops of his cheeks as he kisses my shoulder. Our baby could have those beautiful green eyes.

Our baby.

“I’m just being emotional,” I say with a laugh, wiping the not-quite tears from the corners of my eyes.

“Maybe that’s a sign.”

“Breast tenderness is a sign too, Dec.”

He takes that as an invitation, filling his hand with my loose breast under my pajama top. “Hmmm, let me see.”

“How would you know if my breasts are tender?”

“It will take a great deal of careful, detailed study, Shannon, but I’m dedicated.”

I laugh, then wince. “My bladder is killing me.”

“Go, then. Go do the test.” He slaps my ass playfully.

“I’m scared.”

“Scared of the test? It’s just pee.”

“Scared of the answer.”

“You changed your mind?”

“No, no.” I sigh. “It’s just hitting me now. How big this is. We’re Declan and Shannon right now.”I turn on my side and face him, arm tucked under my head. “If I’m pregnant, we’ll never be just us.”

“Isn’t that the point of having kids?”

“It’s one of them. I want a family. I want to raise a child with you. I want all of that. At the same time, I’m afraid we’ll change.”

“Of course we’ll change.”

“Maybe you’ve made life too good for me,” I tell him, grasping at the right words to describe the feelings inside me. “I think this is your fault.”

“For giving you too good a life?”

“For loving me so well I can’t imagine it being even better.”

If I thought his smile was radiant before, he practically glows now, tenderness filling those hard features, showing me the man I have the privilege of knowing intimately every day of my life. This is the Declan no one else sees. This is the raw, real person who may have just fathered a child growing inside my body at this very moment.

“I love you, Shannon. If this is all we ever have, it will be more than enough.” His hand flutters over my belly. “And if there is more, I’ll cherish more as much as I cherish you.”

I cry. Of course I cry. Wouldn’t you?

“Stop!” I gasp. “I’m going to pee the bed.”

“So much for sharing my feelings with you,” he says, joking. Our kiss is sweet and hot, fueled by truth.

But a larger truth is weighing heavily on me.

My bladder.
—-
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Shopping for a Billionaire’s Baby is coming…

I’m deep in the middle of writing Shopping for a Billionaire’s Baby and thought I’d drop you a small preview:

“Babython? What is a Babython?” Amanda asks, her face crunched up in concentration like I’d spontaneously started speaking Quechua.

“They’re like triathlons, only the swimming portion involves sp*rm, and running involves basal thermometers and temperatures telling you it’s fertile time. And instead of competing with your husband to sees who finishes first (ahem), it’s all about beating your brother.”

“Excuse me?”

“Yeah. I don’t understand it either.“

You can preorder Shopping for a Billionaire’s Baby now and in the meantime, go back and (re)read the other books in the series. Books 1 and 2 are currently free. <3

Links to all retailers: http://www.prosaicpress.com/jkentauthor/books/the-shopping-series/shopping-for-a-billionaires-baby/

All the best,

Julia Kent

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