Suddenly Engaged (A Lake Haven Novel Book 3)(4)

By: Julia London

But she couldn’t put the blame all on him. She had been there, too, just as lost. God, what am I going to do? She supposed she’d been hoping that Josh would have some miraculous answer for her. But he was just making everything so much worse.

“Kyra? Are you there?”

“I’m here,” she mumbled and sighed heavily, the weight of her situation really beginning to sink in.

“You have to do something,” he begged her. “If you don’t want to get rid of it, then put it up for adoption. I’ll pay. You don’t have to worry about that, I’ll pay.”

It? It wasn’t an it. “I can’t believe you,” she said, her voice shaking right along with her gut now.

“Look at it from my perspective. Liz and I have been together for two years. Two years. The wedding is planned, our life is planned. You’ll ruin her life.”

“What about my life?”

Josh was silent. “I don’t . . . I don’t know what to say.”

Neither did Kyra. She hung up on him. She had in mind to hurl her phone into the Hudson, but she was two blocks away. She stood up and started walking. Marching, striding, desperate to reach the river and throw that fucking phone to the other side. She’d be late to work, but she didn’t care.

I have no one to help me. Her mother had been gone fifteen years, taken from their lives by brain cancer. Her dad—oh Jesus, he’d be pissed, and he’d be no help. And what about her job? Brandi said she was in line to get the editorial position, but that job required long hours and had deadlines that sometimes kept staff in the offices all night.

Kyra somehow reached the river without knowing how she’d crossed the streets, but here she was, staring down at the undulating current as the river flowed merrily along.

She knew nothing about babies. She didn’t know how to have one, she damn sure didn’t know how to take care of one. And what kind of money was she looking at? Diapers cost a lot, didn’t they? Her insurance sucked, and she didn’t have any money in the bank, because hello, she’d spent it on that damn trip to Puerto Vallarta. How was she going to pay for this?

Maybe Josh was right. Maybe she should abort it. What was she supposed to do, bring a baby into this world whose father didn’t want him and whose mother couldn’t afford him?

Kyra’s breath began to grow short. She braced her hands on her knees and bent over, desperately trying not to hyperventilate. “You can’t have this baby,” she whispered to herself. “You can’t. You can’t.”

It was several moments before she managed to catch her breath. She slowly pushed herself upright and shook her head, trying to clear the muck of so many jumbled thoughts. She dug her phone out of her bag and punched Brandi’s name on the contact list.

“Brandi Jenkins,” Brandi answered after two rings.

“Brandi . . . I talked to Josh.”

She gasped. “You did? What did he say?”

“I don’t . . . I—” She paused, rubbed her forehead. “He’s engaged.”

“What? Since when?”

“Will you go to Planned Parenthood with me?” Kyra whispered.

She heard Brandi’s breath catch. Her friend said nothing for a moment. “Oh, Kyra,” she whispered. “Of course I will.”

Chapter One

Seven years later


Leave it to a female to think the rules did not apply to her.

The little heathen from next door was crawling under the split-rail fence that separated the cottages again. Dax, who already had been feeling pretty damn grumpy going on a year now, wondered why she didn’t just go over the fence. She was big enough. It was almost as if she wanted the mud on her dress and her knees, to drag the ends of her dark red ponytails through the muck.

She crawled under, stood up, and knocked the caked mud off her knees. She stomped her pink, sparkly cowboy boots—never had he seen a more impractical shoe—to make them light up, as she liked to do, hopping around her porch several times a day.

Then she started for cottage Number Two, arms swinging, stride long.

Dax watched her from inside his kitchen, annoyed. It had started a week ago, when she’d climbed on the bottom railing of the fence, leaned over it, and shouted, “I like your dog!”