Her dad made a point of looking around the luxurious suite and then back at Piper. She wasn’t sure what that was supposed to signify, maybe more of the whole “what would a billionaire see in you except his baby” thing?
“I’m worried about you, baby.” Her mom gave her that look that all mothers knew and all daughters cringed from.
“Don’t be.” She could not believe this. The church ceremony was in less than forty-eight hours and her parents were pulling some kind of skewed intervention. “Zee is really good to me.”
“But is he good for you?” her dad asked in that old military officer-in-charge voice she’d dreaded since she was a child.
“Of course he is. How can you ask that?”
Her mom reached out and squeezed Piper’s shoulder. “Money isn’t everything.”
“You think I am marrying him for his money? Did you even meet him?”
“Of course we met him. You introduced us.”
“I was being sarcastic, Mom. I just can’t believe you think money is the only thing Zephyr has to offer me. Or if it was, that I’d be interested. I’ve been taking care of myself for a long time. I’ve built a successful business after having my career trashed. I haven’t gone through a string of loser boyfriends since Art. There’s just been Zephyr and he’s the most amazing man I’ve ever known.”
How could they not see that?
“He’s larger than life, that’s for sure.” Her mom’s words agreed with Piper, but her tone was another story. “I’m just not sure that kind of man makes for a secure home.”
“Oh, you mean as opposed to a husband whose career requires uprooting yourself and your children every couple of years?” Who was her mother to question Piper’s choices based on that criteria, on any?
He dad got all blustery. “There’s no reason to get snippy, missy. I was serving my country and well you knew it.”
“Well, Zephyr serves me.”
“What the hell is that supposed to mean?” her dad demanded.
“He does everything in his power to make me happy.” Wasn’t that obvious? It was to her. “He takes care of me, but he lets me take care of him, too. He doesn’t play lord of the manor with me, but I know I can rely on him when I need him to be there for me.”
“But he doesn’t love you,” her mother guessed in a gentle voice filled with pity.
Wow, was it a parent’s job to rip their child’s heart out? If it was, Piper wasn’t taking that one on when this baby grew up. “Why would you say that?” she demanded in a tone far from friendly.
“Because you didn’t say he did. You would have by now if it was true.” The pity was still there in her mom’s grey eyes.
Piper hated it. She didn’t need anyone’s pity. She’d chosen this marriage and she didn’t regret it. She almost told them about the civil ceremony to shut them up, but she wasn’t sure even that would do it. “I have what I need from him.”
“You need his heart.”
“That’s my business.”
“You’re our daughter,” her dad asserted. “Your happiness is our business.”
“Zephyr does make me happy. Can’t you see that?”
“Your dad and I think you should consider waiting to get married. At least until you get through your first trimester. I miscarried twice. What will you do if that happens to you? What happens to your marriage if the reason for that marriage doesn’t come to full term?”
“That is not a scenario I am willing to discuss.” She’d thought about it and decided that they would have to deal with that tragedy just like any other couple. She wasn’t marrying him for the baby’s sake and she didn’t think he would dump her for the lack of it, either. He wanted children and one day; God willing in nine months, they would start that part of their family.
“I didn’t raise you to hide from the hard stuff, Piper.” Her dad’s frown was softened by the very real love and concern in his eyes.
That’s what she had to cling to, the knowledge that her parents loved her and were only concerned about her. They weren’t trying to hurt her. “I’m not hiding.”
“She’s merely choosing to focus on the positive.” Zephyr’s voice filled Piper with relief, even as she was mortified at the thought he had overheard even part of this discussion with her parents.
Her father stood up to face Zephyr. “That’s all well and good, but maybe you can answer what happens if my daughter doesn’t have your baby?”
“We would deal with that tragedy like any other couple.”