“Bella.” Blake’s deep voice reverberated in my chest, reminding me of the emptiness I felt even as I loved him. “Are you in pain?”
I shook my head. “I’m sorry. I don’t know what happened.” I moved to get up, but he wouldn’t let me.
“Just stay down. We’ve called for an ambulance.”
“I don’t want to go to the hospital.” I was mortified to be laying on the boardroom floor with all the important company execs staring down at me. I was an executive assistant, and my job was crucial to Blake’s success. But most of the board thought of me as a glorified secretary.
“Too bad.” He inhaled deeply, and for a moment, I thought I saw emotion in his eyes. But maybe it was my imagination or wishful thinking because I blinked and it was gone.
A few minutes later, paramedics came in and poked and prodded me while asking questions. Had I eaten? Did I have a head injury? On and on. They seemed to think I’d simply fainted, but Blake insisted they take me to the hospital.
“Bl—Mr. Alexander, really, I’m okay. I just need to rest.” I tried again to have him let me go home to regain my dignity.
Blake’s intense gaze told me I had no choice.
“It’s best to be sure,” Dana Gleason, Blake’s actual secretary said to me. “You’re too young to be passing out.” She turned to Blake. “I can go with her to the hospital, Mr. Alexander.”
I looked to him, wondering what he’d do.
He shook his head. “She’s on my time, I’ll go with her. Check with the other interns to see if they’re all right. Maybe she ate something with the others and they could be at risk too.”
“You can’t ride in the ambulance, but you can meet us at the hospital.” The EMS guy gave Blake the hospital name.
“Anything she needs, take care of it,” Blake said.
I still thought it was overkill to take me to the hospital, but I didn’t have the mental will to fight or the physical strength to get up and walk out on my own. So I let them strap me to a gurney and wheel me through the executive office to the elevator, and then out onto the street where they put me in the ambulance.
I zoned out until I was in some sort of triage area at the hospital with nurses taking over the poking, prodding, and questioning routine. They took blood and urine and then told me to wait.
It seemed like forever before a nurse came in. “Ms. Hanson, do you want us to send your father back?”
“Father?” Why would my dad be here? How would they know him? I didn’t even know him.
“He’s out in the waiting area.”
Oh, God. “That’s not my dad. That’s my boss.” I hoped they hadn’t asked him if I was his daughter. That would be a disaster.
“Do you have family we can call?”
“Am I dying?” Suddenly, I was afraid and wished my mother was still alive.
“No honey.” The nurse moved to stand closer to my bed. “It can be scary to be at the hospital so if there’s family we can call—”
“I don’t have a family.”
She gave me that expression most people did when they learned I didn’t have a family. A mixture of pity and uncertainty of how to respond. “Well, that will be changing.”
“What do you mean?” Maybe I hit my head because I couldn’t make sense of what she was saying.
“Honey, you’re pregnant.”
My breath caught in my throat. “What?”
“Pregnant. It’s not that uncommon to faint during early pregnancy, especially if you stand up quickly.”
I finally took a breath and another and another until I was nearly hyperventilating.
The nurse frowned. “Ms. Hanson.” She said my name harshly and caused me to jerk. “Take a slow, deep breath.”
I did as she said, once and then twice and again until my breathing was normal, even as my heart thundered in my chest.
“I take it this isn’t planned?” she said.
I shook my head. How did this happen? Well, I knew how it happened. And I knew when. We’d used birth control every time except once. The first time. The old wives tale that you can’t get pregnant the first time wasn’t true. I’d just proven that. I’d also proved that no time in your cycle was safe.
I felt like an idiot. I was a smart woman. A smart woman who let love and lust get the best of her. Now I was pregnant by a man who didn’t love me and never would.
I swallowed as the magnitude of my predicament set in. From this moment on, my life was going to change.
“Do you want to see your boss?” the nurse asked with an expression that suggested she knew he wasn’t just my boss.
I had to tell him. He’d probably hyperventilate too. Then self-flagellate for betraying his wife. He was the type of man who’d make sure the baby was financially cared for, but that wasn’t the life I’d wanted for myself or my child. I understood that fairy tales weren’t real, but I knew true love existed. That’s what I wanted. My problem was that I loved a man who couldn’t return my love.