He got to his feet, finished his coffee and leaned down. “Love you and I’ll see you tonight.” He kissed her cheek. “Find something nice and hopefully not in elephant grey.”

“Ha, ha, very funny.”

“Bye, Dad,” Bishop said, leaving her alone with Preacher.

“He’s doing much better now, isn’t he?”

“Yeah, he is. He seems to be more together than before, you know?” She tucked some hair behind her ear. “We don’t have to go shopping.”

“We’re going shopping. Let me pack a quick snack in case you need some more food.”

“I don’t eat too much.”

“I didn’t say you did. I’m thinking if we get stranded or shit. Stop worrying. Get ready to go and wear a jacket. It’s cold.”

She got to her feet after finishing her pancakes. She took her plate to the kitchen before stopping to grab a jacket.

It didn’t zip up, and she growled.

Preacher joined her at the front door.

“You’re cute,” he said.

“Nothing works.”

He tried to do the jacket up, but of course, she was on the larger side.

“I’m swollen.”

“We’ll get you a new jacket.” He opened the door, and she brushed past him.

Don’t think about being close to him today.

Just act normally.

Sitting in the front of the car, she looked out of the window as he got onto the road, heading toward the mall. It was a couple of hours’ drive from where Preacher lived.

This was the first time since the kiss they’d been alone.

“I saw what you did to the nursery. It looks amazing.” He’d finished the nursery painting.

He’d drawn a huge tree complete with dark green leaves, and a forest ground with deer and bunnies, cats, and dogs. She loved it.

“When did you finish?”

“A couple of nights ago.”

“Why didn’t you tell me?”

“We’ve both been busy, and I imagine avoiding me is a full-time job for you.”

“I … erm … I don’t mean to avoid you,” she said.

“Yeah, you do. It’s fine. I get it.”

“We shouldn’t have kissed,” she said.

“I know.”

“Bishop would be so heartbroken.”

“He would. We can’t have him hurt.”

She didn’t know if he was being sarcastic. Sitting back against the seat she stared out of the window.

Time passed.

Silence.

Neither of them reached for the stereo.

“I don’t blame you for taking care of him. Bishop needs someone like you, but don’t lose yourself to his bullshit.”

“I won’t.”

“You deserve someone who knows how special you are.”

“Preacher, I’m not special.”

“You are. You’ve just got to learn to see it.”

She released a breath. “I don’t want us to hate each other. I want us to be friends.”

“We will be, Robin. I promise.”

He finally turned the radio on, but there was so much she wanted to scream at him. she stayed silent, staring out of the window.

Rain had started to fall, and she looked up at the thunderous sky.

They arrived at the mall around lunchtime because of traffic and the roads. She was starving, and before they started to shop, Preacher took her for lunch. He’d kept his leather cut on, and she saw the women who paid him a great deal of attention.

Sipping at her milkshake, she tried not to be pissed. It wasn’t his fault women liked him.

Preacher was a good-looking older man, and it embarrassed her she noticed just how much he was. She’d never considered him a sexy guy before, but as the weeks and months had moved on and she spent more time with him, there was no denying her attraction. If he was anything like her horny wet dream Preacher, she was doomed.

After lunch, Preacher walked her from one maternity shop to another until she had a whole new wardrobe. Even as she argued with him about having more than she needed and the fact she wouldn’t be needing them again so soon, he still refused to leave without the clothes. This took hours, a lot longer than she ever hoped to shop.

It was late by the time she finished, and they had a quick supper before heading toward his truck.

Preacher put their purchases in the back of the car as she looked into the bag she’d got for the baby. Inside were a pair of the cutest booties.

“Look,” she said. “Don’t you think they’re so cute?” She walked them across the car seat between them.

He chuckled. “Yes, they’re cute.”

“Don’t worry, I won’t spill the beans that you like babies’ booties. So small and so cute.” She put the boots back into the bag, sliding the seatbelt over her swollen stomach. “Wow, it is so dark.”

“Yeah. The roads are going to be a nightmare.”

He pulled out of the busy mall and was back on the road. It was dark, and the rain came down really fast.

“I’m going to take a longer route, but it’s off the beaten track. I’m hoping to avoid the traffic.”

“Sounds good.”

She wriggled in her chair. The jacket had made the seatbelt a little too tight. She tried adjusting the belt.

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