A Perfect Ten

Page 179

She slowly bobbed her head up and down as her cheeks flooded with color.

I shook my head, unable to believe it, afraid to even attempt to believe it. “But the doctor said—”

“He said it was unlikely, highly unlikely,” she was quick to interrupt, “not that it was completely impossible.”

I let out a hard breath. It’d been years since we’d bothered to use any kind of contraceptive. I’d just assumed babies were impossible. Finding out I was wrong made my ears ring and my vision blur.

But Caroline was pregnant. My wife and the love of my life was going to have my baby.

“Holy fuck.” My hands went to my hair to clutch my swimming head.

“Wow, Ten,” Pick murmured, sounding impressed. “You must have some kind of super sperm to overcome odds like that.”

“You’re damn right I do,” I said, still dazed.

A hard hand clasped my shoulder. “Hey,” Gamble said seriously. “You okay, bud?”

I looked up at him and blinked him into focus. “Yeah. Why?”

His blue eyes crinkled with worry. “You look like you’re trying to check out on us. You ready to be a dad, or what?”


Dear God, just thinking of that word being applied to me made me break out in a cold sweat. Fuck no, I wasn’t ready to be a dad. I wanted to be a good dad, like my own dad was, but how could I possibly do that when I had no clue what being a dad truly entailed? I wanted my kid to have everything amazing. The best life ever.

But then I realized it would; it’d have Caroline as a mother.

With a snort, I rolled my eyes at Gam. “You ready to be an uncle?” I challenged right back.

Genuine pleasure gleamed in his face as he smiled. “Oh, I am so ready to be your kid’s uncle. I’m going to spoil your kid more than you spoil my Beau.”

“Bring it,” I said, ready to take him on, confident I could out-spoil his kid, no problem.

“Hey, Ten,” Blondie murmured softly, jerking my attention away from Gam. When she caught my eye, she zipped her gaze to Caroline.

I looked up at my wife and straightened, instantly alarmed. Instead of full of energy and eagerness as she’d been moments ago, her face had drained of all color.

“Baby, what’s wrong?” I tugged her out of her chair and down into my lap, where I pressed my hand to her abdomen.

She covered the back of my palm with cold fingers and looked up into my eyes, worry and fear creasing her face. “Are you okay with becoming a dad?”

“Are you kidding me?” I blurted out a surprised laugh and pressed my forehead to hers. “I’m...I’m so far and gone past okay, I’m fucking trembling with it.” I cupped her face in my hands. “We’re going to have a baby, Caroline. A little piece of you, a little piece of me. I can’t...I can’t even process this it’s so fucking awesome. We’re finally getting our Inez Dumaine.”

Immediate tears filled her eyes. “Oh my God. You remember.”

“Of course I remember. Why would I forget the name you want to give our daughter?”

“I love you,” she sobbed. “I love you so much, Oren Tenning, it almost scares me.”

“Not nearly as much as I love you,” I shot back.

As my pregnant wife cried and kissed me, I turned a little drippy myself. But shit, this had to be one of the happiest moments of my life, in the arms of the woman I loved, surrounded by my best friends on earth, and hearing I was going to be a father. Who the hell wouldn’t drop a tear? I certainly couldn’t refrain.

And if any of you fuckers reading this even think about spreading around the fact that I bawled like a pussy when I found out I was going to be a dad, I’ll kick all your asses. This is my goddamn happily ever after; I’ll cry if I want to.

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