Little Secrets:Unexpectedly Pregnant

By: Joss Wood

There was only one way to find out. “So, is this a booty call?”

Sage blinked. “What?”

“Did you ask to meet so that we can hook up again?”

“You arrogant jerk!” Her eyes sparked with irritation and color seeped into her face. “Are you insane?”

Probably. And, if he was, then her incredible eyes and rocking body and the memories of how good they were together were to blame.

“So, you didn’t call me to try and talk me into a night of hot sex?” Tyce didn’t have to pretend to sound disappointed; the memories of touching, tasting, loving Sage kept him up most nights. He wished he could ring-fence his thoughts so that he only remembered her scent, her soft, creamy skin and the taste on his tongue. But, unfortunately, his mind always wandered off into dangerous territory—how it would feel to wake up to her face in the morning, to hear her soft good night before he slept. He only allowed himself the briefest of fantasies about what a life spent with Sage would look like before he vaporized those thoughts.

Sage was part of a dynamic, successful family and he wasn’t referring to the immense Ballantyne wealth. Sage and her brothers knew what family meant, how to be part of one.

He didn’t have a cookin’ clue. The Ballantyne family, from what he understood, worked as a well-oiled machine, each part of that machine different but essential to the process.

Tyce had been the engine that powered his family along—an engine constantly on the point of breaking down. He’d done his best to provide what Lachlyn needed but had been so damn busy trying to survive that he emotionally neglected his sister. Sage’s life partner would be an emotionally intelligent dude, would be able to slide into the Ballantyne family and know how to be, act, respond... The man who she married would know how to deal with and contribute to the clan.

Tyce wasn’t that man. He’d never be that man and it was stupid to spend more than a minute thinking that he could be.

So, when he’d seen her text message asking him to meet tonight, he’d jumped to the only conclusion that made sense, that she wanted another hookup. During his shower he’d fantasized about how he would take her... Fast or slow? Her on top or him? Either way, the only thing that was nonnegotiable was that he’d be looking in her eyes when she shattered, wanting to see if she needed him as much as he needed her.

Instead of looking soft and dreamy, her eyes blazed with pure blue anger. Right, real life...

“No, Tyce, I didn’t call you because I wanted hot sex.” Sage answered him in a dry, sarcastic voice.

Tyce took a sip of his whiskey, the urge to tease fleeing. Did she suddenly look nervous? He lifted his eyebrows until Sage spoke. “But I did—do—have something to tell you.”

Tyce looked around the room while he rubbed his jaw, his gut screaming that whatever she had to say was going to rock his world. He didn’t want his world rocked, he just wanted to either have sex with Sage or to go home and paint. Since sex wasn’t happening, he itched to slap oil onto canvas, eager to work his frustration out with slashes of indigo and Indian red, manganese violet and magenta. “Just spit it out and get it done.” Tyce snapped out the words, his tone harsh.

Sage blew air out over her lips and briefly closed her eyes. When they opened again, he saw her resolve. And when she finally formed the words, they shifted his world.

“I don’t expect anything from you, not money or time or involvement. But you should know that I am pregnant and the baby is yours.”

Tyce was still trying to make sense of her words, trying to decipher them, when Sage placed a swift, final kiss to the left of his mouth. “Goodbye, Tyce. It Except when it wasn’t.”

* * *

Sage, having said what she needed to, took advantage of his astonishment and stood up. She was about to pick up her clutch and leave when his hand shot out and gripped her wrist.

When she looked at him she noticed that his eyes were pure black fire. “Sit. Stay.”

Those eyes, God, they still had the power to dissolve her knees. Eyes of a warrior, Sage thought. Because he made her feel off-kilter, she handed him a cool look. “I am not a puppy you are trying to train.”

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