“Yes, I was there when you called Cara.”

“I thought Cara was coming.”

“If you think I’d let you be here, scared and bleeding, by yourself, you have another think coming.”

“Zack, how fast did you drive?”

“Are we seriously talking about this right now?” he asks and leans back to look at me. I ease out of his grasp and his face falls, and my stomach clenches. Just when I’m about to reach for him again, Hannah knocks briskly and opens the door.

“Hi, Jill, thanks for waiting. Oh, hi, Zack.” She shakes both of our hands and then begins making notes in her iPad. “Tell me what happened this morning.”

“There was blood when I went to the bathroom.”

Zack rubs his fingers over his mouth in agitation. God, I can’t take my eyes off him. I haven’t seen him in three weeks. He looks amazing. Tired. His eyes look sad and scared.

But he’s the most gorgeous thing I’ve ever seen.

“How much blood?” Hannah asks. “Was it enough that you needed a pad in your underwear?”

“No, it was just on the toilet paper.”

“What color?” I glance at Zack and feel my cheeks flush.

“Brown.”

“And did you wipe again?”

“Yes, but there wasn’t anything there.”

She glances up at me and blinks, then back at her iPad.

“Well, this doesn’t sound too daunting. Many women have minor spotting, especially in the early stages of pregnancy.”

“Yes, but many women also miscarry at this stage and never even know they were pregnant. They just assume their period was late.”

“That’s true. We have you scheduled for your viability ultrasound on Friday, but since you’re here, we’ll go ahead and have a look. I think you’re fine, but we’ll do our best to put your mind at ease today.”

“Thank you.” I sigh in relief. Hannah rolls a machine that has a monitor and keyboard on it close to the table and instructs me to lie back, my feet in the stirrups.

“Dad, you can stand by Mom’s head and watch with her,” Hannah instructs Zack, who grins and stands next to me, still not touching me.

She unclips a long wand from the machine, covers it with a condom, and drips clear jelly over it.

“Um, that’s not like any ultrasound thingy I’ve ever seen,” I comment.

“This is a vaginal ultrasound. You’re still too early for us to see anything externally.”

“Oh, goodie,” I reply dryly and curl my toes when she pushes my thighs wide.

“No signs of blood,” she murmurs and grins up at me. “That’s good.”

I nod and then turn my gaze to the monitor as it comes to life. Hannah moves the wand back and forth, takes still photos of what looks like blobs to me.

“Hmm,” she says and clicks the keys some more.

“Hmm what?” Zack asks impatiently.

Hannah grins. “Just a second.”

I glance up at him. He’s squinting, trying to make sense of the screen and what it is we’re looking at.

“Well,” Hannah says, “there’s a heartbeat.”

Sure enough, there is a little tiny flutter on the screen. Tears fill my eyes as I watch with awe as she points to the monitor.

“This is the amniotic sac, this is a baby, and the heartbeat.” She moves the wand just a tiny bit and then chuckles as I see the heartbeat again.

“And there is baby B.”

My head whips around to stare at Hannah in shock.

“Excuse me?”

“Baby B,” Hannah repeats as I grab for Zack’s hand. He holds it tightly in his and wraps his arm over my head, gently stroking my hair. “Looks like we have twins. There are two sacs, two babies.”

My gaze finds Zack’s as tears fall down my cheeks. “We’re having two babies,” I whisper.

“Yes, ma’am, we are,” he replies and kisses my forehead.

Holy Mary, mother of God, I’m having twins!

CHAPTER Twenty

ZACK

Twins.

The whooshing sounds of the heartbeats fill the air, along with Jill’s soft sniffles as she watches the monitor with awe.

When Cara received the call from Jill that she was bleeding and on her way to the doctor, I thought I was going to have a heart attack. I had to get to her side to see for myself that she’s okay.

And now we find out we’re having twins.

I can’t stop smiling.

I lean down and kiss Jilly’s forehead again, breathing her in. God, I’ve missed her.

“Okay, guys, I’ll print out copies of the photos for you to take with you and brag to everyone about.” Hannah smiles and cleans up the ultrasound wand that looks like a torture device to me. Jill sits up and wipes her cheeks dry.

“Is everything okay?” she asks shakily.

“Yes, Jill. You’re fine. I didn’t see any signs of blood at all. Take it easy the rest of the day. No hanky-panky.” She winks at us and backs toward the door. “Make an appointment for four weeks from now, but if you have any questions or concerns in the meantime, don’t hesitate to call.”

“Thanks, Hannah,” I reply as she leaves the room. I give Jill space to pull her clothes on and grab her purse, and follow her out of the office to her car. “Jill . . .”

She turns abruptly and wraps her arms around me, holding on with all her might, and for the first time since that horrible night in her kitchen, I feel hope spread through me.

“Come home with me?” she asks softly.

“I’ll be right behind you, sugar.”

I feel her smile against me before she pulls away and gets in her car. When we step inside her house, I help her out of her coat and boots, slip out of my own, and am shocked when she says, “I’m going to take a shower. I need a minute to think.” She bites her lip and looks at me uncertainly. “Do you mind waiting for me?”

“Take all the time you need, Jill. I’ll be here. Have you eaten anything?”

“No.”

“I’ll make you some soup and a sandwich.”

She nods and walks down to her room and I move into her kitchen to make the meal. Thirty minutes later, she comes into the kitchen, all scrubbed clean, her cheeks glowing and hair damp from the shower.

“You are so beautiful,” I whisper, not even realizing I’ve spoken aloud.

“Thank you,” she replies and turns her gaze down to her hands. “Thank you for feeding me.”


Tags: Kristen Proby Love Under the Big Sky Romance
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