Abby closed her eyes tight and pressed send on her phone. Liam’s phone rang once, twice, three times. A bit relieved, she waited to be routed to his voicemail.”Liam Whitmore’s office.”She sucked in a hard breath and nearly dropped the phone. “Uh…hi…this is Abby Haden, Abigail Haden that is.””Yes, Miss Haden,” the receptionist said quickly. “Please hold.”Several seconds passed.
“This is Liam.”
“I…” Abby paused, searching her heart one last time. Her grip on her cellphone tightened, and her courage failed. “I…I…”
“What’s the holdup?” Liam asked, his voice gruff.
She flinched. “H-holdup?” she stammered.
“Seven hundred fifty thousand dollars, and that’s the final offer, Miss Haden. Take it or leave it.”
Abby blinked. “That’s not—”
“Take it or leave it,” Liam interrupted. “I want an answer now.”
His brisk tone set her on edge and raised her ire.
Her courage returned. “Fine, but I have a requirement.”
His pause felt tangible through the phone, and she feared he’d had second thoughts. Not that she’d back down from her decision.
“What is it?” He nearly growled the question.
She filled her lungs with air. “I want two hundred fifty thousand upon conception, the rest after the baby is born.”
Another pause. “We have a deal.” His anger had disappeared, his voice holding no hint of emotion.
Abby blew out her pent-up breath. “Okay, good. I’ve been unable to find a clinic for the…the artificial, um, you know.” She placed a cool palm on her flaming hot cheek. If it was possible to die from embarrassment, she’d be a goner for sure.
“I’m not following you, Miss Haden,” Liam said. She heard papers shuffling in the background. “I’ll have the contract drawn up.”
“Artificial insemination,” Abby blurted out.
“Artificial insemination?” He sounded taken aback. “I hadn’t considered any such thing.”
Abby frowned in confusion. “How else are we going to get me pregnant?”
Liam’s laughter echoed through the phone. Rich and throaty, it sent a hot tingle down Abby’s spine. Goose bumps broke out over her skin.
“Miss Haden, there are such pleasurable ways of making a baby that are quite successful,” he said, his voice dropping to a deep rumble over the phone. Abby took a shuddering breath as it did obscene things to her insides. His tone returned to its more business-like manner. “I have a cabin in Aspen. As soon as your cycle is at the most likely time for you to conceive we’ll fly up there for a week,” he said. “AI would take too much time,” he added.
“I-I didn’t plan on that,” Abby stuttered, her mind reeling. Sex hadn’t been in the equation when she’d made her decision.Sex? With Liam? Oh my God. Her heart kicked into overdrive. “Look, Mr. Whitmore—”
“I’ll set up an appointment with my physician for STD tests. Can you be there tomorrow afternoon by, say…” He paused briefly. “Three-thirty?”
“Mr. Whitmore, I—”
“Do you know when you’ll most likely ovulate again?”
Abby blinked, she was being steamrolled.
“Miss Haden, it’s a simple question. I need to know.”
She looked at her calendar, she’d already figured up the days in case she’d gotten an appointment at one of the clinics she called. “Um, next week, but listen—”
Liam pushed on. “I’ll have everything set up. We can leave for Aspen late Sunday evening. My personal assistant will be in touch tomorrow morning to give you directions to my physician’s office.”
“Mr. Whitmore, there’s no way I can get off work for a week on such short notice. It’s Tuesday,” she insisted, trying to backpedal.
“It’s taken care of. Don’t worry, Abigail,” he said.
The sound of her given name rolling off his tongue caught her off guard. It stopped her next objection dead in its tracks.
“What’s your contact number?” he asked.
Abby gave him her cellphone number.
After a quick ‘thank you’ Liam hung up, leaving Abby in a bit of a stupor. His driven personality explained his business success, as well as the rumored success he had with women. He was a raging river and she had been helplessly swept along in its current.
Will the bad-boy pitcher strike out when it comes to love?
Shy music teacher Sophia Ballis has sworn off men. After a bad experience with a college jock she decided it was better to be alone than to get burned again. She focused on her education and now her new job at a local private school.
Professional baseball pitcher Paxton Hughes is a player both on and off the field. He’s signed to the Kingston Crushers to bring home the coveted championship title. Nothing can get in his way. Serious relationships don’t mix with a life on the road and he never loses focus on the game. One-night stands are his specialty for a reason.
While out jogging one spring morning, the two collide, setting their course in motion. Pax is immediately drawn to the unassuming beauty. Sophia is aware of his reputation and decides one night of meaningless sex with the attractive Texas charmer is just what she needs to get over her self-imposed dry spell. Pax has more than a one-night stand on his mind, but will his bad-boy persona and demanding schedule ruin any chances of a happily ever after?
Content Warning: contains explicit sex and adult content
“Can I walk you to your car?” Pax asked.
“Thank you.” Sophia got up from the table and took his hand. “I’m parked right out front.”
He led her across the dance floor, waving to the few people who were left, and then out to the parking lot.
“It’s that one.” She pointed to her beat-up car, the one she’d bought her freshman year of college. It was used then but it still managed to get her where she needed to go. “Probably not as nice as what you drive.”
He leaned her against the car and wrapped his arms around her waist. Her heart pounded hard against her chest, strumming loud between her ears. She could smell the beer that lingered on his breath. His hazel eyes narrowed as he swiped the tip of his tongue along his top lip before tilting his head.
“I have a feeling I’m going be seeing you in my dreams tonight.” He sighed as he brought his mouth to hers. “Give me something to remember these next few days.”
She nodded as she placed her hands on his broad shoulders and guided him to her, closing any space between them. When his warm lips touched hers, she thought she would explode. A burn coursed through her and settled between her legs. The mild tingling she’d experienced when they danced was nothing compared to the intensity she felt now.
As he deepened the kiss, his tongue massaged hers. Increasing his hold on her hips, he pinned her between the car and his massive thighs. She tightened her grip on him when his erection grazed her center. Every nerve ending in her begged to be satiated. The ache inside her stomach moved lower until the dampness invaded her panties. Her nipples poked against the thin material of her silk bra.
When she moaned into his mouth, he placed one last kiss on her lips before pulling away. He looked at her for a moment, pressing his forehead to hers as he stuttered a few words.
“That was…well, I’ve never…” He ran his fingers through his hair. “You have me tongue-tied, sugar. That doesn’t happen often.”
Now she wanted to know what else he could do with that tongue.
“You best get in that car and drive away before I…”
She’d never wanted to have a one-night stand more than she did at that very moment. Maggie had said if there was ever a guy to have one with, Pax would be the one. He was a no-strings-attached player. Why hadn’t he asked her to go home with him?
“Be safe driving home.” He reached for the handle and opened her door. “You have some sweet dreams. I know I sure will.”
Sleep? That was the last thing on her mind.
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