Expecting his child(5)

By: Leanne Banks


Adam and Gideon glared at him in hostile silence. Jonathan sighed and broke the angry, tense silence. "I wonder what Zachary would say right now," he mused in a calm voice that was like cool water on flames.

Noah immediately saw the change in his brothers' faces. Adam exhaled and viewed him with grudging acceptance.

Gideon looked away, clearly ashamed. "Sorry I said that about getting rid…" He broke off. "Sorry," he said. True to form, he was quick to anger, but usually quick to apologize. "I'm going for a walk."

"I'm going to bed," Adam said.

Noah stood in the dining room with only Jonathan. Jonathan reached for the bottle of whisky, poured a shot into his glass and held it out for Noah to take. "I like a lot of your ideas and innovations," he said. "When Adam balked, I could see you were going to do good things. I always envied how you could think outside the box. But I gotta tell you – this isn't outside the box. It's not outside the county or the state. It's outside the universe. So what was it? Temporary insanity?"

Noah swallowed the liquor, feeling the fire all the way down his throat and chest into his stomach. "Maybe," he said, and met Jonathan's gaze. "It felt right."

Jonathan shook his head in disbelief. "How could it possibly?"

"I'm not sure I can explain it. The same way it feels right for you to train horses. Why aren't you hollering or taking a swing at me?"

Jonathan covered a faint grin with his hand. "Based on my limited experience with the Logans, I'm just guessing that Martina Logan is gonna torture you more than I ever could."

Noah gave a wry chuckle. "Maybe."

"How does she feel about getting married?"

"She's getting used to the idea," Noah said, thinking that wasn't anywhere near the truth. It must have shown.

"She flat out turned you down," Jonathan concluded.

Noah nodded. "She did. But I've had a lot of practice turning no into yes."





* * *





Chapter 2

«^»

"Thanks for helping with the groceries, Rodney," Martina said as she pushed the key into her front door.

"No problem," her neighbor said. "I— Excuse me, who?"

"I'm the father of her baby," a familiar voice said from behind her, heating her to the core with the simple statement.

Martina's stomach dipped. She had thought he wouldn't be back for at least a week or two. Wishful thinking. She turned quickly and met Noah's gaze, noting the fact that he, instead of Rodney, was carrying her grocery bags.

"What a surprise," she finally managed.

Rodney eyed Noah with suspicion.

"Rodney, this is Noah." She took a deep breath. She rebelled at using Noah's words. They were primal, possessive, and emphasized the connection between them, a connection Martina preferred to diminish. "He, uh, contributed genetic material," she said, and forced a smile. "Thanks again for helping."

"Any time," Rodney said with a nod and curious glance at Noah.

"What brings you here?" she asked Noah after Rodney left.

"You." Noah caught the door for her and followed her into the kitchen. "You missed me," he said, his voice holding a mix of sexy humor.

Martina's lips twitched and she put her bag on the counter. "Like I miss morning sickness."

"Did you have much of it?" he asked more seriously.

"About three weeks when I lived on saltines, soda and vitamins."

"And now?"

She turned to face him. "Now I'm just really big."

His gaze fell over her, lingering on her breasts, tummy and legs. "Just in a few places," he said. "Pregnancy looks good on you."

The way he looked at her reminded her of the passion they'd shared and the way he had taken her body. The way he looked at her reminded her of how much she had wanted him. Martina pushed the thought from her mind and turned back around to put away the groceries. "You didn't really say what you wanted."

"Yes, I did," he said. "You."

Her heart jumped and she nearly dropped a carton of eggs. "You wanted to talk to me about something," she quickly corrected for his benefit and hers.

"Have you thought any more about my proposal?"

She mentally put on her armor as she put away the groceries. "I don't recall any proposals."

"For you to marry me," he told her calmly.

"You didn't ever really ask," she said. "You ordered."

"Will you marry me?"

"No," she said as quickly as he'd asked.

He sighed and she reluctantly met his gaze. "Do you think you are doing the best thing for the baby to not have me involved at all?"

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