He cupped my face and kissed me for a while, whispering more words about how much he loved me and that I was his no matter what happened in our lives, that he would never stop loving me. He drew a hand along the length of my back, following my spine slowly up and down.
After some more intimate moments passed in his arms, he murmured with a soft brush of lips to mine, “Don’t fall asleep yet.”
“Are you ready?”
I nodded and whispered, “Yes.”
“And nothing changes us.”
“Nothing changes that we love each other,” I clarified.
“I knew you weren’t all beauty and no brains from the first time I ever heard you speak,” he told me with a wink.
He reached for the test stick on the bedside table and brought it up to the light.
My heartbeat picked up the pace, and it wasn’t from the beautiful orgasms. “It shows a minus sign for negative and a plus sign for positive,” I blurted.
Ethan gave me a very pointed raise of one brow. “Thanks for the tip; I think I might have figured that part out, baby.”
He squinted at the stick.
I laid my cheek down on his chest and tried to breathe.
He just looked at the thing, and then his hand started moving slowly up and down the curve of my spine like before.
It felt like ages of time passed but he remained quiet, just rubbing my back absently with his hand, still connected, his c**k still buried inside my body even in its half-hard state, until I couldn’t bear another second of waiting.
“What does it say?” I whispered.
“You have to look at me.”
The self-doubt I’d known for years, the one I had a close, personal relationship with, crept right back in to wreak havoc on all the good feelings we’d just enjoyed together. That fear nearly paralyzed me, but Ethan wouldn’t allow it. He kept up the rubbing, and even nudged me a little to release me from the fear that gripped me.
“Forget about everything else and look at me, Brynne.”
I took a mouthful of courage and lifted my eyes.
From the first moment I knew Ethan, his feelings were always evident—from the expressions on his face to the tone of his voice to his body language. It was easy to know if he was pleased, annoyed, relaxed, aroused or even happy. The happy-Ethan expression was not frequent, but I’d seen it enough times to recognize it.
When I looked at the face he was showing me now, I was certain about one thing.
My Ethan was happy—truly happy about the fact that he was going to be a father.
“From the records sent by Dr. Greymont, I’d concur with his findings that you’re about seven weeks along, Miss Bennett.”
The doctor had age going for him, and the fact I’d been taught to respect my elders, because I sure did not like where his hands were right now. Dr. Thaddeus Burnsley had a condom-sheathed ultrasound probe up her snatch as he determinedly searched for the beating heart of our baby.
Good thing he was focused on the monitor and not her quim. It was rather awkward, but hell, it was part of the process, so I’d better get used to it. I have no idea how anyone did that job, though. Pregnant females all day long with their parts out on display? Good lord, the man had to have the constitution of an ox. Fred had referred us to him, so here we were for the first appointment. Ethan Blackstone and Brynne Bennett, prospective parents of Baby Blackstone, arriving sometime early next year.
“So that would be the middle of May?” Brynne looked over from where I sat at her shoulder. I winked and blew her an air kiss. I knew what she was thinking. She was figuring that I impregnated her almost immediately. She would be right too. The caveman in me was pretty proud of myself, as I did the metaphorical Tarzan beat-on-the-ole-chest routine. Good thing I was smart enough to keep my trap shut about it.
“It would seem so, my dear. Ahhh, there we are. Hiding as they like to do when they’re so small. Right there.” Dr. Burnsley zeroed in on a small white blob, in the middle of a larger black blob onscreen that had a heartbeat clipping along at a fast pace, floating in its watery world, making its presence known.
Brynne made a little gasp and I squeezed her hand. We both stared transfixed at the enormity of what we were looking at. What a test tells you becomes very different when you can actually see it with your eyes, and even hear it with your ears. I’m looking at another person. That we made together. I’m going to be a dad. Brynne will be a mum.
“So tiny,” she said in a soft voice.
I couldn’t imagine how Brynne was absorbing all of this, because I was feeling more than a little overwhelmed. I don’t know why, but it suddenly hit me that this was real and we were going to be parents whether we liked it or not. Hannah’s words exactly.
“About the size of a blueberry and very strong from all indications. Has a robust heartbeat and the measurements match up.” He pressed a button that printed a sheet of images and removed the probe. “You’re looking at a delivery date the first part of February, from all indications. You can get dressed and then meet me in my office. We’ll talk some more.”
The good doctor handed the photos to Brynne and left us.
“How are you doing, my darling?”
“Trying to take it all in,” she said. “It’s different actually seeing him . . . or her . . .” She sat up on the table and looked down at the photos, studying them. “I still can’t believe it. Ethan, why are you so calm?”
“I’m not, really,” I answered truthfully. “I’m f**king shaking in my shoes. I want a smoke and a drink and I’m sure you’ll be brilliant at everything and I will be a complete useless idiot.”
“Wow. That’s a big change from last weekend.” She smiled at me. We’d been through this already with Fred. I knew she wasn’t mad. We’d talked it through and both had had our freak-outs at different times and moved on. This was just the first official doctor’s visit and there would be plenty more. We’d both accepted that the sun kept rising and the earth kept turning, so best to just get on with it.
I came over and peered at the pictures. “So the size of a blueberry, huh? Amazing that the little bugger can make you so sick.”
She poked me in the arm. “Did you just call our baby a little bugger? Please tell me I did not just hear you say that!” she scoffed.