The Throw-Away Bride

By: Ann Major
One



Central Texas, near Austin

Abigail Colins’s ranch outside Bastrop, Texas

Early morning, first of June

P redictable Leo Storm had seemed like a safe choice.

When you go to a bar on the rebound intending to dance with a wild cowboy or two, and you end up sleeping with the dullest, safest, most-buttoned-down guy there—your next-door neighbor of all people—you don’t expect earth-shattering consequences…in his bed or afterward.Abigail Collins’s eyes burned, and not from mucking out her horse Coco’s stall. She was suffering from a bad case of Poor-Me Syndrome.

Greedy, ambitious CEOs like Leo Storm were supposed to play it safe when it came to sex. They were supposed to carry wallets full of condoms and fall asleep after doing it once.

Apparently Leo hadn’t read his CEO rule book on said subject. His skill and enthusiastic ardor as a lover had made Abigail’s toes tingle and her bones melt. She’d opened herself to him in ways that had caused her to despise herself and blame him the next morning. They’d done it so many times, she’d been tender for days. Needless to say, she’d avoided the heck out of him ever since.

So, the discovery that she was pregnant—by Leo—sucked big-time.

You can have anything you want—as long as you’re willing to pay the price, her mother used to say. Trouble was, the price was due, and Abby didn’t want to pay.

Ever since she’d found out about her condition last week, she’d been wallowing in self-misery—not that she was proud of such childish behavior.

As soon as she’d gotten up this morning and had finished going to the bathroom, desperation had overwhelmed her again, and she’d flipped the toilet lid down and collapsed on it, sniveling like a baby. A little later she’d had another good cry while knocking her forehead against the wet tiles of her shower.

As if buckets full of tears or regrets—and don’t forget whining—did any good. Some things just had to be faced.

Pregnant! By Leo Storm!

She was a control freak and single with no desire for a long-term alliance of any kind after being hurt so badly when her boyfriend, Shanghai Knight, had dumped her.

Since puberty she’d gone for short-term relationships with cowboys like Shanghai; not for boring, bossy, calculating, corporate, money guys without souls like Leo. She’d been the brains, and the cowboys been the brawn.

She licked her lips and wiped the sweat off her brow. Well, she wasn’t going to cry again. No use indulging in any more pity parties. She was a big girl—whether she was acting like one or not. She could handle this. She had to handle this.

Which was why she was telling Leo today. Surely she’d feel better once that was behind her. She closed her eyes and tried not to think about Leo’s white, drawn face and blazing black eyes the last time she’d seen him. He’d been furious at her. Not only furious—he’d said he was through with her.

Usually being in the barn with Coco, her gentle palomino, soothed her. Not today. Not when she dreaded driving into San Antonio and telling a certain stubborn, macho CEO, who was now refusing to take her calls, that they had a little problem.

Every time she bent over to scoop another pitchfork load of manure and dirty straw into the wheelbarrow, the zipper of her jeans slid a little lower, reminding her of their mutual problem and that night, that one night with him that she’d tried so hard to forget.

Not that he’d wanted to forget. He’d made it very clear he’d wanted her—again and again. He was nothing if not determined. He’d called her both at home and at her office. He’d dropped by, but finally when she’d rejected him for about the tenth time, he’d become so angry he’d issued his ultimatum—which she’d ignored.

Having rid himself of her, he wouldn’t be happy to learn that that night was now every bit as impossible for her to forget as it had been for him.

Heaving in a breath, she rested her pitchfork against the wheelbarrow and tugged her zipper back up. She was panting by the time she’d managed it, so she didn’t even try to snap the waistband. The jeans had been tight when she’d bought them, but since she’d planned to take off a couple of pounds, she hadn’t worried about it.

No chance of losing those pounds anytime soon.

As she stooped to pick up the pitchfork, the cell phone in her back pocket vibrated against her hip. She threw the pitchfork back down hard, and it stabbed a mound of hay so violently that Coco, who was just outside the stall, danced backward, her hooves clattering on the concrete floor.

Oh, God, what if her big darling slipped because of her thoughtlessness?

Hot Read

Last Updated

Recommend

Top Books