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“Didn’t you say she watches my cousins’ kids?”

“No, I don’t think she watches their kids, but she babysits for friends of theirs. And their nannies take them for playdates.”

“I don’t want our baby in a big daycare situation. Can’t we get a nanny?”

“I’d love to, but I don’t think we can afford a nanny, Bridget. They make more money than I can manage to pay for. Plus, provide health insurance and other benefits. It’s out of my league.”

“I’d pay,” she said, telling him how much money she made.

He looked at her and shook his head. “It’s more than I thought, but less than you deserve. I guess we can afford a nanny then. I’ll start looking as soon as you start your leave.”

She looked out over the yard to the lake. “I regret having to go back to Pendleton. I should have asked to go to the base in New Orleans.”

“Would that even be possible?” he asked, hopeful.

“Probably not. And it would be a boring assignment, giving vaccinations to a bunch of reservists.”

“I didn’t think of that,” Luke replied.

“Oh!” She snapped her fingers. “Quick, give me your hand, Luke!”

He did as she asked and she placed it over her belly just in time for him to feel butterfly wings fluttering within her body against the warmth of his big hand.

“Wow. That’s my baby,” he said, emotional. “Are you going to let me come in with you when you go to the doctor?”

She was going to see a popular gynecologist that the other women in Cypress Cove had recommended to Luke. The doctor squeezed her in at the last minute.

“Of course. My appointment is Thursday, and then I leave for California on Friday. It came up so fast. Are you ready for that?”

“No. I’m dreading it.”

“You come for a long weekend next week,” she said. “If we were married, you could fly standby.”

“Do youwantto get married?” he asked.

“That wasn’t much of a proposal,” she said, snickering. “Are you asking me?”

“Ha! I’m just asking if you want to get married. Nothing covert.”

“Oh God, do I?”

He put his head back and roared with laughter. “We don’t have to get married to get a cheap airfare,” he said. “We have enough going on right now. But yes, I’ll see you next weekend.”

“And I’ll come back the next weekend.” She stretched over to kiss him, avoiding any more discussion of marriage.

Bridget didn’t love Luke. She was fond of him, she admired him, she desired him and respected him. But love? No. She didn’t feel passionate about Luke unless they were in bed, doing the deed, and then it was without a doubt undeniably passionate.

One thing though, she was loyal. She was going to have Luke Esprit’s baby and she would be a loyal partner to him. Until death do them part.

The doctor’s visit was fun for Luke. He stood at Bridget’s side during the ultrasound. Bridget reached for his hand and he looked down at her, surprised, squeezing it. She was not a PDA kind of woman.

“Do you want to know the sex?” the doctor asked, smiling. She already knew.

Bridget looked up at Luke. “What do you think?”

“I’d like to know,” he said. “It will help to get ready.”

“Look at this!She’scooperating!” the doctor called out.

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