Booker: “On a ladder, Erika? You’re six months pregnant, for God’s sake.”
A Different Excerpt for Your Enjoyment!
Scene: Six months pregnant and impatient, Erika can wait no longer for Booker’s arrival to complete the nursery. He catches her on a ladder.
Web Designer Erika Washington’s contract with her childhood best friend covers all possibilities about her pregnancy. But, one unpredictable event redirects her future. As a donor-surrogate, what does one do when fate changes the plan and claims the lives of the intended parents? If you’re selfless, strong-willed Erika Washington, you mount a defense to keep your baby.
Entrepreneur Booker Templet, owner of Templet’s Tasty Tails, secretly agrees to help his first cousin. However, unfortunate circumstances change the course of his life. After he learns the identity of the other donor, Booker plans to be a part of his child’s life. No matter what.
Will Erika and Booker battle over custody of the baby? Will their horrible loss help them find consolation in each other’s arms? Or will fate intervene yet again?
Erika bustled around in the soon-to-be nursery. All day, she had carried small items from the spare bedroom. Her new makeshift office was in a corner of the living room. Now, she anxiously waited on her helper. Booker had called to say he would arrive later in the evening than anticipated. To Erika that meant to get started without him.
Having already penciled off the stripes on the accent wall, she began the tedious taping process. The ladder was situated at such an angle that she had to twist her body to apply the tape. Erika worked to the thump of bouncy background music. One stripe set, down and up the ladder she went to begin the next.
Her creative juices flowed. Visualizing the finished room made her work faster. While in a stretch, she thought she heard the doorbell. Stopping to listen, Erika grabbed the remote control off the top of the ladder and lowered the sound. Quiet met her ears. Back up went the volume.
Erika massaged her lower back as she stood on the third rung from the bottom. All at once, she lost her balance. She balled her body to protect her baby from the fall. Mercifully, the catastrophe she expected never occurred.
“What the hell?” Booker removed her from her perch. His arms bound her close to his solid body, his frown blatantly disapproving.
“What the hell is right,” Erika quarreled in return. “Don’t scare me like that.”
Apparently, he did not intend to put her down. He paced the area with her in his clutches, exhaling in huffs.
“Booker?” He looked at her with eyes as hard as marbles. “Get used to it.” Erika tried to educate him. “I’m accustomed to a one-woman team.”
“First,” he measured his tone, “the front door was unlocked. Anyone could have walked in on you.” Booker took another swing around the room. “Second, on a ladder, Erika? You’re six months pregnant, for God’s sake.”
She cut her eyes at him. “I left the door open for you.” To soothe him, she draped an arm around his neck. “This baby means the world to me, Booker.”
They had come to a mutual understanding of the baby’s paternity and rules to abide for joint custody. All was documented through an attorney.
He rested his forehead on hers. “And to me, Erika.”
The sudden electric vibe ignited sparks in the room. Their breaths vied for airspace.
Erika felt sporadic shudders pass through Booker’s body. At a standstill now, he nuzzled his cheek near her ear. “It’s not enough you invade my every waking moments. You inhabit my dreams.”
Twisting her head locked him in position. “Booker, this friendship is important to me. Friends of friends don’t make lasting couples.”
He groaned. “Know that I’ll be there for you no matter what.”
“I know.” She wiggled. He let her down.
All business now, Booker snagged the roll of blue tape that hung on the wall. “Am I doing this right?”
Will baby make three?
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I’m a cruise-loving, people-watching, picture-snapping baby boomer with time on my hands. So, I create sweet, and spicy relationship-based, mainstream, contemporary, romantic love stories.
~~Sweet, and spicy romance â€“ a heartbeat away! ~~
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