I cursed again under my breath. I didn’t bother with directions and carried on with it. The little windows of the test darkened and I waited.


I waited and waited, my mind a whirlwind of what ifs. Would I even tell Blake if it was negative? That all that trying, all that love and faith between us, had been for nothing?

I stood up and busied myself in the mirror, trying to fluff my flattened hair, needing anything to occupy my mind right now. As the test did its work, I convinced myself that it was negative. That all hope was lost. When I let myself believe it, the devastation hit my gut, right where the nausea had been twisting for the past two days.

That was a sign, right? The way I’d been feeling . . .

What if I was pregnant? What if we were actually going to have a baby?

I struggled for a breath when I imagined what that might feel like. Then panic gripped me when I thought of Blake and what he’d say. But that’s what we wanted, right? We’d danced around it, maybe because neither of us was entirely sure it was possible. But we’d tried . . . We’d flown into the possibility with the blind determination we brought to any other endeavor, yet here I was doubting and scared.

Memories of our last night in the Maldives flitted through my mind. Blake making love to me under the stars. The curtains around the cabana billowing in the wind, the only barrier between us and the night. The sliver of the moon and a thousand tiny pinpricks of light shining through as we came together with one purpose in mind.

My hand rested over my belly, the scar that I’d traced more times now than I could count. My wound . . . and now, maybe a life. My breath rushed out of me at that overwhelming thought.

“What does it say?” The tone of Alli’s voice bordered on hysterical.

I was about to yell something back at her when I glanced at the test again. I blinked twice at the extra line that had formed.

Seconds passed, rushing by with the quickened beat of my heart. Oh my God. Oh shit. Wow. Oh my God.

“I’m coming in there. I don’t care if you’re decent.”

She barged in and took the test out of my hands. “What does it say?”

“I think it says I’m pregnant.”

CHAPTER NINE

BLAKE

“Where the fuck is she?”

Heath groaned, stretching under his duvet. “Man, I told you last night, I don’t know.”

“Like hell you don’t. Alli’s with her, isn’t she?”

“Yeah, but she won’t tell me where they are. I talked to her again late last night, and she said everything’s fine. She said not to worry.”

The lack of sleep combined with a new rush of adrenaline spiking my blood had me wild with frustration. “Not to worry? Are you fucking kidding me? My wife has disappeared into thin air and no one’s telling me anything. I think you know me well enough to know that I’m more than fucking worried.”

Heath scratched his head and rose from the bed. “Dude, you need to breathe. I’m going to take a piss, and when I come back, we’ll talk. Do some yoga while I’m gone.”

I left the bedroom, slamming the door behind me. I sank back against the smooth dark leather of the living-room couch. The coffee table was covered with bridal magazines, which sent visions of my own wedding through my mind. Erica smiling, happier than I’d ever seen her.

I closed my eyes, letting some of my anger ebb away. Suddenly I wanted a way to go back to that day, one of the best days of my life.

Steps away from our home, we’d said our vows. As content as I would have been to share them in private, saying them in front of our friends and family in that moment had meant more to me than I’d expected. I’d written mine the night before. Finding the words to express what she meant to me had been difficult, but somehow I’d found them and committed them to memory. And when she walked down the aisle toward me, I was lost. Speechless.

I couldn’t tear my eyes away from her. She was a vision—hair done up but some strands loose around her face, light makeup making her blue eyes glow as they peered into mine. Her dress, made of soft white lace, fit perfectly to her body. The justice spoke, but the only words I heard were hers as she began to say her vows. Her voice was soft but strong as she locked me in with her eyes.

“When I imagined this day, I could never have imagined how deeply and completely I would love the person standing here with me. I thought love like ours happened only in books. I thought men like you lived only in fairy tales. But here you are, my dream come true, my happily ever after. And every day we’ve been together has been a gift, bringing me closer to you. For that, I’ll always be grateful. I promise to love you, stand by you, and cherish all of our days together.” She swallowed, her blue eyes shimmering with emotion. “Blake, you’ll always have my heart. You’ll always have my trust.”

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