I glare at him and snarl, “Yes, she sure as fuck is.”

“Look,” he begins and raises his hands as if in defeat, “my point is, he didn’t compare you to those women. That’s not what he meant, and you know it. You’re just too scared to admit it.”

“What happens the next time I do something that scares him? Is he going to do this all over again, jumping to the wrong conclusions?”

“People learn, Jill. They grow. No, I don’t think Zack would make this same mistake again. He’s not stupid. He’s human.”

I shake my head and scrub my fingers against my oily scalp.

Fuck, I really do need a shower.

“From the beginning, you said that you both have a whole cargo hold full of baggage and that it would take a lot of work for anything good to come of a relationship between you two,” Ty reminds me softly. “The baggage didn’t disappear just because you fell in love.”

“No, it just fell off the back of the truck and hit me square in the face.” I cross my arms over my chest and watch my brother for a moment before saying, “What do you want from me?”

“I want you to be happy, and the path you’re on right now isn’t cutting it. I want you to have a talk with Zack and really listen to what he says. I want you to trust your own instincts and I want my sister and my best friend to love each other.”

“You want a lot,” I whisper. “I don’t know, Ty. We’re pretty broken.”

“Sometimes,” he replies and pulls me into his arms, hugging me tight, “two people have to fall apart before they can realize how much they need to fall back together. And now that you know better, you can do better.”

“Thank you, Oprah,” I mumble into his chest.

“I think Maya Angelou originally said that.”

“Who are you?” I ask and pull away. “Since when are you all mushy and touchy-feely? It’s weirding me out.”

He laughs and shrugs. “I’m in touch with my touchy-feely side.”

“Yuck.” He laughs again and crosses his arms over his chest. I love him so much. “You know, Ty, you’re my rock when everything else falls apart. I love you.”

“I love you too.”

“How is Zack?” I ask quietly.

“A fucking mess.”

I nod and cringe, suddenly feeling guilty. “I’ll think about what you said.”

“Stop thinking everything to death and just fucking talk to the man.” He shrugs into his coat and hugs me once more then tweaks the end of my nose. “Take a shower. Put on some makeup. And for God’s sake, get out of those yoga pants.”

“Yes, fashion guru.”

He waves and leaves and I run for the bathroom, I have to pee so badly. When I finish and wipe, there is blood on the tissue and I immediately feel light-headed.

Oh Christ Jesus, no.

I mentally count the weeks in my head. I should be roughly six weeks pregnant. Many women miscarry around this time and never know they were pregnant. They just assume their period was late.

No, no, no.

I’m due to have my next appointment and ultrasound with Hannah in two days, but I definitely can’t wait that long.

I wipe again, but there’s no blood this time.

Oh God, what if I’m losing this baby?

I call the doctor’s office and spill my story first to the receptionist, who transfers me to Hannah’s nurse, and I tell it all over again, becoming more hysterical by the minute.

“Was it bright red or brown?” she asks.


“Well, it could be normal . . .”

“But it could not be normal. Can I come in or not?” I sound like a complete bitch, but I can’t help it. I’m panicking.

“Yes, Jill, come on in. Hannah will work you in.”

“Thank you,” I sob and end the call, then immediately call Cara.

“Hey, chickie,” she answers with a grin in her voice.

“Cara,” I cry and rush to my bedroom to find a bra. “I have to go to the doctor.”

“What’s happened? Jilly, are you okay?”

I can hear voices in the background but I don’t know, or care, who it is. “No. I’m not okay. I’m spotting.”

“Shit,” she mutters. “Are you going to Hannah’s office now?”


“You shouldn’t drive yourself. You’re too upset.”

“I can’t wait,” I reply and shove my feet in boots. “But can you come meet me?”

“Of course I can. I’m on my way right now. Jill, drive slow, hear me?”

“I hear you. Oh God, Cara, I can’t lose this baby.” I clutch the phone tightly in my hand and lean against the front door. “I can’t lose it.”

“You’re not gonna lose it, babe. Hannah will take care of it. Just get there in one piece. I’ll be there in twenty minutes.”

“Okay.” I wipe my cheeks, grab my purse, and head out to my car. “Thank you.”

I end the call, take a deep breath, then drive the short distance to Hannah’s office.

“Hi, Jill. We’re expecting you.” The receptionist smiles reassuringly. “Have a seat and someone will come get you in a moment.”

“Thank you.”

There’s a woman sitting nearby reading her e-reader, snapping gum. She has to be at least a hundred months pregnant. Her belly is huge.

“Jill?” Hannah’s nurse calls as she steps through the door that leads to the exam rooms.

“Hi.” I stand and follow her back. “I’m sorry I was such a bitch on the phone. I’m just scared.”

“Trust me, you’re fine,” she replies with a laugh. “I’m going to take some vitals and then Hannah will be in to talk with you. It might be a few minutes, she’s on her way back here from the hospital. She just had a delivery.”

“Oh, okay. Thank you.”

She weighs me, takes my temperature and blood pressure, then has me change into the usual gown with paper blanket and I sit and wait.

And wait.

I check my phone every two minutes to look at the time. After ten minutes, there’s commotion in the hallway, and I hear a man say, “Where is she! What room?”


The door is flung open and Zack fills the doorway, his eyes wide with fear and chest heaving. When he sees me, he rushes in and pulls me into his arms.

“Did you come from the ranch?” I ask incredulously.

Tags: Kristen Proby Love Under the Big Sky Romance
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