Fall For MeBy: Sydney Landon
This book is dedicated to my wonderful husband who is my prince charming every day. I knew he was “the one” when he said, “I get you.”
To my wonderful aunt Ida. Thank God for those Jackson genes!
Also, to my friends at Blue Ridge. We shared a little of everything together in the twenty-five years I was there and I will always consider you my family.
Beth cringed as her sister’s voice rang out loudly in the bar. So much for thinking she wouldn’t make a scene if she told her somewhere public.
“Will you please keep it down, sis; I don’t want everyone in here knowing my business.”
Suzy flicked her hand as if she didn’t care, but thankfully lowered her voice as she asked, “How can you be pregnant? You actually have to have sex to get pregnant, and you aren’t seeing anyone. Oh, God, you didn’t get frozen sperm, did you?”
If she wasn’t so mortified by this conversation, Beth would have laughed at the question. “No, I wasn’t artificially inseminated so I obviously had sex. I know this is somewhat of a shock to you, but I had sex!”
Now it was Suzy looking around as Beth belatedly realized her last sentence seemed to echo off the walls of the restaurant. “Okay, let’s talk about this rationally. Who is the bastard and where can I find him? He took advantage of you, and now he’ll suffer the consequences. Has he even offered to step up and take responsibility?”
Beth rolled her eyes and wondered if her sister was going to challenge the father of her baby to a duel next. For such a modern woman, her sister was freaking out more than she’d have thought. Clearing her throat, Beth admitted, “He doesn’t know yet. I . . . haven’t told him.”
“Well, when are you planning on telling the man, when the kid is in college?” Suzy sat before Beth with fire flashing in her eyes. Her red hair was pulled back in a French knot and, as usual, she was on the cutting-edge style-wise. Beth always felt frumpy around her. As a former fatty, she never felt comfortable in her new, smaller clothes. She’d lost over a hundred pounds several years ago, and even though the mirror showed her one thing, she always saw her old self staring back at her. Suzy had gotten her red hair from their mother, and Beth was stuck with their father’s unremarkable brown hair. Suzy was on the tall side and Beth was on the petite side. She’d always thought she’d missed out on the best family genes for sure. Realizing that her sister was staring her down, she took a breath and dove back into the fray.
“I just found out, sis, so I haven’t had time to make a lot of plans. I’m trying to come to grips with it myself. I took a home pregnancy test last week and then had a blood test with my doctor. I got those results this morning. I’m pregnant. I have my first appointment in two weeks.
“Geez, you would think I’d told you I only had a month to live or something. Freak out much?”
“Don’t mess with me, girl. I have the parents on speed dial. I can only imagine the horror of having this talk with them.”
“You wouldn’t dare,” Beth whispered.
Suzy pretended to study her fingernails. “Ordinarily I wouldn’t, but I’m gonna need something to work with here. So, you either start talking, or I’m going to pull our brilliant parents from whatever laboratory they’re in and tell them all about their wayward child. ‘Oh God, the shame, the disappointment, the heartache,’” Suzy finished dramatically.
“You suck,” Beth grumbled. “All right, I’ll tell you, but you have to promise me you won’t overreact. I mean it, Suzy.”
“Who me? I never overreact.”
With a snort, Beth took a deep breath and prepared herself. She knew from experience that her sister would release hell on her when she learned what had been happening behind her back. Maybe her friend Ella was right, this might have been a very, very bad idea, but there was no turning back now.
“I met someone about six months ago. Before you ask—no, we haven’t been dating this whole time. I kind of despised him at first, but God, sis, I wanted him. He makes me feel unbelievable things. He is the first man that sends me up in flames every time I see him. Just one look from him and I’m ready to rip all my clothes off and let him do whatever he wants to with me.”
Suzy was staring at her in shock.
Beth left her in silence for a minute and then prodded her with her hand.
“All right, I get the whole urge-to-bang thing, but let’s speed forward to the baby daddy’s name. Crap, six months? Is it someone at Danvers?”
* * *
Suzy felt like she’d landed in the twilight zone. How could she not know her sister was seeing someone? Hell, not just seeing him, sleeping with him. Maybe she’d been so wrapped up in Gray that she hadn’t noticed things that she normally would.
Shit! Suzy could tell by the guilty expression on Beth’s face that it was indeed someone that they worked with. Damn! She’d thought the pregnancy thing was the biggest shock she was going to get, but the dreamy look that came over Beth’s face as she talked about the guy was pretty close. She’d never seen her like this. Beth had never been one to date very much and she certainly had never been so completely crazy over a man before. This guy better be on the up-and-up or his days were going to be numbered.
Suzy took a deep, calming breath and studied her sister. She didn’t look freaked out; she actually kind of had a glow about her. “I never see you with anyone but Ella or Nick. Crap, they probably already know, don’t they? Am I always the last one to know everything?”
Beth had been working for Danvers International for about six months now as Suzy’s assistant, ever since losing her job as an elementary school teacher due to budget cuts. Suzy handled event planning at Danvers and was engaged to Grayson Merimon, whom she had met a year ago when Danvers International merged with his company, Mericom, and created the largest communications company in the United States. They were both happy with the arrangement right now, and neither of them was ready to make a change.
She ran through her mind, trying to remember if Beth had been talking to anyone there more frequently than usual. “All right, I’ve got nothing. I’ll give you credit, you can sneak around with the best of them because I’m totally clueless.”
From Beth’s expression, Suzy could tell she was debating the wisdom of revealing the father of her baby. Her options to force her to talk were limited, unfortunately. Since Beth had driven them, she would simply refuse to take Suzy home until she calmed down.