“What do you want?”
“I want you to stop pressuring me. I don’t want there to be some kind of deadline hanging over us. Marriage is forever. I need to be sure—you need to be sure.”
Piper felt the blood drain from her face. He didn’t know if he wanted to be with her forever. There was nothing left to say.
Nancy came in with a smile on her face and Heath and Lana right behind her. “We’ll be ready for you in the studio in five.”
Piper couldn’t do it. For the first time since she’d found out she was pregnant, she was going to use the baby to get out of something. “I’m so sorry, Nancy. But I’m suddenly not feeling well. I hate to do this to Kelly, but I think I should lie down and let Sawyer handle this on his own.”
“What’s wrong?” Her dad stepped forward, his face full of concern.
“It’s probably nothing, but Ruby said it’s important to pay attention to when my body is saying it needs a break.”
“Should we call her?” Lana asked, pulling out her phone.
Piper’s stomach hurt only because she was causing them unnecessary worry. “No, I just need somewhere to rest.”
“Piper…” Sawyer said with a heavy sigh.
“I’ll see you at the show,” she said without looking back at him. There was no way she would let those pretty brown eyes convince her to stay.
Once they made it to the car, Heath had the driver put on K104 so they could listen to Sawyer’s interview.
“Is there something going on that I need to know about? When we got here, you two were celebrating parenthood and twenty minutes later, you’re asking to leave. What happened?” her father asked.
“How did you know Mom was the one? Did you know right away? Or did you slowly figure it out over time?”
The corners of her father’s lips curled up the way they always did when he thought about her mother.
“After my second date with your mom, I I felt pretty confident I was in love with her. Your mother is the most amazing woman I have ever met. But I decided I wouldn’t tell her until we had been dating a month. I thought that sounded like a reasonable amount of time to wait. Of course, the next time I saw her, I blurted it out in the middle of dinner.”
“What did she do? What did she say?”
“I believe she said, ‘Can you pass the ketchup?’” His smile broadened at the memory.
Piper chuckled, picturing a younger version of her parents having a moment like that. They were once scared and awkward, too. Unsure of themselves and afraid of their feelings not being reciprocated.
“When I took her home that night, she kissed me goodbye and whispered that she loved me, too. Those were the best three words I have ever heard. I thought I’d blown it, but she loved me back. I’ll never regret telling her when I did.”
Maybe Sawyer was like her mom and she was like her dad. Perhaps there was still a chance. This wasn’t her second date with Sawyer, though. She was having his baby. The entire world thought they were perfect for each other. If he still thought it was too soon to know how he felt, maybe he was waiting for a feeling that wasn’t coming. Maybe this fake engagement was doomed to end with a very real breakup.
The interview with Sawyer began on the radio. She listened to them chitchat.
“Well, I had a whole bunch of questions for Piper, but now that it’s only you and me, we can toss those and get to the good stuff,” Kelly said. The sound of crumpling paper could be heard in the background.
“Unbelievable,” Heath groaned. “We are never going back there. She can’t follow the rules.”
“When’s the big day? I want to make sure to clear my calendar in case you want to invite your favorite Sawyer-Piper shipper.”
“You were definitely one of the fans who caught on early,” Sawyer said, carefully sidestepping the question.
“So, when is it?”
“Honestly, I have no idea. I leave stuff like that up to Piper. Brides have way more say in the whole wedding planning thing than the groom does.”
“Ha!” Piper let out a bitter laugh. He had asked her to tell him what she wanted and when she had, he’d shot her down and made her feel like she was her father’s puppet. She wanted to set a date. Piper pulled out her phone. Maybe she’d regret this, but she needed to tell Sawyer how she felt. The rest would be up to him.