“Logan, are you nervous?”
“No way.” He sat back, ran a hand through his hair. He looked at the floor, then at her. “Okay, maybe.”
Her heart warmed. Her big, brave bodyguard—the King of the Security Mountain—was worried about a tiny being barely the size of a pea. She smiled reassuringly. “It’ll be fine.”
Thirty minutes later, she was naked on her back with a scant cloth over her, knees splayed under the flimsy paper gown, bare feet wedged into stirrups. “We need to go over your past history,” the doctor stated. As if they were discussing the weather or Starbuck’s latest coffee creation.
Right as Dr. Murray inserted the metal speculum and cranked it wide, Logan breezed into the room.
Allison clenched. “Oh! My gosh.” Her hands fisted. “Logan, what are you doing?”
“The nurse said I could be here for the exam.”
She sent a steely look to Dr. Murray. The doc smiled benignly at Logan and nodded.
“Excuse me.” She levered up on one elbow. “I’m the patient. I have a say in this.”
“It’s perfectly normal,” the doctor said. “It’s natural that a first-time father is interested in the process. You’re fortunate. Most men don’t show up with the mother to the first appointment.”
“Fortunate isn’t the word I’d use.”
She wanted time alone with the doctor, to discuss sensitive personal information like when she’d had her last period, how many partners she’d been with though it was only two, if she had a history of down-there problems. Things Logan had no business knowing. “I’d rather you wait outside,” she told Logan.
“Don’t be embarrassed, babe. I’m in this with you, all the way.” His eyes held hers, a soft emotion glowing in them.
She sighed. He was trying to be sweet and thoughtful. “Okay—”
“So, doc.” Logan turned his attention to Murray. “Talk to me about timelines. When do we start scheduling future appointments?”
Allison turned her head, mortified as the doctor inspected her most private parts, then retracted the steel apparatus, with Logan in the room. The doctor talked cordially—to Logan—as he investigated, probed and pressed. Like the two men were chatting about last night’s Broncos game. Facts and statistics, stages and tests, bodily functions, and details about what was happening inside her womb.
Her teeth gritted. “Are we finished?”
“Almost,” Dr. Murray said.
This was humiliating.
Logan seemed oblivious. “What about hiring a midwife? Should I start interviewing people now?”
“Absolutely.” Dr. Murray nodded. “It’s never too soon to find the people you want surrounding you during the birth.”
Allison was the one giving birth. What about the people she wanted around her for support?
All right, so she hadn’t thought that far ahead. Logan, however, had apparently thought of everything. Before asking her what she wanted or needed. It felt as if she were merely the vessel through which Logan’s progeny entered the world. His world. His way.
The scenario smacked of hostilities left over from another man who’d arranged and controlled her life. Except, this wasn’t about Trevor. This was an issue between her and Logan. He may be one-half of this child, but he had no right to take over and make decisions without consulting her first.
Tuning into the conversation, she heard Logan say, “I’ll line up nanny options, while I’m interviewing prospects.”
That did it.
“Hello! I’m right here . I’m the one having this baby. You should be talking to me about our baby’s future.”
The room fell silent. The men looked at each other and then at her.
“Sure,” Logan said, bewilderment tugging his features. “I’m just looking for a professional opinion.”
She sent a hard look at Dr. Murray. “I’d like to have our own private discussion, doctor. At a later time.”
“Most certainly.” He reached under his white lab coat and withdrew his card, which he promptly handed to Logan.
Just because she wasn’t wearing pockets at the moment didn’t mean she was incapable of accepting his card. “You can reach me on my cell, or at my home number.” He pointed it out on the card. “Call with any questions or concerns. If I’m not available immediately, you’ll hear from me within the hour. For special clients, I guarantee it.”
A knowing look passed between the men. Like they were part of some secret society. The doctor stripped off his gloves. “A pleasure to meet you both.”
“Same.” Logan shook his hand. The doctor walked out. He barely acknowledged her.
Allison stewed in the limo, riding silently beside Logan, who wore a concentrated expression with a touch of contentment. Oblivious to her frustration.
“Want to go back to the office,” he asked, “or head home?”
“Your place.” She deliberately didn’t call it home .
He didn’t notice. “Feeling okay?” He took her hand in his. It was the first time he’d regarded her emotions.
His warm grip soothed her agitation. “I’m fine.”
“See.” Logan wore a satisfied smile. “I told you that doctor was the best.”
“You sure did.”
That was the problem. He’d told her where to go, what to do. He’d made all the arrangements, picked the doctor, chose the appointment time. He had answers to his questions that he’d never bothered to talk about with her.
A stab of remorse told her she should be grateful for Logan’s attentiveness. However, considering his single-minded actions, she wasn’t certain where she stopped and the baby started.
Was he so hands-on and involved because he sincerely cared about her? Or was she Logan’s means to an end, to give him the baby who consumed his heart and soul?
Allison curled against Logan’s warm body in bed next to her. As dawn peeked through the trees like wispy lace, she tried to reclaim the beautiful dream she’d woken from minutes ago.
It was Thanksgiving morning, and she had a thousand things to do before his family and friends showed up on their doorstep. Instead of leaping into action, she found herself clinging to the last threads of a fading vision.
In the dream, she’d been sleeping beside Logan as she was now. Then she’d heard a soft cry from the corner of the bedroom. She’d moved with a somnambulist’s ease toward the tiny cries, lingering at the edge of a crib. A baby—her baby—looked up at her with wide green eyes, a mirror of her own. He had a faint dimple in his cheek like Logan’s, and a tuft of dark blonde hair. The infant stretched its tiny arms toward her with absolute trust, angel-dust innocence. She reached in and then cradled its perfect weight against her breasts. She smoothed his hair, cooing and whispering as she rocked him in her arms. A boy…her baby boy…