My hands shake as I push them through my hair.

“But I’m pregnant.” I start to laugh at the absurdity of it all, and once I start I can’t stop. “Seriously? Pregnant.”

It’s hilarious to me all of a sudden.

“I took medication that made me throw up, get hot flashes, caused mood swings to rival those of an unmedicated schizophrenic, and I gave myself shots in my own ass for years to get pregnant. Years!” I laugh some more and wipe my eyes with the cloth. “And now that I’m happily divorced, and things are going well, and I finally came to grips with the fact that I’d never have kids, here I am. Pregnant.”

“What happened next, Jill?” Ty pulls my hands from my face and pins me in his stare. “When we found you, your house was about to burn down and you were unresponsive on the floor.”

“Zack came over for dinner,” I whisper. “I knew he’d be surprised, and maybe a little apprehensive, but . . .” I shake my head and take a deep breath, feeling the tears gather again.

Fuck, my emotions are all over the damn place.


“But he was angry. He thinks I did it on purpose.”

“What the fuck?” Ty exclaims, but I grip his hand in mine and hold on tight.

“I need you to leave it be, Ty.”

“Like hell! What the fuck is his problem?”

“He’s scared,” Lo says, and shakes her head. “It’s scared him.”

“He spent seven years in a war zone, Lo,” I reply dryly. “Nothing scares him.”

“That’s not true,” Ty replies. “She’s right. You scared the shit out of him, Jilly.”

I scowl at both of them.

“Well, that’s ridiculous.”

Ty’s shaking his head as he thinks it over. “No, it’s not. Given his past with Kensie, he’s gotta be wrestling with some demons right now.”

Holy fuck.

“I didn’t even think about Kensie.” I cover my face again and feel the tears fall down my cheeks. “I was so excited that I finally got pregnant, and that it’s with Zack, that I didn’t even think about that bitch and how they started together.”

“Well, I can see that—” Lo begins but I interrupt her as anger shoots through me.

“But regardless, the things he said . . .” I shake my head, knowing in my heart I can’t forgive him. “He was out of line. I can’t be with someone who would speak to me like that. The way he looked at me . . .” I shake my head again. “No.”

“What aren’t you telling me?” Ty asks quietly.

“It doesn’t matter. Don’t go to him, please, unless you’re going as a friend. I don’t want you to beat him up or try to make it right. Leave it be, Ty. I can do this alone.”

“Fuck that . . .”

“I mean it.” I grip his hand in mine and hold his gaze. “For me.”

“Zack will come around in a few days and he’ll make it up to you, Jill.” Lo’s voice is strong and sure, but I just shake my head.

It’s too late.

CHAPTER Seventeen


“Maybe Jill can come over today and we can go snowmobiling again,” Seth says with a smile. He was supposed to stay the whole night with Josiah, but there was a family emergency and I had to go pick him up at three in the morning.

Not that I was asleep anyway.

“Jill’s not coming over today,” I say gruffly, not meeting his eyes. How the fuck do I tell my kid that the woman we both fell in love with isn’t coming back?

“Oh. Well, maybe she can come over tonight and we can make her dinner and watch a movie.”

“Jill isn’t going to be coming over anymore, Seth.” My voice is hard and angry as the truth of the words hits me full force.

Seth’s head snaps up and he’s looking at me like I’m crazy.

“Jill and I aren’t seeing each other anymore.”

“What did you do?” he whispers.

“It’s not that simple,” I begin, but Seth’s cheeks redden and he slams his spoon back into his cereal bowl, splashing milk on the table.

“WHAT DID YOU DO?” he yells. “Jill wouldn’t leave us unless you did something to fuck it up!”

“Watch your mouth!” I yell back.

“No!” Tears form in his eyes, but he firms his chin, refusing to let me see how devastated he is, and I feel the same devastation all over again. I lay in bed all night, struggling with the knowledge that the woman I love deceived me.

“Seth.” I take a deep breath and try to stay calm. “Sometimes things just don’t work out.”

There’s no way in hell I’m going to tell him about the baby yet. He’ll find out soon enough.

One step at a time.

“She loves us,” he insists and wipes angrily at a tear that’s escaped his eye. “She’s the only one who’s ever loved us! And you made her go away!”

“Seth . . .”

“No.” He shakes his head and stands up from the table, glaring at me. “You need to fix this.”

“There is no fixing it,” I reply with frustration. “It is what it is, Seth. I’m sorry you’re disappointed . . .”

“You better fix it!” He advances and pushes me, square in the chest, knocking me back a step. “Whatever you did wrong, just say you’re sorry. Jill will forgive you.”

But I don’t know if I can forgive Jill.

“I love her, Dad.” He fists his hands at his sides. “She belongs here, with us. Why did you have to screw it up? Why do you have to make everything so damn hard?”

Before I can say anything else, he runs from the room, Thor running after him. He grabs his boots and coat and runs out back toward the barn.


Going after him won’t do any good.

My head is pounding, and fuck me, my heart hurts. How could she play me like that? How the fuck did I fall for it again?

Yesterday, when Jill said she was pregnant, I heard Kensie’s voice, saw her face, saying the same thing thirteen years ago, and watching my world fall apart around me. Kensie had smirked, pleased with herself for cornering me exactly where she wanted me. She’d told me she was on the pill, and I was a stupid eighteen-year-old kid who believed her.

Because I was thinking with my dick.

And if I’m honest, I was thinking with my dick with Jill too. Jesus, she’s fucking beautiful. But she’s more than that.

Tags: Kristen Proby Love Under the Big Sky Romance