Baby, Be Mine (Life, Love And Babies Book 3)(9)

By: Samantha Chase

And he’d imagined her.

A lot.

All those years ago he had pushed Olivia away, not because he wasn’t attracted to her, but because he was too attracted to her. He was older, and there was his friendship with her brother to consider. He always knew that she’d grow up to be beautiful, but the woman standing before him was more than that. She didn’t even have to try; dressed as casually as she was, she made more of an impact that any of those celebrities that she photographed. Was she even aware of that?

He took a step into the room and a floorboard creaked. The silence broken, Olivia looked up and spotted him, a wary expression on her face. She looked down at the infants one more time before stepping away and walking toward Jake. He motioned for her to follow him to the kitchen and once they were there, he felt like he had a little more control over his emotions.

“Mike didn’t mention that you were coming over.”

Olivia’s mouth had gone dry. There were still some drops of water that were lingering from his shower, and Jake’s bare chest was practically glistening. How was she supposed to concentrate on having any kind of normal conversation with that sort of distraction? She may hate him, but she was still human. Hell, she was a woman who appreciated the site of a well-sculpted male.

And Jake certainly fit that bill perfectly.

They stood there face to face, and she cringed inwardly at the possibility of him remembering what a fool she’d made of herself all those years ago. “Mike didn’t know,” she forced herself to say and barely recognized her own voice. Jake nodded and waited for her to continue. “My mother called. She’s recovering from hip replacement, and even though she was determined to come and help, I thought it would be better if I…” She cleared her throat. “If I came and helped instead.”

Jake studied her. “I thought you weren’t interested in helping.”

He had her there. Right now she wanted nothing more than to simply agree with him and leave. Unfortunately, she had gotten a look at those two helpless babies, and everything inside of her had turned to mush. “I’ve had time to think about it.” If you could call two hours time to think. “Mike has the China trip, and mom is still recovering.”

He nodded but remained silent. Olivia wished he’d just say something – anything – so that she could tell how he felt about her being here. For all she knew, he didn’t want her here anymore than she wanted to be here. She crossed her arms across her chest and narrowed her eyes at him. “It looks like you’re stuck with me.” It came out as a challenge, a dare, and she couldn’t help but hold her breath and wait for his response.

With a small shrug, Jake turned and walked over to the refrigerator. “You want something to drink?”

That was it? That was all he had to say? Olivia wanted to stamp her foot and demand that he be as outraged by all of this as she was, but as she watched him, Jake simply poured them each a glass of iced tea and placed them on the kitchen table. He sat down and waited for her to join him. Where the heck was Mike? She wondered. Wouldn’t it have been easier if he were sitting there with them as some sort of buffer?

No sooner had she finished that thought than her brother walked into the kitchen carrying his luggage. “Thanks for doing this, Liv,” he said as he leaned down and kissed her on the cheek. “I have just enough time to stop at home and pack some more stuff and get to the airport.”

“You’re leaving?” she squeaked. “Now?”

He nodded. “I never canceled my original flight. Jake was aware that he’d have to manage for a day by himself if mom was coming in. Now that you’re here, there’s nothing to worry about.” Turning from Olivia, he walked over to Jake. “You’re in good hands,” he said as he and Jake shook hands. “I hate to take off so quickly, but I have a ton of stuff to do before my flight.”

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