“Well, I promise to be a gentleman.” He leaned forward to brush a kiss high on her cheekbone, right in front of her ear. Then he whispered, “For now.”
The shiver that worked its way down her spine caused her to squeeze the hand still holding hers. How much longer could she hold him to her?
They were interrupted by the arrival of their food. Sadie leaned back as her soup was placed before her, followed by a plate of oysters for their end of the table to share. As she glanced over the half shells coated in some kind of breading and cheese mixture, her stomach turned over again.
She sucked in a breath through pursed lips, then slowly released it. Nope, not helping. “Excuse me a moment,” she murmured to Zach.
Luckily she’d seen where the restroom was on their way inside. Her stomach had calmed again before she reached the door, but she went inside anyway. Running cool water over her wrists helped also. Lord, she needed to get her nerves under control. Life was never easy, but why ruin her last night with Zach by anticipating the earthquake that she knew was coming?
Did she even believe what she was telling herself right now?
The door opened behind her. Christina and KC stepped inside. Both women flocked to her with concern in their expressions.
“Are you okay?” Christina asked, patting her back gently.
She nodded as KC asked the same. “Yes, I’ve just been feeling a little off somehow.”
“Zach was worried when you left so quickly. I told him we would check, though you were probably fine.”
“Sorry. Didn’t mean to scare anyone.”
“Well, I only have to make about fifty trips a night to the bathroom right now,” Christina said with a laugh as she headed for a stall. “So I’d be here soon enough anyway. If it had been any earlier in my pregnancy, those oysters would have turned me green. I wouldn’t have even made it back here.” She flashed a grossed-out face over her shoulder before shutting the door.
“Oh, me, too,” KC said from beside Sadie as she patted over her hair. “Of course, any kind of seafood got to me. It wasn’t so much the look of it as the smell. Yuck.” She grinned. “I was so glad when that stage went away, because I love me some shrimp.”
Sadie felt her stomach twist again as her mind conjured up the image of shrimp scampi, usually one of her favorites. She breathed carefully, glancing at the mirror to make sure her queasiness didn’t show on her face. No need to cause more concern.
KC opened her little clutch purse and proceeded to touch up her already perfect makeup. Christina returned and washed her hands. “It’s not completely gone for me,” she was saying. “The nausea isn’t nearly as bad as it was in the first trimester, of course, but some things will still set it off sometimes. And the exhaustion. Oh, boy.”
“I know what you mean,” KC agreed. “You have more than just the pregnancy to make you tired, but I sure remember trying to wait tables with swollen feet and that bone-tired feeling weighing me down. That was rough.”
As the women talked around her, Sadie stared into the mirror. She could actually see the blood drain from her already pale skin. Her light dusting of freckles stood out in stark contrast, as did the glossy pink of her lips. Nausea. She’d put it down to nerves. Exhaustion. She’d simply pushed it aside as too many late nights with Zach.
Her gaze dropped to her chest, as she suddenly remembered the recent tenderness of her breasts. She’d chalked it up to hormones, but this would be about the third week they’d been unusually sensitive.
That wasn’t normal.
“Are you coming, Sadie?”
She glanced up, realizing the others were readying to leave. “Oh, I’ll just, you know.” She nodded toward the stalls. “Then I’ll be right out.”
They smiled, sure they’d done their duty, then headed back out to their dinner. Sadie couldn’t have felt less like eating.
As the sound of their chatter faded, she closed herself in a stall, leaning heavily against the inside of the door. Her mind raced, frantically counting out the days she’d been in Black Hills, the number of days since she’d first seen Zach again. Finally, the number of days since they’d made love that first time.